• Last modified 7235 days ago (June 23, 2004)
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Another take on controversial essays

Personally, I found nothing particularly objectionable in Robert Humphrey's writings, to date. A whole lot of past writings and recountings have, and I've been as guilty as anyone, "failed to see the forest for the trees."

Which is OK for it is the "trees" . . . Butgenbach, Krinkelt-Rocherat, Combat Team 395, etc., . . . that make for interesting reading.

With all due respect for the artillery article by Col. Biggio, I'm less interested in whether or not the Germans fired at me up on Elsenborn Ridge with either old-fashioned or new-fangled 88s than the fact that they never hit me.

Robert Humphrey presents, by his extensive interviewing, a realistic overview of the outfit. As for Thor Ronningen, he was either an I-got-along-swell-with-everyone type feller or he has taken to viewing history with rose-colored glasses . . . to judge by his letter.

Hell, there's a few thousand of us "survivors" around yet from the outfit and I doubt most of them would remember Maxey as being all love and kisses and hail-fellow-well-met camaraderie.

But then again, maybe G/393 was unique. They'd sent a bunch of the "old-timers" off to be cadre for a division just being formed, most of the remaining old-timers sat around discussing the time they "crossed the Sabine," and the non-coms were glad to have full strength squads again. And whether the TO (table of organization) called for it or not, Sgt. Degano hesitated not a bit when he handed me, a Pfc. in all my one-stripe glory, a BAR and said, "Here, you carry this until someone bigger comes along."

Sure, I would have rather stayed at Texas A&M in the ASTP. We'd had a dance Saturday night with the girls imported from somewhere . . . A&M was all fellers back then . . . and it sure broke up the party Sunday when the orders hit the bulletin board.

But that's life.

John Barton

PO Box 328

Saco MT 59261