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  1. #924
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    The problem is that, of the infantry who've gone on record and who've served both in the open and in the Hürtgen basically say "anywhere but there." One major complaint was that the Germans knew where the Americans were, mostly, but the reverse was not true because of the peculiar topography of the forest. The Germans caused some out and out routs of American troops by proving to them that they knew exactly where their foxholes were by doing rolling artillery barrages marching right down the trenches.



    I would urge a complete reading of Atkinson's account for a full understanding of the conditions in the Hürtgen...

    Atkinson
    I'll be very interested in your firsthand assessment of the Hürtgen. From reading the accounts and looking at the topos, it seems unique in the advantage the ridges give, beyond the normal plus of holding the high ground...
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  2. #925
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    November 12, 1944: ... Recruiting office of the Waffen SS in Calais, after its liberation by Allied forces, November 12, 1944.

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    The last unit defending the Reichstag in 1945 was the remnants of the SS Charlemagne Division, the French SS division. Ironic that Frenchmen (probably some recruited in the Calais office) were defending the Reichstag against Russians.

  3. #926
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    November 12, 1944: Even in the Green Hell of the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, the character of good men is apparent - early in the morning, a wounded American can be heard calling from the middle of a German minefield, in a no man's land separating the combatants. "Help me" the man cries. However, his unit has withdraw and no U.S. troops are close enough to hear. German LT Friedrich Lengfeld orders his men not to shoot if Americans come to rescue the man. But none come and the soldiers weakening voice is heard for hours. "Help me" he called, again and again. At about 10:30 that morning, Lengfeld can bear the cries no longer. He forms a rescue squad, complete with Red Cross vests and flags, and leads his men toward the wounded American, but he never makes it. Approaching the soldier, he steps on a land mine, and the exploding metal fragments tear deeply into his body. Eight hours later Lengfeld is dead.
    In the end, we're all human...

  4. #927
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    November 12, 1944: ... early in the morning, a wounded American can be heard calling from the middle of a German minefield, in a no man's land separating the combatants. "Help me" the man cries. However, his unit has withdraw and no U.S. troops are close enough to hear. German LT Friedrich Lengfeld orders his men not to shoot if Americans come to rescue the man. But none come and the soldiers weakening voice is heard for hours. "Help me" he called, again and again. At about 10:30 that morning, Lengfeld can bear the cries no longer. He forms a rescue squad, complete with Red Cross vests and flags, and leads his men toward the wounded American, but he never makes it. Approaching the soldier, he steps on a land mine, and the exploding metal fragments tear deeply into his body. Eight hours later Lengfeld is dead.

    Pictured: The plaque on the monument erected for LT Friedrich Lengfeld.

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    Reminds me of Richard Kirkland, Company G, 2nd South Carolina at the battle of Fredericksburg. He got out of his protected position and went forward to give water to wounded Union soldiers.
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    Kirkland wasn't killed at Fredericksburg, however. He lived on the next September and was killed at Chickamauga.

  5. #928
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    The last unit defending the Reichstag in 1945 was the remnants of the SS Charlemagne Division, the French SS division. Ironic that Frenchmen (probably some recruited in the Calais office) were defending the Reichstag against Russians.
    Wonder what life was like back in France after the war...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  6. #929
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    Wonder what life was like back in France after the war...
    I'm not sure, but I don't think many of the defenders of the Reichstag survived or, if they did survive, lived very long.

  7. #930
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    I'm not sure, but I don't think many of the defenders of the Reichstag survived or, if they did survive, lived very long.
    You have a point. Probably few to none of the Reichstag defenders ever made it back to France. I really was thinking more of Waffen SS vets who didn't get caught up in the Soviet advance and did make it back to France. They shaved the heads of female collaborators. Well, I stopped in mid-post to do a little research and ran across this. The lead photo is the same one from Calais...

    Vintage News
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  8. #931
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    You have a point. Probably few to none of the Reichstag defenders ever made it back to France. I really was thinking more of Waffen SS vets who didn't get caught up in the Soviet advance and did make it back to France. They shaved the heads of female collaborators. Well, I stopped in mid-post to do a little research and ran across this. The lead photo is the same one from Calais...

    Vintage News
    This is very French: "the lesser officers were ... given the opportunity to join the Foreign Legion."
    Last edited by Tidewater; Today at 08:25 AM.

  9. #932
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    This is very French: "the lesser officers were ... given the opportunity to join the Foreign Legion."
    I noted that as well, in effect, lifetime exile from the homeland...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  10. #933
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    November 13, 1944: Elements of US 3rd Army have crossed the Moselle River north of Thionville and constructed a bridge at Cattenom. South of Metz, other elements from US 12th Corps are attacking toward Morhange and Falquemont. To the south, German forces withdraw from St. Die under pressure from forces of the US 7th Army.

    The bloody battle for the Hurtgen continues, with little success for the Americans - as of today, all the officers in the rifle companies of the oldest Division in the US Army, the 28th Infantry Division, have been killed or wounded (most of them are within a year of their twentieth birthday). Overall in the Hurtgen, the 28th suffers 6,184 combat casualties, plus 738 cases of trench foot and 620 battle fatigue cases. These figures mean that virtually every front-line soldier is a casualty. The 28th Division has essentially been wiped out.

    However, Generals Bradley and Hodges remain determined to take the Hurtgen Forest. Having eliminated the 28th Division, they send in the 4th Infantry Division. This division led the way onto Utah Beach on June 6th, and had been through many battles since. Not many D-Day veterans are still with the division - most are dead or badly wounded by now. Here in the Hürtgen Forest, the 4th Infantry Division is asked to pour out its lifeblood again. Between November 7 and December 3, the 4th Division loses over 7000 men (about ten per company per day). "Replacements flowed in to compensate for the losses but the Hurtgen’s voracious appetite for casualties was greater than the army's ability to provide new troops." Lieutenant Wilson recorded his company's losses at 167 percent for enlisted men. "We had started with a full company of about 162 men and had lost about 287." Sgt. Mack Morris was there with the 4th and reported: "Hurtgen had its fire-breaks, only wide enough to allow two jeeps to pass, and they were mined and interdicted by machine-gun fire. There was a mine every eight paces for three miles. Hurtgen's roads were blocked. The Germans cut roadblocks from trees. They cut them down so they interlocked as they fell. Then they mined and booby trapped them. Finally they registered their artillery on them, and the mortars, and at the sound of men clearing them, they opened fire."

    In the English Channel, German submarine U-978 sinks 3 Liberty ships (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_ship).

    On the eastern front, German forces withdraw as Bulgarian 1st Army advances and captures Skopje.

    In Italy, British 8th Army is attacking around Monte Poggiolo and San Varano and US 5th Army captures Monte San Bartolo. US 12th Air Force aircraft provide ground support and attack transportation targets in the Po valley in limited operations due to poor weather conditions.

    Pictured: US half-track, camouflaged with foliage, towing an anti-aircraft (AA) gun in the Hurtgen Forrest, November 13, 1944. As the Allies enjoyed near-total air superiority, AA crews were brought in to use their powerful guns against German infantry.; Soldiers of the 461st Antiaircraft Battalion fire a 40mm Bofors, mid-November, 1944.; Two GI’s inspect a German machine gun position - around the tunneled outpost are 2 MG42’s, field radio and telephone, rifles, helmets, ammunition, and multiple grenades, November 13, 1944.; A squad leader looks for German movements in the valley 200 yards away. Snow, rain and mud make life miserable for the front line troops of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, November 13, 1944.

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    Oderint dum metuant - Lucius Accius

  11. #934
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    November 13, 1944: ... Two GI’s inspect a German machine gun position - around the tunneled outpost are 2 MG42’s, field radio and telephone, rifles, helmets, ammunition, and multiple grenades, November 13, 1944.
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    Two things struck me about that photo.
    Note how the German MG42s are firing, not directly forward at an American advancing force (I think this photo was taken from the rear of the German position looking toward American lines across the field in the background), but at oblique angles. The idea is interlocking fields of fire. You want to shoot advancing American infantry in the ear.
    I don't think that is a tunnel. It is overhead cover (for artillery firing with PD Quick fuses). The occupants needed overhead cover thick enough to protect them from shrapnel.
    Last edited by Tidewater; Today at 05:25 PM.

  12. #935
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    November 13, 1944: ... A squad leader looks for German movements in the valley 200 yards away. Snow, rain and mud make life miserable for the front line troops of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, November 13, 1944.

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    I thought the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was still in Italy at this time.
    Was (future Senator) Inouye wounded in Italy?

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