We awoke to see a steady fall of large snowflakes ... operations would probably be cancelled for the day. Not a bit of it; the Major was adamant that we must disrupt Loos Junction rail traffic yet again, weather be damned. Visibility was reduced but we were able to find our way (which we know well by now) and the enemy did not expect our arrival. We hit the target hard and slipped away with no interference. A good days work.
As we sat eating hot sausages and potatoes in the mess, Chris blurted out "You know, we probably killed twenty Germans on the ground this morning". He'd been thinking quietly as we ate, before this apparently random comment spilled forth.
" I know Chris, but it's different. I don't see those men. I don't have to look them in the eye and know that they are real." I had mentioned to him my worries about the prospect of transfer to a Scout unit, and my qualms seem to have become a sore point with him, which I only now realized.
"Well I have had to shoot at the buggers face to face, and it's no bother. Kill or be killed."
"Yes Chris, i understand. I would shoot to save myself and you from attack too. But hunting and killing a poorly armed two-seater ... two men like us?"
"You have to. Two men like us just killed a bunch of enemy soldiers on the ground. Are you going to let a Bosch aircraft do that to our boys?"
I had no reply, but just nodded my head quietly and finished my last swallow of cold tea. He was right, and both of us knew it.