Monday, October 21, 2013

Oct

21

1943

Audie Murphy watches the ambush of a German patrol

A U.S. soldier north of the Volturno disables a mine, which has been discovered by the engineer holding his metal detector. “All roads lead to Rome,” quipped General Harold Alexander, the commander-in-chief of Allied forces in Italy, “but all the roads are mined.”

The Germans labor up a draw that cuts the slope like a wrinkle in a fat man’s stomach. Despite all care, their boots slip on the stony soil; and at each small sound the men start nervously. The leader is obviously an old-timer. I can see from his actions that he does not like the situation at all. The route he has chosen is dangerous indeed, but is the best that the area offers. On two sides, he has at least partial concealment.