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Col. Biggio researches tanks

Charles "Carlo" Biggio (Col. USA ret) is one of the world's foremost enlightened experts on artillery.

He served as a first lieutenant in the 372nd FA with the 99th (see story this issue).

Grant Yager, who served as a section sergeant in the 371st, asked Biggio whether or not there were any German Tiger tanks at Bullingen on the Sunday morning of Dec. 17, 1944.

Grant was there that morning, and was captured by German Panther tanks.

He has heard about the King Tigers, and wondered if he faced any of that breed.

To answer Grant's question, Carlo researched many books and said the Tigers were at the tail of Peiper's column, arriving in Bullingen during late morning hours. Grant fired on tanks at the lead of the column, probably around 8 a.m., and was captured.

Biggio also found, through research, that the greatest number of casualties during World War II came from artillery fire. U.S. Army Medical Corps statistics show that 63 percent of casualties were from shell fire, 25 percent from rifle bullets, 2 percent from grenades, and 1 percent from land mines.

Statistics from Patton's 3rd Army confirms this, showing 60 percent of casualties were from artillery and mortar shells, and 25 percent from gunshots.

Artillery was reported to be the weapon most feared by infantrymen.

But, there isn't an artillery veteran alive who doesn't salute his friends who wore the blue piping (artillery was red). Those "gravel agitators" slept in wet foxholes, ate cold chow, and lived minute by minute.

Your artilleryman OE once asked a rifle company infantryman if he didn't feel like he represented the entire nation when he was on the line — all others were behind him. "Hell, at that point I was the United States" came his reply.

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