''Division A! Head for the bunks, it's your turn to sleep
tonight. Don't waste that time; it's more valuable than
you'd assume if you want to live to see another day'', the
old but firm voice said right before slamming the fragile
wooden door shut. That voice belonged to General Hubert
Gough. He was in charge of our divisions in here. His rank
only makes one think of the effort some men put into the
military, which was passed my comprehension for now.
Afterwards he slams the door of the improvised wooden shack
built for soldiers to try and sleep in, while getting wet
from the rain drops that gather on the shallow roof covered
not with wood, but more so with holes. A lone soldier turns
on a small flashlight in his bunk to shine upon a simple pen
and paper tablet.
This was Robert Bernman, he was a Sergeant in the British
Empire, he just recently got promoted and shipped to Belgium
to fight a war not his own. The dire situation of the great
war, as they called way back then before the new in 1939
Hitler would rise with a new rain of terror led by Germany.
Bernman was promoted quickly after showing skill and aptly
willing to fight for his country, little did the Royal
British forces know that Bernman fought for just about
anything except Great Britain.
Robert was at the very least, a stubborn man, his family
would have said he was had combined the metaphors of a the
stubbornness of the ram and bull into one beast that knew no
reason, nonetheless, he had joined the military and sent to
fight in the marshland of Paschendale.
As he reaches for the pen and rests the loom of light on
his shoulder, a fellow combatant from another bunk speaks,
''Hey Sergeant, I'd suggest you put that light out; a sleepy
soldier doesn't dodge bullets that well. Or so recent
studies show at least''. The grim moonlight made his face
invisible in the thin blue shine.
''I'm about to write in my diary and document this day, and
then write to my loved ones back home. And I'll be damned
before anything will stop me from doing that. Just let it
be'', the soldier says from his bunk while quietly grinding
his teeth, ready to cause a midnight riot just to prove his
''Heh, at least you got guts man, I'm Charles'', the voice
across the bunk turns softer.
''Robert...'' a reply slowly arrives.
''Well then Robert, write on, but keep that light away from
me. I could use some sleep", Charles answers with a quaint
Robert moves the light back onto the lined paper. Resting
the miniature flashlight on his shoulder, he picks up the
pen and begins to write with a small sigh of relief:
"Dear diary, October 23rd.
I don't know when we will fight again, but in the past
couple days no one has fired a weapon. Things don't seem too
safe even for a battle zone; around us is a large dent from
an explosion of our own mines in June. It looks like the sky
fell down and hit it by the crater it left.
The mines were an utter success, they exploded in a
wonderful deafening rumble, Ludendorff, the German General,
took this literally enough and sent his troops outside the
safety of the bonkers to stand guard at their lines, what
the Germans did not know was that at their lines, a second
row of Mines had been placed and detonated them, catapulting
them to every windy side of the great blue sky, sending body
parts flying through out most of the battle field. He was
baffled and retreated. However our forces did not know how
many of them were still there, and waited for more
reinforcements. Somehow I figure that if we attacked right
then, I suppose the war would be at an end far sooner...But
to no avail, as the universe is not fair, no point in
The food they give us is atrocious; I've never tasted
something that was considered edible and yet so vile. We are
hungry, all of us. What little of the meager food they do
give out isn't enough. They say a hungry soldier fights
better. I say a hungry soldier would rather eat than fight.
Training is exhausting and squeezes the soul out of you. The
Germans across these lines and ditches of ours are
organized, structured and loyal, and yet here lies disarray.
Madness broke loose among the French camping beside us; they
rebel against their commanders and refuse orders. I have
heard truly dreadful stories from them, of how many died in
the first battle on the very land I'm on. If what they are
saying is true, then I would be conducting mutiny just the
same. But I won't. I'm not here because I care for this
country; I am here because I protect those I want to
protect. And nothing is going to stop me now. At a time of
war everyone must take a side. Those who don't shall be
dealt with later. And those who died in battle, like the
Greeks and Norse wisely said in their books, "To die with
sword at hand is the true honor, death or not, God shall
find his own pick among the dead". The only part I failed to
agree with is the word God. For all I cared it was an
imaginary friend for adults.
Spartans used to say: "with your shield, or on your shield."
To exclaim the powerful nature of war and victory.
Considering I no longer see that many Spartans roam the
streets, I'll assume that they went, "on their shield".
That is all for one night; I'd hate to give away all the
fun stuff already.
Flipping to another page, Robert takes his pen again and
this time writes with a sedated tone to someone different.
The diary was kept for himself and held the truth as he saw
it. A letter however, must be far gentler, firstly he's not
allowed to speak in great detail of the war, for all the
king is concerned, even Robert's dearest Katie can be a
traitor and aid the Germans. Secondly, he'd rather not
frighten her with horror stories of the Great War and make
her worry her little heart out. Robert cared too much for
her to do that.
''October 23rd. Dear Katie,
This is my first letter to you from here that I am able to
write; please do not be upset with me as conditions didn't
allow it a moment sooner. I am in a village named
Paschendale; the land is marshland and the rain falling on
us isn't making it any better. That ground is a resting
place to more troops than we'll ever find. I'm still well
and intact, however, so worry not. Food is decent enough,
though you know me, always hungry for more. I sleep in a
wooden shack with 10 other soldiers. A moment alone is rare,
and a moment without bathroom humor is rarer. It is about
midnight in here now but I don't care so long as I can write
to you. Hold out. I am begging you to stay there. I'll come
home as soon as possible.
With uncontrollable infatuation, Robert Bernman''.
Finishing both documents, the newly arrived Sergeant lays
down his pen, pulls out the letter from the tablet and puts
it in a small envelope he has by his things. He writes down
an address for shipping and puts it away to have it sent the
The Sun rose gloomily over the small village on the morning
of the 24th, shining as little as it could through the fog
of war. There may have been an unofficial truce because the
side of The British Empire was dead and the Germans' was
weakened badly, but practice was still held for shooting and
moves in case of combat. In a trench in the back rows were
two men assigned to keep guard should the Germans stop the
so called 'truce'. The two were Nitkan and Bernman. Nitkan
was a Lieutenant, so as an Officer he didn't have to fight,
but he had to do something. He chose to look at an empty
field with Bernman, the man who the previous night had shown
some decent courage, and spoke to him with the tone of an
honorable man. Conversation between them grew and they
quickly learned they had much in common.
''Heh, that's a good one Rob, I just hope we'll both make it
back home in one piece and outside a box", the Lieutenant
Then, as if out of the blue, a fragment grenade was thrown
deep into the field as a random hostile tribute from the
Germans. Rob shouted out at the top of his lungs, "Fire in
the hole! Fire in the hole; duck damn it!", as the grenade
went off and sent shrapnel soaring through the area,
whistling about and hitting the sand bags and dirt. Some
even made it as far as the shack; no one has slept there
calmly since. The bang was deafening. Woods nearby shuddered
at the noise coming from the weapon. A wave of unexpected
groans of surprise rose from neighboring trenches. After the
explosion had cleared and some British fire was returned as
a sign of presence, Rob rose from the floor, but slipped in
the soft, wet ground of the place. He tried for his knees.
This time and managed to get up while briefly swearing at
the ground. Looking at Nitkan he asked, "Can you believe
this crud? The land here is useless. We can't even get tanks
through because they sink at once; see that step over there?
That's a tank barrel from when they brought a couple in
thinking it would do them good, when the only good here is
that the Germans can't get one through either".
But Charles does not reply or move; he simply blinks with an
odd twitch in his left arm. His eyes focus on Bernman as he
whispers in timed breaths, "My back... Look". With concern
for the Lieutenant, Robert moves Nitkan by his waist as he
squirms with pain but cannot say anything. Bernman looks at
his back with shock and incomprehension. The left side is
punctured with little holes all over it. Rob turns his back
to the sand bags, which are slowly leaking out and proved to
be of no use to stop a table spoon, much less shrapnel or a
bullet. Charles sighs with pain when the Sergeant goes to
him, "I'll go get help; I'll call a Medic. Don't worry.
Everything will be alright", but Charles cuts him off with a
wavering hand gesture of indifference. Knowing his time is
short and that no Medic could help him now. He whispers with
what little air he had in his punctured lungs, "No, don't.
My time has come. Just tell my family and... and...''
Charles coughs a mouthful of blood that spreads across the
ground and to his chin. The soft ground absorbs the blood
and mixes in it ''Just... tell the world of Paschendale''.
He can no longer talk and hurls up more blood that goes
farther and is dark. The maroon shade is like blood, only
set ablaze. Darker because it contains no oxygen and comes
from deeper within his body. The blood loss takes its effect
and his body turns colder. The dying Lieutenant tries to
speak one more time but he cannot. He stops moving with his
mouth and his eyes open wide, looking towards Robert.
Bernman closes his eyes and mouth with his bare hands; he
lays him down on the ground quietly and says, "I'll tell
them, I'll tell them even if it means my own demise".
Bernman dashes away to the center where the troops were
training, not far away; just over a corner of some thick
trees and undergrowth. He sees General Gough ahead and comes
to him in quick, angry paces. The General turns to him and
sees the blood on his hands.
"My god soldier, what on earth happened?" The General asks
in astonishment. "This happened, General", as the furious
Sergeant raises a blood dripping fist and punches Gough
right in the nose with all of his might and strength. The
General falls on his back and elbow with a speechless stare
on his face. "What is the meaning of this, damn it?!" as the
angry downed General finally responds and nearly reaches for
his weapon. Instead he gets up and pushes the Sergeant off
him and onto the ground too. Bernman slides on the mud on
impact. Gough jumps on him but he folds his legs to his
chest just as Gough pounces on him, pushing him off like a
well trained boxer would if caught in a street fight. Hubert
Hits a tree and remains standing, before charging for the
Sergeant once again. Despite being 47 at the day, he still
had a temper that let him go against even a 20 year old
soldier in hand to hand combat. Bernman has just gotten up
and now he and Gough push each other while they walk and
cling onto each other's necks. Eventually Robert tugs him
over the corner trees he had come from, then he lets go of
the General's right shoulder and punches him again, finally,
ramming his forehead into the General's face. Gough falls
down on the mud again, this time leaning to the right, his
nose running with a mixture of snot and blood combining to
make a pink shaded liquid running from Gough's bent nose.
And when he fell he could just see the Lieutenant's body
over the edge of the corner and sand bags. Hubert remains
down but turns around to fully see the body. Robert notices
he has finally seen it and speaks up with an infuriated
tone, " Do you see now General?! Do you see now what we are
fighting for, what we are dying for! Explain it to me!''
Gough looks up at him and replies, "That's war Sergeant,
Now with a renewed spark in his eyes, Bernman speaks again,
after wiping the blood running down his chin, "War you say?
Who are we fighting for? Whose war is this?! It sure as hell
isn't my war and I know it wasn't his war. Now your eyes are
open; you see why good, innocent people die so that you and
the other Generals could play War and use us as pawns. Well
not while I'm here! Charles Natkin died over there, right in
front of my eyes because the sand bags couldn't stop the
shrapnel. He died because you didn't do your job. He died
because you don't give a flying fuck! Now what do you have
to say about that, General?" Robert says the rank with
contempt to him.
The General listens to every word with great care. Once
more, spitting the blood that conjured in his mouth by now
and finally answers, "You are right, we didn't do our job.
We didn't care enough, and now people have died, but that's
still war and it is your war and everyone else's if you want
to live again. Now, I'm offering you something I think you
should truly consider. Seeing as the Lieutenant has passed,
God bless his soul, we are one Lieutenant short. I like the
rage in you. I like the moral principals you put above all
and you remind me of myself long ago, and that's what this
army really needs more than tanks, soldiers or weapons. I'm
offering you the rank of Lieutenant and take his place in
command". Now the General finally recovers and gets back on
his feet. He stands in front of the soldier once more.
Robert replies saying, "I'll take it, but not for good. Just
until I'm dead or you find someone better. And you, you make
sure he gets a decent burial in his home town, and know I
will let people know about all that happened here." Robert
says the last phrase just barely, unable to breath, knowing
he'll kill and die to fulfill Charles' final wish.
Robert approached the body slowly, bending over and speaking
softly to the corpse, "I'm sorry buddy. I will tell the
world as you asked, but I must also take your rank". He
takes off the badges of the rank and puts them on himself,
without so much as cleansing the blood off of them. Bernman
proceeds to pick up the body and walk over to Gough with it,
then leaving the body in his hands and saying, ''Here's
Lieutenant Nitkan; he's your job now. I have a war to win
and a platoon to train", and with that the newly appointed
Lieutenant walks away.
Morning of October 25th. All wake up to begin training once
more as they feel the war is coming again and will be
started presently by either side. The Germans were only
defending the area rather than trying to break in, because
not far behind those lines their naval base lay, including
their submarines and ships. So in fact, if they could break
through eventually, it would bring the war to its end with
the Germans on their knees, as that would be the end of any
rockets, long distance supplies or spying. The Canadians
were about to be led by a new General, Arthur Currie, and
the French were still mostly in disarray, and the British
government was losing faith in winning with each passing
The day was rushed and was entirely dedicated to moving
troops around to the area. It was clear battle would begin
the next day, and so it did. October 26th was to be the day
that the second battle of Paschendale was to begin. But
earlier on the eve of the 25th, Robert Bernman took some
time to write to his loved ones and in his diary once more.
"Dear diary, October 25th.
Practice is renewed today; the empires are preparing for
battle. Today alone 13 thousand troops were brought in.
Tomorrow we fight. Since I've last written things have
happened; I have been promoted to Lieutenant. A friend and
fellow soldier of that rank died right beside me. I and
General Gough fought; he isn't bad at it too. I was only
promoted after punching him. Makes you wonder how the
military really works. Anyhow, tomorrow over 20 thousand men
will march into hell's gate with no regret. I can only hope
we shall prevail.
P.S: Food stinks; we're underfed and pissed off. Oh, and
Katie returned my letter. It is odd how the military mail is
the only thing that actually works well here".
Bernman flips the page of his tablet again, he leaves the
page blank and proceeds to open a sealed envelope with a
military stamp on it. Inside is Katie's letter to Robert:
It hasn't been so long since we last parted and I anxiously
await your return in person. However, it is becoming rather
desolate here in town with most of the men away to fight
this war. I don't know if anyone will come back, I just hope
I shall stay true and wait without hesitation. Just write
to me so that I may know all is well. And to keep courters
off; the few remaining reckon you won't return, but I know
that when you do, you'll give them a piece of your mind
Robert finishes the letter knowing that soon he must return.
He would approach General Gough in a request that after the
third battle of Ypres, he shall be released to his home. He
could not risk fighting any more, as it is not just his
future at stake now.
Bernman then takes the tablet again and unpins the pen from
it. He writes,
Tomorrow we shall be heading off to fight this battle once
and for all, I may be hurt, I may even be killed, but
promise me you will wait at least a month for a returned
letter before coming up with any misconceptions or thoughts.
I have met a great friend since my last letter; I have also
lost him to a German grenade. As a result I have been given
his rank; a Lieutenant. The payroll from such a rank is much
higher; I shall continue work after the war in a desk job so
as not to damage our relationship, but our future is now
I'll be back even if I have to knock down every last German
troop myself, wait just a tad longer. Wars don't blow by in
a couple days... sadly enough.
Lovingly, Robert Bernman. ''
Rob at last puts away the tablet. Once more he gently rips
that piece of paper from it and puts it in an envelope,
which he then puts away. He goes to sleep one more time
before the big day. His weapon is beside him and his clothes
already on and clean.
Morning of the 26th. Twenty thousand souls march as one
into battle, sneaking up over the hill, and it begins. The
Germans are well prepared and their defenses fully restored.
It was the third and fourth Canadian division, led by Sir
Arthur Currie, who began the attack. These men weren't ones
that laid hands on a rifle for the first time, rather these
were soldiers who had fought Ypres before and knew the
perils it brought forth. They were bold and fought
valiantly. The British were not quite prepared on the day,
and the Canadians were thought to be enough to seize the
territory without too many casualties. They were wrong. It
was a day in which 12 thousand of the twenty died. All in
the benefit of a couple hundred yards. Lieutenant Bernman
was at the base, planning the British attack due in 4 days.
The base was filled with the stench of death and a Private
is seen dashing from the kitchen.
That Private is Kenneth McAlister, a British immigrant who
was dragged to war after having moved from Ireland. Bernman
sees him by chance and stops him.
"What's that under your jacket, Private?" the Lieutenant
inquires. Robert rips open the Private's jacket and 2 loaves
of bread fall out on the ground. Bernman glares at the
situation with a shocked gaze. "You steal Bread? When
soldiers who fought all day long and rested none of the
night are starving and the army can't give them more than
their rations because the budget won't allow it, you steal
bread that's to feed 6 men all for yourself? Greedy bastard!
Don't you think we're all hungry here? But no one; not a
General, an Officer or a Private, can get more than their
rations. I think it's time we introduce you to harsh
reality. Get over here". Bernman grabs Kenneth by his
forearm and drags him behind him as he walks to a square
wooden plate the size of a tank. It is ground level and in
the middle there is a smaller circle. In it is a set of
bars on the floor, and it opens to lead to a poorly lit
chamber. On it are two sets of bars close to one another,
serving as a floor for that lower story. Below that is only
darkness. Kenneth is thrown in and Bernman Speaks to him,
''3 days; 2 days without food for what you stole, one day
with some extra so that on the 4th day you'll fight, and
you'll fight well. It's your life at stake this time".
Kenneth doesn't get a chance to speak when Robert leaves him
there and locks the top floor. It begins to rain shortly
after and the drops of water leak through the shallow
construction. It trickles to the bottom and collects there.
McAlister ponders in the corner, whilst sitting on a wooden
beam attached to the wall as sort of an improvised bench. He
thinks about what drove him to thievery. He has a flashback
of himself standing in the back of the kitchen; grabbing him
by the neck is a Colonel, Colonel James Kettle.
"Now you get in there and get me a few pieces of bread or
I'll have you standing in the front of the next division
sent out to battle. Don't you understand, we're all hungry
here, even Officers. I need food; how do they expect me to
do my job while starving to a slow death? Get 2 loaves of
bread and bring them back to me, or I'll also make sure it
will be the last day your family lives to see. Get it? Now
go!" The Colonel whispers the words in the ears of the
Private who doesn't wish to steal, but must to ensure the
survival of himself and his family.
During the commotion of the kitchen theft, the Germans
launched an attack. As the French were at mutiny and would
not fight, Canadian and British divisions were all that was
left to protect the base, and compared to the half million
German soldiers 'cross the lines, it wasn't enough. Not
nearly enough. Rain was constant and made battle worse than
anywhere. The summer rains covered the entire region and not
a single tank could get across the lines. German forces had
begun using Mustard Gas; it attacked the body causing
blisters, hurt the lungs and eyes, and created a great deal
of pain. Few soldiers who were hit would ever survive it
then. Now it is not used but they are probably saving it for
their arsenal when the British come for an offensive. And
the British did. On October 26th, 1917, twelve thousand
allied soldiers died for the gain of a couple yards in the
The morning of the next day, a Tuesday morning, was only a
sleep deprived continuation of the last day. Officers ran
around trying to organize the next attack and to do so
wisely. Despite the fact Gas masks were available they were
no use against the new mustard gas that attacked the whole
body. British forces are mobilizing forces to the Belgian
border, while the Germans are fighting many fronts at once,
and are still hanging in there. On the 28th a couple
soldiers decided to visit the nearby town of Ypres. Among
the soldiers who decide to come are: Corporal William
Bailey, Private First Class Michal Sikorsky and Sergeant
Barry McGinty. They see the town in ruins, people hide in
their homes and the windows are smashed out. Stores are
looted and empty and no one dares step outside as only the
children yell and cry inside. The children do not know that
they are just as endangered inside as they are outside
should the Germans attack. Seeing the tears in their eyes,
it reflects the pain and the fear. It showed the madness and
despair a war by your home can bring to you. Crying women
and children, sick old men; no one healthy was left there.
This was truly what the soldiers had heard; a world war.
At that point they cannot go on; they knew well what must be
"The hell with this; I am not a steel machine, but a man of
flesh and bone. How do they expect me to fight when I know
it is wrong? How can I kill all those men who are only doing
what we are doing, fighting because the government commands
us so? Leaving behind my trail of blood a pack of crying
women and children who shall never see that man again; what
have we become? Curse the name of liberty, a war machine
like no other that brings men to the slaughter like lambs",
Corporal Bailey mutters out the words in pain. Sikorski
interrupts his line of thought, "They are all useless; they
were meant to die and they knew what it was about when it
started". The PFC feels no remorse over the running tears of
the families; it didn't matter as long as the job got done.
Last to speak of the subject is the Sergeant, "Yes, they
have probably died, and so will we, but what's important is
to remember. To remember the good times we have seen, the
friends and families, the love and the passion. That is why
we are here. Let's go back; I think there is work to be
done". From behind a slow round of applause comes. The
soldiers turn in fear to see Lieutenant Bernman standing
there with a slight grin on his face. Robert proceeds to
give a small inspirational speech, " We
are here to
defend. Not the government, but those we left behind.
Everyone at home is counting on us to win this damn war. Now
if I know the few I care for are fine I will give my soul
away. Let's return to base; there is still work to be
done", and with that, the group returns and continues
preparations. Bernman makes his way back and upon arrival,
as he is about to enter the prison section that McAlister
was in to feed him, he hears Kenneth mumbling to himself the
story of the theft and Colonel Kettle. Robert opens the
doors and walks in; he puts the small plate of food on the
wooden beam by the wall where Kenneth sat.
Robert speaks to him, "I heard your side of the story now;
I'll go and check him. I only believe you since you didn't
know I was even around. Take the food and walk outside,
you're free for today but tomorrow you fight alongside the
Kenneth is ecstatic; he sees the joy of being acquitted. He
whispers out a silent "Thank you" and leaves with the
platter of food. Bernman leaves after him and locks the
door. He heads over to find the Colonel. After a brief
search he locates Kettle and approaches him.
"Colonel, do you mind if I ask you a couple questions about
3 days ago, a loaf of bread and a threat?" Bernman quickly
brings up the topic without hesitation.
"What? What do you mean, Lieutenant? I don't really know
what it is you are asking me of. How often would I threaten
someone?" James responds with a slightly anxious tone.
"I didn't mention any one saying you threatened anyone. I
just meant a threat in general, but now that you bring it
up... Ever heard of Private Kenneth McAlister?'' Bernman
says sharply and without as much as a blink.
"Oh alright already, yeah I did it. Where are you at, L.A?
Let's just keep this between us, okay? It's not like I did
something dreadful..." Kettle finally gives in. Robert makes
his final comment as an "Agreed", and with that he walks
away. Bernman reports to the General and has Kettle locked
in and demoted for un-Officer like conduct. Kettle is now
nothing but a Major.
Finally Robert returns to his bunk, to find a letter has
finally been returned to him. He rushes to open it; the
letter contained congratulations for his new rank and
overall descriptions of life farther away from the war.
Bernman returns a letter saying tomorrow his division will
be fighting and that it may take a while before another
letter is sent out. With it are all the usual mentions of
food and dorms. Lastly he writes in his diary and tries to
Dawn of October 30th, the British set off on an offensive to
capture the village. They withstand German fire and force
their way in. In one trench there is Bernman and tagging
along is Sikorski. The rain was constant, like a bucket of
water that never ended. Sikorski strikes up a conversation
while they both dodge the enemy fire behind them. Michal
begins to talk, "So... you think this war business is just
another one of God's little jokes? I think so..."
"God? Don't get me started about 'God''', Bernman
"Ahh, I see. I'll take it you are one of those
non-believers..." the PFC smirks.
"Non believer? You call a man who has survived some of the
worst pitches life can throw a non believer? You call
someone who has endured some of the most horrendous things
and lived to carry on, a non believer? Well I beg to differ.
I believe, I believe in him and I hate him to death", Robert
comments with a slight tone of anger. Then one of the few
grenades the Germans had is launched into the trench.
Bernman sprints away from the grenade and takes cover 12
feet away. The grenade detonates and Sikorski is in shock
and cannot move. The fragment grenade detonated and killed
Sikorski with the shrapnel tearing his flesh asunder, from
his knees, to his face. He also seems to be oozing in his
own excrement. Bernman is hit in his foot and howls with
pain. Robert yells for a Medic and sits up, when a bullet
from the Germans direction hits a rock, splitting it up in
two and launching half of it onto Bernman's forehead. The
Lieutenant is hit and has passed out. His head slammed
against the mushy surface.
November 12th. Bernman wakes up in the silence of a field
hospital. Not remembering what happened, he tries to stand
up and of course yells in agonizing pain. A man in a white
robe and military badge walks in.
"Whoa there Soldier, I'm your Doctor. You've sustained an
injury. Why don't you just lie down a bit more? My name is
Brent Hollister. You just stay there; your foot had been
hurt a bit so we had to operate, but you'll be fine within a
couple weeks. And you have somewhat of a bump on your head,
but you'll be just fine. I'll have you seated in a ship and
sent home later today. In the mean time you can walk with
these crutches by your bed", The Dr. says kindly.
"Not now Doc, I have to fight. Damn Germans are probably
"Lieutenant, the battle is over; Paschendale is ours. Sure,
at the cost of half a million men, but it is captured. The
battles ended 6 days ago; you were still out. Now we are
just here in the agreement to collect and properly bury the
bodies and tend to the injured. Just relax already; you'll
be home in a couple days", the Doctor answers with a
slightly condescending approach.
"It's over? It is really over..." Bernman finally lets out
November 16th. Through the streets of London, one man with a
pair of crutches at hand, is home at last, but his battle is
not over yet.
"It is not over; there is still one thing I promised I would
complete. I must, I must tell the tale of Paschendale..."