Friday, April 2, 2021

It Ain't Over Yet...


Sgt. Lucas Cole was moving down a road with his 3rd Squad of the 3rd Platoon. At the moment they were in reserve, about 50 yards behind 2nd Squad. Sgt. Cliff Davis's 1st Squad was on point about a hundred yards ahead. 1st Squad had just gone around a bend in the road and were obscured behind a small woodlot when Cole heard a burst from what could only be a German machine gun.

Cole got the squad ready to move up as needed. As he did so, he heard a flurry of fire from American rifles, then, within minutes, artillery was screaming overhead. After a series of explosions, the gunfire stopped and the platoon began to move again.

As they rounded the corner Cole saw what he had hoped to never see again, American soldiers down in the road, two sprawled lifelessly where they had been hit and another being worked on by Doc Hood.

"2nd Squad, move up, take the point, 3rd Squad, hold up here!" 2nd Lt. Damian Lott redeployed his platoon and then got on the radio to Company.

"Send the tanks up, we hit an MG nest, I've got two KIA and one wounded. We need the tanks Cap'n! Sarn't Poole, take the BDs and check out that Kraut position!"

S/Sgt Bob Poole and the five Basic Duty privates, Lott liked calling them 'the BDs,' headed across a small field to a burning farmhouse, the building had been wrecked by the artillery. Cole guessed, correctly, that the Germans had been in there.

2nd Squad was out in front now, Cole decided to get his guys out as flank security, 1st Squad was, to say the least, rattled. Moments later, one of the BDs, Pvt. Abel Simpson, came jogging back.

"Three dead Krauts L.T., f**king SS. No sign of anyone else." Simpson stopped talking when he heard the tanks coming, he was wondering, as were others in the platoon, why the tanks hadn't been up front in the first place.

Pvt. Dwayne Hood, the medic attached to 3rd Platoon came over to the lieutenant and said, "Ellis is stable, we need to get him back to the aid station quick. It was a through and through but there's lung involvement."

Lott nodded at his radioman, Pvt. Louis Hess, and then said, "Who'd we lose?"

Doc Hood looked at the two dead men sprawled in the road and said, "John Malcolm and Curt Bixby, Malcolm was dead when I got here, head wound, Bixby lived for a few seconds, that Kraut gun laid him open bad. I'll wrap 'em up, we got a jeep coming up Lou?"

The radioman nodded, "Be here in five."

Cpt. Tony Palminteri showed up in his jeep as the casualties were being loaded, right behind him were the tanks of S/Sgt Bradley Woodstock's detachment from C Company of the 745th Tank Battalion. The captain was not happy. As soon as he had dismounted from his jeep, he beckoned Lott over.

"Walk with me lieutenant."

When they were out of earshot of the platoon, Palminteri turned to Lott, "Mind explaining to me why you didn't wait for your armored support lieutenant?"

Lott noted that the captain was making a point of addressing him by his rank, not his name. He paused for a moment, then answered, "I had my scouts out, things were quiet, so I figured we'd move down the road a bit. Nobody noticed that farm house I guess."

"You guess lieutenant?"

"Sir, you're right, I f**ked up. Sarn't Poole warned me, I didn't listen..."

"And because you didn't listen, two of your men are dead, another is wounded pretty bad from what Doc Hood tells me. He might not make it. You more than f**ked up lieutenant, you failed your men. Climb in that jeep, for now you're relieved of your command."

"But Sir..."

"In the jeep lieutenant, the one with your dead and wounded. I want you to think on what you did to them. Yup, what you did to them. Go."

Palminteri waved S/Sgt Poole over. The sergeant suspected something was up when he saw 2nd Lt. Lott climb into the jeep with the casualties. Moments later the jeep turned and went back to the rear.

"What's up Sir?" S/Sgt Poole wondered what was going on.

"For now it's your platoon. Who's your guide?"

"Sgt. Owens..."

"He any good?"


"Would he make a good platoon sergeant?" Palminteri was impatient, he wanted to talk to Woodstock before he headed back, find out where the f**k the tanks had been.

"Yes Sir, he's a good sergeant, the men respect him."

"Good, he's your platoon sergeant, you're the platoon leader. Any problems with that?"

"No Sir."

"Good, I need to talk to Woodstock but I want your platoon on point still. Now that you've got tank support the Krauts may be a bit more leery about engaging you. Keep your f**king eyes open, capiche?"

"Yes Sir."

"You left my boys out there on their own Brad, what's your excuse?" Palminteri was angry and it showed.

"Sir, these babies don't run on wishes, we needed fuel or we'd be right about here now, waiting for a fuel truck. I asked the lieutenant to wait, he said we could catch up. Hell, Poole warned the guy, he didn't listen."

"All right, heads up out here, a lot of the Krauts are giving up, they don't want to die any more than we do. But the damned SS are still fighting to the last man, you meet resistance, slam the bastards. Tank fire, artillery, paste 'em, they want to fight, we'll kill every last one of 'em. Poole's a good man, he knows what to do, work together. Remember if the enemy want to fight, oblige them, if they try to surrender..."

"Heat of battle, right Sir."

"Mind you, if they're trying to surrender, let 'em, but watch them like hawks. Had an incident over in 3rd Battalion the other day, some Kraut was just pretending to surrender, brought out a hidden pistol and killed one of our guys. SS bastard of course."

"Got it Sir. I doubt we'll take any SS prisoners, even if they want to quit, f**k 'em."

"Unofficially, I agree with you Brad. Just don't make it obvious."

"Got ya Sir."

As Woodstock's tanks took the lead, 3rd Platoon in close support, there was an air of anger about the unit. The infantry were ready for a fight, they wanted the war to be over, any German who wanted to keep it going would pay and pay dearly.

As the men moved up, past the blood pooled on the road, Sgt. Eddie Russell, 2nd Squad, passed the word, "No SS prisoners. Not now, not ever. Kill 'em all."

By the time the word got to the last man, Pvt. Eddie Harvey, it was down to, "Kill 'em all."

No the war wasn't over just yet.

Not by a long shot.

Link to all of the Chant's fiction.


  1. This could have unlooked for results.

  2. Another look at how war is ugly. An officer not listening to a more experienced soldier......ego and "I outrank you so I know better." Blood is up.

    1. It happens, the guy has been around a while, thinks he knows it, then bang, men die because he didn't listen. He doesn't know it all, not yet.

    2. What's so f'in hard to understand about combined arms? I mean, by this time, they shouldn't have gone to the John without armored overwatch, even if it's just a halftrack or light tank.

      No. The LT was showing all the signs of being a glory-hound or a potential candidate for a shot to the back. He knew better, his top sergeant told him, and, you know, when it's quiet is when things happen. Idiot.

      By this stage of the game, I wouldn't be walking in fields or on dirt roads until they've been swept for mines. I wouldn't venture ot of the tree line without an armored vehicle covering me. I would listen for birds and insects and other natural noises that tanks don't chase away, you know, listen for those unnatural quiet places (using scouts, very careful scouts.)

      The Capt was quite correct in his dressing down of the stupid 2nd Lt.


  3. Still grinding. The war is over....everyone, even the SS, have to be aware but yet the grinding continues. Even worse in the Pacific where the Japanese ALL acted like the SS.

    1. For many in the SS, there was no "after the war." Most of them knew the atrocities that had been committed by others wearing the same uniform, perhaps even the atrocities they themselves had committed. The SS expected no mercy after the war, in the East, they received none, in the West some paid, others did not.

      For the Japanese it was more of a cultural thing, surrender was dishonorable and a betrayal of the Emperor, Japan, and their families (pretty much in that order). Though on Okinawa there were surrenders by Japanese combat personnel. You can't brainwash everybody, there will remain those who think for themselves, regardless of politics and/or culture.

      But yeah, the grind continues...

    2. Hard to believe the lies when the American planes are everywhere, when American artillery is called on the slightest movement, and you've been eating less than starvation level rations for over 3 months, sometimes over a year.

      Our, for all that matters, nearly full naval blockade of all the Japanese islands and possessions helped really whittle down the fighting spirit.

      I actually think the Japanese were more tenacious, like on Iwo, where there wasn't a large civilian population. But when you physically see civilians starving, children starving, OLD PEOPLE (who were once revered in the culture) starving to death so you and your fellow soldiers and sailors can get almost barely enough food, that's got to wear even on the most fanatic.

    3. Saipan showed that it did not.

  4. We played that game... pass the word. I think booger bacon was the weirdest result. That is why you huddle up and pass the word from one to all, not down the line.

  5. Dark. It's always quietest before the noise of death appears. Very dark segment.

    As I said, should have at least had a couple halftracks and their .50s, or some of the small Stuart Recces (an M3 or M5 light tank with the turret assembly removed and a large ring for a machine-gun mounted around the now-open hole on top. Better would have been Shermans or Stuarts. Best would have been a mix of all armored vehicles.

    Infantry to spot anti-armor weapons, Armor to spot anti-personnel weapons.

    1. Sometimes you go to war with what you have, not what you want.

      Complacence has killed many a soldier.

  6. And a Good Friday to all you Chanters out there. It's always darkest before the Dawn. Pain and suffering before relief.

  7. "...As soon as he had dismounted from his job,..." I wonder if I'll ever get to dismount from my job. I often have dismounted from my jeep however.

    1. A Freudian slip!

      (I wonder what I was thinking about on Thursday... Probably retirement.)

  8. There was a Sergeant Neal in a unit I served with in the FMF. Any time somebody "passed the word", he would respond with "but what's the real deal?" Folks took to calling him Real Deal Neal, because he didn't pass scuttlebut. He went to the source and got the straight scoop. He's served in 'Nam, and had seen some royally effed up situations that came as a result of information incorrectly disseminated by "passing the word" Clear, concise orders, in writing if necessary, though that really wasn't an option in this case, for obvious reasons. That then would be part of the problem. In condoning that "unofficial" policy, the Captain effed up. Guess it was his turn, but he should have known better. Professional soldiering does not lend itself well to policies that are based on emotional decisions. Enemy combatants must all get fair treatment, no matter what you think they may or may not have been involved in. Of course, many incidents in our more recent "wars" show that is a lesson that has to be learned over and over again. All it takes is one angry SOB to start redefining the terms of the Geneva Convention, and things get substantially worse. Yes, warfare can always get worse. Much more easily than it can get better.

    I should Probly apologize for the rant. Got some sore spots that git irritated sometimes.

    Bringing the realism is definitely something you are very good at, Sarge!

  9. "Kill 'em all." That's war sometimes, and war was, is, and always will be hell. If it's done any other way, it's not being done correctly. As for Sgt. Russell and SSGT Poole, today they'd be caught on cell phone video saying that, and the libs that hate the military would be pushing for a courts martial at supersonic speed.

    1. "Supersonic speed?" Try WARP speed at a bare MINIMUM!!!

    2. But they can't handle the truth (in my best Col. Nathan R. Jessup impersonation)

    3. VX - When you're right, you're right.

    4. Tuna #2 - They need us on that wall...

    5. They might, but depends on who "they" is these days, doesn't it? Folks holding the reins now do not have our -or the country's - best interest at heart. If that "wall" is the fence on the Hill in DC, they can find someone else; I'm off.
      Boat Guy

    6. Nope, not that wall. That wall was put up to protect the thieving, corrupt cowards.

  10. Hey Old AFSarge;

    And the Grind continues, You are correct, there was no "After the War" for the SS, they knew it, it was "To the death" for them, (We ain't gonna mention Argentina). I surmise that the Lt was looking for awards for his postwar career placement and got stupid, I wonder if the Lt is a member of the WPPA(West Point Protection Association) or a "Trade's School Type" Meaning ROTC or Mustang when I was in. If the LT is a member of the WPPA, a senior member may intercede to save his career. I know, dirty behind the scene stuff. Another Excellent Post as Usual.

  11. It is not just in war. People impatiently advance all the time, ignoring advice from others more experienced or wary. And yes, sometimes people die because of it in the non-military world as well.

  12. I'd like to think if I were a green LT in charge of a Platoon I'd sure listen to my battle-hardened Sgt. It would be arrogance not to.


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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