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March 7, 2015

"Hot dog . . .this will bust ‘em wide open. Shove everything you can across!" -- Gen. Omar Bradley


7 March 1945: Capturing the bridge at Remagen Sgt. Alexander A. Drabik, a tall, lanky former butcher from Holland, Ohio, was the first American across the Rhine,
the first invader to reach its east bank since the time of Napoleon. But he wanted all the honors passed on to a young lieutenant of the engineers, John W. Mitchell of Pittsburgh. ‘While we were running across the bridge – and, man, it may have been only 250 yards but it seemed like 250 miles to us – I spotted this lieutenant, standing out there completely exposed to the machine gun fire that was pretty heavy by this time.’ ‘He was cutting wires and kicking the German demolition charges off the bridge with his feet! Boy that took plenty of guts. He’s the one who saved the bridge and made the whole thing possible – the kinda guy I’d like to know.’

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 7, 2015 6:40 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Brave men. They sprinted across the bridge as it was wired to explode!

Posted by: Casey Klahn [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 7, 2015 9:49 PM

Called "The Greatest Generation" and for good reason.
What all these fellas had in common was morals, sense of community, honor, strength, the good old virtues. They vibed calm, deadly if necessary; do the right thing always, no speaking falsely, word is my bond. No showboating or colorful language tossed around just to hear themselves talk, no hey look at me how important I am sort of conduct. The Polack that ran the junkyard, he still dressed like a Polack even though he came home from the Pacific with a sack full of ears and a face full of shrapnel. "Wat? Wat? I went dere. I done some tings, I come home. Dat's it."

These guys were by no means exceptional or heavy-duty. They were just regular fellas, living life and doing things the right way, same as all over the country, men of that generation, Americans to their last breath. What they didn’t do was talk like some kinda punks that had paper assholes. They didn’t have to. They knew their strength and were secure with it.

Do you think them guys back in the 30s, they worried about the cultural mix? As if what was happening in some yocky-dock country in the Balkans - ooh, the Muslims are this, the commies are that - as if that was gonna affect them having a roof over their heads and food on the table for their families? If you didn't work you didn't eat. That's pretty basic. Didn't have to think about injustices to migrant workers or whether women were getting paid the same or whether queers could get married. They weren't reluctant about calling some folks deadbeats, moochers, parasites, like, gee, it's gonna hurt their feelings. People back then (including the women folk who were a hell of a lot stronger than the men sometimes) people had some clear understanding of morals, civic duty, work together-ness.

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 7, 2015 10:57 PM

We're heading for the crucible that will burn off the slag populating this country.

All the policies coming up from the mid '60's of gimmee, I want, I deserve, dirty hands work is beneath me, I'll let the Government take care of that crowd will feel the punch of no more OPM.

The Government is bankrupt; we're borrowing (issuing bonds) to pay the interest on the debt. We have a one party system that has the country in a death (debt) spiral from which it cannot escape. Think about it. South America is moving here looking for "FREE Stuff", most of the real jobs now go to foreign workers. If you're familiar with egg rings and muffins and can say, "Hola, ¿Quieres fritas con eso?" you might find work.

One hell of a nice big depression will get rid of those Gucci's and Prada bags fast. This time I'm not so sure the rich will escape the wrath of the ones hit hard. After all the ones knocked down were taught to believe in equality, they might deliver it out of the the scullery.

There will be BLOOD!

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 8, 2015 7:58 AM

IDK. I know my father (combat vet - Italy) was always humble about his participation in the war. That, given that he was decorated, served in a hard corps and elite division, and took the brunt of German wrath after they found out that his unit was one to be reckoned with.

He always praised the other guy. The infantry, the guys who served since North Africa, the guys who went to D Day in Normandy. Those guys had it tough. The Gurkhas, the Nisei, the Brits; those guys were tough. He was a little less enamored of the Rangers, but that was professional rivalry and a backhanded compliment. After all, dad did go behind enemy lines with Col Darby, of Ranger fame.

He felt that the Germans were tough as nails, professionals, and that they had the best weapons and equipment (Tiger tanks, tall boots, 88 guns, MPs, MG 42s). These weren't the kids and Landwehr who were fighting in Germany - they were the long-time and professional SS and Wehrmacht who had fought throughout the whole war, and remained intact as they withdrew up the boot, punishing the Allies the whole way.

OK. Had to get that brag out there. We are proud of our dads.

Posted by: Casey Klahn [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 8, 2015 8:07 AM

Yes Casey, we are proud.

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 8, 2015 8:29 AM

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