Sunday, June 9, 2019
D-Day + 75 Years-- Part 5: The Enemy Soldiers Were Alive, Then, Suddenly, Dead
The mission Fayette Richardson and the 82nd and 101st Airborne units were on was to stop any German attempts at counterattack and reinforcing the beaches where the Allies were landing.
Richardson very quickly realized that real-life combat is infinitely more brutal and tragic than Hollywood's version. At dawn, he and a few others set off on their assignment only to encounter a German staff car.
The Americans froze, then Richardson yelled, "Shoot! Shoot!" Three Germans were killed in a hail of fire, and the GIs moved on. Yet Richardson couldn't stop thinking about the incident.
"It could not be that these ordinary men, riding along an ordinary road on an ordinary day could be shot like that, killed," he wrote. These men who had been alive and going about life's business a moment before could be dead. I could not accept it."