It was a stormy night. The wind was howling loudly and the rain was pouring. Someone was knocking on the door. I answered the door and discovered that it was my captain. He ordered, “It’s time to be in position. It’s expected that the Allies are going to attack the Atlantic Wall. We still don’t’ know the exact position they are going to attack but still, prepare for the worst.”
“Yes! Captain!” I replied firmly, “I will protect our Fatherland with my life.”
“Good! Your partner is waiting at the beach.” My captain said.
Although I was a soldier who should support the Führer, I did not want the Führer to continue controlling my Fatherland. He just spoiled the happiness of millions of families. Like me, many young men were forced to fight for the Führer and his ambitious plan of taking over the world. Though most of them were unwilling to get away from home, all of them obeyed the order, including me.
I took my MG42 machine gun, 98K rifle and my steel helmet and set off to the shore. I quickly jumped into my foxhole which was sitting on top of the cliff of Omaha Beach.
“How come you are late?” my partner asked.
I answered, “Since I was organizing my wife’s photos.”
“I see.” My partner asked, “So you miss her?” Before I could answer, several red lines whizzed through the air and ‘Bomb!’. They hit the ground and a huge amount of dirt and dust spilt out and filled the air.
Realizing the so-called ‘red lines’ were actually naval artillery shells, I shouted, “Take cover!” Without a second thought, I covered my head with my hands, holding my helmet tightly and crouched down in horror, praying “Please don’t attack us!” The lights were flickering and my head was spinning.
After almost half an hour, it went silent, absolutely silent. I knew that we had suffered a heavy naval gun bombardment and survived! However, it was not time for celebration because it was just the beginning.
I checked the guns with my partner. They were in good condition. I asked him, “How much ammunition do we have?”
“About ten thousand rounds,” my partner replied, “It should be enough for today’s battle.”
We went silent in our foxhole. Hearing the wave splashing on the sea shore was like hearing the sound of invasion. I was nervous.
Dawn finally broke, light shone on the sea water, bouncing off blinding red and orange lights. Besides the waves, I also saw some tiny little green dots floating towards us. My partner instantly smelled the rat. He whispered to me, “Look! Aren’t they Americans’ landing boats?”
I said, “No way! It’s not real!”
As time went by, it confirmed my worst fear. The ‘green dots’ were the same as those I had seen in Sicily. They were landing boats. The boats landed and the slopes were deployed. The American troops held their riffles and dashed toward us! ‘Bang!’ Seeing them being blown into pieces after stepping on the mines which I helped to lay, I felt terribly guilty. Some families had lost their sons.
While the defenseless Americans were struggling to get on shore, the soldiers on my side sprang into action at once. Bullets and gun shells were shot toward them. My partner pushed me gently and said, “Hey! Why do you hesitate? Let’s open fire and kick them back to Washington!”
Usually, I hated dealing things by violence but I was in a battlefield. It was a decision of life and death. Countless thoughts rushed through my brain. “If I don’t open fire, I will be killed. So what about my wife? My old father and mother? Who will take care of them?” It was the hardest thing to decide. Finally, I sighed and pulled the trigger. Hails of bullets rained down on the invaders. I shouted, “For Germany!” My partner should too, “For Germany!”
‘Whizz!’ Artillery pieces shot cannonballs through the air. ‘Splash!’ Either injured or killed, the bodies and stumps scattered across the beach. Although I felt sorry, my body was like out of control. I just pressed on the trigger tightly and killed whoever was charging at me. It was the bloodiest day. Overwhelmed by the whizzing sound, my feelings flipflopped. At younger age, I was taught not to kill people, but recently, I was trained how to kill people in a more efficiently way. How ironic it was!
The battle continued for over ten hours. I had been unslept for over 15 hours. Exhausted, our team slowly ran out of ammunition. Still, the Americans were like fearless lions, dashing to us. They managed to penetrate our defenses despite heavy casualties. They were waves after waves, pushing mercilessly toward us. No matter how many soldiers the Germans killed, there were still Americans charging to us.
Finally, my machine gun jammed in the middle of the battle. My partner tried to fix it but it was no use. Suddenly, a flash of light blitzed through the air. At the same time, my partner was hit on his heart. Unstoppable streams of blood rushed out from his chest. He could hardly breathe.
Knowing my partner, the only friend I made in the army, was dead, my heart sank and fury took control over my body. I yelled, “Go to hell! Animals.” I took the rifle out and aimed at the soldier who killed my buddy. Once I aimed, I opened fire! ‘Buzz’ A bullet flew into his head.
Splash! His head was blown into blood. I was appalled and gasped, “I just killed him with my own hands!”
Turning around, I was aghast to discover that a couple of American soldiers were pointing their pistols at me. All colours drained from my face. With merely a knife left, my resistance would be in vain. I surrendered to the U.S. immediately.
With my arms raised, I followed the American soldiers to their officer. I was no longer a German soldier. I was a prisoner of war.
Walking along the beach, seeing waves, which should be blue, being dyed red because of the large amount of blood, I finally realized how many people had lost their lives. Staring at the countless dead bodies and soldiers moaning in pain, fear went through my spine, my jaw dropped in terror. Feeling extremely guilty, I sat on the captive bench without a word.
The unbreakable Atlantic Wall was broken. The battle we should have won had been lost. I had the ominous feeling that it was the turning point of the war. The war was going to be unfavourable for our nation.
(This day was later known as the D-day in history, which took place at the Omaha Beach or ‘Bloody Omaha’.)