This whole time, all these years, I thought my grandpa in Italy was a soldier. Turns out he was a civilian who became a POW in Düsseldorf for the same reason I’d have probably ended up one: For publicly and a little too loudly dissing Mussolini and a neighbor reporting him. He survived though. Age 18. Went in 150 pounds, came out 50 pounds. Yikes. Even had to fashion a makeshift claw reacher outta sticks, twigs and string to reach through the fence to grab dead birds and eat them, to survive. Along with basically living in potato peels and coffee grinds.
Let’s hope I don’t end up the same under Trump.
As for my other grandpa, the Irish/American one, he was in WWII. 45th infantry. Stormed the beaches of Normandy. I heard that was one of the toughest and so many of the guys had Purple Hearts. He didn’t.
He too survived. Something to do with being further back in the lines? Also, he was short. The day he stopped complaining about being short was in battle and a bullet only grazed his hair.