Looking for ground combat servicemen or veterans to advise me-writing battle scenes




 
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Boots
 
January 14th, 2015  
probativev
 

Topic: Looking for ground combat servicemen or veterans to advise me-writing battle scenes


I hope it's ok for me to post this here. I registered on this forum to try to get some help.

I'm currently writing a fictional story that takes place during WWII. My story is not a war novel, but does contain battle scenes because my Main Characters include a combat officer and a medic. I need to write battle scenes that will facilitate the plot developments. To that end, I've read extensively on primary sources available online. I am basing my battle scenes on actual accounts I read about from various soldiers' memoirs and published accounts in the records of US Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.


Despite my sincerest efforts, I suspect that my scenes are still inadequate due to my lack of direct knowledge of ground combat. I don't think I have correctly worked out the mechanics of how to get the scenes to happen in ways that are believable enough to people who are in the know. The scenes that I've written so far went over well to my current small group of readers who don't know anything about combat, but I believe anyone who knows anything about real life combat will pick up on the things are not right.


If there is anyone out there who is a ground infantry combat serviceman/woman or veteran who may be interested enough to be my adviser on the mechanics of combat missions so that I can make my scenes happen, please PM me. I would be extremely and eternally grateful for your help. I want to be able to explain to someone with actual experience what I need to happen in a scene and how I imagine the scene to occur, and receive advice on how I can draft a plausible scenario for the scene to happen.


Again, my story is not a war novel. I only need the scenarios to be plausible. They don't need to be full of grits and absolutely accurate down to every detail. I need certain things to happen in each scene, and advice as to how: yes, the battle scene could have happened that way.
Full disclosure -- I am not an established author. I cannot guarantee that my story will ever be picked up by a publisher, although I will make the sincerest effort to reach the goal of publication. At the minimum, I intend self-publishing my story online on Amazon if I do not go the traditional publishing route. I have really enjoyed writing this story. It is a Work In Progress and is currently being read by a closed group of dedicated followers who happen to love it (no they are not friends and family readers, just people following my story), so it does have potential. The parts involving war and battles occur during the Battle of Anzio. There are not many fictional accounts of Anzio in print or other media. Perhaps my efforts, however small in the big scheme of things, can shed some light and pay a tribute to the people who served there.


Another thing is, my target reading audience will be women and most likely don't know much about war and battles.



If, God willing, my story does go into publication, I hope I can credit every person who has helped me make it happen.


Anyhow, thanks to anyone who is reading this.
January 14th, 2015  
Kesse81
 
Well, I served in the infantry in Afghanistan.
There is no secret formula for combat. War is per defination unpredictable, so everything is in principle possible. We are a few here that have been in battle and weve all experienced it in our own way.

Just ask your questions here on the forum and then well answer you if your scenarios holds water or must be adjusted

Otherwise Im afraid it will be too technical.
January 14th, 2015  
probativev
 
Hi Kesse81,

Ok here's one scenario:

From my research, the Allies tried to take the town of Cisterna by sending in the Rangers to spearhead the attack. The Third Infantry was supposed to subsequently support them. What happened was that the Rangers got ambushed by the Germans. Out of 767 men, 6 escaped. The Third Infantry troops that were supposed to go in, their mission was cancelled. This was the real historical account.

My Main Characters are in the Third Infantry. The way I wrote the scene, the 3rd got in just a bit closer, and unexpectedly encountered German defense in an open field. German defense included a machine gun nest and snipers behind a barricade. The American soldiers couldn't escape backward because they were caught in an open field. The First Lieutenant then ran toward the machine gun nest alone and took it down, although did get injured in the process. (The braving it and going alone at a machine gun nest, I based on real accounts from published records of Congressional Medal of Honors recipients.) The German soldiers at the nest were killed. The Lieutenant then turns the machine gun to the Germans behind the barricade, killing some of them but some escaped. Shortly thereafter, the escapees returned with reinforcement. The American troop then received news by phone that the Rangers were wiped out, and were ordered to retreat. The First Lieutenant then went out alone to distract the enemies and sacrificed himself to enable his fellow soldiers to escape (Again I based this on historical records that some soldiers did sacrifice themselves in such manner),

I sent my scene to a war story writer for review. He thinks that it couldn't have happened that way because he thinks that the supporting troop would have gotten wiped out as well if the Rangers were ambushed.

How can make this scene more believable? Is it unbelievable that what I wrote could have happened?
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Boots
January 16th, 2015  
Kesse81
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by probativev
My Main Characters are in the Third Infantry. The way I wrote the scene, the 3rd got in just a bit closer, and unexpectedly encountered German defense in an open field. German defense included a machine gun nest and snipers behind a barricade. The American soldiers couldn't escape backward because they were caught in an open field. The First Lieutenant then ran toward the machine gun nest alone and took it down, although did get injured in the process. (The braving it and going alone at a machine gun nest, I based on real accounts from published records of Congressional Medal of Honors recipients.) The German soldiers at the nest were killed. The Lieutenant then turns the machine gun to the Germans behind the barricade, killing some of them but some escaped. Shortly thereafter, the escapees returned with reinforcement. The American troop then received news by phone that the Rangers were wiped out, and were ordered to retreat. The First Lieutenant then went out alone to distract the enemies and sacrificed himself to enable his fellow soldiers to escape (Again I based this on historical records that some soldiers did sacrifice themselves in such manner)
Its virtually Vernon Bakers history. So its not an unlikely scenario you describe.

http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detai...ker-vernon.php

Quote:
Originally Posted by probativev
I sent my scene to a war story writer for review. He thinks that it couldn't have happened that way because he thinks that the supporting troop would have gotten wiped out as well if the Rangers were ambushed.
You just cant conclude that. Anything can happen when the bullets start flying.
Maybe they was not caught off guard in the same way as the Rangers and thereby came faster into position.
Quote:
Originally Posted by probativev
Is it unbelievable that what I wrote could have happened?
Im no longer surprised what can happen during combat.
January 18th, 2015  
probativev
 
Hi Kesse. Thank you so much!!
 


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