To Hell and Back – Audie Murphy – Sabaton History 004 [Official]


I’m Indy Neidell and I’m Jaokim from Sabaton and this is Sabaton history Audie Murphy when he joined the US Army was very much an unlikely hero and yet he became America’s most decorated Soldier of the Second World War and we had a song about him It’s called “To Hell and Back” and is one of our most popular songs [MUSIC] Now he’s gonna tell you about the song To Hell and Back. I’m gonna tell you about Audie Murphy [MUSIC] As I said, Audie was an unlikely hero: He was an elementary school dropout. Doing so in order to support his family by working on a farm after his father had left them. He was short. He was sickly and lived a life of poverty and lost his mother as a teen. Joining the military seemed an escape to him, So he tried to enlist at the age of 16 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. According to army records. He was rejected by the Marines and the Navy as “too small” and “too underweight”. He was just 5 foot 5 (~165cm) and weighed but a hundred and ten pounds (~50kg). Interestingly enough, They don’t mention him being underage and I assume that he lied about that The army actually doesn’t mention him ever falsifying papers and says “he joined a few days after his 18th birthday” But since he was born in 1925 joined the Army in 1942 Well do the math. He had shown remarkable rifle skills early on Hunting small game on the farm. And this was noticed in basic training and it did in fact seem that despite his size He was a born soldier tough capable and determined to prove himself in the spring of 1943 He was trained in Morocco and Algeria for Allied landings in Sicily The fighting there was vicious and Murphy soon made a name for himself as a warrior [MUSIC] The Allied invasion of Italy had bogged down by the end of 1943. The Germans held fast on the Gustav defense line and under Field Marshal Kesselring Successfully fought off the Allied advances during the ongoing Battle of Monte Cassino British and American High Command Wanted to open a new front To bypass the line and outflank the Germans, if doing so could also cut their supply lines It would force them to abandon Monte Cassino and eventually be pushed out of Italy. On January 22nd 1944 the American 3rd Infantry Division approached the beach south of the town of Anzio While the British landed north of the town. The, by now Sergeant Audie Murphy of the 15th regiment of 3rd division would join the combined British, American and Canadian attack force in the 2nd wave The landings were made in secrecy by midnight. The men had advanced a few miles inland confronted only by a surprised company of German soldiers who offered little resistance Major-general Lucas in overall control of the operation ordered his forces to stop Not really believing that they had actually achieved total surprise and could march into the German flank Instead he chose to stay put, strengthen his beachhead and wait for reinforcements It is debated whether Lucas was too cautious But a strong German force was actually already soon to arrive. The Germans were surprised by the landings, but were not in disarray Kesselring had made plans for such a Contingency and sent out General Eberhard Von Mackensen’s 14th army to face this new threat south of Rome And yes, he was the son of August von Mackensen whom all my Great War channel fans will remember very well Allied High Command was frustrated by Lucas’s hesitation for it took seven days of infantry and armor coming ashore Before he ordered an advance by then The Germans had fortified their positions causing heavy losses to the advancing British and Americans Mackensen’s then began his own attack to push the Allies to the sea The Germans were actually close to achieving this, but the Allied defenders kept them at bay Well on March 2nd Murphy had marched his platoon to a strategic crossroads near Anzio [MUSIC] Waiting in the ruins of a farmhouse, he spotted at least a dozen Panzers coming down the road and called in an artillery strike Which disabled the lead tank. Murphy shot one of the crew members, but the rest retreated with the other tanks. Upon returning to camp, Murphy’s commander wanted them to go back and actually destroy the tank; armed only with improvised Molotov cocktails and grenades Murphy and his platoon approached again at night He crawled towards the Panzer but the Molotovs failed to do the job. The hand grenade he threw did explode inside the tank but also alerted a German Patrol. After throwing more grenades at the tank treads Murphy sprinted through German fire back to his comrades. For destroying the tank in the face of the enemy, He was awarded the Bronze Star with the V for valor [MUSIC] To not only overcome the stalemate, but to break through the German lines, the Allies resorted to a major offensive All over Italy. An attempt to shatter German resistance with a combined attack They made two plans Plan A, “Turtle”, said that once the breakthrough happened at Anzio, they would advance to Outflank, and hopefully encircle Von Kesselring’s forces Plan B, “Buffalo” was an alternative. After the breakthrough, the Anzio forces would not try to destroy the German forces there, but would advance on Rome instead High Command insisted on plan A, since if it was successful it would basically Win the fighting for Italy right? on May 23rd, the Allies attacked the Germans all along the Gustav line Ruining their deployment of reserves. The Anzio forces broke through in the West but while Everyone in the center of Italy was waiting for the follow-up flanking attack General Mark Clark suddenly stopped Plan Buffalo was tempting, and the glory of capturing Rome, though strategically unimportant, would belong to the Americans Adolf Hitler had ordered Rome to be undefended and declared it an open city It is unclear whether he wanted to save the city from destruction Or feared another” Stalingrad” where his army would be trapped Whatever the case, to the surprise and anger of Allied High Command, Clark turned and marched on Rome So as the German defenses collapsed on June 2nd Kesselring’s 10th army fell back and escaped being surrounded and destroyed They were able to join the other German forces and fight another day. On the 5th, Clark entered Rome with only his American troops intentionally leaving the British outside the city. Now Audie Murphy gained a reputation during his service in Italy as a brave and daring soldier And the Sabaton song “To Hell and Back” covers his period: Anzio. But even greater deeds of heroism were still about to come during the fighting in France. Including Taking on an entire company of Germans by himself, wounded, with a machine gun By the end of the war, Lieutenant Audie Murphy was the most decorated American combat soldier And has earned every single Valor award possible including the Medal of Honor and Legion of Merit His exploits even got him on the cover of Life magazine [MUSIC] But like many other soldiers, the war would never really leave him He did become a worldwide movie star; playing himself in “To Hell and Back”, the title of his biography But Murphy also suffered severely with what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder He was traumatized by the violence and death that surrounded him He saw his best friend die, killed many men by his own hand and survived situations of such danger That none of us can truly imagine them He suffered nightmares because of the horrors he witnessed and indeed the guilt he felt. He wrote poetry to help cope with the trauma One of his best-known is “The Crosses Grow on Anzio”, written in 1948. “Oh gather ’round me comrades, and listen while I speak,” “Of a war, a war,” “A war where hell is 6 feet deep.” “Along the shore the cannons roar. Oh, how can a soldier sleep?” “The going’s slow on Anzio. And hell is
6 feet deep.” “Praise be to God for this captured sod,” “That rich with blood does seep.” “With yours and mine, like butchered
swines;” “And hell is six feet deep.” “That death awaits there’s no debate;” “No triumph will we reap.” “The crosses grow on Anzio,” “Where hell is 6 feet deep.” Audie Murphy died in a plane crash, at the age of 45 in 1971 [WHISTLING] And actually about a year ago. I went to Arlington national cemetery outside of Washington DC. Quite a nice place You’ve been there. I have actually been there Yeah, but not for many many years and that you were there because that’s where Audie’s buried. Oh yes, oh yes Audies buried there. And well, that’s kind of cool that you would pay your respects Especially, you know, based on the song. Now you said earlier when we were talking that you had contact with Audie Murphy’s son Yeah, he came to one of our shows in the Greek Theatre in LA Actually, he gave us one of the “To Hell and Back” movie posters from back in the day. So that was pretty brilliant [MUSIC] You know, this song is one of your biggest songs. Yes, right. Was that planned? I mean when you wrote it did you say “this is going to be the single” or how did that work out or how did I mean, was it a surprise? Well, it was a surprise for most people but I had this idea that I wanted to mix, you know Spaghetti western music, like Ennio Morricone style music with heavy metal. Everybody in the band Thought I was crazy. As we were doing research for the album Heroes, We found out that this guy, who was one of the most decorated soldiers in World War two was actually also a Western movie star and it’s accent like me And a Texan like me. Yes, so that worked out perfectly and I think it’s one of the songs. I’m most proud of actually Yeah I was talking to Pär, your bandmate and he said something that “his son was happy that you done, not done just that Country song about him again like a folky.” Yeah It seems it was a little bit tired of the country ballads, another ballad of his father Hard-hitting metal. Yeah, we’re celebrating his memories that have you know crying over [MUSIC] Once again “To Hell and Back”, the story of Audie Murphy and his exploits at Anzio is on the album Heroes. And that’s it for today, but we’ll see you next time on Sabaton history. [MUSIC] Alright everyone that’s it for today Remember to subscribe to Sabaton History, the regular Sabaton Channel and also, check out tangos and world war 2. Right here. You got some more clips to click on if you want to see more and you want to yeah, so Before we say goodbye remember to support us on Patreon. Ok, that’s what makes stuff like this happen So thank you very much and I hope to see you all on the road

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