ARCHIVE

  • Last modified 3216 days ago (Feb. 21, 2009)
  • Return to Checkerboard

Just an 'ordinary infantryman'

Just an 'ordinary infantryman'


     The following letter was sent by a veteran of the 106th Division infantryman, which we know took heavy casualties during the initial hours of the Battle of the Bulge.

     He tells of how he purchased the book "Band of Brothers" by Stephen Ambrose. Just six paragraphs into the first chapter, describing the mood of paratroopers, he read the following:

     "Second, they knew they were going into combat and they did not want to go in with poorly trained, poorly conditioned, poorly motivated draftees on either side of them.

     "As to choosing between being a paratrooper spearheading the offensive and an ordinary infantryman who could not trust the guy next to him, they decided the greater risk was with the infantry. When the shooting started, they wanted to look up to the guy beside them, not down."

     Bull!

     Bill Potts of K/424 of the 106th countered with "I'm a proud Ordinary Infantryman. I just may return this book."

     Would the paratrooper have made it without the ordinary infantryman coming to save them at Bastogne. The so called "ordinary infantrymen" like veterans of the 99th and 2nd Divisions had been there since the opening salvo, and took more casualties in that first 48 hours than any other unit in Army history. The ordinary infantry also won the Battle of the Bulge by a valiant stand on Elsenborn Ridge, not surrounded down south.

Quantcast