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Mark R Whittington

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Member Since: Before 2003

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Recent stories by Mark R Whittington
· Christmas on the Moon
· Two Old Men
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Hurtgen Moon
By Mark R Whittington
Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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In the Battle of Hurtgen Forest in World War Two, an American rifle squad encounters an inhuman enemy.

When I first saw it in the autumn of 1944, the Hurtgen Forest was a tangle of trees and brush that was so thick that I wondered if anything, not to mention an Army Corps, could pass through it. The weather caused the ground to be either covered with snow or just wet. There were very few roads or tracks passing through the dense ocean of trees. Thus, the Germans could easily defend the place against the best the US First Army could throw against it with two under strength divisions.

I wasn't too worried about all of that at the time. By the beginning of September, I had survived North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, and the dash across Northern France. I thought I had seen every horror that a man could know. I was an old Sergeant at age 25, commanding a rifle squad of 18 and 19 year old kids. We were all feeling kind of cocky. We were on the border of Germany and were within sight of reaching the Rhine. Odds were that we would be finished by Christmas. If the Hurtgen was going to be a tough nut, we had cracked tough nuts before. After Utah Beach and St. Lo, what was one more battle?

How were we to know? Utah Beach and St. Lo had been fought against human beings.

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