Through my eyes: 91st Infantry Division in the Italian campaign, 1942-1945
1942 -- the mention of it still evokes images of our once-proud fleet sinking into Pearl Harbor's watery graveyard, and Nazis goose-stepping through the Arc de Triomphe. Leon Weckstein had just turned 21 and figured he'd be drafted. After being rejected by the Navy for poor eyesight, he found himself drafted into the 91st Infantry Division. He became dependent on his vision for survival as he led his platoon through dangerously crucial assignments -- including a direct order to level the Tower of Pisa. From his forward observation post, he held the Tower's fate in his hands...
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363rd Infantry Regiment 91st Infantry Division Alberto Allied American Apennines appeared Army Arno River artillery artillery fire asked attempt barrages battalion battle Bologna camp Camp White casualties Chianni Colonel Woods combat command post crest damn dance Division enemy eyes feeling felt fighting finally front Futa Pass German Gothic Line guys hand happened headquarters hell hill hour Italian Italy jeep kind knew Kurt Reinhardt later learned Legion of Merit Lieutenant located look lucky machine gun miles minutes months Monticelli mortar mountain Naples never night observation post officers once partisani Pianoro Pisa platoon position quickly radio remained rifle S/Sgt Weckstein seemed Sergeant shell sight slit trench smile soldiers sound squad sure tanks target Tedeschi thing thought took train Trieste troops trucks turned Valley waited wanted watched weapons weeks Wehrmacht wondered wounded yards Yugoslavian partisans