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sides to the tracks beneath, and made for the embankment to get to the fields below us. I ran across a couple of tracks and then had to dodge under a line of flat trucks I recognised as bogie bolsters on which the Germans had mounted three, long-barrelled anti-aircraft guns which I guessed might be of 88mm calibre. I was right under the truck on which one of them was mounted when it fired its first round. I thought I was dead. I had never heard a gun like that in action, and I must have had my ears no more than six feet away from its discharge. I was really frightened. But to survive this attack I had to get down the side of the embankment, where a narrow stream ran between it and the field. There was a plank laid across it and I broke my own record in using it and racing across the grass field beyond, putting as much distance between the marshalling yard and myself as I could before the real action began. I got across the field and into a ditch and, crouching there in reasonable safety, had a grandstand view of all that was happening just 400 yards away. The Thunderbolts took their time. One after the other they came in along the line of the rail tracks towards the centre of the yard. The first bomb dropped hit one of the three gun crews and I saw them flying through the air. The other guns were similarly silenced in the next minute. Then the Thunderbolts just had a party. They flew backwards and forwards, releasing their five hundred pounders and strafing every wagon and van on the tracks. Then they left us, weaving just as lazily away as they had come, leaving a scene of utter destruction, with vans on their sides, wagons off the tracks, and one or two fires to liven the picture even more. We had all scattered and we all now came back, grouping ourselves in seated circles on the grass at the foot of the embankment. Above us, in the yard itself, the scene had changed. For the first time we saw a contingent of slaves, the German captives from Poland and other conquered territories, dressed in their drab black and grey stripes, obeying the orders of several tall officers in the uniform which we soon recognised to be that of the German SS. The slaves were pushing and pulling as was dictated. Two had been injured in the attack, one in the legs, the other in the stomach and we watched an SS officer hand his rifle to one of the other slaves and give him an order. He shot them through the head. They were probably his friends. The bodies were dragged to the edge of the yard, rolled down the embankment and dropped into a shell-hole made in the field by one of the 500lb bombs. What happened next might, in other circumstances, have been considered a comic interlude. There were several fires blazing nicely in the yard, and we espied, coming from the far corner of the field, a splendid fire engine. It came from the direction of the town and it was a sight I will never forget. It was a contraption with two large wheels which was being pulled by eight men, four on each side of a T-bar at the front, who looked far from young and fit but who nevertheless trotted in perfect step and rhythm across the field as if it


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