A Bridge Too Far.

Three Irish brothers join the British military during WW2. All three being paratroopers, were unknowingly taking part in the failed campaign to capture several German bridges including the Jack Frost Bridge, In this story you will be taken into the world of Michael Brennan and his experiences in WW2.


6. Arnhem.

The bridge, was the only way the Nazi's could let reinforcements in, leaving us at an even greater disadvantage. It was bad enough we had no longer controlled any land, but severely outnumbered, the only thing getting us through this fight, was the brave hearts of the men willing to die that day.

Ten men and I, had stormed a house, across from the bridge, I only felt disgust. Dennis was killed, like a wasp, given the illusion it will live, but killed in the final stretch. It was only clear to me then, before we knocked down that door, that what I had done, for roughly two years, was wrong. I was killing men, blindly following one idiot.

We entered the room, only to find it was empty, no supplies or men remained. One man turned to me, only to see the broken soul of what was once a lively man, a conclusion no one thought was possible to jump to. We did a quick check of the building and marched outside, greeted by gun fire and explosions. The siege of what was once a beautiful town, had begun, killing everyone in its path, civilians and soldiers. Patrick, wanting to die now because of what he thought was his own fault, took the opportunity when it became available.

Most of our men had been cut off from the rest of the advancing men, surrounded on all sides, Patrick had decided this was his time to die. He sprinted in front of a little barricade of sandbags and waited for the Nazi convoy to open fire, as soon as they did, he poked his head up with his rifle. Only when he began firing was when he was hit.

He died as I knew he would... Desperate. We waited for the convoy to pass before going up to the area of Patrick's death. He had a smile of triumph on his face, it was clear now, he cared for Dennis more than anyone else but still, he deserved a hero's death, not a cowards way out.

Before I burst into tears, I asked to move up and try get with the rest, this request was granted. We walked a bit up the road, when a building in front of us had collapsed, killing two men who ran ahead, wounding the rest, including myself. I don't know how much time had passed before someone had come back to see me and some men lying down, and who took us into safety, I thank him for his bravery.

When a few of us regained stability, we walked outside and attempted to push up. I guess the Germans had thought of everything, the streets were littered with bodies of civilians, Americans, British and Nazi's. Why come back? I understand you want to make sure you've captured the town, but why send men back? About another fifty British soldiers joined by twenty American soldiers, had ran past us, and when I looked I wouldn't think twice to say they had a good plan. Coming down the road was multiple German vehicles and soldiers scattered everywhere.Let's say I wasn't too long joining the fleeing men. I followed them into an ally way, of which they suggested to radio for more men and sit out the incoming convoys.

We crept inside a small, torn down building, and radioed for more men. Reluctantly we spent the night there. We sat around till afternoon until we heard engines of planes over head. One of the men poked his head out the window and the look on his face was priceless, he swung around, jumping in joy, going on about how our request for men was granted, he said it looked like we would have to go to the middle of town to make contact though.

We set out and used anything we could to our advantage, one sight, I wish I could forget, upon reaching the middle of town, on a pile of debris, was a small barricade of bodies. I began gagging, trying not to puke, I walked on the road adjacent, just to stop looking at the terrifying sight. Men, women, children and soldiers, all piled up.

We went inside a nice looking house, greeted by jittery men, willing to do anything to get out of here. A city, brought down to it's knees, by us, our recklessness in this war. We had a good enough plan, this was basically, put some form of explosives under every small bridge in the city, detonating when the artillery went by. Within the first hour of setting these explosives up, I think four bridges, had already went down, this was good for us, this meant, they had less vehicles, less men and less supplies to fight back with.

Without hesitation, everyone had run out into the streets forming a line, running wildly, looking for revenge for the ones who died in vain... Like my brothers. I believe we set off a new kind of hell within the city, I say this because, with every ten minutes of making our presence known, explosives went off all around the city, giving us cover with the smoke, but casualties with the blast. We had continued the process of just going in, attacking with a high profile, fully aware of the risks.

I think something happened at the other side of town thinning our ranks, because as soon as we went to the radio, the order to pull out of Arnhem was given.

I guess we just tried taking a bridge too far.

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