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The FReeper Foxhole's TreadHead Tuesday - Breakout From Normandy(July, 1944)-Sep. 27th, 2005
World War II Magazine | November 2003 | George J. Winter Sr.

Posted on 09/26/2005 10:10:04 PM PDT by SAMWolf



Lord,

Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.
.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.


.................................................................. .................... ...........................................

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Breakout From Normandy



In July 1944, panzer commander Fritz Langanke struggled to guide his tank out of the Roncey Pocket and the maelstrom enveloping German forces trapped in it.

Six weeks after the Normandy landings, the British Second Army still struggled to take Caen and the U.S. First Army was mired in the Cotentin Peninsula's dense hedgerow country. The American seizure of St. Lô on July 18, 1944, set the stage for Operation Cobra, which kicked off the breakthrough of the German lines on July 25.



By the evening of July 27, elements of the 3rd Armored Division's Combat Command B were near Camprond in a drive to cut off German units north of the Coutances-St. Lô Road. Farther south, elements of the 2nd Armored Division had reached Notre Dame-de-Cenilly. On July 28th, tanks of the 3rd Armored approached Savigny and Cerisy-la-Salle and elements of the 2nd Armored Division threatened St. Denis-le-Gast and Lengronne. The next day, spearheads of the 3rd Armored had flanked Roncey, which lay to their south, and cut the Coutances-Lengronne Road, while the 2nd Armored advance units entered St. Denis-le-Gast and reached Lengronne. American possession of those forward positions was tenuous at best, given the chaos of battle and the ebb and flow of territory gained and lost. Even though the Germans were now in full retreat, they resisted tenaciously as they withdrew.


SS Untersturmfuhrer Fritz Langanke


Fritz Langanke was one of the German soldiers who fought against the Allies with great determination during the retreat. At the time of the Normandy campaign, the 25-year-old veteran of seven years' service in the SS was an officer cadet in the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich. It was during his efforts to bring his tanks out of the Roncey Pocket that he saw some of the most intense combat of his service in the SS and earned the respect of his senior officers, who would eventually award him the coveted Knight's Cross. Langanke was interviewed for World War II Magazine by George J. Winter Sr.



World War II: Where were you at the start of Operation Cobra?

Langanke: Early on the night of July 28, 1944, I was attached with my platoon of four Panthers of the 2nd Company, SS Panzer Regiment Das Reich, to the reinforced 3rd Battalion of SS Regiment Deutschland, which was part of our division. The American encirclement of the bulk of those German units that had been north of the main American breakout thrust from St. Lô was nearly complete. The Roncey Pocket was closing. Our task force, led by the commander of the 3rd Battalion, Major Helmut Schreiber, was ordered to take the route via Cerisy-la-Salle and Notre Dame-de-Cenilly toward Percy, where a new defense line was to be established. Many of the infantry fragments of divisions that roamed around in that area, as well as stragglers, were to be taken along. This was an absolutely unrealistic order.



WWII: Orders being orders, what did you do?

Langanke: I took the lead, and Schreiber sat on my tank. The lanes and roads were plugged with vehicles of all kinds. Eventually, we got things started. On the east side of Notre Dame-de-Cenilly we could hear the noise of battle. At the end of the night we had reached la Croix-Marie, close to the road that led from Villebaudon via Lengronne to Bréhal. This crossroads was already blocked, and there was some shooting. Schreiber ordered me to clear this junction so we could continue. In front of us vehicles had driven up close and packed the road. All of them were staff or maintenance cars; none were combat units. Most of the drivers and crews had left their vehicles in panic. I drove along the side of the vehicles and called out to make way for my tank. But whether I begged, swore or hollered, only a few drivers reacted. I pushed a car or a bus to the side here and there, and slowly proceeded. Then there were two or three open radio vehicles right in the middle of the road, and I had to drive over them. Being an old radio operator, I tore two or three radio sets out of their fastenings and tossed them on the rear of our hull before we flattened the cars.



WWII: Were you able to clear a route through?

Langanke: We reached the area of the one-sided fight and shortly drove off the American infantry into a field to the left. Back on the road we were hit by a round from an anti-tank gun and were deeply shocked. The driver and radio operator cried, "We are burning, we can't see anything anymore." Here, for the first time in the war, we experienced phosphorus shells. It must have been a towed gun, because I couldn't see any armor. We backed up a couple of meters and crawled into a small side lane. Just around the corner and out of sight we ran our tank up onto a big heap of ammunition boxes and other junk, thereby killing the motor. Several attempts by the driver to start the motor were in vain. We didn't dare let the Panther roll forward down that heap because we would be helpless in sight of the enemy. We had to crank up the motor. I jumped out of my turret and put some boxes together so I could stand on them. I stuck in the crank at such an angle that I could force down its handle with my stomach and push it up with my arms. I did this several times as quickly as possible, and finally the motor turned over. Fear increases your strength considerably; normally you needed two men for this action. We then rushed around the corner and, firing with cannon and machine guns, we eliminated the anti-tank gun. The way was now free, and we returned to the head of our column. All that had taken some time, and under the impression that we couldn't break through the roadblock, Schreiber had decided to turn back, swing to the west and try another route south. I pleaded with him not to do that, pointing out the traffic jams and the fact that, come daylight when aircraft were overhead, there would be no movement at all. He insisted, and I had to obey, of course. At the next corner, we talked to the leader of a small battle group that had already been in contact with the enemy. He was confident he could hold his position. He was too optimistic.



WWII: Was it still dark when you were done with all this?

Langanke: The night was gone by now, and we moved in full daylight. Pretty soon aircraft dotted the sky. First they were busy north and south of us, and we were able to drive another three to four kilometers in the next hour or so, thereby passing St. Martin-de-Cenilly. Then our route was taken care of -- after the first attacks, the road was blocked for good. The planes could then, quite calmly, pick target after target. Since there was no defense, it must have been a picnic for those guys in the air. For us on the ground it was terrible. To make it even worse, artillery started shelling us. Here we were with quite a bit of combat capacity and no chance to use it, just being smashed. Our division lost about two-thirds of its weapons and equipment in the pocket. When all was over in the afternoon, I guess the same number of vehicles as were destroyed could still have moved. But the jam on the road was complete. Just before the first attack on our column, we had reached a point some 200 meters from the Hambye-Roncey Road near la Valtolaine. In front of us a burned-out tractor with a big artillery piece and other vehicles blocked the way. Schreiber jumped off our Panther and tried to find out what was going on in front of us. He ran across the Hambye-Roncey Road, but American troops had established a roadblock at that point, and he couldn't come back. From then on, the rest of the men relied on me.





TOPICS: VetsCoR
KEYWORDS: armor; freeperfoxhole; normandy; operationcobra; panther; ss; tanks; treadhead; veterans; wwii
WWII: Were there no other officers present at that point to take command?

Langanke: Yes, but this was an unusual and unexpected situation. Normally the next rank took over, but this was different. It just happened. Somebody had to do it, and I was the guy on whose tank Schreiber had sat.



WWII: Now that you unexpectedly found yourself in command of this ad hoc force, what did you do?

Langanke: After the first couple of attacks, the radio sets on the back of my Panther caught fire. I quickly opened the back hatch of the turret, leaned out and pushed the ignited stuff off the vehicle. I burned one hand, but it wasn't too bad. What was real bad was that the planes had seen one tank left down there, seemingly still operable and with the crew in it. They now concentrated on us. It was finally a considerable number that dealt exclusively with us. The continuous rattle of the bullets on all sides of the turret drove you crazy. Then a big bang! In the turret roof there was a hole, where a discharger for smoke grenades should be installed. When that piece of equipment was not available, this opening was covered with a round plate fastened with four bolts. We had such a lid. The enormous number of bullet impacts had broken the bolts and flung the lid away. Daylight in the turret! The loader and myself had the same reaction. We grabbed our blankets, turned them together into a kind of cone and wedged them into the hole so it served as a backstop. Twice, the impact of so many projectiles threw our contraption down, but luckily we had it in again before more bullets rained down on us.



WWII: Can you describe the scene around your tank?

Langanke: Some 20 to 30 meters in front of us a group of paratroopers had been mowed down by the first air attack. Among those pilots must have been some extremely queer characters. Time and again they buzzed this group and fired into the dead bodies. They flew just above the treetops, so they must have seen all the details. Slowly the limbs were torn off, the intestines were spilled. It's one of the most terrible impressions I remember from the war. The gunner had a view out of the tank with his sighting telescope and its narrow field of vision. That, unfortunately, was pointed at this group of dead soldiers. In this tremendous stress we all had to suffer, the horrible sight tipped the scale, and he cracked up. Hollering and swearing, he wanted to get out. He was for a short while out of his mind. I drew my pistol and stuck the barrel in his neck, hollered back at him and told him to stop playing the crazy idiot. He immediately got back to normal. This man was one of the finest comrades we had, absolutely reliable, sturdy and imperturbable. But I am sure every man exposed long enough to really extreme pressure will have a weak moment.



WWII: Clearly the pressure was mounting. How did you keep your group together?

Langanke: I had to change the situation somehow. We started the motor, turned to the right and hit the hedgerow regardless of the danger for our drive sprockets and reduction drives. Behind the hedgerow there was a very big orchard where we could hide. The planes strafed and bombed that area for a while but then lost interest and gave up. Soon thereafter, one of the roaming soldiers told us that close by, in a bunker at a farmhouse, a regimental commander of some infantry and 10 or 12 officers sat together. I assumed they were discussing what action to take to cross the Hambye-Roncey Road and continue their retreat. I told my crew I would run over and find out how we could join this group. Still close to my tank, I got caught in a burst of artillery fire. All around me shells fell. I felt forlorn, hit the ground and started crawling around in an absolutely senseless way. It was my breakdown. When I had myself under control again, I first ascertained that my crew hadn't seen me. Most probably there is no closer and unrestricted comradeship than in a tank crew that has to live and fight together through real hard times. If they had watched me crawling, those nice guys would have asked me -- in a mighty compassionate way, of course -- what kind of beetles I was trying to catch or was it moles or other nonsense like that.


An American halftrack rumbles through the wreckage of Roncey. During his escape, Langanke’s column stumbled upon several halftracks, destroyed them and drove off their crews. (NATIONAL ARCHIVES)


WWII: Once you regained your composure, did you continue to the farm?

Langanke: I got to the bunker, snapped to attention and reported to the regimental commander and asked for orders. He didn't have any for me, and I left the shelter. For the next two or three hours I was quite busy. I ran back 200-300 meters down the road looking for vehicles from our task force and others. Most of the men who had abandoned their vehicles were back now. I found two operable Panthers and one Panzerkampfwagen IV. With them I was able to move enough obstacles so that our halftrack and wheeled vehicles could pass. We formed quite a column. I told those with me that, come darkness, we would break out. I reported this fact to the regimental commander and checked in another two or three times. He finally told me not to make any noise and wait. He would, under cover of darkness, sneak stealthily through the American blockade with his infantry and all the stragglers, without shooting. I thought he was kidding me, because that was mere nonsense.



WWII: It sounds like that officer was losing his nerve.

Langanke: Shortly after my last encounter, some seasoned parachute noncoms came and said to me: "You poor bastard. You're the only one around here who doesn't know what's cooking. Those guys don't plan anything. They are going to surrender." I felt ashamed for my stupidity. I went over to the bunker and told them I would start with my column at 2200 that evening and the hell with them. Then two officers came to my tank. One, a major, was the commander of an assault gun battalion, and the other was his adjutant. They had camouflaged their two vehicles in a sunken lane close by. They asked me whether they could join our column. By that time I had given up wondering why an officer of his rank would ask a platoon leader, who wasn't even an officer, if he could join instead of taking over command. I then drove with my tank back to the road and broke two passages through the hedgerow on the left side in order to pass the big gun and other destroyed vehicles in front of us. In the attempt to move the destroyed vehicles to the side of the road, one of my Panthers had broken a sprocket wheel and had to be abandoned.
1 posted on 09/26/2005 10:10:08 PM PDT by SAMWolf
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To: snippy_about_it; radu; Victoria Delsoul; w_over_w; LaDivaLoca; TEXOKIE; cherry_bomb88; Bethbg79; ...
WWII: What other preparations did you make for your anticipated breakout?

Langanke: I set up a march formation. First my tank with grenadiers on the left side and about 50 to 60 paratroopers on the right side as a safeguard against close combat fighters with bazookas. Then the two assault guns, the wheeled vehicles of our task force, various stragglers, self-propelled infantry guns and mobile flak followed. The rear was brought up by the Panzer IV and my second Panther. The frequency of our radio communication was set, and at 2200 hours we started. Of course, no scouts had moved at all before this.



WWII: Had the other three Panthers of your platoon been knocked out by that time?

Langanke: No. The second Panther that took part in the breakout was the only one from my platoon left. The commander's name was Panzer. Sounds funny! The other Panthers were stuck in traffic or mechanically disabled. On the right side a farm was in flames. In the wavering light I thought I saw a Sherman in the field to the left. We fired twice and hit it, but it didn't burn. Then I drove full speed across the Hambye-Roncey Road, where I expected stiff American resistance and, if I remember correctly, we rolled over an anti-tank gun. I shot into the lane that led into the main road from the other side and stopped. Passing the intersection, I saw two Shermans to my right side standing at right angles, sticking their heads into the hedgerow. Now I realized these were the machine guns that had fired at our paratroopers when we started and had wounded a number of them. We had to be quick to use the surprise effect, so I ordered the assault guns to rush to the crossing, turn right and knock out the two tanks that showed them their sides. They hesitated and started deliberating. I was enraged. I turned my turret and told them to start immediately or I would knock them out. They did, turned right and had no problems destroying the American tanks. I proceeded down the lane. To my right side there was a wider field with a hedgerow bordering it. Along this hedge a number of armored vehicles were parked, pointed toward the main road. I was lucky. We hit the last one, probably an ammunition carrier, and it was like fireworks at a summer festivity. The flare ammunition with the different colors was a fantastic sight. The whole area was illuminated, and I could easily pick out another four to six of these armored halftracks. I don't remember the exact number. With all this, a great many soldiers of the infantry units behind the north-south road were encouraged to jump up and follow us. They did this in an unmilitary manner, with shouts and yells, firing in the air and the like. At first I was appalled, but then I realized it was quite useful. The Americans seemed to be completely surprised and even dumbfounded. They left a number of cars, which were taken over by Germans, and there was practically no further resistance. I drove on and maybe 150 meters in front of me an American tank raced from the right toward the road. We wanted to stop it, and that thing happened that all tank crews are most afraid of -- you pull the trigger or push the button, and the gun doesn't fire. Figuring that was the end for us, I turned my head and got an even bigger shock. From the south, four American tanks rushed onto the road that joined ours, which came from la Valtolaine. They turned back and disappeared at full speed. I again looked forward. That first tank had such momentum when it hit the road that it couldn't stop in time and got stuck with its nose in the ditch next to the road. Only with great trouble could it get out, turn around and get away. We were sitting there in our Panther, not only undamaged but even unmolested and almost couldn't believe it.


German Marder III self-propelled guns sit idle amid the ruins of Roncey following the fighting. (NATIONAL ARCHIVES)


WWII: It sounds as if things were going your way.

Langanke: The column we had started with comprised about 300 men. By now it was around double that number. As we moved farther, our progress was made easier by a number of captured [Allied] vehicles. Some stragglers joined us, while others separated and chose different ways. We were a motley, mixed bunch. I figured that combat action would occur in this intersection area, which appeared to be more than a mere roadblock. I ordered the other Panther to take the lead, and I brought up the rear. Radio communication still worked, and we began our erratic wandering. We first reached Lengronne, continued to Carences, crossed the Sienne River and drove on to Gavray.


Pzkw IVH


WWII: What did you find in Gavray?

Langanke: When we reached the town, it was under fire. Here our column became mixed with a number of other vehicles. Outside the town we continued without loss and turned toward St. Denis-le-Gast, but before reaching it, we left the road and drove to the bridge at la Baleine. As we approached, our movement nearly stopped. I climbed out of my Panther to find out the reason. Artillery fire, which continued sporadically, or bombing had damaged this bridge, the sides of which were partly destroyed. The drivers were very reluctant to go on it. I then took over, organized the approach to the bridge and directed each vehicle across. When our tank crossed, as the last vehicle, only half the width of the tracks found footing in some places. On the south side of the river, tactical signs of quite a number of units were installed, and the column could dissolve. Most of them now knew where to go. My self-appointed mission was finished. It was full daylight by now, and the first planes appeared. We drove into a lane that led up a hill, and at the first farm with an orchard we stopped. I told the crew we would now have a good nap after three nights of nearly no sleep at all. We crawled under our tank and were lost to the world around us. It was high noon when we were awake again, and we were alone.


M4A1(76) Sherman


WWII: What happened to the remaining Panther of your platoon, Panzer's tank?

Langanke: Panzer went along with the vehicles from Deutschland and reached the regiment. My crew and I couldn't continue after the river crossing, we were completely spent. The driver and gunner fell asleep every so often while we were moving, and I was totally exhausted. When I got all the vehicles over the river -- which was a beastly business, with yelling, swearing and threatening -- all my energy was gone. Physically and mentally we were just done, we couldn't continue, we had to get some sleep. That was the reason we stopped alone at the orchard.



WWII: What happened after you finally woke?

Langanke: Some 100 meters away we saw a Panther on the right side of the lane pointed toward us. From the left side another lane joined ours. There, Americans must have come up the hill, because the Panther was knocked out. It had a hole in the gun mantlet.



WWII: Was this Panther knocked out before you went to sleep?

Langanke: I don't know, but I can't believe that the Americans were already there when we reached the farm. I went over into the field on the left and met some German soldiers. They told me that there were already plenty of American troops down in the valley, and you could hear it, too. I went back and then had a mighty strenuous afternoon. The sky now swarmed with planes. I would run ahead some 50-100 meters, watch the direction of the flight of the various groups of aircraft, give a sign when it was favorable for us to move, and then the tank would race to its new position. After some hours, shortly before dark, we met a supply column of our division, where we could partly replenish our fuel. In this area Americans must have been present, because there were no planes above. We had lost one wheel set from artillery fire, and the bogies had damaged several track links. With a one-kilogram standard explosive charge we blew off the damaged part and were lucky not to harm the other tracks and suspension parts. During the night we completely lost track of our direction. In the morning we arrived at Beauchamps. Then we found a road sign that told us we had only 15 kilometers to Granville. That gave us our orientation back. We turned and sneaked around Villedieu-les-Poêles, evaded American columns several times on the roads south of that town, turned north, then east of it and reported back to our regiment during the night of July 31-August 1, in the Percy area. The regimental commander had already heard about our action and was mighty glad to see us, all the more so as he now had one more operational tank. Before the night passed we were on the way to another roadblock.



For his part in ensuring that hundreds of soldiers and their equipment managed to escape from the Roncey Pocket, Fritz Langanke was recommended for the Knight's Cross on August 7, 1944. He was awarded that medal on August 27, 1944.

Additional Sources:

www.wwiivehicles.com
en.wikipedia.org
www.sspanzer.net
www.combatmission.com
www.saintjohn.nbcc.nb.ca
www.ibiblio.org

2 posted on 09/26/2005 10:10:57 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Red ship crashes into blue ship - sailors marooned .... Film at 11.)
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To: All
Pzkw V Panther


The Panther was a direct response to the Soviet T-34. First encountered on 23 June 1941, the T-34 decisively outclassed the existing Panzer IV and Panzer III. At the insistence of General Heinz Guderian a team was dispatched to Russia to assess the T-34. Among the features of the Russian tank considered most significant were the sloping armour, which gave much improved shot deflection and also increased the apparent armour thickness against penetration, the wide track and large road wheels which improved stability, and the long, over-hanging gun. Daimler-Benz (DB) and Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG (MAN) were tasked with designing a new 30-35 ton tank, designated VK3002, by April 1942 (apparently in time to be shown to Hitler for his birthday).



The two proposals were delivered in April 1942. The Daimler-Benz (DB) design was a direct 'homage' to the T-34, side-stepping the German propensity for over-engineering, and hence complexity, to produce a clean, simple design resembling the T-34 in hull and turret form, engine, drive system, leaf spring suspension, track layout, and other features. The MAN design was more conventional to German thinking; it was higher and wider with a substantial turret placed far back on the hull, a petrol engine, torsion bar suspension and a characteristically German internal crew layout. The MAN design was accepted in May 1942, in spite of Hitler's preference for the DB design. A mild steel prototype was produced by September 1942 and after testing at Kummersdorf was officially accepted. It was put into immediate production with the very highest priority. Finished tanks were produced in December and suffered from reliability problems as a result of this haste. The demand for this tank was so high the manufacturing was soon expanded out of MAN to include Daimler-Benz and in 1943 the firms of MAN and Henschel.



The initial production target was 250 a month at MAN; this was increased to 600 a month in January 1943. Despite determined efforts, this figure was never reached due to disruption by Allied bombing, manufacturing bottlenecks and other difficulties. Production in 1943 averaged 148 per month. In 1944, it averaged 315 a month (3777 having been built that year), peaking with 380 in July and ending around the end of March 1945 with at least 6000 built in total. Strength peaked on 1 September 1944 at 2304, but that same month a record number of 692 tanks were reported lost



If the over-hanging gun and sloping armour are ignored, the Panther was a conventional German design. The tank's weight had increased to 43 tons from the planned 35. It was powered by a 700 horsepower (520 kW), 23 litre Maybach HL 230 V-12 petrol engine. The engine drove eight double-interleaved steel and rubber bogie wheels on each side suspended on staggered torsion bar suspension. Tank control was accomplished through a Maybach-Olvar seven-speed synchromesh epicyclic box and hydraulic disc brakes. The crew was made up of five members: driver, radio operator, gunner, loader, and commander. The armour consisted of a homogenous steel glacis plate, welded but also interlocked for strength. Original models only had a maximum of 60 mm of armour. This was soon increased to 80mm. On the production of the Ausf. D and later models, the armor had a maximum thickness of 120 mm. A 5mm armored Skirt and Zimmerit coating also became standard.



The main gun was a 75 mm Rheinmetall KwK 42 L/70 with 79 rounds supported by two MG 34 machine guns. 75 mm was not a particularly large calibre for the time. Nonetheless, the Panther's gun was one of the most powerful tank guns of WWII, due to the large propellant charge and the long barrel, which gave it a very high muzzle velocity. The flat trajectory also made hitting targets much easier, since aiming was less sensitive to range. The 75 mm gun actually had more penetrating power than the 88 mm gun of the Tiger I, although not of the Tiger II.

The Panther was the first Axis tank design where modern features were more prominent than early WWII-era ones. The rule-of-thumb among Allied tank crews of Sherman-to-Panther ratio necessary for destruction of a single Panther was 5:1, or the same as with the Tiger. Once the problems caused by the vulnerability of the engine and the transmission were solved, it proved to be a most effective fighting vehicle, being as effective as the Tiger, but less demanding to produce and logistically far less troublesome. Captured Panthers proved to be extremely popular vehicles among Soviet troops, who received them as rewards for extraordinary achievements in combat, and who sought (contrary to regulations that captured Tigers and Panthers should not be repaired but abandoned and destroyed after mechanical failure) to keep them in service as long as possible. Even the Pantherfibel service manual was translated into Russian and provided to crews of captured Panzers! Altogether, it was the best Axis tank in WWII, mainly due to the fact that the Tiger's limitations were overcome by the introduction of sloped armor and the outstanding performance of its main gun.

Combat Use




The Panther first saw mass action around the Kursk on 5 July 1943. Early tanks were plagued with mechanical problems: the track and suspension often broke and the engine was dangerously prone to over-heating and bursting into flames. Initially, more Panthers were disabled by their own failings than by enemy action. Heinz Guderian, who had not wanted Hitler to order them into combat so soon, later remarked about the Panther's performance in the battle, "they burnt too easily, the fuel and oil systems were insufficiently protected, and the crews were lost due to lack of training." However, Guderian also stated that the firepower and frontal armour were good. While many of the Panthers used at Kursk were damaged or suffered from mechanical difficulties, only small number was lost for good and the tanks also achieved succes, destroying several Soviet tanks.



The Panther remained a major German tank until the end of the war. Later versions of the Panzer IV with long 75 mm guns were cheaper to produce and more reliable and so remained in production alongside the Panther.

Panthers saw the most service on the Eastern Front, though by the D-Day landings of June 1944, Panzer units stationed in France were also receiving Panther tanks, which were used to good effect on that front.

Around the time of the Battle of the Bulge a number of Panther tanks were configured to look roughly like a M10 Wolverine, as part of a larger operation that involved para-dropping soldiers disguised as Americans, and other activities.



Throughout the period they were in operation there were a number of Panthers that were captured, some of which were in good enough shape to be used.

The Panther had a humorous instruction manual for the crew, called the Pantherfibel (Panther Primer); just as the Tiger tank before had the Tigerfibel.


3 posted on 09/26/2005 10:11:30 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Red ship crashes into blue ship - sailors marooned .... Film at 11.)
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4 posted on 09/26/2005 10:11:46 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Red ship crashes into blue ship - sailors marooned .... Film at 11.)
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5 posted on 09/26/2005 10:44:10 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: FreedomPoster; Delta 21; mostly cajun; archy; Gringo1; Matthew James; Fred Mertz; Squantos; ...
Free Republic Treadhead Ping





Freedom Poster;Delta 21;mostly cajun ;archy; Gringo1; Matthew James; Fred Mertz; Squantos; colorado tanker; The Shrew; SLB; Darksheare; BCR #226; IDontLikeToPayTaxes; Imacatfish; Tailback; DCBryan1; Eaker; Archangelsk; gatorbait; river rat; Lee'sGhost; Dionysius; BlueLancer; Frohickey; GregB; leadpenny; skepsel; Proud Legions; King Prout; Professional Engineer; alfa6; bluelancer; Cannoneer No.4; An Old Man; hookman; DMZFrank; in the Arena; Bethbg79; neverdem; NWU Army ROTC; ma bell; MoJo2001; The Sailor; dcwusmc; dts32041; spectr17; Rockpile; Theophilus;humblegunner


************
Snippy, I bequeath to you the FR TH PL.

148 posted on 08/24/2004 11:39:45 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (I've lost turret power; I have my nods and my .50. Hooah. I will stay until relieved. White 2 out.)

Good morning, ON THE WAY!!!!. :-)
6 posted on 09/26/2005 10:45:25 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
From deep in the bowels of the night shift...ON THE WAY!!!

Regards

alfa6 ;>}

7 posted on 09/26/2005 11:00:07 PM PDT by alfa6
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To: snippy_about_it
I read somewhere that the Panthers at Kursk had a gasket in the lubricating oil system that simply blew out by itself, no special reason, dumping the engine oil and likely starting a fire. The engine had to be shut down instantly, and the tank repaired before starting the engine. I mean, those machines were REALLY not ready for prime time. Guderian had to have been really angry.

Notice that the Panther had a starting hand crank. Like the Model T.

Speaking of 2.SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich, Wiki says that 2.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Das Reich (notice grenadier) and the 2.SS Panzer Regiment (Langanke's outfit) were put together to form the 2.SS-Panzer-Division. These were most elite units. Extremely high quality.

Das Reich had returned from Russia to take in replacements and equipment early in '44. Battle hardened as much as humans get.

Das Reich is infamous for the killings at Oradour-sur-Glane.

The Resistance tried to block the Division there, obstructing the Division's march to Normandy from southern France. The usual number is 642 - the number of French civilians hung in Oradour-sur-Glane after the Resistance ran away. Max Hastings has a book on this march of Das Reich.

War is a rough business.
8 posted on 09/27/2005 1:32:17 AM PDT by Iris7 ("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
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To: SAMWolf; All
I bet 2.SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich brings back memories of Frülingserwachen, the Lake Balaton Offensive. Waste of good troops.

Notice, everybody, that American troops did just fine up against the enemy's very best. That night fight in Langanke's story is as fierce a thing I can recollect, up there with Edson's Ridge at Guadalcanal. No night vision in those days. Lots of guts.
9 posted on 09/27/2005 1:49:07 AM PDT by Iris7 ("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
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To: snippy_about_it

Good morning, snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole.


10 posted on 09/27/2005 3:03:11 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: snippy_about_it

Good morning Snippy, Sam and every one.


11 posted on 09/27/2005 3:47:53 AM PDT by GailA (Glory be to GOD and his only son Jesus.)
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To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it; Professional Engineer; alfa6; All

Good morning everyone.

12 posted on 09/27/2005 5:09:40 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: snippy_about_it

BOOM!
Target! Left tank.
Identified!
UP!
FIRE!
BOOM!
Target. Cease Fire. Mission complete. Driver, move out.


13 posted on 09/27/2005 5:16:51 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (Kandahar Airfield -- “We’re not on the edge of the world, but we can see it from here")
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All


September 27, 2005

David's Lament

Read:
2 Samuel 12:1-14

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. —Psalm 51:7

Bible In One Year: Daniel 4-6

cover You may already know the story. King David, Israel's most illustrious ruler, the man after God's own heart, became the seducer, the adulterer, the liar, the murderer—utterly pitiless and unmoved by his monstrous misdeeds. Israel's ruler was now ruled by sin.

A year had passed since David committed adultery with Bathsheba and orchestrated the murder of her husband. David deteriorated physically and emotionally. His gnawing conscience kept him restless and melancholy. At night he tossed and turned.

When David was brought face to face with his corruption, his defenses crumbled. He cried, "I have sinned against the Lord" (2 Samuel 12:13). And Nathan the prophet replied, "The Lord also has put away your sin." Despite the devastating consequences of David's sin, he was assured of God's forgiveness.

After realizing the extent of his sin and its consequences, David penned Psalm 51, a song of repentance and pleading for God's forgiveness. "I acknowledge my transgressions . . . . Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (vv.3,7).

Are you suffering the consequences of sin? Admit your wrongs and ask God to cleanse your heart. He will show mercy and restore your joy if you turn to Him. —David Roper

Our sinfulness can sap our joy
And make us feel far from the Lord;
Confession and repentance, though,
Provide the way to be restored. —Sper

Repentance means hating sin enough to turn from it.

FOR FURTHER STUDY
The Forgiveness Of God
Resisting The Lure

14 posted on 09/27/2005 5:21:38 AM PDT by The Mayor ( Pray as if everything depends on God; work as if everything depends on you.)
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To: Iris7

According to my father who was in the 6th AD. You could hear the Germans starting their tanks up. Once they got one started, they would use it to pull off the others. Another trick they would use, was pulling tanks into position with horses so you couldn't hear the engine. They were a very resourceful bunch of people. I have always wondered where the rumor of the individual German soldier not being able to think for himself came from.


15 posted on 09/27/2005 5:46:17 AM PDT by U S Army EOD (LET ME KNOW WHERE HANOI JANE FONDA IS WHEN SHE TOURS)
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To: snippy_about_it; bentfeather; Samwise; Peanut Gallery; Wneighbor
Good morning ladies. Flag-o-Gram.


16 posted on 09/27/2005 6:20:06 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (What the heck happened to my pocket protector? It's dead Jim.)
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To: Iris7

Michael Reynolds has a good series of books about the 1st and 2nd SS Panzer Corps.

"Steel Inferno" 1SS Panzer Corps in Normandy
"Men of Steel" 1SS Panzer Corps
"Sons of the Reich" 2SS Panzer Corps
"The Devils Adjutant" Jochen Peiper, Panzer Leader


17 posted on 09/27/2005 6:36:14 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Red ship crashes into blue ship - sailors marooned .... Film at 11.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Hey Cannoner No 4!!


18 posted on 09/27/2005 6:38:10 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Red ship crashes into blue ship - sailors marooned .... Film at 11.)
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To: bentfeather

mORNING tANKER fEATHER. :-)


19 posted on 09/27/2005 6:38:33 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Red ship crashes into blue ship - sailors marooned .... Film at 11.)
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To: SAMWolf

My Gawd, you're talking again!! LOL

How in the world are you??


20 posted on 09/27/2005 6:40:06 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: bentfeather

Tired. :-)

Had to get up early to do some personal work and figured I'd check the Foxhole before I started.


21 posted on 09/27/2005 6:50:53 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Red ship crashes into blue ship - sailors marooned .... Film at 11.)
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To: SAMWolf

On This Day In History


Birthdates which occurred on September 27:
1601 Louis XIII king of France (1610-43)
1657 Sophia regent of Russia (1682-89)
1722 Samuel Adams revolutionary rabble rouser/(Lt Gov-Mass, 1789-94)
1792 George Cruikshank England, illustrator for Charles Dickens
1817 Hiram R Revels Fayetteville NC, 1st black US senator
1840 Alfred Thayer Mahan US, naval officer (Influence of Sea Power)
1840 Thomas Nast political cartoonist of late 1800s America
1858 Giuseppe Peano Italian mathematician, founder of symbolic logic
1875 Grazia Deledda Italy, novelist (Old Man of the Mtn-Nobel 1926)
1895 George Raft NYC, actor (Each Dawn I Die, Scarface, Some Like It Hot)
1896 George Bender Cleveland, (Rep/Sen-R-Oh)
1896 Sam Ervin (D-Sen-NC), Watergate committee chairman
1905 Ernest Baier Germany, figure skater (Olympic-gold-1936)
1917 Louis Auchincloss Lawrence NY, lawyer/novelist (Watchfires)
1918 Sir Martin Ryle Britain, radio astronomer, astronomer royal 1972-82
1919 Charles H Percy (Sen-R-Ill)
1920 William Conrad Louisville Ky, actor (Bullwinkle Show, Cannon)
1926 Jayne Meadows Wu Chang China, Mrs Steve Allen, actr (Dark Delusion)
1929 Sada Thompson Des Moines Ia, actress (Family, Pursuit of Happiness)
1930 Igor Kipnis Berlin Germany, harpsichordist/professor (Fairfield)
1933 Kathleen Nolan St Louis Mo, actress (Real McCoys, Janie, Broadside)
1934 Barbara Howar Nashville, reporter (Wash Post, Entertainment Tonight)
1934 Claude Jarman Jr Nashville Tn, actor (Rio Grande, Inside Straight)
1934 Dick Schaap sportscaster/author (Joe Namath's co-writer)
1934 Greg Morris Cleveland Ohio, actor (Mission Impossible, Vega$)
1934 Wilford Brimley Salt Lake City Utah, actor (Gus-Our House, Cocoon)
1935 Jerome Shipp US, basketball (Olympic-gold-1964)
1939 Kathy Whitworth golfer (AP Woman Athlete of the Year-1966)
1941 Don Cornelius TV show host (Soul Train)
1943 Randy Bachman Winnipeg, rocker (Bachman-Turner Overdrive-Roll On)
1945 Misha Dichter Shanghai China, pianist (Tchaikowsy 2nd prize-1966)
1947 A Martinez Glendale Calif, actor (Whiz Kids, Cruz-Santa Barbara)
1947 Liz Torres Bronx NY, actress (Phyllis, All in the Family)
1947 Meatloaf aka Marvin Lee Aday, Dallas, rocker (Bat Out of Hell)
1949 Mike Schmidt 3rd baseman & HR hitter (Phillies)
1949 Robb Weller TV host (Entertainment Tonight, Home Show)
1952 Del Russel Pasadena Calif, actor (Richard-Arnie)
1952 Dumitru Prunariu 1st Romanian space traveler (on board Soyuz 40)
1958 Shaun Cassidy LA Calif, actor/singer (Hardy Boys, Breaking Away)
1959 Beth Heiden Madison Wisc, 3000m speed skater (Olympic-bronze-1980)
1963 Caren Metschuck German DR, 100m butterfly swimmer (Olympic-gold-1980)



Deaths which occurred on September 27:
1404 William of Wykeham, chancellor/Bishop of Winchester.
1660 St Vincent de Paul Vincentian Cong founder, dies
1870 Henry TP Comstock Canadian silver prospector, dies at 50
1956 Milburn Apt in X-2 rocket plane reaches 3370 kph, but, dies in crash
1956 Mildred "Babe" Didrickson Zaharias great female athlete, dies
1962 Francisco Brochado da Rocha PM of Brazil (1962), dies at 52
1965 Harry Reser orch leader (Sammy Kaye Show), dies at 69
1972 Rory Storm lead singer of Rory Storm & Hurricane, commits suicide
1979 Jimmy McCullough musician (Wings), dies of a drug overdose
1981 Robert Montgomery actor/dir (Robert Montgomery Presents), dies at 77
1984 John Facenda sportscaster (NFL Action), dies at 72
1985 Lloyd Nolan actor (Dr Chegley-Julia), dies of lung cancer at 83
1988 William V Shannon US ambassador to Ireland (1977-81), dies at 61
1993 James H Doolittle, US air force general (led first raid over Tokyo 1942), dies at 96
1996 Mohammed Najibullah, Pres of Afghanistan Democratic Party (1986-90), executed


Take A Moment To Remember
GWOT Casualties

Iraq
27-Sep-2004 3 | US: 3 | UK: 0 | Other: 0
US Private 1st Class Kenneth L. Sickels Al Anbar Province Non-hostile - unspecified cause
US Sergeant 1st Class Joselito O. Villanueva Balad - Salah ad Din Hostile - hostile fire - sniper
US Specialist Gregory A. Cox Balad (near) - Salah ad Din Non-hostile - vehicle accident




Afghanistan
A GOOD DAY


http://icasualties.org/oif/
Data research by Pat Kneisler
Designed and maintained by Michael White
//////////
Go here and I'll stop nagging.
http://soldiersangels.org/heroes/index.php


On this day...
0070 Walls of upper city of Jerusalem battered down by Romans
1290 Earthquake in Gulf of Chili China, reportedly kills 100,000 (And where was George Bush?)

1540 Society of Jesus (Jesuits) founded by Ignatius Loyola

1669 The island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea falls to the Ottoman Turks after a 21-year siege.
1777 Battle of Germantown; Washington defeated by the British
1779 John Adams negotiates Revolutionary War peace terms with Britain
1787 Constitution submitted to the states for ratification
1791 Jews in France are granted French citizenship.
1821 Mexican Empire declares its independence
1821 Revolutionary forces occupy Mexico City as Spanish withdraw
1825 Railroad transportation is born with 1st track in England
1854 Steamship Arctic sank with 300 people aboard
1863 Jo Shelby's calvery in action at Moffat's Station, Arkansas
1864 Battle at Pilot Knob (Ft Davidson), Missouri: 1700 killed/injured
1864 Confederate guerrilla Bloody Bill Anderson and his henchmen, including a teenage Jesse James, massacre 20 unarmed Union soldiers at Centralia, Missouri. The event becomes known as the Centralia Massacre.
1869 After only five weeks in office as sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas, Wild Bill Hickok, found it necessary to kill his second man in the name of preserving peace.
1881 Chicago Cubs beat Troy 10-8 before record small "crowd" of 12
1892 Diamond Match Company bought the patent for book matches
1894 Aqueduct racetrack opens in NY


1905 1st published blues composition goes on sale, WC Handy "Memphis Blues"


1905 Boston's Bill Dinneen no-hits Chic White Sox, 2-0
1910 1st test flight of a twin-engined airplance (France)
1919 Democratic National Committee votes to admit women
1919 Pitcher Bob Shawkey sets then Yank record with 15 strike-outs
1920 Eight Chicago White Sox players are charged with fixing the 1919 World Series. (Black Sox scandal)
1923 Lou Gehrig's 1st homer
1928 US recognizes Nationalist Chinese government
1930 Bobby Jones completes the Grand Slam of Golf
1930 White Sox 1st baseman Bud Clancy didn't handle the ball at all in a 9 inning game vs St Louis Browns
1931 Lou Gehrig completes his 6th straight season, playing in every game
1936 Franco troops conquer Toledo
1937 1st Santa Claus school opens (Albion NY)
1938 Ocean liner Queen Elizabeth launched at Glasgow
1939 Warsaw, Poland, surrenders to Germans after 19 days of resistance
1940 Nazi-Germany, Italy and Japan signed a formal alliance called Tripartite Pact
1940 55 German aircrafts shot down above England
1940 Black leaders protest discrimination in US armed forces
1941 1st WW II liberty ship, freighter Patrick Henry, launched
1942 NY Giants beat Wash Redskins 14-7 without making a 1st down
1942 S.S. Stephen Hopkins, a Liberty Ship with an all-San Francisco crew, engaged the German raider Stier and her tender, Tannenfels. It shelled and brought down the Stier and hit the Tannenfels before it was sunk. Of a crew of 58, only 15 survived. They reached the shore of Brazil after a 31-day voyage in an open lifeboat
1950 Heavyweight champ Ezzard Charles defeats Joe Louis
1953 Bert Bechichar, Baltimore Colts, kicks a 56-yard field goal
1953 Typhoon destroys 1/3 of Nagoya Japan (It's all George Bush's fault)
1954 School integration begins in Wash DC & Baltimore Md public schools
1954 Steve Allen's "Tonight Show" premiers
1956 The U.S. Air Force Bell X-2, the world's fastest and highest-flying plane, crashes, killing the test pilot.
1959 Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev concludes his US visit
1959 Typhoon Vera, hits Japanese island of Honshu, kills nearly 5,000
1961 Sierre Leone becomes the 100th member of the UN
1962 US sells Israel, Hawk anti-aircraft missiles
1963 At 10:59 AM the census clock, records US population at 190,000,000
1964 Warren Commission released, finding Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone (or did he?)
1967 Phillies Jim Bunning ties NL record of 5, 1-0 losses in a year
1968 France vetoes UK entry into common market
1968 Cardinal's super pitcher Bob Gibson's 13th shutout of the year
1970 Ken Boswell sets 2nd baseman record of 85 games without an error
1972 1st game at Nassau Coliseum, Rangers beat Islanders 6-4 (exhibition)
1973 Nolan Ryan strikesout his 383rd batter of the year
1973 Soyuz 12 carries 2 cosmonauts into Earth orbit (2 days)
1977 Phillies clinch 2nd straight NL East Division title
1979 Congress' final approval to create Dept of Education
1982 John Palmer becomes news anchor of the Today Show
1986 Senate joins House of Reps voting for sweeping tax reforms
1987 NFL players' strike
1988 Grand jury evidence shows Tawana Brawley fabricated rape story
1988 Lab tests reportedly show Shroud of Turin not Christ`s burial cloth
1989 Sony purchases Columbia Pictures for $3.4 billion cash
1990 A gunman holds 33 people (killing 1) hostage in Berkley Calif
1990 Deposed emir of Kuwait address the UN General Assembly
1990 Senate Judiciary committee approves Souter's Supreme Court nomination
1990 Tour de France champion Greg LeMond visits White House
1991 "Princesses" premiers on CBS TV
1991 Pres Bush decides to end full-time B-52 bombers alert
1991 1st scheduled NHL exhibition game in St Petersburg Fla, is cancelled due to poor ice conditions (NY Islanders vs Boston Bruins)
1994 "Contract with America" signed by 350 Republican congressional candidates.
1996 In Afghanistan, the Taliban, a band of former seminary students, seized control of Afghanistan from the previous rebel group that'd taken the country back from Moscow's control. Enforced strict Islamic law across the nation
1999 Last game played at Tiger Stadium. Detroit Tigers beat Kansas City Royals, 8-to-2.
2000 99 Syrian intellectuals published a demand for more democracy and freedom of expression
2002 Three U.S. lawmakers, all Democrats, arrive in Baghdad to gauge the possible effects of war on ordinary Iraqi citizens. Rep. "Jihad" Jim McDermott of Washington and fellow House Democrats David "The Dufus" Bonior of Michigan and "Moron" Mike Thompson of California followed a Sept. 14 visit by a delegation led by Rep. Nicky "The Numbskull" Rahall, a West Virginia Democrat
2003 The Algerian army reported that it had killed 150 armed Islamic militants in a two-week operation in the eastern foothills.
2004 Lebanon said Ismail Katib, a local al Qaeda operative captured a week earlier, died “of a heart attack” while in police custody



Holidays
Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

South Belgium : French Day
Taiwan : Moon Festival
World : Ancestor Appreciation Day
Sweden : Lennart name day
US : Gold Star Mother's Day (Last Sunday in September) (Sunday)
US : American Indian Day (4th Friday in September) (1916) (Friday)
Crush a Can Day
Hong Kong : Moon Cake Festival


Religious Observances
Orth-Eth : Exaltation of the Precious & Life-Giving Cross (9/14 OS)
Old Catholic : Feast of SS Cosmas & Damian, martyrs
RC : Memorial of Vincent de Paul, priest, patron of charitable works
Judaism : Sh'mini Atz-8th day of Succoth


Religious History
1540 Through the encyclical "Regimini militantis ecclesiae," Pope Paul III officially approved the Society of Jesus, a body of priests organized by Ignatius of Loyola in 1534 for missionary work. Today, the Jesuits constitute the largest Catholic teaching order in the United States.
1735 Birth of Robert Robinson, English clergyman and author of the hymn, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing." He was converted at age 20 under the preaching of revivalist George Whitefield.
1785 The Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. was founded on this date, following the American Revolutionary War, when U.S. Anglicans met in Philadelphia to create a denomination independent from and autonomous of the Church of England.
1947 The Church of South India was officially formed by the merger of three denominations: the Anglicans, the Methodists and the South India United Church (a Presbyterian and Congregational union). Historically, it was the first union ever between episcopal and non-episcopal bodies.
1957 The dramatic anthology series "Crossroads" aired for the last time over ABC television. Depicting the work of various clergymen, the series had premiered in October 1955.

Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.


Man Takes Citizenship Oath, Wins Lottery

Sep 27, 4:07 AM (ET)


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A man who immigrated from Kenya to the United States found prosperity beyond his expectations on the day he became a U.S. citizen.
Shortly after Moses Bittok, of West Des Moines, took the oath of citizenship on Friday, he discovered he had a $1.89 million winning ticket from the Iowa Lottery's Hot Lotto game.
"It's almost like you adopted a country and then they netted you $1.8 million," Bittok said Monday as he cashed in his ticket. "It doesn't happen anywhere - I guess only in America."

Bittok said he took the citizenship oath at the federal building in Des Moines Friday then went shopping with his family. They stopped at a gas station to check his lottery ticket from the Sept. 21 drawing.
"For some reason, I'm calm," he said. His wife, Leonida, screamed.

Bittok, 40, an officer at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women in Mitchellville, said he doesn't know exactly what he will do with his winnings, but a college fund for the couples 4-year-old daughter, Mindy, is top priority.
Bittok chose to receive his winnings in 25 annual payments of about $52,920 after taxes.

He came to the U.S. to attend college in Minnesota, then moved to Iowa to take the job at the women's prison.
He had purchased the winning ticket at a West Des Moines grocery store, where he once worked part time.

Hot Lotto tickets are sold in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota and West Virginia.



Thought for the day :
"The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just's umbrella."
Sam Ervin


22 posted on 09/27/2005 7:24:35 AM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
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To: snippy_about_it; FreedomPoster; Delta 21; mostly cajun; archy; Gringo1; Matthew James; ...
Any of you guys want to meet at Ft. Knox (Patton Museum) for a little treadhead reunion? I think it would be a great idea. I can scrounge up some nomex suits and I can have an embroiderer make a FR Treadhead patch for us with handles instead of names on the nametapes, and FreeRepublic.com instead of service branch on the uniform.

Let me know if you guys are free to travel in the balance of 2005.

DCBryan1

23 posted on 09/27/2005 7:30:17 AM PDT by DCBryan1
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To: Iris7

Das Reich is infamous for the killings at Oradour-sur-Glane.

Oradour-sur-Glane 10th June 1944
http://www.oradour.info/

8 June 1944 … Das Reich moved off in the early morning and had skirmishes with the Resistance at various locations. The journey was made both tiring and trying by roadblocks of felled trees and various barricades. Later in the day they heard that the Resistance had mounted a full-scale attack on the German garrison in the town of Tulle.

9 June 1944 … Part of Reconnaissance Battalion II under Heinrich Wulf retook the town of Tulle. In a reprisal for the attack itself and the killing and mutilation of numerous German garrison troops, they hung 99 suspected members of the Resistance from lampposts and balconies.

The commander of Der Führer Battalion III, Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe was sent to the town of Guéret in order to relive the garrison there which was reported to be besieged. On his return from the town that evening and whilst travelling alone he was abducted by the Resistance. He was the highest-ranking German officer ever to fall into their hands throughout the war years.

Battalion I under Adolf Diekmann had a most difficult day, encountering numerous clashes with the Resistance and losing some men killed in action on the march.

10 June 1944 … As a result of the abduction of Kämpfe, circumstances combined to send Diekmann to the town of Oradour-sur-Glane, where during the course of the afternoon the entire town was destroyed and 642 inhabitants were killed as a reprisal.


24 posted on 09/27/2005 7:31:48 AM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
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To: SAMWolf
Sam,
This is interesting, but hard for me to read without crying. My father was at Normandy, and when he came home, he had what was then called "Shell Shock". My mother told of the time she and my uncle picked him up at the rail station, and he got into the back seat. They hadn't gone too far when a plane went over-head. Mom said my father went to pieces, got on the floor, and covered his head. They drove him straight to the hospital instead of going home. What those poor men went through.
25 posted on 09/27/2005 9:33:46 AM PDT by Humal
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To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it
Happy Treadhead Tuesday, folks.

This guy's a pretty good storyteller. I caught myself a couple of times hoping the poor b$%tard would make it. Must have survived the war, though, to be giving that interview.

26 posted on 09/27/2005 12:31:55 PM PDT by colorado tanker (The People Have Spoken)
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To: Humal

I don't like to see the guys treated as if they were victims, reduced to impotence by the horror of the whole thing. I know something about this stuff.

Experiences like your Dad's are very tiring, extremely emotional, intense. They take great effort. Most people have never remotely experienced real fear, and don't have the slightest idea of what I mean by "real" fear, and how hard it is to think clearly even though you know that clear thought is your only hope. Your self respect is often broken, and takes decades to heal if it ever does.

Your Dad was tired, mostly. In a sort of tired rarely experienced in everyday life except by the person dying of a painful disease, I think, anyway. You get over it. Never completely, your sweet boyish laughter is gone forever. There is a certain holding of distance, a certain hostility, a certain being of the "walking dead". A certain desire not to be bothered by these vapid beings. Some drink to much.

Talking about myself, I guess. I hate whiners.


27 posted on 09/27/2005 1:18:58 PM PDT by Iris7 ("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
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To: Iris7

"You get over it."

He didn't. He committed suicide shortly after that.


28 posted on 09/27/2005 3:15:42 PM PDT by Humal
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To: Iris7
Ouradour-sur Glane was a little ways past "rough'. They put all the women and children in the Church and either dynamited it or set it on fire. The men were shot in a barn. Anyone entering the town on the day of the massacre were allowed in. No one was allowed out. A number of the participants were from Alsace, and claimed to be French after the war. Tried in absentia, the divisional commander, Lammerding, submitted an affidavit using the unique defense that he was hanging 99 Frenchmen in Toul at the time, so he wasn't responsible.Two books on the massacre: "Massacre at Oradour", by Robin Mackness; "War for an Afternoon", by Jens Kruuse.

On a different note, my Pop was in the hills above St. Lo with the 4th Infantry and saw the bombardment of, and breakout through, St. Lo. He still remembered the air attack, in detail, 50 years later.
29 posted on 09/27/2005 3:25:45 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: bentfeather

Hi miss Feather

Bittygirl discovered jumping on the bed last night. You shoulda seen her smile.


30 posted on 09/27/2005 4:22:52 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (What the heck happened to my pocket protector? It's dead Jim.)
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To: SAMWolf

Hey SAM.


31 posted on 09/27/2005 5:01:32 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (Kandahar Airfield -- “We’re not on the edge of the world, but we can see it from here")
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To: DCBryan1

How 'bout the 3rd weekend in September of 2006?


32 posted on 09/27/2005 5:03:02 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (Kandahar Airfield -- “We’re not on the edge of the world, but we can see it from here")
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To: Professional Engineer

Pictures, PE? We must see this lastest Bittygirl caper. LOL


33 posted on 09/27/2005 5:07:11 PM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: Iris7

I'm not sure you do. Some times it seems like it gets worse. You always feel like you are wide open, you can never relax and you get more and more emotional over things that remind you of it.


34 posted on 09/27/2005 5:12:12 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (LET ME KNOW WHERE HANOI JANE FONDA IS WHEN SHE TOURS)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Hell, I can't plan that far ahead, I am deployable....sigh....


35 posted on 09/27/2005 5:28:22 PM PDT by DCBryan1
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To: Cannoneer No. 4; SAMWolf; DCBryan1; All
How 'bout the 3rd weekend in September of 2006?

Sounds wonderful but we were just there, well...it was April of 2004. Actually we were hoping we could get a lot of Foxhole folks up here to Oregon for a big get together and cookout at the Sam and Snippy Foxhole sometime next year.

36 posted on 09/27/2005 6:29:46 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Valin
1936 Franco troops conquer Toledo

What meanies. What'd Ohio ever do to them?

37 posted on 09/27/2005 8:50:58 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (What the heck happened to my pocket protector? It's dead Jim.)
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To: snippy_about_it

Howdy ma'am


38 posted on 09/27/2005 8:54:00 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (See my book, "Percussive Maitenance For Dummies")
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To: Professional Engineer

howdy.


39 posted on 09/27/2005 9:41:51 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Professional Engineer

Did you know Franco is still dead?


40 posted on 09/27/2005 9:48:48 PM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Nice to see you. Sounds like you are feeling a bit better. One hopes for the best for you and each one of our people in harm's way.


41 posted on 09/28/2005 12:57:04 AM PDT by Iris7 ("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
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To: DCBryan1

I AM deployed an that's a soon as I 'll be back.


42 posted on 09/28/2005 1:02:30 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (Kandahar Airfield -- “We’re not on the edge of the world, but we can see it from here")
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To: U S Army EOD
"They were a very resourceful bunch of people. I have always wondered where the rumor of the individual German soldier not being able to think for himself came from."

Yeah, ain't that the truth.

The 6th does not seem to have anybody to sing their story. That is terrible. Just dry as dust sitrep - action reports. Got to read between the lines.

I'll keep looking. I bet there are some good diaries.
43 posted on 09/28/2005 1:02:59 AM PDT by Iris7 ("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
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To: SAMWolf

Thanks. Dang, my reading list is getting longer instead of shorter!


44 posted on 09/28/2005 1:04:17 AM PDT by Iris7 ("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
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To: Iris7

I am feeling better. My last R&R adjusted my attitude. I must have been pretty grumpy, because your the fourth person in the last two days to tell me that.


45 posted on 09/28/2005 1:06:35 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (Kandahar Airfield -- “We’re not on the edge of the world, but we can see it from here")
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To: snippy_about_it; Cannonette
Road trip to Oregon next year? I'll have to check with the Banana Republic Minister of Finance.

Yellowstone is on the way.

46 posted on 09/28/2005 1:09:47 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (Kandahar Airfield -- “We’re not on the edge of the world, but we can see it from here")
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To: Humal

Not good, too darn hard on the kids. I am sorry to hear it. Darned hard on you. That is a very tough break. Every bit as bad as anything I have had happen to me, seems to me, though of course I don't know. Maybe worse.

Spent some time looking down a gun barrel myself, but am still here. Some live, some don't. I have no idea why one lives and one dies. It for sure has nothing to do with how good a man you are, what you deserve, that stuff.


47 posted on 09/28/2005 1:17:29 AM PDT by Iris7 ("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
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To: U S Army EOD

Yeah, sometimes I wonder why I think so much more about that stuff than I used to. The dreams aren't so darned bloody these days, though. Those ones that happened night after night have gone away quite a bit these days.


48 posted on 09/28/2005 1:24:04 AM PDT by Iris7 ("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
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To: U S Army EOD

If I can't make fun about me and act like the tough guy I could never get a word out. Dunno, I am a pretty darn lucky guy. Amazing luck. Really.


49 posted on 09/28/2005 1:42:23 AM PDT by Iris7 ("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
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To: Professional Engineer; Valin

Dang, that was funny!! You guys caught me by surprise both times! Haw!


50 posted on 09/28/2005 1:45:40 AM PDT by Iris7 ("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
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