I signed on with the 82nd Airborne because it promised that its new approach to fighting the war would be the best way to serve my country in this terrible crisis. It’s been a tough three years over here in Europe, but the Airborne has proved that it can take the good fight for freedom to new heights. Over the last six operations in my tour, I’ve really done my part to stop Jerry!
Before I jumped out of a C-47 for the first time over Italy, I had some serious doubts about being a paratrooper. I had heard the horror stories from the battlefield—this seemingly never-ending war has worn down many good soldiers who are now just sick of the constant stress of battle. Thankfully, from the moment I jumped out of that plane, I was engaged in one of the most intense adventures of my life. Dropping onto a rooftop in the village of Adanti, I was overzealous and botched my first landing. Luckily, none of the Italian Blackshirts saw me, and I quickly took out several enemy defensive positions.
After meeting up with some fellow paratroopers, we stormed the mayor’s residence from the rear to seize control of the building and demolish some antiaircraft guns. I then led the way to other objectives, facing stiff resistance from Ratzi soldiers along the way. Even though I chose this sequence of attack, I had the freedom to carry out my directives in any order. It’s also reassuring to know that if I am ever taken out of commission in battle, another eager soldier will be ready to parachute down and take my place to continue the fight.
Some of the more difficult skirmishes came in later missions, such as Operation Neptune. By then, we had moved up through Italy to France, where we supported the invasion of Normandy with an inland assault. The Nazis we faced were smarter here, working together to flank our sides and falling back to new cover positions whenever we pushed too close. They’d jump through windows and blind-fire over sandbags to counter our attack, often with such fluidity and gritty determination that I couldn’t help but admire their resolve. That isn’t to say all the foot soldiers we fought were well trained. Looks like Hitler recruited some numbskulls as well—idiots who would repeatedly run to stationary MG42 machine guns while I sniped them from afar.
I also want to let you know that the military has recognized our efforts, rewarding us with a steady flow of weapon upgrades. My trusty Thompson submachine gun is now outfitted with three improvements, decreased recoil, a larger magazine drum, and a pistol grip for increased accuracy. Earning these improvements through proficient use of my weapons felt gratifying, and the extra boost definitely helped when I was sent to assault a monstrous flak tower. We lost a lot of men in this brutal mission, many of whom died at the hands of the MG42-wielding Nazi elites.
But now that my tour of duty is complete, I feel I could’ve done more. My six missions were challenging, but they flew by. Of course, I can always practice airdrops with other members of the Airborne in simulated war games, but the 12-person participant limit is a little disappointing. I know this is a terrible thing to say, but sometimes, I wish the war wasn’t over. Being a part of the Airborne has brought an exciting new dimension to combat, making me often wish I was back on the front lines.
Your loving son,
Parachuting into battles grants more freedom and adds verticality to combat.
The six missions are over too quickly, and the AI is inconsistent.