In reply to your message, I too am also very interested in WW2 snipers and sniping (as well as most other conflicts). I plan to further expand my historical sections on this site. I am willing to work with you and anyone else to put together a very comprehensive historical section on this web site.
Wish I had found out more of what grandpa did. I know He carried an 03A4, as he told me so. He also was a scout, and was behind enemy lines when he was wounded. His chest was a mass of scars, and his left arm was gone from above the elbow. He only startred to talk about he war in his later years, as he found out I was very into WWII. When he was hit he was hit once by a rifleman, and then hid. A tank was called up by the Germans, and when it spotted grandpa he was hit by MG fire. The final shot that took his arm was a Main gun round from the tank, which took his hand off above the wrist. The Germans figured he was dead I guess, and he said he does not know how he did not die, except that he fell in a shell hole sufa'd his wounds, packed his chest and arm in the snow and passed out. Grandpa was found after an advance by our guys, who treated him and got him to an aid station, where his arm was later amputated with no anethestetic. Grandpa's CO did not know he lived until the first reunion, as Grandpa was declared MIA for a while, the CO stood and saluted him at the reunion, and said God I thought I killed you on the last mission I gave you. Grandpa had earlier rescued his LT from a German Patrol who had captured him at night, and were dragging back to German Lines. So much of that Generation is now gone and we never can get them back, I just wish I could ask so many questions now.
God dont I wish I had not been so wrapped up in myself as he was aging. Grandpa practically raised me, I owe him so much, that I never repaid. Grandma said he had nightmares till he died about what he did in Europe. He won the bronze star, not for saving his CO, but for taking out two tanks with a bazooka man whose partner was hit. Grandma gave me the COs wifes name and I have thought about calling her to see if she would write a letter about what happened, to see if Grandpa could get a posthumous award for saving the CO. Seems small now, but I feel like I owe him. He asked me ON HIS DEATH BED if he was going to go to hell for all the men he killed. He said most of them did not know I was there, I told him think of all the men you saved. I told him that those officers you killed would have ordered attacks on you with no problem, you were given a skill by God and he put you in a place to use it to save lives. Grandma told me he was so Proud of me and My brother,he kept telling all the nurses on his floor(at the hospital organ transplant unit where we often visited in uniform when duty took us there, and after work) that his Grandsons were a Police Officer and Fireman,how small did I feel(real small). When He died My brother and I carried him in Uniform and Cried unashamed as whe handed him off to the Honor Guard. I only hope we can honor his sacrifice and that of all the WWII vets, by protecting what they gave us. Sorry for my Alcohol induced rambling, but damn We owe them a lot more than they would ever admit.
Hey guys what a night last night, guess you need one of those sometimes. I do believe that we owe all the WWII Vets(and all our vets for that matter) a great debt. My Grandfather was in 44th INF DIV, 324 INF REG, CO F, they fought up through South France and had been in continual combat for about 120 days when he was hit on 12-11-1944. He was attached at times to various Units in the 7th Army, including the 2nd French armored, and others from what I have been able to find out. His unit was hit very hard several times by the end of the war and often faced SS Panzer units(including when he was wounded if I was told correctly). I am going to try to go to a reunion, as his unit invites surviving family members to come. I will let you know if I get any good Sniper info.
Hey guys, got some newer info onthe 44th and where grandpa went just prior to being hit. He was in F Co of the 324th Reg 44th Div, which was in fact first to the Rhine and First across. In late Nove 1944 E and F Co were detached from the 324, and sent with French 2nd Armored to explore the posibility of crossing the Rhine. The 2nd French and Tanks and 324 reg combat team, took Strasboug, cleaned out snipers, and approached a bridge still standing over the Rhine. I now connected this to a story Grandpa told me about trying to pick off Germans trying to set charges on the bridge. Grandpa said he and several other men were trying to get the engineers off the bridge, but they must have been protected by god, as they could not hit them to save their souls. the 324 troops did cross the Rhine by boat on a patrol, but got shot up pretty bad. The next day the bridge was blown, and we decided to go north to Cross the Rhine so the 324 team was sent back to their Reg.
Kind of neat to connect the stories I was told to written history.
Know the enemy and yourself, and you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles-SunTzu
Practice does not make perfect, PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT-OSP Drill Instructor
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