hell to lay helpless out in
the open expecting a
bullet or bomb any moment.
Of course we got no sleep
& about 2 a.m. the order was
given to fall in. A big
interval was kept between
each platoon & when we
drew closer to the battle
line Fritz shelled us
heavily with gas. The
sky seemed to be a burn-
int red caused by the
enormous quantity of
shells exploding all around
us, & the air was filled
with poisonous stuff.
We all dove into our gas
masks but not before I
got a nice whiff of the
mustard species. It was
a torture to march with
a stifling mask on, the
skies overhead full of
screaming shells & dead
men laying on the road
side. Ahead of us a
whole village was in
flames & in the
flickering light, amid
the roar of mighty guns,
the files of armed
men looked grim &
deadly. One lad in my
rear kept clutching
my coat tail, while
another on my left
insisted on locking arms.
I didn't like this dis-
play of timidity but
said nothing. I thought
half of us would be
killed before we reached
the line & twice, when
shells whizzed close to
my head & exploded
just a few feet to the
right, I thought our
turn had come.