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.

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2. The Best Way To Take A Bridge.

Two weeks after we had finished our training, word was sent that there would be troubles getting close to the Jack Frost Bridge. Men were apparently pinned down 3km from the bridge. Four planes had been flown out but at different times, for example, my plane was the first and the next came three weeks after. Before we left for the war, my friend at the time had given me a camera so I could take pictures for him.


The picture just shown, was taken before we got off the ground. I remember our generals words like they were said yesterday " Gentlemen, this is a story that you shall tell your grandchildren. "

Back to it, When all four planes had dropped off all the men within them, we set up camp 10km from the troubled area. When we woke up at five o' clock in the morning, the general had called a meeting with everyone. He laid out a small map of the area, he divided all of us up into four separate squads depending on the plane we came in on. I was worried, only Patrick was on my squad with some other people.

The plan for my squad in the generals eyes was simple. We were to run to the beach under the cover of night, we would be met there by some allied troops. We were to use the small boats and split up between us, for example, there were to be two British and two Americans I think they were. Upon crossing the river we would run to a station close to the bridge and provide fire for the other allied troops.

My squad had reached the beach and we thought everything would go to plan, this was until we were halfway across the river. They must've been expecting us, as soon as we got into a small area mortars were fired upon us. That night it looked around sixty boats were let out but only twenty-five made it to shore. At shore, we quickly ran into the tall grass, some of us were wounded making this a harder task for them. Upon arriving at the destination, the allied troops pushed up whilst we used the cover of trees and walls.

This looked like it could've went our way, instead, when the allied forces pushed up, guns immediately went off, killing nearly everyone, those who remained were heavily injured and at risk of dying unless received immediate medical attention. It was too dangerous to push up and retrieve the men, instead we had gotten as close as we could and opened fire, this was little to no use at the beginning but eventually worked, both sides of the battle having taken heavy casualties.

We set up camp later than expected, waiting for the other squads to arrive. The general had agreed it was late enough and we should sleep as we would have a long day tomorrow.

We again woke up and went to the general and his little map, he had told us that with as many men as we had now, it would be better to split into two different squads now. When asked how does he plan to take the bridge he simply replied with " The best way to take a bridge, both ends at once. "

 

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