Sergeant Brotman, 1920 - 2016

by Jon L. Denby

On June 12, 1944, a skinny 24-year-old sergeant named Walter Brotman drove a limousine off an amphibious landing craft onto Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. The scene he came upon shocked him. Six days earlier, on what became known as D-Day, the first assault waves of the Allied forces had landed at Omaha and were met with a wall of bullets, mortars, and artillery fire from defending German infantry. The beach was still strewn with burned-out tanks, jeeps, landing crafts, and other paraphernalia of war. The dead were stacked like cordwood in long rows on the sand, each corpse in a body bag or sometimes even hastily covered by a green Army-issued poncho. This is how Sergeant Brotman returned to Europe.

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