“The entire beach and hillside was covered with obstacles, a unit of Sappers had gone ahead to find where the mines were.
Those guys were smack in the middle of it, German bullets coming down from up top, and our bullets going back the other way, with mortars landing everywhere.
They moved in pairs, if one went down his partner picked up his kit and kept moving.They didn’t call for a single medic, they just kept crawling up the beach as far as they could until they couldn’t no more.
You could see them pulling themselves up the hillside even after their legs got shattered from the explosions, I remember all their bodies had marker flags sticking out of them.
The dirt was too loose to hold the flags up and the blasts would’ve knocked them over, so the guys had shot themselves up with morphine and stuck the flags into their legs.
When you got to one that was still breathing, he would tell you where it was safe to step.They were about 25 yards apart. When I got to the base of the hill I took a quick look back and that’s when I saw it.
Those Sappers had made a trail with their own bodies.
Now how do you not keep going after something like that….”
-Sgt. Gino J. Merli, US Army. June 6th 1944. Omaha Beach
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.