By James Megellas
In mid-1943 James Megellas, referred to as “Maggie” to his fellow paratroopers, joined the 82d Airborne department, his new “home” for the length. His first style of strive against was once within the rugged mountains open air Naples.
In October 1943, whilst lots of the 82d departed Italy to arrange for the D-Day invasion of France, Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, the 5th military commander, asked that the division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Maggie’s outfit, remain in the back of for a bold new operation that will outflank the Nazis’ obdurate protective traces and open the line to Rome. On 22 January 1944, Megellas and the remainder of the 504th landed around the seashore at Anzio. Following preliminary good fortune, 5th Army’s amphibious attack, Operation Shingle, slowed down within the face of heavy German counterattacks that threatened to force the Allies into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Anzio became a fiasco, one of many bloodiest Allied operations of the warfare. no longer until eventually April have been the remnants of the regiment withdrawn and shipped to England to get well, reorganize, refit, and teach for his or her subsequent mission.
In September, Megellas parachuted into Holland besides the remainder of the 82d Airborne as a part of one other star-crossed project, box Marshal Montgomery’s vainglorious Operation industry backyard. Months of demanding strive against in Holland have been via the conflict of the Bulge, and the lengthy challenging highway throughout Germany to Berlin.
Megellas used to be the main adorned officer of the 82d Airborne department and observed extra motion throughout the conflict than so much. but All tips on how to Berlin is greater than simply Maggie’s global conflict II memoir. all through his narrative, he skillfully interweaves tales of the opposite paratroopers of H corporation, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. the result's a amazing account of guys at struggle.
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Extra resources for All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe
We soon learned that of all our equipment and clothing, the Arabs coveted our mattress covers the most and would pay up to twenty dollars in French francs for one. If one thing here irritated us about the Arabs, it was being out-haggled and overcharged. So on this snail’s-pace trip to Oujda, we plotted our strategy to beat them at their own game. In our boxcar, Rivers and I had a mattress cover we managed to requisition in Oran for trade bait or sale on the trip. We tied one end of the mattress cover to the inside of the boxcar; the other end lay in the door of the boxcar in plain sight of any prospective buyers.
All bars and restaurants close at 6 o’clock every night and the town is blacked out. There are not too many cafes because they have nothing to sell. The bars sell wine, cognac, or brandy, but no beer or whiskey. Coca-Cola or sodas are unheard of. The Army is in charge of foodstuffs and even feed the people. I gather from the natives that the Nazis were very strict and gave the populace very little to eat. After a short stay in the Oran area, we packed up again and headed for the airborne training center in Oujda, located in northeast French Morocco close to the Algerian border.
After reviewing this portrayal of World War II, I was convinced I had a story to tell in a way that had not yet been written. I believed I could add another, more focused dimension on the level where wars are actually fought: in the rifle squads and platoons. I had been in combat almost continuously as a lieutenant leading my platoon on patrols and in defense and attacks. This book deals with the micro aspects of war, wars as fought by young teenage GIs in squads and platoons led by noncommissioned officers and junior grade officers.
All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe by James Megellas