How could the world come to this? Bombs flew around me and sweat covered me, adding to the foul stench of vomit that was everywhere. Inescapable. Unbearable. Just… hellish! I looked to my comrades and nodded in recognition, we were the second phase of Operation Overlord, Operation Neptune, and we knew we could not turn back now, for all of Britain. Bullets whizzing overhead I faced my fate. “30 Seconds!” came a cry and I stared forward trying to force the awful surroundings out of my head. Gently, I reached into my shirt and pulled out my small cross and pressed it to my lips “God be with us.” A great whirring noise started and the ramp descended, leading onto a 30 feet sprint to the shore of the beach then certain death. “AAARRRGGGHHH!” I cried as I charged the heavily fortified beach. The next few moments of my life were a complete mess, water flew up everywhere and bullets tore lives apart. A blinding pain pierced my body as the world spun around, white dots filled my vision and the sound was deafening. In glanced down and I knew at once that this would be my final place of resting.
I stared at the soldiers around me. The foul stench of damp clothes reached my nostrils and made me gag. This was not the place I imagined myself being in when I practiced! No-one here was smiling or sharing a quick joke, it was just…hellish! Nothing would make anyone smile, not on a dreadful day like this. If you think you can make someone smile on such a tragic day such as D-Day, you are wrong. I gazed over at the other ships; I could only just hear their thrumming engines over the waves. Waves crashed over the front of the boat I was in, spraying us in the faces and making our eyes sting. The cramped boat suddenly gave a lurch causing us to be flung to one side, “RAMPS DOWN IN THIRTY SECONDS!” cried our commander.
Heart in my mouth, I counted down the seconds. Twenty now… Machine guns fire ceaselessly…fifteen seconds…I tighten my grip on my gun…ten seconds…God save me…5…4…3…2…here goes nothing…1… the ramp opens creaking with the rust that had gathered on it. Machine guns fire at us immediately and screaming and shouting fill the air as bullets pierce my comrades’ skin! Thinking fast, I grab a dead body to shield myself from the deadly gun fire, I held my gun firmly, and waded through the water. The coldness of water shocked my body causing me to freeze. I was even more worried about getting shot than I ever was, I had made it out of the boat but sooner or later my life will surely be ended by a bullet. Teeth chattering together, I waded through the blood stained water. I held my gun out the water while keeping a firm grip on the body. I kicked my legs out and pushed myself to land. Spikes covered the beach, stopping any of our ships getting through. Helmets that belonged to lost soldiers were cruelly scattered across the sand! I gulped and ran to the nearest spike, (they call them Hedgehogs) and was hoping to take cover. My comrades followed me, keen to get shelter. The machine guns shot after my feet causing me to stumble…I suddenly felt something that I had never felt before, a strange tingling feeling. I looked down at my legs, where there used to be fully functional legs, were rags and skin. I desperately dragged myself along the beach, each moment causing as much pain as it had caused when they were shot. I look behind me; a Nazi is taking his aim! I pull the safety catch on my gun and shoot. It hits him spraying blood everywhere! I start to crawl again but I get slower and slower. I reach out a hand for my comrade to pull. I’ve… almost…made…it! Phew I’m sa-
Today was the day it all happened. I felt trepidation run down my spine as we were getting ready to head out the boat. Shouting commands rang through my ears as they were telling us we had thirty seconds left. I sat frozen still and the ramp started lowering. The smell of vomit made my stomach clench and I gagged. I couldn’t see over the edge of the boat so I had no clue where we would land. Water was filling the watercraft and making all our equipment damp, waves washed over us taking some of us with them! The ramp deepened into the water. Unfortunately we weren’t on land; we were stuck in the ocean.
I trudged through the water, holding on my gear for dear life. Bombs started to hit the sea. Machine gun bullets fired out and hit the surface of the water. I was in shock; it felt like I couldn’t breathe. I had butterflies in my stomach and the deafening sound of guns ringing through my ears made me feel like I had no luck. The sea water had red foam on the top. It was blood, but most importantly it was my blood. I had been shot in the arm. I felt even more nauseous, like I was going to bring my heart up and out of my mouth. There was no luck; there was no luck of trying…
The noise of the engine was roaring so loud that the Germans heard us. The sea made me feel like I was infected with the common cold, but I knew I had to resist the temptation. The puke came out anyway. The smell of the engine was vile; I couldn’t breathe. I was feeling like I was going to have my life taken away, from being ill or from being shot. I heard German planes overhead. All I could spot were boats and beach for miles. The whistle was blasted hard as the ramp was descending.
Loading our guns, the Germans started to shoot at us. We had to sprint through water, without being shot and not getting our weapons water-logged. Most people would usually be slower when in water. My friends were being shot, one by one, but very… very… very hastily.
I successfully reached land and I had to invade the Germans. I fired my gun and in just one hour, most of the Nazis were gone. We had started to end the war.
It was a bad day, a very bad day; I was frozen in my soggy wet boots. I could hear the constant roar of the hundreds of boat all around me. Surly all of this power will defeat the Nazis?
The thing that bothered me the most is that my chest what so tight with fear I couldn’t breathe.
I was dreading the sound of that whistle which tells you that you had to go on to the beach to the dreaded Germans! The same sound you heard when you had to go over the trench. It felt the same; the same worry I got when I heard stories from World War One from my long lost relatives.
Then it hit me…the feeling that I was going to let my county down; the felling that I was going to see the men all around me fall; the feeling that I won’t return home.
I could now hear the command from the sergeant echoing in my messed up mind. Suddenly, the order that I did not want to come, “Ramps down in 30 seconds”
I started counting down in my head, “29, 28, 27…”
I was terrified! I had ten seconds to go before all of our cover is gone. As the ramp was going down I tried to hide behind one of the other men. I felt like a coward, so I moved. In that split second a bullet skimmed my helmet mean while I could see the men all around me collapsing as bullets penetrated their bodies.
Then it got me! It hit me straight in the shoulder. It felt like I was being stabbed by 100 knives as blood was pouring out of my body fast, very fast. Soon I didn’t have the military green clothes I had blood red clothes. I could not hang on much longer, but I didn’t want to because of the pain. As I took my last breath I saw all of the bodies of my friends dead!
My head spun as I heard a German bomb drop near our boat, which sent shock waves through the cement like water and rocked our boat like a rocking horse. The stench of tobacco and gun powder filled my nostrils. The water filled my sodden boots. I made a grab for my rifle, which I had leaned up against the side of the iron boat. It was hard to hold as my hand had seized up with fear and anxiety.
I was scared; very scared. I had trained for this and yet I didn’t have the faintest idea what it would look like. Adrenalin rushed through my veins. Goosebumps were on every inch of my body. A shiver ran down my spine as a shrill whistle blew. Some were in the distance and ou last piece of protection was shred.
The happy times flashed before my eyes. Everything I knew was about to change. 120000 men charged of their boats ready to give their life for their country. My ears stopped working; my eyes were blurred and then black… I had fallen asleep and was never to wake up again.
Scared! I didn’t want anyone to know that I was afraid. I was worried about my family; was I ever going to see them again? I trembled with fear. It was June 6th 1944. The shellfire was too deafening: I couldn’t hear myself think. I could see the Germans on the other side of Sword Beach. Operation Overlord is about to begin. My lieutenant shouted “30 SECONDS! GOD BE WITH YOU.” The frequent rapid fire made me feel uncomfortable. I heard the whistle. It reminded me of WW1…The Trenches.
We had to go through the water with our weapons. The bridge lowered and the Germans fired… The paratroopers glided in from behind. Was this going to be the start of the end of WW2?
Looking down, I saw no blood, but felt like I was shot. Anxiety had taken over my body. Unfortunately, my friends had been shot. It felt right to help them, but we needed to liberate Europe from the Nazis.
This time, I looked down again, feeling I had been shot again. To my surprise, blood poured out of me and filled the sea with rose blood.
I had been shot…
Approaching the crowded bomb struck beach all I could smell was the horrid aroma of vomit. It got to me as I started to gag. The constant sound of coughing and marshals shouting kept repeating, confusing my brain .Nazi machine guns spraying us down as we were trying to take over the beach. In my mind it looked like a swarm of spitfires had bombed the beach. The ramp lowered as we all charged the sandbar. All I could see was my team dropping in numbers. I could feel my adrenaline flowing through my body. Suddenly I couldn’t move, I was shot!
All on the same day.
Carrying my rifle I inhale the stench of smoke, vomit and the sea. The weather was not much different than 5th June 1944 as bad weather. The Commander shouting what we practised; the closer we got, the louder the bombs got.
“30 seconds left!” the commander screamed, every one shivered in fear. Some people made the sign of the cross. Machine guns fired nonstop. “20 seconds”. The ramps were going down. I attack! One step later, I am on the floor.