On April 14, 1945, Dole’s company was ordered to take Hill 913. It was soon trapped by withering machinegun fire from a nearby farmhouse. Dole was cut down as he led a charge on the German position. Bullets broke his spine, destroyed his shoulder and all but severed his arm from his body.
I’ve always thought it worse – when it isn’t of course, death is death, injury is injury – when it’s right at the end. There were what, 3 weeks to go at this point?
As with All Quiet on the Western Front, it’s the death being in the last month (?) of the war that increases the poignancy. And I’ve long had a deep, deep, revulsion over the events of the morning on Nov 11, 1918. As is remarked in many a place, there was a last and extended salvo of artillery just before the ceasefire.
Why? What’s the damn point of killing a few more an hour, two, before it stops?