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"Diese verdammten Ingenieure!"


Subdeacon Joe

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All I can say is, "Thank God, for those damned engineers."

 

-WE_CLEAR_THE_WAY_-_ENGINEERS-%252C_1941

 

 

 

Antoine Gaudry set his hammer down just for a moment. He was shivering uncontrollably now, he stared at the simple tool, one of the tools that Général Eblé, who had disobeyed the Emperor himself, had managed to save. This simple hammer which had come all the way from France, traveled deep into Russia, and now lay on this rough hewn bridge over the Berezina River. So far from La Patrie.

The snapping of musket fire, the thump of cannon, and the screams of men in battle came from the far bank. The enemy was close, the bridge was nearly finished. Soon the remnants of La Grande Armee could cross over and continue the bitter retreat. Perhaps this river would slow the pursuit long enough to get away. To get back to France.

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Combat engineers. I associate them with bridges, both building them and destroying them, with mine fields, with field fortifications, and with building roads across impassable terrain. They help move their own army forward or they can set up obstacles to hinder an enemy army's advance. They are an essential part of any army.

 

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My Father in Law was a combat engineer. He enlisted in the Army in 1939 and when the war broke out was sent to the Pacific Theater. I would have to dig out the info on unit and some pics but know a bit off hand.

One day the whole family was gathered at the farm and we were going through old photos. There was a news paper clipping

of soldiers in work uniforms marching with shovels on their shoulders. Leading them was a Sgt. in light kaki with tie and I believe a drill Sgt. style hat with a smile a mile wide. Well the Sgt. was my Father in Law, so his son says to him why the smile, you never smile.

He pointed to the picture and said "I'm not carrying a shovel"

He had some tough jobs during the war. and when he passed we noticed he was demoted at one point. still don't why.

He always felt that the combat engineers didn't get the notice they should have, he said" heck (cleaned up response) we in before @#$%&* Marines landed". (no offense to any Marines. I have decorated Marines on myside of the family)

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My Father in Law was a combat engineer. He enlisted in the Army in 1939 and when the war broke out was sent to the Pacific Theater. I would have to dig out the info on unit and some pics but know a bit off hand.

One day the whole family was gathered at the farm and we were going through old photos. There was a news paper clipping

of soldiers in work uniforms marching with shovels on their shoulders. Leading them was a Sgt. in light kaki with tie and I believe a drill Sgt. style hat with a smile a mile wide. Well the Sgt. was my Father in Law, so his son says to him why the smile, you never smile.

He pointed to the picture and said "I'm not carrying a shovel"

 

A wise man who knew his priotities!

 

He had some tough jobs during the war. and when he passed we noticed he was demoted at one point. still don't why.

 

Likely mentioned to an officer, in quiet, respectful. dulcet tones (cough, cough) that the plan the officer had set forward was somehow less than ideal.

 

He always felt that the combat engineers didn't get the notice they should have, he said" heck (cleaned up response) we in before @#$%&* Marines landed". (no offense to any Marines. I have decorated Marines on myside of the family)

 

 

After my dad passed one of my brothers was digging online into his records and found that, as a Seagoing Marine, he had drawn 3 days bread and water for disagreeing with a petty officer. He had never mentioned that to us.

 

Of course, he never talked much about his WWII experiences.

 

 

ADDED:

 

By the way, thanks for adding the personal memories. I think I get more from the things like that than others get from my starter posts.

 

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That French story took place in November 1812.

 

Général Eblé, who saved the day by bringing tools AGAINST ORDERS, died of exposure in December 1812, before the army made it back to France.

 

Reckon if he'd survived the war, Nappy woulda court martialed him for disobeying orders?

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That French story took place in November 1812.

 

Général Eblé, who saved the day by bringing tools AGAINST ORDERS, died of exposure in December 1812, before the army made it back to France.

 

Reckon if he'd survived the war, Nappy woulda court martialed him for disobeying orders?

 

The post sort of mentions that.

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