An entry in Pvt. Martin's diary:

D-Day 0020 Hours

Nobody seems to have dropped where they were supposed to. I haven't seen anyone from my unit yet, but luckily I've hooked up with some guys from Baker Company. We also have men from Able, Dog, and Fox Companies with us . . . what a mess.

We're getting ready to capture the village of Ste. Mère Eglise, about 5 miles from Utah Beach. We're approaching through a narrow field with minefields on each side.

Captain Foley says there's two platoons of German paratroopers in that village. I'd say we've got a serious fight ahead of us.

The roads of Ste. Mère Eglise connect Utah beach to the main highway of the peninsula, which should put us right in the path of the most likely German counterattack.


Ste. Meré Eglise, France
JUNE 6, 1944
0020 hrs

Foley: Alright guys, get set to move. On my command!

Pvt. Martin drops from trench.

Foley: Let's go, let's go!

Machine guns open fire on advancing Americans and mortars hit the field.

Foley: MG42s! Hit the dirt! Get suppressing fire on those '42s! Mortars! Faster! Keep moving forward! We get caught here we're dead!

Martin advances on the Germans

Foley: Martin, help clear those buildings! Get some grenades in those windows!

The machine guns are cleared.

Foley: Good job guys! We're moving on.

Americans advance past the machine guns

Foley: Clear that building. Get that gunner on the halftrack and let's go.

Gunner is taken out.

Foley: Good job son! Squad, move up! Go! Go! Go!

Germans in house across the street open first on the paratroopers.

Foley: Lay down a base of fire! Martin, take their left flank!

Martin advances to the left side of the building

Foley: Martin, take their left flank! Clear that building. Move it - go! Base of fire, shift right!

Foley and the rest of the paratroopers move up

Foley: We gotta cut through these houses. Move it! Go!

Paratroopers move through a cemetery and finds a Flakpanzer covered by MG42s.

Foley: Flakpanzer, covered by '42s! We gotta flank 'um! Martin! Check the church!

Martin takes out the machine gunners and the paratroopers kill the Flakpanzer crew.

Foley: Martin, plant your explosives and take that Flakpanzer out!

Martin plants the explosives.

Foley: Stand back! Fire in the hole!

The explosives explode.

Foley: Okay, move. Move!

They find another Flakpanzer, and Martin flanks it.

Foley: You did good, son! Blow 'er up!

Flakpanzer explodes.

Foley: There's one more! Get your butt moving!

They work through the buildings and find the last Flakpanzer

Foley: Work your way toward it! Shut her down!

They clear out the crew.

Foley: Martin - explosives - go!

Martin sets the explosives.

Foley: Stand back! Fire in the hole!

The explosives explode.

Foley: Good job! All right guys, we're moving on!

American Paratrooper 1: I want an aid station over here!

American Paratrooper 2: Clear up!

American Paratrooper 3: Clear down!

American Paratrooper 4: Secure the area!

American Paratrooper 5: Clear over here boss!

Paratroopers converge on Captain Foley for a debriefing.

Foley: All right fellas, take five, but listen up. We'll hold this place 'til reinforced, but this is just one tiny village in a war and country full of 'em, so our work has just begun. For those of you who've seen your first action - welcome to the Big Time. For those of you who've seen it before, trust me, you ain't seen nothin' yet. We'll redeploy those German machine guns, setting up a defensive perimeter. Keep your guard up and your buddies in mind. Good work.