About what Tony Bennet said

Tony Bennet’s military experience in World War II:

Drafted by the U.S. Army in November 1944, Bennett served as an infantryman in Europe, moving across France, and later into Germany.

“The Germans were frightened. We were frightened. Nobody wanted to kill anybody when we were on the line, but the weapons were so strong that it overcame us and everybody else.”

He “admitted that his two years of service gave him enough time to witness the horrors of war.”

“The first time I saw a dead German, that’s when I became a pacifist,” he said.

He told [Howard] Stern that he was left forever shaken by the sight of death.

“It was a nightmare that’s permanent,” he said. “I just said, ‘This is not life. This is not life.’”

Wikipedia has more.

The man then named Anthony Benedetto was drafted into the United States Army in November 1944, near the end of World War II. He was assigned as an infantryman, and crossed France and Germany with his unit. As March 1945 began, he joined the front line and what he would later describe as a “front-row seat in hell.”

Benedetto was part of the forces that pushed the Germans back to their homeland. They fought bitterly in frigid winter cold, often hunkering down in foxholes under heavy German fire. Then they crossed the Rhine and fought house-to-house.

During his time in combat, Benedetto narrowly escaped death several times. The experience made him a pacifist; he would later write, “Anybody who thinks that war is romantic obviously hasn’t gone through one.”

Then he helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp.

Later, he got easier duty. He worked for an informal Special Services band unit entertaining nearby American forces. But then he had a meal with a black friend from school at a time, against the rules of the segregated Army. So he got demoted and was reassigned to Graves Registration Service duties, the unit that retrieves, identifies, transports and buries fallen military.

I figure Bennet gets to say whatever he wants to say about war.

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