Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
A Yankee in the Trenches R. Derby Holmes

A Trench Raid

Page 2 of 4

Table Of Contents: A  Yankee in the Trenches

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

The barrage fire kept up right up to zero, as per schedule. At thirty seconds of eleven I looked at my watch and the din was at its height. At exactly eleven it stopped short. Fritz was still sending some over, but comparatively there was silence. After the ear-splitting racket it was almost still enough to hurt.

And in that silence over the top we went.

Lanes had been cut through our wire, and we got through them quickly. The trenches were about one hundred twenty yards apart and we still had nearly one hundred to go. We dropped and started to crawl. I skinned both my knees on something, probably old wire, and both hands. I could feel the blood running into my puttees, and my rifle bothered me as I was afraid of jabbing Jerry, who was just ahead of me as first bayonet man.

They say a drowning man or a man in great danger reviews his past. I didn't. I spent those few minutes wondering when the machine-gun fire would come.

I had the same "gone" feeling in the pit of the stomach that you have when you drop fast in an elevator. The skin on my face felt tight, and I remember that I wanted to pucker my nose and pull my upper lip down over my teeth.

We got clean up to their wire before they spotted us. Their entanglements had been flattened by our barrage fire, but we had to get up to pick our way through, and they saw us.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

Instantly the "Very" lights began to go up in scores, and hell broke loose. They must have turned twenty machine guns on us, or at us, but their aim evidently was high, for they only "clicked" two out of our immediate party. We had started with ten men, the other fifty being divided into three more parties farther down the line.

When the machine guns started, we charged. Jerry and I were ahead as bayonet men, with the rest of the party following with buckets of "Mills" bombs and "Stokeses."

It was pretty light, there were so many flares going up from both sides. When I jumped on the parapet, there was a whaling big Boche looking up at me with his rifle resting on the sandbags. I was almost on the point of his bayonet.

For an instant I stood with a kind of paralyzed sensation, and there flashed through my mind the instructions of the manual for such a situation, only I didn't apply those instructions to this emergency.

Instead I thought--if such a flash could be called thinking--how I, as an instructor, would have told a rookie to act, working on a dummy. I had a sort of detached feeling as though this was a silly dream.

Probably this hesitation didn't last more than a second.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jerry lunge, and I lunged too. Why that Boche did not fire I don't know. Perhaps he did and missed. Anyhow I went down and in on him, and the bayonet went through his throat.

Page 2 of 4 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
A Yankee in the Trenches
R. Derby Holmes

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004