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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5. The Bridge.

When the convoy around the house we were in, finally began to move again, we would probably be able to make it back to the 101st Airborne camp, this was positioned just outside the town, we thought to ourselves. Mid-way there we came across an American Lieutenant. Reluctantly, he offered to take us to the camp, mentioning we might not be allowed in.

After twenty minutes of talking, we came across a Nazi outpost in the middle on no-where. It was being guarded on the west wing by two men, using the cover of trees, on the east wing, I'd guess around ten-fifteen men, and to the south, a patrol was just coming back. The Lieutenant stopped the engine, grabbing hold of his rifle. He began fiddling around with the barrel making a gentle squeaking noise, obviously they didn't hear it due to their conversation. When the conversation went, he whispered to us, to grab our rifles, that he was just going to drive through them.I stretched out my arm to grab it, but he started the engine, catching the attention of them. He accelerated hoping not to hit a tree ( It was a woodland area. ) By this time, most of the Germans had opened fire on us, besides that, everything was going smooth. As we thought we were in the clear, a P38 Walther had went off, hitting the general in the back of the head, I thought to myself " I'm next aren't I. "

A few more shots had went off, all hitting the base of the vehicle. From the it was about an hours drive before we reached the camp, we took the general into the field medic, but he just told us to put him down with the dead bodies along the side. Reluctantly I agreed, I was in shock, I would forever blame his death on myself.

The Americans informed me of supplies coming in soon and after that, I would be taken back to the camp outside the city, and I could then make way back to my original camp, inside the house at the north of the bridge.

When the supply planes came in, all of them dropped the supplies in a far away lake, the Sergeant there had told everyone, " All smoke signals from the ground are to be ignored. " One plane, thought to be the last, had somehow damaged its engine, crashing on the hill about 4km away. One last plane came across, dropping supplies in the field across a small, wooden bridge. One man, crazy enough to try get them, ran across the bridge, took off the seal, picked up the crate, throwing it on his shoulder. He almost made it into the safety of the trees, when a sniper fired one shot, killing him instantly, the crate fell in front of him. It opened, only to reveal some berets. A man, full of life, taken away in an instant.

The Americans provided transport to their camp outside the city, they let me go, running into the city, going to the British camp, I had one thing on my mind and that, was my brothers safety. I was worried, I hadn't spoken to Patrick since we captured our part of the bridge and Dennis, since we split into the four squads.

It was a long while before I made it back, I barged through the entrance, looking for Patrick or Dennis. I searched and searched, but only found Dennis, he told me Patrick went out a few hours before with five men, looking for the officer, the general and I. I broke the news to Dennis of the generals death, he sat down on a small, wooden chair, dangerously close to a window.

Word got back from the squad of six, and not a minute too soon, I ran up to my brother, giving him a hug, after, we walked into the now shot up living room, the commander told us that the Americans were moving into the city, aiding us from the west, I asked " What's the use in that? We're going to meet them head on either way, it's a longer way and it will possibly exhaust them of supplies, making it better to come in from the north. " The commander shrugged, he continued to say, we were to go to the north of the bridge, that the Nazi's made a camp down on the north east bank.

Every soldier capable of fighting, went to the bridge, Patrick and I were to make sure nothing happened to the commander. It wasn't long before a Nazi came up bearing a white flag, he said something along the lines of, us surrendering being outnumbered and outgunned. The commander turned to Patrick saying " Tell him to go to hell! " Patrick, always doing as he was told, repeated his exact words to the German.

It was nightfall by the time the American convoy arrived, surprisingly no conflict had started... Yet. By the looks of things, the Nazi's played their cards right, in the night, they had climbed onto the steel rods on top of the bridge, leaving them in a dangerous situation, at risk of falling or accidental hanging. When some of us woke up, we were greeted by gun fire, waking up everyone else in the camp. Patrick and Dennis were in one tent, whilst I was sharing one with one of the men from the training, I think his name was Kevin.

Patrick, Dennis, Kevin and I went behind a ruined Kübelwagen. Shots were fired immediately at our position, I think they decided to do that as our quick enough advance. Dennis turned to us all, telling us that he was going to make a run straight up the bridge and try get any that could get us from up there. He waited for the Germans to fire somewhere else, then he poked his head up and ran. He made it about a quarter a kilometer before..before, he was shot dead. It was too dangerous to go out and retrieve his body, but if it wasn't, Patrick would've ran out and tried.

Patrick, blaming his brothers death on himself, complaining, how none of us should've went that day, how, we should've went on and lived a regular life. You could hear him among the gunfire, crying. After five minutes, Patrick stopped, and around ten men ran up the bridge opening fire on the Germans in the rods. When we thought things were going in our favor, the Germans had sent in a Tiger, forcing us to fall back within the city.

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