Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
Login

Military Photos



Online
There are 146 users online

You can register for a user account here.
Library of Congress

Military Quotes

Military history, when superficially studied, will furnish arguments in support of any theory.

-- Bronsart von Schellendorf
We Captured a Town9923 Reads  Printer-friendly page

POW On April 20, 1945 the Russians were firing artillery into and around the prison forced labor camp near Juderbog, Germany, where I was confined with a number of the privates and PFC’s. The attack including blowing down one of the fences of the compound. As a result, we decided to escape the prison encampment and work our way back to the American lines, which we accomplished in five days, walking cross-country across Germany.

Avoiding roads, and sleeping in barns, we had no difficulty as far as German troops were concerned, because they had virtually all moved to the Eastern Front and Americans were stopped at the Elbe River as a result of the Yalta agreement with Russia.

Reaching the Second Division, we spent the night with one of the Infantry companies. The men in the company were taking it easy because there was no enemy across the river and orders not to advance.

The next morning, celebrating our first freedom in months, we roamed the area and found an abandoned German fire engine, which a fellow former prisoner knew how to hot-wire. A dozen of us jumped on the fire engine, ready for a joy ride. One of our group had an M-1 which he had picked up.

Without realizing it, we crossed our own front line and entered a village which had not yet been occupied. Immediately, we began hearing German townspeople, who obviously had been waiting for troops to arrive, hollering, "Americans! Americans!" Almost immediately, white flags began to pour out of nearly every building in town.

So on April 26, 1945, twelve former POW's, riding atop a German fire engine, and armed with a single M-1, captured a town.

Note: by Pendleton Woods


Comments

Display Order
Only logged in users are allowed to comment. register/log in
Related Links

Most-read story in POW:
Escape from Stalag Luft I
Military History
Forum Posts

Military Polls

Are U.S. forces in Iraq taking adequate steps to protect civilians from harm during raids?

[ Results | Polls ]

Votes: 76

This Day in History
1838: Mexico declares war on France.

1864: The once proud Confederate Army of Tennessee suffers a devastating defeat when its commander, General John Bell Hood, orders a frontal assault on strong Union positions around Franklin, Tennessee. The loss cost Hood six of his finest generals and nearly a third of his force.

1939: The Red Army crosses the Soviet-Finnish border with 465,000 men and 1,000 aircraft. Helsinki was bombed, and 61 Finns were killed in an air raid that steeled the Finns for resistance, not capitulation.

1942: During the Battle of Tassafaronga, the last major naval action in the Solomons, U.S. forces prevent the Japanese attempt to reprovision Japanese troops on Guadalcanal. Six U.S. ships are damaged during the action.

1945: Russian forces take Danzig in Poland and invade Austria.

1950: President Truman declares that the United States will use the A-bomb to get peace in Korea.

1950: Lieutenant General Edward Almond, X Corps commander, ordered X Corps to withdraw south to Hungnam.

1965: Following a visit to South Vietnam, Defense Secretary McNamara reports in a memorandum to President Lyndon B. Johnson that the South Vietnamese government of Nguyen Cao Ky "is surviving, but not acquiring wide support or generating actions."

1972: Defense Department sources say there will not be a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam until a final truce agreement is signed, and that such an agreement would not affect the 54,000 U.S. servicemen in Thailand or the 60,000 aboard 7th Fleet ships off the Vietnamese coast.