Normandy, Youtube, France discussed on Patti Vasquez
Ed, no horses, but the German army. A lot of horse because other than their motorized divisions of wish they ended dozen or so all the other divisions were were horse-pulled. Did they tell you all what to expect when the d day landing forces? We're going to arrive in Normandy. Well, we knew our sinement. Maybe a day before until then we knew nothing, really. So we were told me mystified about what we were going to do. Well, I'm wondering if you had a sense of what the resistance would be not on your island per se, but on the beaches. Well, they tried to tell us about the kind of fortifications we were going to find. But. Nobody could give us detailed information. I guess it wouldn't have been all that helpful. Anyway, if you knew that there were these embankments, and you're going to have to overtake them you have to storm the being sometimes climb. You do that telling you the volume of lead coming back might not have been all that helpful. On day. Nobody had enough information now. And of course, they were wrong about where to land the paratroopers and the day. Everybody wars one big mistake. What? Looking at your son now, and you know, some of his stories better than I do so feel free to chime in with additional information or questions here. But then when it was determined that that I learned was not by the Germans. So that gun isn't initial and there's a few hundred of you on that island landing craft eventually came back and got you. All right, all we they took us to Utah beach, which was then a safe place, and since we had no none of our vehicles or heavy armament because are all art of guns were mounted on. Our Jason armored cars over all mobile entirely mobile. We had to wait for validity of our our automotive. So for about week, our sinement was to guard headquarters, the the army corps headquarters were general Collins was installed established that on the beach or nearby pretty close next day or two, and and we're so we had a lot of KP duty and messenger duty and guard duty and until our weapons came and then we were off running. I guess you'd see plenty of action. Eventually. Oh, yes. Yes. Before I get to that though say in those first hours this first few days than where you weren't so intimately involved in the shooting where you anxious to get involved or each day that you weren't where you happy not to be. Well, that's both. Yeah. Perfect answer, I suppose. Yeah. Both because it was just a matter of time before we got involved and by time, I mean, days not months or weeks. When you did get to what beach eventually beef. What did you see when you came upon that scene? Well, Utah beat force not as difficult as Omaha beach. There was some debris, and I guess they had been cleaned up. By the time. We got there. It was very safe. So we didn't get involved in the war until about a week later. And then what happens to what our job then was to of what we call screen the flank of the fourth infantry division. We would follow them and stay under flanks too. Prevent the surprise warranted warned them and pick up stragglers and do a do whatever necessary. And we did this a lot of that dismounted would rifles rather than running around with japes and foot patrols just poking around finding out what's going on. And we did that across the peninsula to the other side, which took almost a month. What was that? Like well. Interesting did you. So I mean in some ways you'd say maybe better, you could tell him in survival mode right here. And maybe that's not appropriate to what you were asked to do. But I wonder if on the printer then you felt like that was an advantageous position for yourself. Or did you feel really vulnerable because you're stuck out there on the wing? Well, we sure vulnerable, and we did run into Germans. But we we never had a fixed battle patrols meeting patrols firing at them and bathe fired at them. But. And there were incidents now, I've I've written several stories about this. And I've gone on you to and you can find me on YouTube telling these stories on the way to the other side of the fitness flip. Yeah. Marvin Sussman here. He's chicago. Who's ninety six years old? Right. Right. You most almost ninety six he was almost twenty one on d day. He was there. Two hours before everybody else landed to secure an island just off the beaches, and he tells the story on YouTube and as d day is approaching seventy fifth anniversary, a friend or mutual Quainton told me a little bit about you. And we asked you to come in. You're actually going back over to France in the near future by John D day. We are this year. We should be at the beach. How many I wonder if it was a reunion of those of you that were there that first day and first week. I wonder how many there would be. Well, it's interesting of. The fiftieth anniversary hundred ninety four there were forty thousand d day veterans showed up and and beach and five years later the fifty fifth anniversary nineteen ninety nine. There were of four thousand four zero and five years later the four hundred so this time, maybe forty. You really are one of the the great stories and storytellers of of World War Two, then aren't you? Yeah. Well. This story. I tell us about a couple of them are in Normandy and one of them the other the other battlefields. But we we were giving infantry assignments dismounted cleaning up the peninsula. Good working toward the Atlantic coast toward fair board. And we catch a lot of Germans, I I had growing up in a Jewish home. I learned issue, which is the dialect German. So I was the German interpreter. And having studied French in England by phonograph record for about six months before the invasion. I was also the French interpreter and so handled prisoners I dealt with civilians. Was variance. If I may was the. Was your job. They're more personal because you are Jewish. No, I wouldn't say that. It was just an accident that I knew German 'cause I had two years of German high school, plus a Yiddish background right as so. And I had two years of Latin and is school and lived in talian neighborhood. So French was easy for me. Yeah. And so it it came in handy. Interesting that I was one of the few guys one hundred and forty men in a cavalry troop, and maybe five of us are half dozen came from cities, the others were rural kids going up on farms small towns, and they knew they knew everything kickball born on a farm. Convict's anything knows how to survive in the woods to get through. Yeah. I and may I was useless as nipples on a bull. My my sergeant said, but but but when they found out I knew French and German well time, I became useful. So when you tell stories what's the story, you liked to tell what's what's one of your tales that you tell well tell story about the time we got we ambushed a a German company remains a German company and killed their leader. That's one story. And other story is how they tried to send me to West Point. But it didn't work out and you want to officer material. Well, I turned out that I had a very high score in after two tests that everybody gets and. And thirty days of combat experience. And that score. I was the only man into sward who qualified, but but I work glasses. So they ruled me out as so. Otherwise, Marvin Susman's here. Mark would you're dead tells these stories, I guess did you grow up hearing them as well. Well, no, actually, my father didn't say much about this. I have to tell you until nineteen ninety four when he went to that reunion. And we found out that he went to it. I really had little understanding of my father's works. Parents. We found out that he went to. He didn't tell you is going to my mom and dad were spending summers and France at that point. My mother was born and raised there, and they moved to her child at home summers. And so what they did on their summer vacation. We didn't really know. So this second chapter of your dad's life is the bit of a revelation you then to all of us. It was what surprised you about his story in World War Two. Well, I think that every child doesn't know that their parents had a real life before them and as time has gone. On by. And we gained a we my brothers. And I and our family have gained a better understanding of. You know, how pivotal and ex stench of a threat was in World War Two. And you know, what this group of people did sixteen million men in the armed forces during World War Two. It's staggering fighting with what a rifle what kind of.