August 23, 1944 – The closer to the front, the more unreal the situation

Posted by on Aug 24, 2014 in Good Giants Blog


Some of the advance party posed questions concerning conditions in the line. Colonel Daguette took the staff and company commanders to the command post of the 14th Armored Infantry Battalion for orientation and to the various command posts that you would subsequently occupy in relief of that battalion. The closer you drove to the front, the more unreal the situation seemed. The battalion headquarters was set up in a bright little community seemingly untouched by the war. Civilians walked around at will, begging in the garrison-like chow line for handouts. The total absence of foxholes made you a little self-conscious about your frantic entrenching of the night before some ten miles back.

Battle-wise veteran of the 1st Armored Division teaches members of the 370th Combat Team about the use of maps and overlays.

The courteous, efficient, battle-wise veterans of the all-White 1st Armored Division soon put you at ease and began teaching you the rudiments of war. They assured you that good, strong, well-protected houses made excellent command posts, even for front-line units, and were to be used whenever possible.

They also told you that it seemed very quiet now, but any careless exposure of personnel or vehicles would bring down a rain of artillery fire from the ever-watchful Germans. They gave you maps and overlays and pointed out positions, explaining carefully and in detail, until the jigsaw puzzle became a clear picture. The overlays were created on clear acetate film and showed your positions and the Germans’ positions, which had been identified by your intelligence unit.

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