WW 2 (ETW)
After WW1, the German economy was in shambles, national pride was at ground level, Germans felt betrayed, and Hitler parlayed that sentiment into national rejection of the Treaty of Versailles. Once again, the German military machine (Wehrmacht) began to grow.
Day of the Army in 1939, in front of the Infantry Camp, now Minnick Field.
When I was stationed at Baumholder, my office was in that middle building,
just above the Maltese Cross on the flag.
Minnick Field today
miles south of Flossenburg, just days before the war ended (21 April
1945), Nazi SS guards slaughtered 161 men along Neunberg vorm Wald’s roadsides
and farms—they shot them dead or brained them with rifle butts. The death march started a day earlier with
17,000 prisoners. They were marching
KZ Flossenburg, The
tendency to explode when
Anne Frank's House,
("Doe, a deer, a female deer...")
1938 to the end of WW2, there was no
Mulberries, seen just off the coast Omaha Beach, France
than 5,000 ships and 10,000 aircraft made the attack on Hitler's vaunted Atlantic
Allied leaders had told the invasion force (many coming across in Higgins boats, so-named in honor of its designer) that they would not have to fight their way up the beach (low tide would leave 300 meters of beach before they reached the bluffs). Allied bombers and naval gun fire had prepped the area, and there was no way German forces could have survived. Furthermore, the infantry would have armored support.
Higgins Boat One of many bomb and naval gun craters at Point du Hoc
they didn’t know is that none of the 440 B-24’s hit their targets (they bombed
perpendicular to the beach), almost none of the naval gun fire was successful,
and over half the amphibious tanks sank in the high seas. As a result,
9,000 allied soldiers died on
planned, airborne units led the invasion. Shortly after the British 6th Airborne Division dropped northeast
Pegasus Bridge, Caen, France Madame Gondree, who was just four years old when the
British landed. She remembers that day. Her house,
which is now this restaurant, is right next to the bridge.
of the American airborne troops came to ground near their objectives, but most
were scattered over a wide area. A number drowned in the flooded lowlands.
Others landed in the midst of German positions, where they were killed or
captured. In the hours that followed, nevertheless, paratroopers from the 101st
succeeded in clearing much of the way for VII Corps' move inland. The 3d Battalion,
505th Infantry, of the 82d Airborne Division meanwhile captured Ste.
Mere-Eglise and cut the main enemy communications cable to
replica of paratrooper Private John R. Steele of
Ste. Mere Eglise, France Point du Hoc (pronounced, "Hoe")
(note the paratrooper hanging from the roof)
A memorial built by the French at Pointe du Hoc honors the 225 U.S. Army Rangers who scaled the 90-foot cliffs at this spot on D-Day. The Rangers captured two German gun emplacements here and then fought off counter-attacks for two days. 81 Rangers died; 58 were wounded.
Nazi Party Rally, Nuremberg, Germany Rally Grounds today
Former residence of Albert Einstein, Princeton, NJ Ellis Island
Albert Einstein lived at 112 Mercer St., Princeton, N.J., from 1936 to his death in 1955. He had previously agreed in 1930 to spend part of each year at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS). When the Nazis came to power, Einstein moved permanently from Berlin to Princeton. In fact, Germany suffered a "brain drain" because of its Nazi leadership. Wernher von Braun (of Saturn V fame) was another scholar who "escaped" to the U.S. during Hitler's dictatorship. So, one might say we won the two biggest races in the 20th century because of the Nazis: the Atomic Bomb and the Manned Lunar mission.
Ellis Island was the gateway through which more than 12 million immigrants passed between 1892 and 1954. During its peak years (1892 to 1924) Ellis Island received thousands of immigrants each day. Everyone was scrutinized for disease or disability as the long line of hopeful new arrivals made their way up the steep stairs to the great, echoing Registry Room.
Bastogne, Belgium (note the name of the restaurant) One of Hitler's many bunkers,
General Anthony McAuliffe, when surrounded by Germans at Bastogne, Belgium (Battle of the Bulge, 19 Dec. 1944), answered the besieging Germans' surrender demand by his now famous response: "Nuts!" Today, the town's central plaza is named after him, and a restaurant on the plaza still carries the response. Eisenhower asked LTG Patton how long it would take to get his Army to Bastogne to relieve the salient. Patton answered, "Three divisions in three days." Eisenhower was furious with Patton, believing Patton was living up to his cocky reputation. What Eisenhower didn't know is that Patton has already wargamed the scenario, and at the word "Go" could execute on order. On 26 December he arrived in Bastogne with three divisions. It took him just three days (Bradley called 26 December "High Water" day, referring to the day the tide was turned back on the Germans). Not many people know that Patton signed over his entire monthly paycheck to AER. Of course, he came from a wealthy family.
Oscar Schindler's House, Regensburg, Germany Participating in a Memorial Day Ceremony at the
At Dachau, prisoners were hung here on these rafters before being cremated in these ovens. Both the 42d and 45th Infantry Divisions took part in its liberation. Competition was so fierce between the two divisions, that at one point a soldier from the 42d drew a pistol on a soldier from the 45th demanding to be the first to enter the camp.
KZ Dachau, Liberated by the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, Room 600,
42d and 45th Infantry Divisions
Shortly after the war, several war criminals were tried in Nurnberg. From November 20, 1945, until October 1, 1946, the International Military Tribunal convened in Room 600 in the Nurnberg Palace of Justice.
George Smith Patton Junior was a peerless source and subject of controversy among his countrymen. Among Luxembourgers who survived the darkest days of the Grand Duchy’s history there is no controversy. Patton was and remains revered as the man who delivered their homeland from tyranny. General Patton was injured in an automobile accident on December 12, 1945. He clung to life for another nine days. George S. Patton was buried among the fallen liberators of the Grand Duchy at the Luxembourg American Cemetery in Hamm on Christmas Eve, 1945.
Note: While I make every effort to produce an error-free document, errors occasionally creep in. I would appreciate you bringing any to my attention so that I may make the necessary corrections.
Ancient World History
European Theater (YOU ARE HERE)