The sun hid behind dark clouds blocking out sunlight making it pitch black. The storm was approaching fast then suddenly the silence was broken by the loud alarms it meant we were about to be attacked. The empty field was flooding with soldiers each one running to his position in an effort to save the base but it was too late. British bombers soared above like eagles ready to attack their defenceless prey. All the noise and confusion stopped there was silence not a word was heard. For that moment time stood still. It was doom’s day June 7th 1944. My thoughts were interrupted by a voice calling out my name repeatedly.
I returned back to my senses. It was one of the soldiers screaming, “Move out! It’s going to blow move out. ” I noticed a shadow larger than mine I looked above skyward. It was a bomb heading straight for me. The soldiers left their positions there was chaos all around. I made my way through as fast as I could into an underground bomb shelter. Soldiers over crowded the shelter. Each one was praying that he would survive the ordeal and make it through. A few seconds later boom a loud explosion shook the earth causing the shelter to collapse a bit. I could smell fuel burning outside it suffocated me in the shelter so I came out of the shelter.
There was smoke everywhere it blurred my view. The wind slowly cleared the smoke. Bodies lay lifeless on the grounds and vehicles were damaged badly given out poisonous fumes of burning fuel. The condition was just as I had imagined. All these men came here to fight for their country and ended up dead in the line of duty. I knew that one day I would be one of these men because my future was inevitable. All these thoughts terrified me so I moved back into the shelter. After I few hours I was woken up by Sergei on of my childhood friends. He had survived the British blitz. I moved out of the shelter where I had been cramped for hours.
The weather had changed it was raining now. The rain soaked me as I made my way to the clinic set up in a tent. I stopped and looked around. The surroundings had changed the ground had changed Colour from brown to blood red. There were no bodies lying around but the bodies had been laid out on stretchers. The bodies were covered with white cloth that had small red spots of smudged blood. The once flooded field was now empty with only a few soldiers carrying the dead bodies into the small pit where they would be buried. I didn’t notice that a lot of time had gone by just standing here.
At the clinic the doctor advised me to rest. I knew that I wouldn’t ever be able to sleep again after seeing all the destruction caused by the war. As night settled it got colder. The shocking memory of all the dead bodies revolved in my mind I had flown away into another world but then I snapped out of it. I felt lonely so I moved to Sergei’s tent. The tent was half torn and discoloured. The tent turned out to be empty. I figured that he would be in the army kitchen trying to find something to eat. I didn’t have the energy to make my way to the kitchen so I seated myself on a bench.
I admired the silver chain my mother had given me when I had left for France. The chain took me back in time I looked back and remembered the day I boarded the train to France. Mother was crying and my brother just waved goodbye. My family was the only one on the station to send me off or else the station was empty and lifeless. I had set out to honour my country. I was so enthusiastic about helping my country but now I finally realise that I was wrong. I wanted to honour my country but my country didn’t want to honour me and the rest of the soldiers up front.
I clutched the silver chain and pulled back my tears till I heard the loudspeaker calling out all soldiers to the colonel’s tent for briefing. At midnight all the soldiers gathered at the tent for briefing. The plan for next day’s attack was to be explained today. The plan was a surprise attack on the British and French base. He wanted me to lead the group to the base. In my mind I wondered if would ever make it to the base alive I had no energy and motivation but I had to do it. After the briefing I retreated to my tent to sleep. There was a loud bang another terrifying explosion that shook the earth and uprooted the trees.
I stepped out of my tent. All the tent and barracks were destroyed only my tent stood still. Dead bodies were scattered on the ground, thousands of them. I could hear a voice telling me to “wake up. ” Someone was constantly shaking me. I slowly opened my eyes and saw Sergei standing next to me. It was only a dream I figured but it terrified me. Sergei had told me to go to army diner for breakfast. It had been days since we had proper food. I could smell roast beef and eggs outside. As I entered the tent I was welcomed by a new set of soldiers who had arrived as reinforcements.
I treated myself to the wonderful breakfast hoping that it wouldn’t be my last. My appetite had finally been satisfied after two days of torture, the only food we had was biscuits and water. After finishing breakfast I went back to my tent, the base looked different now it was brighter this morning. There were more soldiers and vehicles, which made the base livelier. Two hours later I assembled my unit that included several young boys who had been fooled by the German army to serve their country. They obviously thought it was something of pride and honour but it wasn’t because I knew in my heart that most of them would never go back home.
The squadron stood in a straight line as I addressed them and explained the plan. Sergei was the assistant leader. I was given the thumbs up by the colonel that meant we had to attack the British base. Before we left all of us recited a silent prayer in our minds. My only wish to God was that these soldiers would return back alive whether we lost or we won. I set out of the base and trekked downhill near the riverbanks and the rest of the squadron followed behind. We were restricted from talking to each other so we used sign language to communicate with each other.
The clouds had started to come up again blocking out the sun. We reached the base in a few hours and kept our distance from the searchlights and guard towers. As I approached closer I signalled three soldiers to take forward positions and Sergei stayed right next to me. As the soldiers moved forward they were detected by the French troop patrol. It was to late to pull back so we fought. Blood rushed through to my head. All the frustration and fury had been unleashed in me. I shot French troops one by one but I also observed the death of the young soldiers. I wasn’t thinking I just shot.
Bullets pierced through the chests of the soldiers in my squadron making them fling back. I was brought back to my senses when a bullet almost hit me. Everyone was in grave danger the only word that cam to my mind was “retreat” and so we did. I ran as fast I could killing allied troops as they cam in the way. I was scared not furious anymore. Sergei ran behind covering me from the back. He was a true friend because he was the only one who still stood by me. My squadron was being brutally murdered but I had to move out. I had to forget about these soldiers I had vowed to protect.
I could imagine how devastated their families would be upon hearing the deaths of their son, husband and brother. As I ran towards base the allied troops sprayed bullets at us constantly. The sound of the shooting deafened me, I was unable to hear what Sergei was saying. Sergei was now tired and I noticed that he had been shot in the leg and chest. I used all the energy in myself and motivated myself to pick him up and take him to safety. He was my friend and it was my duty to help because we helped me in my time of need. Sergei’s blood was smeared all over my face as I carried him over to the base.
I was tired but scared so I continued on running. Bullets chipped of wood from trees as they missed me. The base was full of reinforcements to keep of allied and French troops. I carried Sergei to the clinic that was full. All the beds were completely occupied so Sergei had to be laid on the ground. The clinic tent was filled with the smell of blood and chloroform. Patients wailed and cried with agony as doctors tried to attend each of them. Sergei was unconscious but breathing. I sat myself down and prayed that Sergei would live. Outside all the tents were being cleared, vehicles had arrived to transport us back home.
Sergei was bleeding and he was badly wounded. He just laid their saying nothing. The sound of tanks became louder and British bombers circled the base. The tanks blasted there way through the sentry guns. There was no stopping them we were outnumbered. The tanks fired at the clinic causing a fire. The fire was spreading fast so I ran. I tried to save Sergei but I couldn’t the fire had spread so much that it was impossible to get in and save him. The base had been devastated I hopped on a truck that carried me to the train station where I boarded a train back to Germany.
My mind stayed fixed on Sergei he was certainly dead but his memory would never die out. His only wish was to go back home but God had other plans for him. Now I stand fifteen years later in the German base in France just remembering the terrible ordeal of dooms day. I haven’t forgotten anything. The memory of Sergei still remains in my mind. The base is empty now but I can still see the charred remains of the soldiers on the ground. I lost a friend who had helped and supported me all my life. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be alive. I will never be able to repay what he did for me. If only I could bring him back.