World War II’s Strangest Battle: When Americans and Germans Fought Together

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posted on May, 13 2013 @ 04:22 AM
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I just came across this article about a new non-fiction book. It sounds fascinating and I will be ordering a copy. I figure some readers here may enjoy it as well.

World War II’s Strangest Battle: When Americans and Germans Fought Together



Days after Hitler’s suicide a group of American soldiers, French prisoners, and, yes, German soldiers defended an Austrian castle against an SS division—the only time Germans and Allies fought together in World War II. The most extraordinary things about this truly incredible tale of World War II are that it hasn’t been told before in English, and that it hasn’t already been made into a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Here are the basic facts: on 5 May 1945—five days after Hitler’s suicide—three 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, Lee’s 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. Steven Spielberg, how did you miss this story?




posted on May, 13 2013 @ 04:30 AM
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Anti nazi German solider? Now that's an oxymoron. Just joking


Book looks interesting. War non fiction is in my top three favorite topics to read and I will definitely be getting a copy of this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 06:26 AM
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reply to post by Slugworth
 


Clearly Spielberg only sees Germans as bad, to wit: he has an evil German concentration camp commander whose hobby is to snipe some of the prisoners, i.e. Schindler's List, but his latest project is to make a hero-worshipping movie about America's greatest bushwhacker -- the guy who got himself killed trying to give gun-range therapy to some veteran with PTSD. Snipers may be a useful and necessary evil of warfare, but there is no reason to portray them as heros. Theirs is a most foul and ignoble profession -- up their with combat drone pilots and other purveyors of long-range death. As far as I know, US servicemen in Viet Nam never much appreciated Viet Cong snipers...

I recently caught some documentary about an incident in WWII when a German fighter pilot helped a limping US bomber cross German airspace and make it to safety over the North Sea. After being debriefed, the US crew was told not to ever mention this incident to anyone, for fear that it would humanize the enemy. And god forbid, we can't have any of that for our Christian soldiers who are onward marching into battle.

During WWI, there was a US movie director who got in very hot water with the US government, under the Alien and Sedition Act, for having the treasonous gall to attempt to make a movie entitled "1776", which was about the US Revolutionary War. Can't have a movie with the British being the bad guys when they were allies fighting the Hun.



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 06:38 AM
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reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


I had a similar thought about Spielberg trashing it when I read the article, but I don't think he would really be the first choice if they were to make a film about this. The guy who wrote the article just scribbled in the first famous director that came to mind.



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 06:56 AM
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reply to post by Isittruee
 


"Anti nazi German solider? Now that's an oxymoron. Just joking."

Joking aside what percentage of the German armed during forces during WW2 do you think were hard line Nazis?

My bet is that most were only doing as ordered.

Obviously this in no way condones the war crimes committed by there superiors.



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 07:04 AM
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reply to post by andy06shake
 


I'd say most if not all of the SS were true Nazis.
As for normal troops I would think a very small percentage.
Do I forgive them for their war crimes? No.
Do I blame them? I'm not sure. If I was faced with my family being faced with same fate because of being labled a jew supporter is the big motivator. Would you do it to protect your family or join them in the gas chamber?


eta:sorry we got off topic op. Didnt mean to derail thread
edit on 13-5-2013 by Isittruee because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 12:41 PM
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Well at least we worked together to defeat another enemy



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 01:28 PM
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Slugworth, I have to give you an F&S for bringing this to light, It brings the whole Churchill's en.wikipedia.org... thing to mind.

As another strange story of WWII, The operation in Sicily where British and German paratroops
landed at (almost) the same time and area comes to mind, sorry I can't remember the OP name.


And MrUnthinkable, the name of the book for your documentary is A Higher Call, I've read it, and it's
worth the money. The last chapter makes you think. I bought the book, and read it in 2 days, because I couldn't
put it down. If you want a summary, U2U me , so I don't spoil it for anyone else.
The "official" reason for not mentionioning the ME109 escort was so that the B-17 pilots wouldn't think that
they would be shot down when crippled, according to the book.
Worth the money, even at twice the price
edit on 13-5-2013 by Yahm16 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 02:22 PM
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I believe this is the castle. Great story, s/f




posted on May, 13 2013 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by Isittruee
reply to post by andy06shake
 


I'd say most if not all of the SS were true Nazis.
As for normal troops I would think a very small percentage.
Do I forgive them for their war crimes? No.
Do I blame them? I'm not sure. If I was faced with my family being faced with same fate because of being labled a jew supporter is the big motivator. Would you do it to protect your family or join them in the gas chamber?


eta:sorry we got off topic op. Didnt mean to derail thread
edit on 13-5-2013 by Isittruee because: (no reason given)



You would be wrong! The Waffen SS was in its beginning hardline Nazis however as the Germans invaded various countries and the war progressed they became quite a mix of non-germans. There was for example the SS Wiking division that were Flemish and Danish soldiers. There were Baltic and Kosack SS units. French and Dutch. The Waffen SS was envisioned by Himmler to be a new version of the old Roman legions. Waffen means "armed" or "fighting" and they were distinct from the SS units that ran the camps. They considered themselves to be elites and above the other German soldiers however and most of the atrocities conducted in the war were as a result of this "elitist" attitude. While regular German army units were responsible for some warcrimes the majority were conducted by SS units or other "special" formations There were some particularly nasty police units that functioned in occupied areas. Bottom line is its complicated and not a clear cut "all germans were bad" or "all SS were bad".



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by Dragoon01
 


Thanks for the information. I'll be sure to store it in my brain



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 04:00 PM
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reply to post by andy06shake
 


I can't say how many soldiers were really hard line Nazis and were aware of what their superiors were doing, but I'd wager that very few were aware and were Nazis in name only so to say.

I've heard from some of my friends here in Germany that many, many older folks from the WWII generation will say, "If the Führer only knew, he would have put a stop to what was going on!" I wouldn't be surprised if that was the mentality of many soldiers.



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 06:00 PM
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I have removed this comment as it may be distressing to some.

Good thread and yes Spielberg should make a movie of it.
edit on 13-5-2013 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 06:26 PM
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Def gonna check this out.

The Nazi Germany/WWII bells are ringing off in my head



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 06:38 PM
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I would like to see a hollywood movie about the eastern front first. Millions of men largest frontline ever tens of thousands of tanks and all the movies have been about the western front which paled in comparison.



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


Speilberg is a zionist. Remember shindlers list.



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 09:23 PM
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As a disclaimer I'm not unbiased when it comes to the practice of "sniping" but comparing them to drone pilots shows a huge lack of understanding of what exactly they do, how they do it, why and the very real dangers they are in while doing it. Snipers aren't taken prisoner and if they are they don't tend to live long afterwards.

It's a military practice that isn't going anywhere, sorry if that disappoints you. It's a military role that's been around as long as projectile weapons have been and every War has had them since then.

The Viet Cong had it's own snipers so I'm not sure what the point there was about.

I'm a realist and as much as I'd like to see a end to all Wars I'm afraid as long as there are two humans left standing the potential for War will remain. There's the World we wished we had and the one we have. Sadly, we all live in the latter no matter how badly we want the former.



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 10:11 PM
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reply to post by Dragoon01
 

Very good point. However, the late date of Hitler's suicide and the obvious loss of the war must have been deciding factor. It is quite known that the soldiers and officers of the Wehrmacht detested the SS and saw them as for what they were,... blood thirsty sycophants eager to please their superiors at the head of their chain of command. The Wehrmacht's historical reputation as a efficient, professional and honorable army was stained by the blood of the SS. The tactics of the SS was criminal in nature and resulted in the horror inflicted upon innocent civilian populations in the regions of Germany's theater of operations.
Most of the Wehrmacht were aware many of the SS will hang for their crimes in post war deliberations and did not want their association with the SS to color their code of ethics. It is not a crime to fight for your country when called to service, but to aide in crimes will lead you down the path to the gallows at the end of hostilities.
The whole story makes sense when you consider the realities of war. Many i suppose only wanted the war to end and return to their families.



posted on May, 13 2013 @ 11:12 PM
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Were the SS actually "crack troops" as the article describes them, or were they given those shiny uniforms simply based on loyalty? They are always depicted as these fearsome guys but that was before learning that they lost, with superior numbers, to a few soldiers augmented by french politicians and their wives. I wonder if they were only feared because they had authority within their own military, but were in fact only average or below-average soldiers when it came to actual fighting. They are often described as "elite" soldiers, but in a system obsessed with loyalty and racial purity, were they elite in their fighting skills or just their loyalty and racial background?
edit on 5/13/2013 by Slugworth because: type



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 12:17 AM
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reply to post by Slugworth
 


Maybe it is because he is a Jewish Director ?





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