Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Say a prayer for the soul of the owner . . .
I was astonished to see a series of photographs of a Colt military-issue 1911 pistol that had been struck by artillery shrapnel during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. It was picked up on the battlefield after the fighting was over. Here's just one of the images, to illustrate the scale of the damage.
Looking at how severe those gashes are, the shrapnel was obviously coming in at very high velocity. The pieces weren't small, either, and judging by the number of scars, there were plenty of them. In another photograph you can see fragments of the leather holster in which the gun had been carried, lodged in the gashes where the shrapnel drove them. Judging by the damage, and considering that the person carrying the gun had been just as close to the explosion, I think he would have been most unlikely to survive. Even if he did, he must have been very seriously wounded.
Go look at the whole series of images, and read the story behind them . . . and, this Christmas, if you're so inclined, say a prayer for the soul of whoever it was that carried that gun in the Ardennes, 71 years ago this month. May he rest in peace.