He never planned on becoming a leaderor a hero...In November 1944Sergeant William Meller was just twenty years old. Only days into the fighting in Huertgen Forest, he found himself promoted to platoon leader by attrition, since every single officer in the rifle companies had already been killed or wounded. Meller and his men, living in freezing foxholes and armed only with rifles and a few machine guns and grenades, fought against the Wehrmacht s battle-hardened soldiers and its juggernaut Panzer tanks, all while under withering barrages of artillery fire.The bravery and determination of Meller and the soldiers of Meller s 28th Infantry Division allowed them to survive what would become the longest single battle the U.S. Army has ever fought in its history. But they would get little respite from the carnage. Almost immediately, they were sent to fight the Germans in the densely forested and bitter-cold Ardennes. Again, Meller and his GI s were vastly outnumbered and out-equipped in the fight which would soon become known as the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler s final offensive.
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December 04, 2012
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