Caught Between Top Guns
By Karl D. Martin
Company B, 272nd Infantry

I remember the fight at pansdorph, Germany. it was a small town that reminded me of Bassett, Virginia. on the morning that we were to take pansdorph, an old German civilian came into the area looking for the captain. we took him to the captain's billet and later the captain came out and said, boys, the Germans have pulled out, all we gotta do is walk in and take the town.  we began the march into the town, we marched down the road..between high the town when we saw a small piper cub spotter was swirling and diving..the Germans had dug into the plowed banks of fields on either side of the hills and set up machine gun positions in the fresh dirt, they attacked us as we moved into the town, men fell and I felt shells hitting the ground around my feet as I ran down the road...I lost my footing and fell and my sarge thought I was hit...he yelled "martin, are you hit?? I said no sir......he said....then get the hell up and lets get outta here!!! we ran into the town and took positions and the little spotter plane was swirling overhead, throwing out grenades at the German positions. if it had not been for that guy..we would have all been killed...we ran into town and took up a position in an old building and a German panzer tank came down the street and our guys ran into a building, I ran into a building across the street and took up positions with my buddies..the tank came down the street and stopped in front of our position, the turret turned and fired thru the building across from me.....I thought all my buddies were dead....the tank moved on and all my buddies ran from the building covered with dust....the shell had passed thru the building and exploded outside....later, we stopped in an old house and I went outside to take a leak...while I was working with my trousers, a German gunner stood up in a graveyard and unloaded on me with a machine gun..he clipped off branches of a tree over my head and I dodged behind a tree, he loaded his second clip and knocked al the bark off the tree and I yelled for my buddies in the mortar squad.....they came running out and set up the mortar...the angle was so severe, I was sure I was a dead man, they fired and the shell landed in the middle of the graveyard. I don't know if the German was killed or just scared off...but I got back into the building...then another German tank began firing on us. it was a tiger and it was backed off over a hill where we could only see the turret as he fired...I ran out into a courtyard and began digging a foxhole in earth as hard as down a couple of inches when an American tank rolled up...I got into my hole and the American tank stopped just over me...every time he fired...the concussion blew me out of my I scrambled back, I was afraid the German tank would hit the American tank and kill me too....I was between a rock and a hard place for damned sure...this duel went on for ten minutes when the German panzer withdrew....we found it scuttled on the road the next day.....they had ran out of fuel.........pfc. karl d. martin   co b   272nd combat team 69th us infantry.....