Bridging the Gap by Brian Fitch

A strong breeze blew under a sunny sky as I drove up to the gate at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis. Climbing down through the top hatch of an M46 Patton tank, I began a profound journey.  Wind gusts swirled around the tank body, but were they also ghostly voices of the crew? I turned quickly in the small space behind the assistant driver and banged my head on the breech block, a moment of searing pain. I panicked. Did I hear enemy fire? Was that one of our tracks blown off, making us helpless to Chinese rockets, mortars, and machine guns? I climbed out quickly, gulping for air, orienting myself to now, as far from the Korean War as possible. Without thinking I slid off the turret and down a fender, the way I’d seen Marines do in film clips, and nearly shattered my knees. This was hands on research, maybe more hands on than I had anticipated. 1024px-Marines-tank-Korea-19530705

Continue reading