By Jacques Dupree
Chapter One: 1939 the Start of WW2
The First Great War meant as little to me as school and the law enforcers of Lyon. My parents didn't do anything wrong, I was just the oldest of six boys which meant I was left to handle my self while our mom concentrated on my younger brothers, Pop was never around always working never making a difference. I started slipping in school after a few fights, most of them were protecting my little brothers, eventually I said screw it and dropped out. From there it was a never-ending drunken party and test drive on a few drugs, but nothing gave me the high or the thrill like a fight. I started hanging with some real tough bastards and we would get into turf fight after turf fight, we controlled at least ten square blocks of Lyon just the four of us.
When the Checks and Berlin were invaded my parents started to get worried and when Britain and France declared war in 1939 they had prepared to send my brothers to America to live with our Uncle, They gave me a choice stay or go. I decided to go with them, the only thing that kept me fighting was their safety and I couldn’t protect them if they were in the US and I wasn't.
Chapter Two: 1940 New Life in America
My Uncle owned a farm in Georgia and he put me to work the next day. My uncle was more of a father than my Pop, he helped in my troubled teenage years and we started to go to a Catholic church every Sunday. In the end it was my Uncle who helped me in making the decision to join the Army, after living in the US for a year and attaining my citizenship. I joined in February of 1940 a few months after I turned eighteen. When they asked what job I wanted I half considered putting down on the form "Ass Kicker" but I went with Journalist instead. They had me shipped to boot camp two weeks later. Although America was calming peace and did not want to join the Second Great war but from what I could tell in my training everyone had an idea about what was going to happen in the next few years, they just needed a reason. Now I'd like to say that it was the occupation of America's ally, France, that sent the country into outrage and demanded war but the country hardly even noticed, sure it was on the news papers in one of the many pages but did anyone care, no, just another monster of war.
Chapter Three: 1941 Pearl Harbor, America's reason.
The events of Pearl Harbor was a sad one across the country, I could understand the haltered as I lost my whole country, different Monster same pain. Just like a holy miracle every one in the country felt the need to fight, people were turning their home business into factories of war, men were enlisting so much that I was promoted to squad leader just so we could train them all. The only problem was there was a great chance that I wouldn’t even be on the same continent of my home country. After brief month of training with my new squad we got our orders to move out, our ship was in Ney York, that was good news. As soon as I met my commander and got my squad in their bunks, we were briefed and told that The 1st Infantry Division was headed to Beaminster of South-west England.
Chapter Four: On the path to War
1942 August 1st
I've been in the American Army for a year now, as a French immigrant and a Journalist I'm the fist to make Corporal this fast. I'm sitting on the S.S. Jefferson the boys call it the S.S. shoot em' up. The 1st Infantry Division, The fighting first, the Big Red One as some call us thanks to the badge, I had trained with these guys, drank, fraught, had all kinds of fun, but I also know that I might end up dying with them. The ocean was calm for us, paving the way to save Europe from the claws of the Monster of War. Some guys were nervous, some were just kids, probably lied to get in, not that his commanding officer would care to check just another kid's life for the country's safety, no one cared that he might have a family or a girlfriend, they just gave him a rifle taught him how to not shoot off his own foot and sent him on his way to War.
1942 October 20th
We'll hit port soon, the guys have been restless, some say they can't wait to hit a pub or try and seduce the local women, animals, but aren't we all. The commanders are to be briefed on our destination; I pray they will send us to France.
1942 October 21st
We make port and the Commanders tell us we can stretch our legs and have a good night but be back strictly at 2200 and ready to go in the morning at 0500. The English really know how to make their Ale, and how to fight. That night me and the squad had a nice night out drinking but something about me always gets me in a fight and the fact that I was at war or in a country I didn't know anything about didn't matter. My squad and me got in a little scuffle and some damage was done but the worst we got was clearing duty for the whole ship. Worst yet I find out we are headed for the French territory of North Africa. We set sail in a few months, after training with the Brits; even I must say the term "dough boy" has its humor. "At least we got a warm up fight" was they only thing I could tell my squad while we cleaned and passed a bottle of whiskey around.
Chapter Five: Operation Torch
The German control of Europe's main land and the Italian control of the Mediterranean made a full-blown assault on Europe just short of impossible. So the Brits have come up with a plan for a three-pronged attack into German controlled territory in North Africa, if we are successful this could help regain naval superiority and cut their supplies.
The First Infantry Division, The First Armored Division, and 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, we were the Central Task Force led by Major General Lloyd Fredendall and pulled into II Corps. We called ourselves the Firsts, on account that including my division and the armor division the 509th were the first parachute regiment, and we were the first to land.
1942 November 8th, Oran
Its a cold morning and the sun hasn't even come up yet, the salt water chops up in waves and hits us from time to time just to remind us how cold it is. I sat there cold and wet smoking maybe my last cigarette, holding my M1 Carbine. Some of the boys are excited, some don't know why they enlisted in the first place, I kept my cool. As the commander of my squad I can't show any weakness, truth be told, I was scared shitless, but I was ready to kill me some Nazis.
The sarge hollered at me " when we get on the beach stay on the Ranger Battalions ass and cover their flanks while" and suddenly the SCV lurched forward and stopped, we must of hit a sand bar. The metal landing way fell down into the water, but I knew better I jumped off the side and my squad followed. The water wasn't so called anymore not after being shot at from five different directions, the rangers were on the move and I knew my battalion had a job to do. So we headed for the beach screaming, "Fire" and the top of my lungs, a rage of gun blasts fired back and forth. I remembered my training the first task was done, shoot back, the next thing was to find cover. The sand bar was pretty high enough for the water to stop at my knees, so I ordered my squad to get behind the SCV, we sat there for an unknown amount of time, just firing blindly at what ever was shooting at us, until the gunners nest stopped firing in our direction. I knew that meant one thing, they must have noticed the rangers and it was our job to make sure they could get close enough to take out the gunners, I without saying a word rushed up to the beach my squad following right behind, I grabbed a grenade and chuck it has far as I could towards the nest and dived down were body of our comrades lay the squad did the same. A second later and a load boom came just near the nest and they began firing back at the SCV we used for cover, I got up and shouted a war cry and opened fire on the nest, being closer than were I was I had a better shot and a hail of lead from five riles can really do some damage. We nailed one but the rest ducked beyond our line of sight, good thing too, we had no cover at the time, but I knew it was only a matter of seconds before another nest noticed us so we rushed for the hill the nest were set on. We were safe from gunfire for now only a fraction of what was set on the beach, made it to the wall. I made a head count of my squad, only four of us made it. I found a few broken up squads but no sarge, I rallied what soldiers I could and headed for the west hillside to giver better fire support to the Rangers. "All right Firsts this is our time to show the rest of the world what we got, I've never lost a fight and I don't expect to loose this one. We need to get to that hill and cover the Rangers so they can clear the way for the Armor, lets go, spread out, keep your heads low, and fire back when you can" It was a long rush to the top of the hill, right before we darted I told my soldiers to throw any grenades you have at the nests to gives us some momentary cover. Once we got to the hill I could see were the rangers had moved out and around to their flank, we kept fire on the nests and used whatever cover was around us. This continued for hours but we finally made it through, all the nest gone.
I was shocked and appalled at what we had been fighting; I met up with the sarge of the Ranger's Battalion, our new commander, and settled into the holding tent of the captured. They were French; we've been fighting the French the whole time, when I thought they were Nazis. The sarge asked for me to translate.
As it was after German occupied France a new political power called the French State or the Vichy French, named after the Prime minister, collaborated with the Axis powers after the take over.
I wanted to beat the living shit out of every one of these traders, but I had to be contempt with only one. I "interrogated" one of the Vichy French commanders, even when we look at ourselves we find another Monster of War.