On October 8, 1918, near Chatel-Chehery, France, several German machine guns hidden on high ridges had pinned down an American battalion. A small group of four officers, including a recently promoted one named Alvin C. York, and thirteen privates was sent to infiltrate the enemy lines and take out the machine gun nests.
At first, the group was doing okay. They took over a German unit’s headquarters and began lining up their prisoners when machine gun fire from a different area suddenly took out three officers and six privates. York, finding himself in command, left his men under cover and guarding the remaining prisoners. By himself, he crept along, fighting as needed and taking out several machine gun nests. The description of the next several minutes reads like an action movie, with bullets just missing our hero, but it’s all true!
Eventually, the enemy surrendered, and, at the end of the day, York and seven privates led 132 German prisoners back to American lines. I just did the math, and that comes to 16.5 prisoners U.S. soldier. Yikes!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”