Military Monday – Excerpt from “The Tough O’mbres”

On May 8, I will release my next book Stories of the Lost, available through my author website. You can pre-order a signed copy today! This is an excerpt of one chapter about James Privoznik, a 90th Division Ordnance Soldier turned Infantry.

The Battle of the Bulge


Image credit "Peragimus We Accomplish"

Image credit “Peragimus We Accomplish”

Heavy fighting had been occurring in the Ardennes for two weeks between the Germans and our forces. The generals met and discussed tactics and it was decided that Patton’s Third Army which included the 90th Division, would be committed to fight the Nazi’s at the Bulge.

The weather in Northern Europe went from cold and rainy to frigid and snowy. Heavy snow began to fall, temperatures dropped below zero, roads became impassible, and biting winds hit us as we moved. The Army did not provide adequate winter clothing and we proceeding in our Army green camouflage uniforms rather than winter white camouflage. Our boots were also inadequate and our feet were in constant danger of freezing.

Within days of the snow, the elevated lands in France, Germany, and Luxembourg were frozen and roads were nearly impassable. We struggled to find rock or wood or anything that might help us clear the roads and provide some traction. It was slow going from place to place during this time.

On December 23, we moved to Elzange, France about eight miles from Veckring. Four days later, on December 27, I was transferred into the 90th Divisions, 358th Infantry Regiment with no refresher training in combat skills. I left the Ordnance unit stationed at Elzange and proceeded to meet the 358th. I joined the 358th Infantry Regiment, Company F, at Wehingen, Germany, on the 29th of December.  Once in the 358th we were sent out on patrol to gather information and capture German prisoners when possible. Our job was to keep the Germans from advancing any further into the Ardennes.

General Patton issued a Christmas Greeting on prayer cards at Christmas. Patton asked everyone to pray for good weather, for the rains to cease and for victory to be theirs. In part his prayer said, “call upon Thee that named with power we may advance from victory to victory and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies…”

© 2014, Jennifer Holik, Generations, Woodridge, IL
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