By James Megellas
In mid-1943 James Megellas, referred to as “Maggie” to his fellow paratroopers, joined the 82d Airborne department, his new “home” for the length. His first style of strive against was once within the rugged mountains outdoor Naples.
In October 1943, while many of the 82d departed Italy to arrange for the D-Day invasion of France, Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, the 5th military commander, asked that the division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Maggie’s outfit, remain at the back of for a bold new operation that may outflank the Nazis’ obdurate protecting traces and open the line to Rome. On 22 January 1944, Megellas and the remainder of the 504th landed around the seashore at Anzio. Following preliminary good fortune, 5th Army’s amphibious attack, Operation Shingle, slowed down within the face of heavy German counterattacks that threatened to force the Allies into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Anzio become a fiasco, one of many bloodiest Allied operations of the warfare. no longer until eventually April have been the remnants of the regiment withdrawn and shipped to England to get better, reorganize, refit, and teach for his or her subsequent mission.
In September, Megellas parachuted into Holland in addition to the remainder of the 82d Airborne as a part of one other star-crossed undertaking, box Marshal Montgomery’s vainglorious Operation industry backyard. Months of tough strive against in Holland have been by means of the conflict of the Bulge, and the lengthy not easy street throughout Germany to Berlin.
Megellas used to be the main embellished officer of the 82d Airborne department and observed extra motion in the course of the conflict than such a lot. but All how to Berlin is greater than simply Maggie’s global conflict II memoir. all through his narrative, he skillfully interweaves tales of the opposite paratroopers of H corporation, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. the result's a striking account of fellows at conflict.
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Extra info for All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe
I couldn’t understand the reason for the delay, but then as a second lieutenant, how could I? In retrospect, however, I realize that the vast movement of men and arms across the ocean was no small undertaking. The nation entered the war short of the means of transportation, so freighters with a 10,000-ton capacity were being converted to troop carriers. Convoys leaving the East Coast required naval warship escorts to protect against attacks from German submarines. The ports of embarkation (POE) were jammed to the saturation point.
He and I had become close friends during the four weeks of parachute training and readying for our assignment. We were destined to be together until the end of the war and to become true friends. We set out from Virginia in a convoy of eighty ships, which included, in addition to the troop-carrying liberty ships, an escort of naval combat vessels, one of them a battleship. It was an awesome sight from the deck of our liberty ship as we headed east across the Atlantic to a destination unknown to most of its human cargo.
In our boxcar, Rivers and I had a mattress cover we managed to requisition in Oran for trade bait or sale on the trip. We tied one end of the mattress cover to the inside of the boxcar; the other end lay in the door of the boxcar in plain sight of any prospective buyers. Invariably at every stop, most of which were only a matter of minutes, we found several interested buyers with money in hand. We had a fixed price of twenty dollars and would not come down a franc with our haggling friends. Once the deal was struck, I advised the Arab that we couldn’t make the transaction until the train started pulling out of the station.
All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe by James Megellas