Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cooty Bill--continued

     "Well we got up on the hill and then after they told us all about what they wanted us to do they desided they would get 2 or 3 tanks to go with us so they sent somebody to parley with the tank commander but after he was gone about haff an hour he come back and says the tank man told him it would be imposible to get up over the hill at that place and that they would have to go a kilo or 2 out of the way and couldnt be with us for 3 or 4 hours. Well then the officers went off to parley with somebody else or somethin and before long they come back and says that it had been desided not to send out any advanse party but that a general attack had been ordered so we went back to our companys and was pritty glad to get back to you can take it from me and then before long the hole outfit got orders to advanse.
     We all went out over the hill in battel formashun and for a long ways ahead of us there wasn't nothin but a plane with no hills and no trees. We got lined out in 2 waves and squad columns and pritty soon we started. There wasnt no oppisishun at all for a while and at 1st they didnt even shell us and we begin thinkin again they had all run away when all of a sudden a shell come singin along and exploded out ahead of us and nocked a part of a squad to peices like they was so much paper and then we knowed hell was on oncet more. We kept on walkin ahead like there wasnt no shells or nothin and they kept comein faster and faster and all the time we was waitin and expecktin 1 to hit our squad and we wondered where our own artillery was and then orders come to retreat back to the shelter of the hill. We started back and then they said that them orders was wrong and so we had to line up and start forward again and after we had got on out there in the fields and some more fellos got bumped off orders came to take cover in the shell holes which we done toot sweet. The corporal which was in charge of my squad had got mislaid in the shuffel goin back to the hill and so I was put in charge of the squad.
     Well I don't know why we ever done it but we layed out there in them shell holes all that day lettin the botches pour down shells into us and all that time we didnt have no artillery that I could hear but 1 batery of 75s or 3 in. guns which come up late in the afternoon and begin firein. From what I could find out the advanse was held up on the flanks and along in the afternoon 2 platons from my company was sent over to attack with some machine gun outfit which was bein held up and we didnt never get back with them durin the fight untill the last day. I suppose they was expecktin to go any minit and so didnt want to expose us to any more fire goin back to the shelter under the hill.
     The worst part about a battel is waitin for orders to do somethin espeshaly if your waitin at the same time for a shell to come along and bump you off any minit. I never learned nothin so quick in my life as I did about where a shells goin to light from the noise it makes. There aint no way of describin what kind of a sound it is bekause you wouldnt know if I told you but if I would live to be 100 years old and all of a suddin somebody would let out a whine or a skream or whatever you would call it a shell I bet I would jump 20 ft. and light a runnin and make 100 yards in a littel less than nothin flat. The worst skare we had that day all most was in that shell hole. We was layin there when all of a sudden we heard a shell comein right for us zz-e-e-e-o-o and while we was all tryin to push the bottom out of the earth Blooey! she lit only about 50 ft. from us and hurt a coupel of fellos in another shell hole and then when we was just raisein up again and our hearts was gettin down to where they belonged z-z-z-o-o-e-e-e-o-ou and another 1 that didnt hesitate a minit come right strait for us and we shut our eyes and waited for St. Peter and the angels with the littel harps to apear on the seen until they had ought to of had plenty of time to welcome us in and then we opened our eyes again and there only about 3 ft. outside our hole was a coupel of in. of a dud stickin up out of the ground where it had buryed itself. Well dad Ill bet a gost would have had a fine compexxshun compared to us there for a few minutes and for quite a while after that.

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