All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe by James Megellas

By James Megellas

In mid-1943 James Megellas, often called “Maggie” to his fellow paratroopers, joined the 82d Airborne department, his new “home” for the length. His first style of wrestle used to be within the rugged mountains outdoors Naples.

In October 1943, while lots 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 in the back of for a bold new operation that will outflank the Nazis’ obdurate shielding strains 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 luck, 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 changed into a fiasco, one of many bloodiest Allied operations of the struggle. no longer until eventually April have been the remnants of the regiment withdrawn and shipped to England to get better, reorganize, refit, and teach for his or her subsequent mission.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 besides the remainder of the 82d Airborne as a part of one other star-crossed venture, box Marshal Montgomery’s vainglorious Operation marketplace backyard. Months of not easy wrestle in Holland have been by means of the conflict of the Bulge, and the lengthy not easy highway throughout Germany to Berlin.

Megellas used to be the main adorned officer of the 82d Airborne department and observed extra motion throughout the conflict than so much. but All easy methods to Berlin is greater than simply Maggie’s global struggle 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 outstanding account of guys at struggle.

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Additional resources for All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe

Sample text

While American GIs were dying in battle, I was heading for my seventh post in nine months since being ordered to active duty. I was becoming increasingly frustrated and questioned whether I would ever be assigned to a combat unit. On 10 March I wrote to my youngest brother, Louis, who had volunteered for the service after graduating from high school and was stationed at Camp Roberts, California: “I sure had some bad news when I got back to Lubbock. The glider-training program has been discontinued.

He implied that the least I was guilty of was disloyalty. I was undeterred; my mind was set on being in a branch where combat action was possible. On 5 November my brief tour of duty as a signal officer ended. I was bound for Lubbock, Texas, assigned to the Lubbock Army Flying School (LAFS) in what would be the first stop in my quest to be a glider pilot. I reported for duty on the morning of 9 November. I was now in the United States Army Air Corps. In less than six months, I was wearing my fourth different service insignia: Infantry, Armored Force, Signal Corps, and Air Corps.

The towers are equipped with a pulley system that pulls you off the ground rigged to a parachute already inflated. You are then released from 250 feet and the rest is exactly identical to a plane jump. I made four such jumps last week, including one night drop. On another tower, we are rigged up in a shock harness and pulled up to the top suspended by a cable and fastened in a harness horizontal to the ground. You can imagine the feeling you receive being 250 feet off the ground and lying with your arms and legs horizontal to the ground.

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