A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those [forests] did catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action," Hiller said dryly.
"I'm a big Willy Pete man, myself,"
"Fortunately we had a good piece of high ground, and we'd fend it off, day after day. . . . The problem was, that's where they lived. At lot of them, we'd kill them and their house was only 10 metres away. So you'd get the wife and kids out there going, 'Oh, you killed my husband! He was innocent!' And I'm going, 'Okay, so the machine gun in his hands right now is what? His innocence?' "
Both soldiers shared a laugh at the anecdote, but the Canadian chuckled with a little less mirth. His platoon's first grape field lay ahead of him.
One of the issues highlighted by the Inquiry related to the use of "go pills" (amphetamines) in combat. In testimony it was revealed that Schmidt and Umbach were told by their superiors to use "go pills" on their missions, and blamed the incident on the drugs.
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