The German Medic

June 5, 2008 at 12:04 AM
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In winter of 1944, with overtaxed supply lines in the Ardennes, a German medic had completely run out of plasma, bandages and antiseptic. During one particularly bad round of mortar fire, his encampment suddenly became a bloodbath. The survivors claimed to hear, above the screams and barked commands of their Lieutenant, someone cackling with almost girlish glee.

The medic made his rounds during the fire, in almost complete darkness as he had so many times before, but never this short on supplies.

The bombardment moved to other ends of the line, most men dropped off to sleep in the still dark hours of the morning – New Year’s Day, 1945.

The men awoke at first light with screams. They discovered that their bandages were not typical bandages at all, but hunks and strips of human flesh. Several men had been given fresh blood transfusions, with no blood supplies available. Each treated man was almost completely covered, head-to-toe, with the maroon stain of blood.

The medic was found, sitting on an ammunition tin, staring off into space. When one man approached him, tapped him on the shoulder, his tunic fell off to reveal all skin, muscle, and sinew had been stripped from his torso and his body almost completely dried of blood. In one hand was a scalpel, and in the other, a blood transfusion vial.

None of the men treated for wounds that night, in that camp, saw the end of January, 1945.

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