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Dangerous Silence

by actiondesksheffield

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Archive List > British Army

Contributed by 
People in story: 
John Gaughan
Location of story: 
Northern Gemany
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
24 June 2005

'This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Alan Shippam of the BBC Radio Sheffield Action Desk on behalf of John Gaughan, and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.'

April 1945
Over the Rhine and into Northern Germany, the war was very fluid, the fast advance had left behind areas of unknown as far as danger was concerned. With a small truck accompanied by two Staff Sergeants and a Corporal, I was driving under their instructions as a forward party for our platoon's next location. After a few miles of open countryside, we came upon a stone walled town which had a gateway entrance, beyond was a very pretty cobbled area with attractive old medieval buildings. There was not a soul in sight and the silence was eerie. I had a feeling that out of every one of those buildings, eyes were on us, and to go through the entrance we were sitting ducks. The senior NCO called, “Lets get the hell out of here, “ and we quickly got back in the truck and retreated back along the road we had come. To this day I do not know the name or location of this town of Silence.
We took another route and entered a village, it was now getting dark and the first building was an inn, where we slept on the stone floor for the night. In the morning I had a wash in a stream running alongside the inn. Gazing up at the side of the inn, I was shocked to see a large unexploded shell sticking out of it. Further into the village was a fork in the road where an abandoned German Tank stood and to add further to the fortunes of the place, an RAF plane had dropped a stick of bombs scattered round the centre and all of them had failed to explode.


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