Shot at Dawn

March 28th, 2011

Shot at Dawn

March 1945, page 19

Photo from


Somewhere in Europe, in the last years of the Second World War, a young Canadian soldier hiding in the undergrowth watches helplessly as a British patrol walks into a German trap. He could have warned them, but not without jeopardizing his own mission. All he can do is watch as the Germans gun them down. Then he heads off to carry out his orders, fully aware that the odds are 100 to 1 against him.


Those orders, his mission, is the main focus of this powerful war story. The story must have been at least a little bit shocking to the editors of Catholic Digest, who ran a note at its beginning saying that both the author and the editor of the original publication (a magazine called Mother of Perpetual Help) had assured them that it was true.


It seems a strange story for a magazine called Mother of Perpetual Help, or Catholic Digest for that matter. But it was a different time and a different conflict. And for us today it’s not just a gripping story, but a tale of the surprising and, for some readers, disturbing ways faith and death come together in war.


Dan Connors



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