If you were a German fighting Americans at the start of Operation Torch in Tunisia, you’d have a mixed view of American soldiers.
They were certainly brave, but they lacked experience of the British and ran into ambushes that the Brits had learned to avoid in 1941.
Their equipment was generally good, and they were well supplied.
So well supplied in fact, that you and your unit was evacuated to Sicily after your own supplies dwindled to nothing and the Americans were able to flank you.
Say it’s 1943 and you are another German soldier in central Italy.
The Americans you are facing are certainly more experienced than they were the year before, and they have started to perfect their air support and artillery.
Your unit has been on the defensive for month and while you are able to inflict heavy casualities on the Americans during their attacks, the level of artillery barrages and air attacks you receive are overwhelming.
There’s no way you can win this war, but you fight on because tying up the Allies in Italy helps keep them from going into France sooner (or so your superiors say).
Fast forward a year and it’s July in Normandy ’44.
You’ve been in combat continuously against the Americans since early June.
They seem relentless in the attack, and no matter how many time you blunt their armor and infantry assaults….they always have more troops and more tanks on the way.
Every time you move back towards Paris in daylight, you risk being cut down by the American fighter bombers, which are seemingly everywhere.
If the Americans suspect you are dug in, they drop a barrage on you.
You have air support of your own and artillery to match, but the supplies of shells and the ability of your air support to survive over Normandy are decreasing every day.
The fighting retreat to Paris is disjointed, and it seems as though you never have proper time to occupy a position fully before the Americans are back at it.
It’s 1944 and you are serving the Emperor on Saipan.
Your unit has been fighting the Americans for weeks now, and you are outgunned.
Your unit has held the numerical advantage since day 1, but the bravery of your comrades has been for naught.
You aren’t lacking for firepower, but the Americans seem to know when you’ll attack and where.
It will be a desperate fight to your end, and you know full well that the Americans can’t be stopped on Saipan.
It’s June 1945 and you’re stationed on Okinawa.
You’ve started the battle near the beaches, but the Americans have slowly pushed you back to the center of the island.
The resistance of your comrades and yourself has been fanatical…for every ridge that the Americans take, you have seen dozens of Americans fall.
Yet they keep coming.
Your machine gun support eats up American assaults, but they still manage to force you out of your positions.
Even if you win the day (as your unit has several times) you aren’t safe: the Americans will direct their big ships to shell your position, or even worse their planes will drop canisters filled with some type of burning gel that sucks the oxygen right out of the caves of those unfortunate enough to be nearby.
You hold out, but there’s no chance you can beat back such a relentless surge.
Americans weren’t the best equipped, best trained, or most fanatical fighters of the war. But they were persistent, well equipped, well supplied, and well led.
– Chris Rhoden