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The men had to urinate in barrels and on triggers to get rifles and machine guns operating again. They slept with canteens on their bodies to prevent the drinking water from freezing, while medics carried plasma under their armpits. Ration cans froze solid and could not be eaten when fires were forbidden. It was the Gls' clothing, however, that caused most problems. The combat soldiers were dissatisfied with several items of their winter uniform. To begin with, there was a serious shortage of camouflage suits for use in snowy terrain.

Their perception of Europe's bludgeoned armies and of its wrecked society would serve to strengthen that conviction considerably. Part II The Soldiers 2 The Soldiers - Introduction When the minds of the American frontline soldiers were not preoccupied with Europe's natural surroundings, their attention inevitably shifted to its soldiers- both allies and enemies. Once the Gis had properly dug in, they started wondering what kind of men their European allies were, as they relied on them to protect their flanks.

95 In the spring of 1945, the Gis braced themselves once again, this time for the offensive into the lion's den itself. That spring appeared to be a season of hope at last. The American soldiers had little doubt that the new campaign was the final one and that the war would be over in a matter of weeks. Early in April, however, the Gis were shocked to find that they had barely begun to uncover the heart of Europe's darkness as they happened upon the first concentration camps in Germany. In the middle of spring, the horrible discoveries cast new shadows over Europe, far more ominous than any the Gis had witnessed in the preceding seasons.

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Battle Of Stalingrad, Russia's Great Patriotic War By I. M. Baxter & Ronald Volstad

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