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Don Bennett's War

Chapter 15 - Peace in the valley?

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At dusk, "F" company came up to take our place and we were to go back to our battalion. We spent the whole night climbing back up the mountain. It was pitch black and we could use no lights. One man at the head of the column lit a cigarette under a coat and passed it to the man behind him to light his, and -so on, back through the whole company, all had cigarettes lit by one match. Stumbling, cussing and pooped, we reached the top and then all we had to do was go down again. We got back to the battalion about two o'clock, ate our fill of K rations, and had time to write a few letters. We spent that night on a floor of one of the town's stone houses.

The next morning we headed up toward the front again. We crossed a small bridge which was blown up by Germans the day before, but was replaced by our combat engineers during the night within a few hundred yards of the enemy and without them knowing of it. We hiked all day through farms and woods meeting little opposition and that night arrived at the edge of another valley, this one about a half mile wide and a town half way across. Our machine guns set up and started firing at a spot across the valley while machine gun tracers were emitting out toward our lines. Our artillery was pounding away at a point on the hill behind the town. Everything quieted down after dark and during the night took turns at guarding the outpost where the machine gun was located. The valley looked peaceful and quiet that night, but if one was to venture very far out into the valley, he would find the opposite true.

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