Episode 17

JOHN

June 8, 1944: While we thought the village of Sainte-Mère-Eglise was ours, on June 6 at 9:30 the German counter attack began. The shells rained down on the village even killing civilians who thought the worst was over. They were out of their house, had opened their shops and discussing the events of the night. They were asking who we were (British ??), many were speaking about the house on the square of the Church which was in fire: they did great gestures in this direction at least, because I didn’t understand their language …

The first attacks came by the South. Fortunately some soldiers of Lieutenant Colonel Vandervoort came to help us. We organized the defense of the city with 2 canoons of 57 mm found out in two gliders. The battle lasted two days, two days of intense fighting. We stopped the enemy tanks on the doorsteps of the city, just a few meters from the first houses of the village …

We’ll have to bury all the dead, the villagers killed during the attack and our comrades who fell under the enemy fire…

 

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