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Retracing the Paths of My Uncles part 5

Discussion in 'Philosophical Musings' started by cincibuck, May 20, 2017.

  1. cincibuck

    cincibuck You kids stay off my lawn!

    After an all day drive, I'm in the Eifel, a beautiful part of Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. It's very hilly - not unlike the Hocking Hills area of Ohio.

    This is where the three brothers will all be setting up, waiting for the big push into Germany itself. Bobby's 59th Armored Artillery rests and refits in Metz - close to where I am now - having chased what was left of the German army in France back to the German border. Uncle Ray's 99th Infantry Division has landed at Le Havre in early November and trucked up to Aubel, Belgium, less than 50 miles from Aachen, Germany. Uncle Cliff's 75th Division has finished their training in Wales and arrived in Le Havre, shipped up the River Seine to Rouen, and then trucked up to Belgium, arriving on December13 to a reserve location in Yvetot, Belgium.

    There are now three main American armies in the field and more are being formed as more units pour into France and are shipped north - an Army being two or more corps in strength, a corp being two or more divisions, each division being 16 thousand in strength. Behind each man actually holding a rifle, manning artillery or a tank are 8 to 10 more men and women who who feed, resupply, monitor and control, provide medical care etc, and who need to be fed and sheltered as well.

    It's a logistical nightmare, and not to diminish the accomplishments of those who actually bore the arms, it is the ability of the American defense system to get them where they were needed and sustain them that wins the war.

    The system has been strained at times. Indeed, Patton has twice had to reign in his advances because of a lack of fuel. His situation, and temperament, have not been eased by Eisenhower giving extra fuel to Montgomery for the ill advised and ill managed Operation Market Garden in Holland.

    My uncle's units sit and wait. Winter is setting in. The failure to close the gap at Falais has Patton and Montgomery at each other's throats. It's Christmas time and veterans units such as the First Infantry, 101st and 82nd Airborne, 4th Infantry, First, Second and Third Armor, units that have borne the brunt of the fighting from Morocco, to Italy, to France, feel like it's time for them to relax a bit and let the new kids do some of the fighting. My uncles told me they were focused on home and Christmas.


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