Skip to comments.World War IIís Strangest Battle: When Americans and Germans Fought Together
Posted on 05/13/2013 1:16:46 AM PDT by Kartographer
The most extraordinary things about this truly incredible tale of World War II are that it hasnt been told before in English, and that it hasnt already been made into a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Here are the basic facts: on 5 May 1945five days after Hitlers suicidethree Sherman tanks from the 23rd Tank Battalion of the U.S. 12th Armored Division under the command of Capt. John C. Jack Lee Jr., liberated an Austrian castle called Schloss Itter in the Tyrol, a special prison that housed various French VIPs, including the ex-prime ministers Paul Reynaud and Eduard Daladier and former commanders-in-chief Generals Maxime Weygand and Paul Gamelin, amongst several others. Yet when the units of the veteran 17th Waffen-SS Panzer Grenadier Division arrived to recapture the castle and execute the prisoners, Lees beleaguered and outnumbered men were joined by anti-Nazi German soldiers of the Wehrmacht, as well as some of the extremely feisty wives and girlfriends of the (needless-to-say hitherto bickering) French VIPs, and together they fought off some of the best crack troops of the Third Reich.
(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...
Needs to be made!
I really like what I’ve read of it so far! Of all of the History and Military Channel WWII shows I’ve watched, I can’t believe I haven’t heard about this!
“Needs to be made!”
Never happen the good guys won
for want of a comma
Why would Hollywood make such a film....?
Could not blame America as greedy imperialist war mongers....
Lee himself summed it up best. A few months before his death in January 1973, he was asked by a reporter in Norwich how he felt about the long-ago incident. Lee thought for a minute, then replied, “Well, it was just the damnedest thing.” - See more at: http://www.historynet.com/the-battle-for-castle-itter.htm#sthash.9Xf2kwEm.dpuf
“Needs to be made.”
Fine. I say it’s right up Quentin Tarantino’s ally. The untold WWII
story which should be made into a feature film is the Los Banos
Raid. Over 2100 starving, mostly American civilians were rescued
from a Japanese prison camp on Luzon by a company of US
paratroopers (B Co511PIR/11th AB), 11th AB Recon, Filipino
guerillas and transported to safety across a very large body of
water on 23 Feb ‘45. All of the 150 prison guards were killed or
dispersed w/out losing a prisoner. The rescue took place 30 mi
behind Japanese lines as the battle for Manila raged. A force of
8K Japanese was camped w/in a 2hr march of Los Banos while
the rescue was taking place.
If you are thinking this is the subject of the movie The Great
Raid starring Benjamin Brat (?) a few years back then you would
be wrong. It received scant attention at the time because it
happened the same day as the raising of the US flag on Mt
Surabachi on Iwo Jima by US Marines.
There has been a movie about this action. I hope someone will post the further info about it. It is one of the RANGER tribute films.
The movie about the US Army Rangers rescuing the prisoners from the Cabanatuan Japanese POW camp is called “The Great Raid”.
He expanded his article into a book...good for him..I just finished the book..excellent read..
Hollywood would turn it into a small scale “Bridge at Remagen.” George Segal was SOOOOOOOOOOO miscast in that role..
The Germans were a practical bunch. Once many of them realized the war was lost to their side, they looked for ways to ‘switch sides’ or get captured safely. Unlike the Japanese who fought to the death.
WW II ping!
The Germans were mainly good folk who sat by and let their country be taken over by the fascist because they were complacent. They then were forced to do what “the country” was doing or be an enemy of their own state.
See any similarities with what is happening today?
It’s good that you’ve written us all off as good-for-nothings. ;)
I found an interesting AMERICAN cartoon of the checks that Germany put in place to control Hitler back in 1932. It did not work out well for them.
That would make a hell of a movie.
Ping to an unusual bit of history.
The unexplained part of the event is whether the Nazis who were attacking Schloss Itter were under orders due to the high value targets inside (or perhaps the need to suicide some of their own diehard fighters), or just there lashing out by chance at a remote outpost where they had the last numerical advantage of the war.
Who would have even *known* that the Dachau outpost had some American soldiers inside? No U.S. flag was flown above the castle, though the U.S. tank would have been appropriately marked (gotta get close to know that, though).
Happenstance or under orders?
Reading Band of Brothers, the American GIs found out they had more in common with the German people than any other group of people they encountered after the war.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks Kartographer. Page on the 17th Waffen SS, Wiki-wacky's list of Waffen SS divisions.
Hindenberg needed a small party to partner with in order to form a gov’t, and selected the Nazis, reassuring his colleagues, “don’t worry, I can handle Hitler.” Oops.
12th Armored Division, 23rd Tank Battalion, Company A
If you don't know who he is look him up.
Talk about a guy who gave the Japs fits!
IIRC, the liberal dream of broad democracy and a fecundity of small parties had finally arrived in Germany. It was that splintering of German politics into minute identity groups that allowed the Nazis to win a minority-majority election.
Not learning from history...
The place is near the famous Kitzbuhel ski resort.
Meanwhile, Von Papen was using Hitler to get back at his rival Von Schleicher. And Hitler took advantage of the bickering to engineer a behind-the-scenes coup.
Wow! What an amazing story. Yes, it would make a great pic, but Hollywood would turn it into a distortion.
...and the protaganist/hero would be gay.
If I recall correctly, there was a young paratrooper involved in that operation by the name of Rod Serling...
Good that you are aware that Rod Serling was a member
of the 511PIR. However, he was attached to Headquarters Co.
The specific company which parachuted on Los Banos was B Co
which, by the way, was commanded by Lt John Ringler. Johnny
Ringler had previously served as a Lt in H Co & was paymaster.
My father served as his bodyguard on paydays.
Serling was not involved in the Los Banos Raid. At the time he
would have been with the rest of 511th fighting on the southern
outskirts of Manila. Having stated all that I would have to add that
B Co was fortified with additional mortar and machine gun teams.
It is this caveat that has made it possible for all sorts of people
to claim that they made the Los Banos jump.
On another Serling related note, a biographer stated that Rod
was on the regimental boxing team. My father was also on the
boxing team and never recalled him even though they would
have been the same wt class. Boxing coach (and future pres of
the intl trial lawyers assn) Foster Arnett, didn’t recall Serling
either. I posess a 511th yearbook with photos of all of the
original 511th troopers by company and Serling’s photo is
included. The 511 vets formed an assn in the early 80s and
began having regular reunions. Unfortunately Rod Serling
had passed away in app 1974.
You are probably sorry you brought it up.....!
World War II movies are so... ‘America-when-America-was-still-America’ -ish.
Nothing about this story would interest liberal Democrat Hollywood.
Ubama has been elected and re-elected.
Nowadays we have a sodomized, feminized military and a socialist welfare state populated by moochers, cretins, ingrates, and parasites who have absolutely no respect for the military and who vote for big government to confiscate money from their neighbors so that it may be redistributed to them in exchange for their votes.
It’s the new, Democrat America. Congratulations to the Democrats.
Another TV / military connection I always found interesting was the story of Donald Bellisario, producer of Magnum, PI, Airwolf, Quantum Leap, JAG, and NCIS. He served in the Marines with Lee Oswald.
A baseball / military story I like is the one about Pirates Hall-of-Famer, Roberto Clemente. He served 6 years as a weekend warrior in the Marine Corps Reserve.
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