Lee informed the group that he was assigning men to defensive positions on the different floors and rooftop of the castle. He then placed the Sherman (nicknamed ‘Besotten Jenny’) in front of the main gate to command the road. It was an oddity never seen in the war, as German and Americans seemed united for the first time in a common effort. As for the French, since they were more politician than soldier, Lee wanted them to sit this one out, and assigned them to the cellar in case a battle erupted.
Finally, his plans completed, darkness arrived. Moonlight provided enough illumination to discern outlines, but little else. From the castle’s windows, nervous eyes stared over a blackened landscape where roamed so much uncertainty, made all the more frightening by the fact that heightened senses played tricks with the mind. They never knew the edginess was justified because by now, a few hundred yards away, more than one hundred weapons of the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division pointed steady at the castle, with eyes squinting down sights and fingers starting to curl back on triggers.
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