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The Insanely Crazy Story of a Tiny Soldier

The Insanely Crazy Story of a Tiny Soldier

It’s the closing days of the second world
war, and despite defeat being a near-certainty, the German army is still fighting ferociously,
forcing Allied troops to pay for every inch of territory with their blood. Just outside the Vosges Mountains, an American
infantry platoon is under heavy assault by a well-coordinated and armed German advance. Several M10 tank destroyers are lending their
fire to the battle on the American side, but one by one they are hit by German panzerschrecks-
anti-tank munitions- forcing their crews to abandon the vehicles. Amidst the chaos, one soldier sees that his
men are about to be overrun, and he immediately orders them to make a break for the woods
behind them. To cover their retreat, the soldier leaps
up and rushes to a burning tank destroyer, hopping atop it and manning the .50 caliber
machine gun, standing alone against a horde of oncoming Germans. Just two years earlier Audie Murphy found
himself being rejected for military service by first the Army, then the Navy, and finally
the Marine Corps. The 5’5” would-be soldier was too short
and underweight, the military doctors all said. Plus to boot he was too young, only 16 years
old. Yet there was a war on, and the pain of Pearl
Harbor was still deeply felt by Murphy and most Americans, plus the US had just suffered
crushing defeats in the Philippines- Murphy wanted to fight, and he wasn’t going to stop
trying to enlist until he was allowed to. Faking his birth certificate with the help
of his sister, Murphy was finally accepted into the Army on the 30th of June 1942. Taunted for his short stature, Murphy nonetheless
immediately proved a very capable soldier, earning his Marksman Badge with Rifle Component
Bar and Expert Badge with Bayonet Component Bar. Graduating from basic training, Murphy was
sent overseas to the Mediterranean Theater, acting as a platoon messenger in Algeria while
the allies trained for their upcoming assault landings in Sicily. Weeks later, Murphy found himself on a speeding
landing assault craft, plowing through stormy seas with swells several feet high. A freak summer storm had sprung up overnight,
preventing the landing of paratroopers meant to strike the German defenders from behind
and ease the pressure on the landing sites. The weather was so bad however, and the sea
so violent, that German commanders relaxed their defenses, thinking no Allied commander
would be insane enough to risk amphibious landings in such extreme wind and rain. Yet from out of the gloom and howling wind
there suddenly came the thunderous booming of battleship batteries, raining death down
amongst the German defensive positions- and just behind the fiery onslaught were lines
of allied landing craft, bringing 150,000 soldiers into the soft underbelly of Axis-held
Europe. Murphy hit the beach with his men that day,
and while on a scouting patrol came across two fleeing Italian officers which he shot
and killed. Having survived the violence of the initial
landings though, a severe illness sidelined Murphy and he was forced into a field hospital
for a week. Rejoining his unit, he was then sent to Salerno,
landing near Battipaglia, where he and two other soldiers were ambushed by a German unit. The withering barrage immediately cut down
one of the soldiers, leaving Murphy and another soldier alone against a squad of five Germans
firing at them from a fortified position. Responding with hand grenades and their own
machine gun fire, Murphy and his comrade killed all five Germans- sadly too late to save the
injured soldier’s life. One month later Murphy joined in the assault
against the Volturno Line, the southernmost line of German defenses meant to slow down
the Allied assault into Italy. There Murphy and his men repelled a counterattack
by seven German soldiers, killing three and taking four prisoners. For his leadership and excellence on the battlefield,
Murphy received a promotion to Sergeant, only to be promoted just one month later in January
1944 to Staff Sergeant- still only 19 years old. Hospitalized with malaria, Murphy was out
of action for a week and a half before rejoining his men at the first battle of Cisterna- a
disastrous American defeat that saw the loss of over 700 US Army Rangers. As US forces licked their wounds, Murphy found
himself taking shelter in an abandoned farmhouse along with his unit. Suddenly, a German Panzer discovered their
position, and Murphy crawled out alone on his belly, drawing close enough to destroy
the tank with rifle grenades. For his incredible heroism, Murphy was awarded
the Bronze Star with V device. Months later Murphy found himself once more
on a landing craft, being tossed around on the choppy seas as he sped to shore on the
south of France. The Normandy invasion had been successful,
and Allied forces from a now-defeated Italy would join in the retaking of France by catching
the Germans between a northern and southern invasion, squeezing the Nazis back into Germany. Under heavy fire, the landing craft hit the
beach and men rushed forward to destroy the German defenders firing down on them from
fortified bunkers. As the invasion force pushed out of the beaches,
Murphy and his platoon found themselves picking their way through a beautiful French vineyard-
a surreal moment of peace and calm amidst the incredible violence raging all around
them. However the peace was quickly shattered as
German infantry opened fire on the Americans, wounding and killing several. Murphy’s squad’s machine gunner had been detached
from the rest of his unit, and desperately in need of some heavy suppressing fire, Murphy
braved a storm of bullets to retrieve the weapon, and then incredibly rushed back into
the fray and began returning fire, killing two German soldiers. Suddenly the German fire slacked off and stopped,
and two German soldiers left their position inside a house with their hands up, appearing
to surrender. Murphy’s best friend responded and approached
the soldiers, ready to take them prisoner, when suddenly Germans hiding inside the house
opened fire, killing him instantly. In a fit of rage Murphy stormed the house
completely alone as the Germans poured fire in his direction. Incredibly, Murphy avoided being hit, and
armed only with his rifle he killed six Germans, wounded two, and took 11 prisoner. For his and his men’s heroism that day and
in the days following, Murphy and his unit received the Presidential Unit Citation. Murphy’s seemingly invulnerability however
came to an end when on the 15thof September, 1944, he was wounded by a mortar blast, shrapnel
cutting deep into his heel. Just a few weeks later though Murphy was back
in the action, and would earn a Silver Star for assaulting a German machine gun position,
killing four and wounding three. Just three days later, engaging the Germans
at L’Omet in the Cleurie river valley, Murphy and his unit found themselves unable to take
a heavily defended hill from their German defenders. Crawling alone forwards towards the German
position where he could get a better vantage point, Murphy directed his men in their assault
via radio even while Germans rained machine gun and rifle fire down on him for over an
hour. After successfully taking the hill, Murphy
earned a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster for his Silver Star, and a battlefield commission to second
lieutenant. Joining the assault into the heart of France,
Murphy and his Platoon were ambushed by German snipers on the 26thof October. Picking his way from cover to cover, Murphy
managed to make his way right up to the German position, taking two of the soldiers prisoner
when suddenly a third sniper shot him in the hip. Spinning on his attacker, Murphy leveled his
rifle and put one round directly between the sniper’s eyes. For his injury Murphy received his first Bronze
Oak Leaf Cluster for his Purple Heart, but partial loss of his hip muscle due to the
removal of gangrene from the wound forced Murphy out of combat until January. By that time though the Allies were pushing
the Germans steadily back and out of France. Joining his men at the Colmar Pocket in the
Vosges Mountains, near central France, Murphy and his men found themselves in the thick
of some of the most brutal fighting of the war. Determined to force the Allies back into the
sea, a fierce German counterattack broke on the US lines like a storm. Caught out in the open, Murphy called for
any fire support available to prevent the Germans overrunning their position. A detachment of M10 tank destroyers responded
and immediately began engaging the Germans. However, German fire quickly began eliminating
the vehicles one by one. Firing from a hastily prepared defensive position,
the blast of a panzerschreck striking an M10 just feet away rolled over Murphy. Knowing his men would be killed to the last
if they remained out in the open, Murphy ordered his men to make a break for the woods behind
them, remaining at his position alone as he fired at the oncoming Germans while also directing
artillery fire over the radio. Murphy knew he needed to lay down some heavy
suppressing fire if his men were going to have any chance of making it to safety, but
he was armed with only his M1 rifle. That’s when Murphy spotted the .50 caliber
machine gun atop the destroyed M10- and ignoring the flames, smoke, and incoming German fire
all around him, Murphy made a mad dash for the burning wreck and crawled atop it, manning
the heavy machine gun and laying down a withering barrage of fire at the oncoming Germans. For over an hour Murphy stayed atop the burning
vehicle, returning fire against the Germans and advancing vehicles. The mighty .50 caliber machine gun, nicknamed
Ma ‘Deuce by US forces, belched out high-speed death, shredding even the armor of the German
vehicles. Wounded in both legs and finally out of ammunition
after over 60 minutes of fighting, Murphy finally left the burning wreck and crawled
his way back to his men in the woods behind him. Having killed and wounded 50 Germans and knocking
out several German vehicles, Murphy ignored the wounds to his legs and led his men in
an assault to repel the German counterattack, pushing the enemy back and securing the US
position. On guard against a second counterattack, Murphy
refused to be evacuated to a field hospital, and remained with his men as his wounds were
treated. For his heroism that day Murphy was awarded
the US military’s highest decoration- the Medal of Honor, given only in the most extreme
cases of gallantry and heroism. His wounds proved to be too great to rejoin
the fighting this time however and Murphy was moved from the front lines to Regimental
Headquarters to act as an Army liaison officer- a well deserved rest for an incredible soldier. Audie Murphy would ultimately become one of
the most highly decorated soldiers in US history, and even earn several awards and citations
from the French and Belgium governments for heroism. Unable to continue service due to his injuries,
Audie left the military at the end of the war and began a very successful career as
a hollywood actor, starring in several films featuring his own exploits in combat. Sadly, Murphy would go on to be killed in
a plane crash on the 28thof May, 1971, though his body would be interred in Arlington National
Cemetery where it remains one of the most visited graves.

Reader Comments

  1. Soldiers stand down…

    We gamers rise up!

    Except for you Mike and Eli not gonna say your names (whisper) Mike and Eli…

  2. F**k Christopher Columbus, we need a holiday to celebrate this dude. This dude is a legend. His heel got blasted, hip was shot, and took over a .50 caliber on a BURNING vehicle. This man just ended Germany.

  3. Sure, give the americans german and russian weapons. And give the germans american weapons. Cause that makes sense.

  4. Was anyone else super nervous as they watched this, expecting the narrator to finally get to a point where he explained how Murphy's luck ran out and he got killed?

  5. Story sounds little bit like captain america and he died in plan crash ……maybe he is in ice somewhere waiting for sheild

  6. Wow… Men are so brave. I really have to reconsider the superiority of the two genders. I do understand why men were always warriors due to biological superiority but even though they got the position they still managed to excel to this day with more then 80 of the army still consists of men.

  7. Call of duty everyone? Oh wait Murphy was not on ww2 cod freak that would be cool but I pick sgt.pierson

  8. In war there are your super soldiers, hero’s and villains, depending on what side your on, these hero’s and villains tend to be your insane warriors.

  9. So tuff it took a whole plane with him inside it to die…I wonder wat they did when they found out his tru age n story 😒

  10. When ur a the marine for more than 10 years but a 19 year old who’s been in military for a couple years is a better fighter then u

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