Shot the Germans.

"On the evening of May 26, we were explained the situation. We were defended by the Royal Norfolk and Royal Scottish Regiments of the British Expeditionary Corps. Our 2nd and 3rd companies were already preparing to force the channel. Our liaison office was assigned to the 1st company, that is to my former commander the company. Communication with the battalion command post was established by means of a lightweight telephone cable.
It was still light when the 2nd and 3rd companies in the pouring rain and again with increased artillery fire to the right of us crossed the channel through the bridges restored by our sappers and immediately seized the territory. While the sappers were improving the crossing, we, under cover of darkness, moved into the newly repulsed settlement and took a quickly prepared position there.
Early in the morning of May 27, our liaison office received an order to immediately arrive at the command post of the 3rd company, since the entire liaison office was out of operation there. The command post of the commander of the company Hauptsturmführer Knokhlein is located on the old positions of the First World War in the forest.We immediately reestablished contact with the battalion command post, connecting the cable torn in many places by British artillery fire.

Shot the Germans.again, time, fire, only, cars, After, next, the enemy, When, so that, to the earth, immediately, after, succeeded, the English, when, between, which, now, point

Tired of rising from the morning mist, the sun made it possible to continue the offensive. The signpost showed on Le Cornet Malo. Mortars and heavy machine guns took up a firing position at the edge of the forest and fired at the enemy’s identified targets in the village a hundred meters from us, while the arrows moved on both sides of the road.
I stumbled upon a young Englishman, from the sight of the approaching death on whose face the blood was cold in his veins. He stood with his back against the earthen shaft, with an indescribably hopeless expression in his eyes, while bright blood pushed out of the wound in his neck. His hands tried in vain to clamp the artery to save life in his body. Even with outside help, it would not have been possible to save him.
Shot the Germans. again, time, fire, only, cars, After, next, the enemy, When, so that, to the earth, immediately, after, succeeded, the English, when, between, which, now, point

Farther! Suddenly, machine-gun bursts hit a branch that was moving along a hidden path, and turned it into a pile of scattered human bodies. One of them got up and, staggering, tucking a hole in his stomach with his finger, walked past me to the rear. Snipers shot from the roofs of the houses of the village that we attacked, pressing us to the ground, and caused us great losses.When we tried to help the wounded, we noticed that some had fist-sized wound-hole openings, and it was impossible to save them. They were bleeding before our eyes. We assumed that the British were using dum-dum bullets prohibited by international conventions.
Fire snipers continued to press us to the ground. Everyone was trying to secure shelter or hid his head in the grass. Heavy machine guns silenced. Their first numbers lay with terrible wounds from their weapons. Only the calculations of two mortars in the funnels of the First World War were unharmed and increased their fire on everything that could serve as a shelter for snipers. This provided us with cover so much that we were able to remove our wounded. When the mortars consumed ammunition, the British again prevailed over the battlefield. The injured said that during the attack, their squad broke into an enemy position. After a short close battle, the British surrendered and asked for help to the two wounded lying under the blankets. When the squad continued the attack, these supposedly wounded, after the soldiers who had spared them, began to throw hand grenades.
Shot the Germans. again, time, fire, only, cars, After, next, the enemy, When, so that, to the earth, immediately, after, succeeded, the English, when, between, which, now, point

The wounds inflicted by special ammunition and the story of the wounded had a sobering effect on us and forced us to look at the enemy in a new light. After a case of the same treachery occurred in the same forest, this led us to suppose that the enemy had adopted this insidious way of fighting. Only a few hours later, after the fire on several sides of the defenders in Le Cornet was opened at once, our company managed to continue the offensive and rush into the village. The surviving British retreated in the direction of Le Paradise. Instantly the enemy fire stopped. Ammunition was delivered to the front line. The wounded were waiting for evacuation, the thinned out squads gathered together. Some were reinforced from rusk bags, without worrying at all about the consequences of a wound in the stomach.
The road along which we laid out our dead on the lawn and along which we again went into battle led us to a larger settlement. We were advancing in a general direction to the northeast.
Shot the Germans. again, time, fire, only, cars, After, next, the enemy, When, so that, to the earth, immediately, after, succeeded, the English, when, between, which, now, point

Soon we were hit by a machine-gun bursts of an invisible enemy.Water-filled ditches, hedges, haystacks, separate yards, tall grass and thick young wheat made it possible for the riflemen to make great use of the terrain. Everywhere you could find hiding snipers and machine gun nests. Supporting mortars could not fully render their action. The field in front of the L-Paradise was wide and level. The British defended unusually bravely and fiercely. Losses killed and wounded multiplied. Again, a completely invisible enemy, causing surprise with his abilities, pressed us to the ground. We had to get it at all costs. Crawling on their bellies and on all fours, we approached him. And he skillfully and quietly retreated. However, before the target of the attack, we had to walk thousands of meters, and after the meadow, which gave us shelter, a wide and even plowed field began. Overcoming it without support would be pure suicide. I remembered the exercises at the site. How great the artillery supported us then! "Window dressing," I thought now. Where all this time were our guns, made in the factories of the Skoda, I had no idea at all.
The command post of our commander of the battalion of the Sturmbannführer Fortenbacher, a veteran of the First World War, was moved to the most advanced.I had to wind the wire to the old command post and draw the line of communication to the new one. Cursing, on all fours, I went all the way, winding a 500-meter cable at a small coil. How I hated this "kind of troops"! As soon as I got out of the fire range, Tommy immediately began to search for a new command post. There, I had to connect a new line and go back to Knöhlein’s 3rd company. There, by this time the enemy had withdrawn to Le Paradis. We were pushing. Artillery and heavy machine guns could again fire at the established targets. Despite this, the resistance of the enemy continued to remain so effective that we suffered heavy losses on the approaches to this village.
Shot the Germans. again, time, fire, only, cars, After, next, the enemy, When, so that, to the earth, immediately, after, succeeded, the English, when, between, which, now, point

Again we were pressed to the ground. Each attempt to break into Le Paradise with one jerk resulted in heavy casualties. From the command post of the 1st battalion, the field before the 3rd company, as I could see for myself, was clearly visible. It could be assumed that this could not go on. Gdetanki and artillery of our division? When the telephone rang, I conveyed a message to the company commander: a howitzer took up firing positions for us, which would have to break the resistance of the defenders of the village. Soon the first shell flew over our heads and hit the nearest farm.Then the projectile behind the projectile began to hit the alleged positions. Well, that's enough to see the white flags. The ruins, fire, thick smoke show the places where shells hit. It remains to overcome the last hundred meters!
And here again the attackers began to sweep machine-gun bursts from a massive high-rise building. He was echoed by frequent rifle fire, and beneath him the comrades began to fall again on the mother earth. We tried to use every knoll, every smallest depression in arable land. No one dared dig in order not to attract the attention of snipers. And our howitzer was silent. Damn, they must see what position we are in. Or the calculation of the instrument also interrupted? But then the shells again began to hit the main building in the village, from which the defenders fought a fierce fire. From my seat, I saw motorcyclists enter the village during an artillery bombardment from the other side and engage in a shootout. Hauptsturmführer Knöhlein gave the signal to attack. Under the cover of effective artillery fire, we now without any casualties approached the village, in which motorcyclists were already active.
After a while white flags appeared. With mistrust and taking all precautionary measures, we watched the British exit and surrender. Most of them were injured. The fierce battle for Le Bassé Canal and Le Paradis is over. I met a comrade whom I knew from the time of recruitment. Here is what he told me: the British soldiers entrenched in one of the barns, surrendered, hanging out a white flag. The fire was stopped. When the Germans came out from behind the shelters and approached, on the other side of the shed they were bevelled with a machine gun. After that, a German machine gun opened fire on the British who had dropped back into the barn, ten British were killed. Parts of the British managed to break through to the north. The surviving defenders of Le Paradis left their shelters in barns, in attics and basements.
Shot the Germans. again, time, fire, only, cars, After, next, the enemy, When, so that, to the earth, immediately, after, succeeded, the English, when, between, which, now, point

When we thought that the village was already cleared of the enemy, suddenly shots rang out from its outskirts. For the well-disguised machine gun of the British, to which we at first did not pay attention, as if abandoned by calculation, the arrows again took the place and opened fire. Three of my comrades from a machine-gun company were the last victims of that fight.
When divisions were being assembled, our dead were buried in hastily dug graves. They rested where they died. So, the three went to a grave near the British machine gun, a bevel them, six - together in the middle of wheat seedlings from standing alone on the banks of the gun channel, the rest - at the village houses. To make the crosses, the boards were torn from the fence. They were quickly written down by hand the names of those who rest in this land. Neither the song "About the Good Comrade" nor the gun salute, nor a word about the heroic death. We could only think: "Today you, and tomorrow we." (The battle for Le Bassay-Canal cost our young division 157 dead and more than 500 wounded).
Approached the car, delivered ammunition and supplies, the wounded were sent to the main dressing station, the depleted units were replenished people and weapons. I was just removing the cable from the plowed field left behind when I saw a small group of English prisoners of war at the farm. Healthy stood, the wounded sat and lay on the ground. Some people frantically gestured their family photos to me. Do they think we let them go? When I looked more closely, I noticed two heavy machine guns mounted in front of them.While I was surprised that a couple of magnificent machine guns were set up to protect prisoners, instead of simply locking this company in the basement and putting one sentinel to them, a horrible thought suddenly struck me. I turned to the nearest machine-gun crew and asked what was going on here. It was a calm response:
- They were shot.
I could not believe my ears and thought that behind these words is a bad joke. Therefore, I asked:
- Who ordered?
- Hauptsturmführer Knöhlein.
Now I realized that all this is very serious. I hurriedly went to look for my department, so as not to witness the execution of prisoners who were waiting for death with family photographs in their hands. Only the use of terrible, completely unfamiliar to us the ammunition that Tommy used, and their behavior in front of our guys who wanted to forgive them, and now the upcoming murder of all the prisoners in pursuance of a hurried sentence! if they were all to blame? I do not know a single prisoner who would be pardoned. Were these dum-dum bullets or other unknown ammunition not included in the convention? Could the unexpected discovery of fire by the English machine gun at the time of the general surrenderbe caused by lack of control and nervousness? Ten dead British and a little more from us as a result of insufficient agreement? Did I try to build "golden bridges"?
A day later, when we fought our way to the west, Major Ryderer from the headquarters of the 89th Army found a pile of unarmed British soldiers who were lying in a pile. His report was immediately sent to the headquarters of the 16th Army Corps. I do not know how often on the part of the enemy, the most brutal crime was presented under the self-evident assessment of “a case in the course of combat actions”.
May 28, 1940. Slowly retreating British settled in Ester and fiercely defended. Under a hail of British machine-gun bursts, the calculations rolled forward their light anti-tank guns and, almost without cover, began to fight with arrows on the church bell tower and rooftops. Houses caught fire, cars exploded from hits from our guns. Lampposts with wires fell on the roadway and blocked it.
Smoke thickened the city when an order arrived, not paying attention to the resistance, under the cover of one anti-tank gun, by cars to enter the city center.Hauptsturmführer Knöhlein waved his all-terrain vehicle driver to drive, jumped onto the left rear footboard, pointing me to the footboard next to the driver. As a radiotelephonist, at that moment I didn’t have a job, but I could be used as a messenger. We flew into the burning town, jumping on the fallen lighting masts, the corpses of soldiers and horses. The bullets hit the walls and pavement and whistled from them. I, convulsively clinging to the prancing car, was just a defenseless target. At the last moment, our driver noticed an English anti-tank cannon on the street and abruptly turned off the street into the courtyard. As soon as we turned off, the duel between the English and German cannons began. Being between them was unpleasant. But soon the enemy gun was silent.
Immediately, everyone again jumped into the cars and rushed farther through the acrid smoke through flat craters left over from explosive mortar shells. Our attention was riveted to the roofs and windows. Although we did not see the shooters, bullets were constantly beating around us. During a short stop, Knlychlein, standing on the footboard, began firing a pistol at a handful of frightened women who were trying to hide in a doorway from ricocheting bullets.
- It's women! - I broke out sharply and against all prescribed disciplinary rules. Despite the noise of the battle, my boss heard a warning. The look he threw at me was filled with anger, shame and irritation because such a young subordinate dared to make warnings. Then I still did not suspect that because of my cry years later he would give me special attention. Tommy began to withdraw, the resistance weakened, although the enemy was still in the city. In our previous manner, we no longer cared about this, rushing further from town to town to the north.
Shot the Germans. again, time, fire, only, cars, After, next, the enemy, When, so that, to the earth, immediately, after, succeeded, the English, when, between, which, now, point

We stopped in a hilly area and immediately stretched the lines of communication between the companies. During the night there was a couple of hours for rest, but not for sleeping. Enemy artillery fired a disturbing fire from the Dunkirk area.
The next morning, we regrouped, moved on. Down the winding road we descended into the valley. Far below was the city of Ballet. Artillery greeted us. Heavy “suitcases” flew in with a roar. They rushed over our heads and beat to where we were just. There was plenty of room for them.We were very pleased when we managed to pass through the narrow grooves along which the road passed unharmed. In them, we felt like a mousetrap. A single artillery or air raid would be enough to destroy us all. The vanguard fought the battle with a slow and orderly departure of the British cover. We drove already cleared of the English Ballet only at night. The city was badly damaged by the fighting, and it seemed that the population completely abandoned it. If the doors and windows remained intact, they were tightly closed. Behind their nightly blackness, not the slightest ray of light was visible. From the sounds you could hear only the roar of our engines. With a multitude of stops, the motorcade advanced between the destroyed houses and the craters of the bombs. When morning came, we had not yet left the narrow streets of Balje. From afar came the noise of battle. There, our reconnaissance battalion fought with the British defensive cover that was withdrawn in full order.
Anti-aircraft guns occupied positions on the squares and wider streets of the city. If possible, our cars hid in the gate of the courtyards. In the field kitchens handed out hot coffee and dry rations.Everywhere, people in gray, sipping steaming substitute. The usual fuss, until there is a command to move on.
Only on halts, we noticed how many friends we have left, some forever. There were no proven types with their habits and manners to talk, with their participation in army everyday life. There was no cheerful Alberti, our “southern German”, who, with his indomitable temperament, brought revival everywhere. Even in Laufen, he had difficulties with the girls, after he was hanging around in other people's apartments. Under Arras, on a trophy English motorcycle, he carried reports through the territories occupied by the French. A day later, a machine gunner from an English armored reconnaissance vehicle knocked him out of a motorcycle saddle. For his reckless courage, he paid with his life. In the 4th company, there was also a messenger motorcyclist, whose courage also had stories. That time he managed to get away on the shot-out tires.
Shot the Germans.again, time, fire, only, cars, After, next, the enemy, When, so that, to the earth, immediately, after, succeeded, the English, when, between, which, now, point

The noise of the battle ahead was silent. The sun that came out of the morning fog was warming our bones. We again formed a marching order and drove on. Now there were no more fights, it was a trip to the French spring.There is no enemy around for many kilometers - only the sun, the warm air that refreshed our faces, rushing towards us. Young people, young songs - death was now again far away.
Under the bright sun lay the city of Saint-Omer. Further, to the coast! No more stops or delays! 40 kilometers north of the remains of the British Expeditionary Force left France. His soldiers fought bravely and steadfastly for this country, much more decisively than all our other opponents in that campaign.
On the shore, we went between Boulogne and Calais. In Odressel, a small town on the coast itself, our company has settled down for several days. Our division was charged with guarding the coast from the mouth of the Ooty south of Boulogne and Aa north of Calais.
Once I decided to take a ride on a boat stored in "my" house. He went far from the coast, and then, due to inexperience, when turning back, he turned over on a high wave. It was useless to hold on to the wave and carried away by the boat, and I had to swim to the shore. I got to the shore of the last forces, but still swam! And received a brutal dressing from the commander of the battery of anti-tank guns, who witnessed my adventures. On the battery, they considered me either crazy or a deserter.
Something interesting happened in those days.One comrade who was captured by Tommy in one of the battles managed to escape from the English coast with adventures and get directly to his regiment guarding the coast. He said that the British were constantly taking care of him. During the evacuation of Dunkirk, the French soldiers, because of the lack of space in the boats, wanted to immediately throw him overboard. And only after the British gave him their overcoat and helmet, he managed to put him on the ship. This comrade was immediately summoned to report to Berlin.
During the calm days of the coast defense, we took care of and repaired military equipment and weapons. "Opel Blitz" on the good roads of France has established itself as an excellent vehicle for transporting personnel. Our Czech small arms also turned out to be quite good.
The loss of personnel demanded a reorganization. Among the dead were also drivers of combat vehicles. So I had the opportunity to leave the radio telephone communication that I hated. I tried and I managed! For joy, I was ready to embrace the whole world. I got an Opel Blitz with a small back office. It was a company of young heroes headed by a young commander.For the first time in a long time, I again felt what it means to be in business. Before we turned south, I had some time to deal with my car. I spent whole days under her, on her and in her.
Once again, a huge convoy of trucks stretched along the roads leading to the south-east. The battalion behind the battalion in the marching order passed the settlement behind the settlement. The reconnaissance battalion of the division was ahead at a considerable distance from the main forces. After a nearly ten-day rest from the Seine, we headed day and night to the south. We drove round the clock. The soldiers in the trucks again had their faces gray with dust and their eyes were inflamed. Dust penetrated everywhere. The heat, dust, nervous tension of the night marches were a serious test for all. The drivers really needed the impossible: to drive without light in the darkness of the night, often off-road until dawn, and then in the afternoon in the heat against the sun with constantly tired eyes, until the night march begins. The orderlies distributed the tablets of Pervitin to squeeze the last of us out of our strength. After taking the notorious yellow pill, such a feeling usually appeared at first.cheerfulness, as if awake after a long deep sleep. The time between taking these pills has steadily decreased. The irritability of drivers and soldiers reached such a point that they could explode at any moment.
Shot the Germans. again, time, fire, only, cars, After, next, the enemy, When, so that, to the earth, immediately, after, succeeded, the English, when, between, which, now, point

The defeated French divisions retreated, abandoning military equipment and weapons. On the roadsides and in urban areas, on arable land and meadows, there was once a collapse of one of the most powerful continental armies. Huge brown columns of prisoners of war were moving towards us.
We crossed the Marne and the Seine long ago and broke through to Paris from the east. With short halts for the rest of the drivers, during which the rest of the soldiers fueled the cars with fuel and added water to the radiator, replenished supplies of drinking water and food, we again went south. Our avant-gardes have already captured the bridgeheads on the Loire, crossed it in many places and rushed to Lyon. The enemy was no longer able to gain a foothold in the way the British had masterfully done before.
Between the Loire and Sonya, our division traveled further south. Go! Forward! Day and night. The main burden was undoubtedly carried by us, the drivers, in hot cabins, under the blinding sun, in the thick dust of country roads and at night darkness.
After each tablet of pervitin, the "ride of fever" rolled over us: go, go further, just do not stop! We didn’t even pay attention to the attacks of French aviation, which had fired flares, turning night and day, falling bombs and machine-gun bursts.
-Every day, the same picture was observed: French military equipment abandoned on roads and squares, burnt tanks with charred corpses, cannons with dead crews, witnesses of recent vain fights for them. After one of the nights, it finally happened: the action of the aphrodisiac stopped. Older drivers began to fall asleep at the wheel. At dawn, an order was received to disperse and disguise cars and sleep. The rising sun ate the coolness of the night, and under the blanket it became so uncomfortable that it was impossible to even think about further sleep. Nerves remained tense and could not relax.
In the meantime, someone had found a stream nearby. Immediately rushed to him to wash away the dirt that has adhered since his stay at the strait. Put on fresh clothes, hidden in unauthorized places of the car. No one can describe the pleasant feeling that gives such a bath after many hours of constant driving in the heat, dirt and dust.Only now could we talk about a refreshing rest, only now, after the usual galetny breakfast, we could sleep peacefully in the shade of trees. At the moment when we fell asleep, someone brought us the news of a truce. While the drivers were sleeping, the rest of them refueled the cars, checked the level of water and oil, the pressure in the tires, washed the windows, took care of provisions.
In the evening, having rested, we again went to the night march. It was the last night trip without light and the use of drugs in that campaign. The next morning we were northwest of Lyon. There was the first big stop since the start of these wild races. Our cars were located without any disguise in one of the villages. The rumors about the beginning of the peace talks were confirmed. Messages came on the radio: France asked for peace! In Tarare, our reconnaissance battalion still had to fight. There our last dead were buried in French soil.
Shot the Germans. again, time, fire, only, cars, After, next, the enemy, When, so that, to the earth, immediately, after, succeeded, the English, when, between, which, now, point

To the foreground came the cleaning of weapons, the repair of equipment and weapons, the tidying up of themselves and uniforms. After washing with soap, we again looked like people, with the exception of those who were sunburned and corroded by dust.The next day began: "To build up immediately to the battalion, who is in what!" They built a semicircle in front of the regiment commander Shtandarführer (colonel) Berlinger. He announced the end of the Western campaign. It was recorded in the diaries on July 20, 1940. The largest continental power of Europe after six weeks of fighting laid down their arms. Again we thought about the battles of the past weeks: Catyllon, Cambrai, Arras, Betun and the bloody force crossing of Le Basset Canal, battles for the Seine bridgeheads and Loiret ... Directly in front of us - the largest city in France!
After a quiet thought about our fallen comrades, we came out, the majority - full of triumph, some - with pessimism. But all were united in one thing - the war will soon end, as our previous victories in the East, North and West will affect England, and it will end the state of war without surrender. "- from the memoirs of Obersharführer Herbert Bruneneger from the 3rd SS division" Dead head ".


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