A huge explosion of dirt rendered the sky dark for a few seconds for the nearest soldiers. There was now a hole in the barbed wire fence, enough for five men to charge through abreast. A whistle blew and everyone rushed through, it was now at the point where the machine gunners on the cliffs couldn't depress their guns low enough to shoot the troops pouring in, but they didn't have to.
Numerous German soldiers in bunkers and trenches below the cliffs opened fire. Tens of men were mowed down, but more took their place in the charge as they swept through the bunker, shooting, stabbing, and punching their way through the German defensive system. There was a lot of screaming and yelling as men from both sides ferociously fought each other in hand to hand and close quarter combat.
Trench warfare was particularly brutal as the US soldiers employed the use of trench shotguns and flamethrowers. Screams of the dying and the shot echoed in the trenches and bunkers almost drowned out by the roaring of weaponry being employed in various manners. Some men even set off a few fuel canisters, sending flames sky high as German infantry near to the canisters were lit on fire or even incinerated by the ensuing fireball.
Thomas was also part of the charge, and he made it to the first bunker with two other guys. They charged through the open door that looked as if it belongs on a ship than a bunker. They cleared the first room which just had some basic radio equipment, most likely for communication with the nearby bunkers. As they were clearing one of the rooms, a crazed German soldier with the look of death in his eyes charged out from behind a wall and tackled him to the ground, before the two men that Thomas came in with could shoot the German soldier, he stabbed Thomas in the gut several times.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
"You german fucker!" The soldiers screamed as they shot him full of holes in a spattering mess of blood. Thomas slowly sank to the ground as his limbs lost all feeling.
"Is this how I'm going to die? Is this what death feels like? God save me," he croaked, coughing some blood up. He had done his duty, he was ready to let go. He let the darkness take him as the sounds of the battlefield slowly faded from his hearing. From Africa to this, if he had another chance, he'd make sure he wasn't one of the ones storming the beach. With a final exhale, he let out his final breath as death took him. The two soldiers next two him said a quick prayer for the man's soul before they grabbed their guns and pushed on. This unfortunate young man may have died today, but the war wasn't over for them, not yet anyways.
CAMP YOUNG, MOJAVE DESERT, CALIFORNIA, THE UNITED STATES 1941
Deep in the Mojave Desert in California, there exists a camp full of hot-blooded young men willing to do their part for the war effort. It is here that the United States Army is training troops for what they deemed to be an inevitability, the entry of the United States into the war. Even though it was July, they were almost certain that either the Japanese or the Germans were going to make the first move on the United States. New training camps were established as quickly as they could build them, most often they were threadbare facilities with the base minimal needed. However, Camp Young was specially built for a specific purpose in mind and as such, much care was taken into its construction.
The establishment of Camp Young went on without a hitch, and it is here that first troops of the African Campaign were being trained, or they would be if it wasn't three in the morning. Instead, on the far side of the camp was the barracks and inside the barracks was a group of twenty young men. On one particular bunk in the corner, on the top rack, was a young man of medium build, if he worked out more, he could look like your average gym junky. He had a strong, angular chiseled face and a high brow, if they didn't shave recruits bald, you would've known that he had blonde sandy hair. His eyes were blue and his arms thick with some muscle, he had been here for two weeks.
Right now, no sound could be heard from this man, and his chest did not rise. He was in a near death state and his body was twitching as if whatever dream he was having was slowly killing him. Then his body started jerking for a second before slowly coming to a stop. Now his chest was rising slowly, in rhythm with his slow beating heart. Although all of this took a short time to describe, it really took over half an hour to happen. It was now a few minutes to four. Slowly the man's eyes opened, then widened in shock.
Thomas Conlin was back, he flexed his hands, pinched himself, he wasn't dreaming. He was really truly back in the land of the living, but how? Before he could even ponder how he came back to life, the door to the barracks bust open and a shrill whistle sounded.
"RISE AND SHINE LADIES! TODAY IS A BRAND NEW DAY!' A tall and strong, muscular man in uniform was standing in the doorway shouting. Thomas shot to his feet and stood at attention on reflex while everyone else was slowly getting up.
"LOOK AT YOU, IF THIS WERE AN ATTACK, WITH EXCEPTION OF RECRUIT CONLIN HERE, THE REST OF YOU WOULD BE DEAD!" The drill sergeant berated the men, the angriest scowl on his face. He looked about in his mid-thirties, but his body was chiseled as if he was still a twenty-year-old. "FASTER, MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT!"
The recruits were now scrambling to their feet, no longer was they tired. They stood in a perfect line on either side of the barracks just in front of their beds. The drill sergeant walked up and down, slowly inspecting the recruits before stopping at the door and turning about. He took a deep breath before he looked at them.
"Let me tell you something," he began, "you're all lower than maggots. Look at you, fresh off the books and straight into Boot. YOU'RE NOTHING! HEAR ME? NOTHING, BUT..." he paused for dramatic effect. "When I'm through with you, you're gonna be the best of the best. YOU'RE GONNA KICK THE GERMANS RIGHT BACK INTO GERMANY AND OUT OF EVERY FOXHOLE THEY'RE HIDING IN, RECRUITS FALL IN, YOU'VE GOT THIRTY SECONDS TO STASH YOUR GEAR AND DRESS IN PT! I EXPECT TO SEE YOU OUTSIDE IN THIRTY-FIVE! DISMISSED!"
As the drill sergeant walked out the door everyone scrambled to quickly dress into their PT uniforms. Thomas made his bed and dressed in his PT within the first fifteen seconds before heading outside to stand at attention before the drill sergeant. Within the next twenty seconds, most of the recruits were outside and at attention. With the exception of two people who came five seconds late. One was a tall lanky kid with glasses who looked fresh out of high school, just like everyone he was bald, but his most striking feature was his long arms. The second was a short muscular man who looked like he could hold his own in a fight, and if the crooked nose was anything to go by, he pretty much did.
"YOU TWO FRONT AND CENTER!" Shouted the drill sergeant, "HOW IN THE BLAZES ARE YOU TWO SO SLOW! WE'RE GOING TO FIX THAT RIGHT NOW, DROP AND GIVE ME THIRTY!" The two recruits ran to the front of the sergeant and then dropped to push up position before counting up. One, two, three.
"The rest of you," the drill sergeant looked pointedly at everyone. "Welcome to hell for the next eight weeks of your miserable pathetic lives, I'm Drill Sergeant Lloyd, and I'll be your worst fucking nightmare."