The cost of all costs

“Message after message came over the platoon phone. Lieutenant Wilson was badly wounded. He could not walk and must have a litter. Ammunition was running lower and lower. The M Company machine-gunners with the 1st Platoon were out of ammunition except enough to keep one gun firing a few minutes longer. The 60mm mortars found their ammunition supply so low that they fired only when the enemy was actually assaulting. Germans were being killed as close as ten yards to forward foxholes. Hand grenades were practically all gone. There was no solace from battalion. Each call for litter-bearers or additional ammunition was met with the maddening words: ‘We’re doing all we can.’ I told them we could not hold out much longer unless we got additional ammunition. Captain Montgomery said we must hold. ‘Our orders are to hold at all costs,’ he said. I wondered if he could possibly realize the meaning of those words. We must hold until every last man was killed or captured. Company I’s last stand! And what is to be gained? Nothing but time. Time born of the bodies of dead men. Time.” – Charles B. MacDonald, Company Commander (emphasis in original)

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