Baptism of Fire 11/8/42
Today was the first American action in the war. All of us are tired, dirty and horrified by the carnage seen today. I'm going to retell this story for my own closure and
so the readers will know the sacrifices of these great men. It all began at about 6 am.
our landing craft left the destroyers and transport ships they were attached to. It took about half an hour to finish the boat loading and the preliminary naval bombardment so
by the time we began to move it was around 7. In rough lines of 10 or so the craft slowly moved towards the Algiers coast. There were over 200 craft with about 24 troops in each so I'm guessing about 5,000 troops on the first assault with almost 10,000 in reserve. We had 5 or 6 LC's (landing craft) ahead of us and we didn't see the first wave hit the beach. All of a sudden we heard machine gun fire and some artillery explosions. We knew that the battle was on. Our LC stopped and Greg took this opportunity to zoom in on the guns with his Springfield '03 and pick off the main gunner. This allowed a few craft to get in without taking fire. The LC in front of us stopped and took on water after being hit by a mortar round. The pilot of our LC abruptly jammed to a halt and dropped the gate so we had to wade ashore. That is when I saw my first dead body. The first British squad was annihilated by machine guns but most others had made it to the wall which was about 20 ft below the machine gun area. My squad and I ran full speed toward the wall. Jeff fired first on the machine guns and the fire stopped immediately. The wall around the guns had an area around to the back and the British asked us and another squad to flank the guns. I told Jeff and his fire team (Ethan and Dimitry) to take the left side and I, Greg and PJ took the other. We made it to the top of the hill and fired into the bunker. Whatever Jeff didn't kill in his first shots was definitely dead now. The other squad signaled us that they had cleared the other gun. There was only about 5 minutes of fighting after the guns fell and we suddenly realized that we had been fighting the French. Apparently all fighting stopped in all landing areas due to the surrender of the French general that led the troops. Now finally the French pledged allegiance to the allies. The bad thing is that the French troops were poorly trained and weren't even close to the weakest German units. I'll keep in touch.