Friday, May 08, 2015

Following the 10th Armored (29): VE Day

This is part of a series following my father's 10th Armored Division in World War II seventy years ago. He was a medic with the 80th Medical Battalion assigned to the 10th Armored, part of Patton’s Third Army.

May 8, 1945
The entry in my grandmother's diary for the day:
Tuesday- This is V.E. Day. The war is over and O God just think of the mothers that their boys won’t be coming home.
From Nichols:
General Paul Newgarden's careful pre-battle training paid huge dividends and General Morris' leadership propelled the Division through every battle with distinction. The price paid for victory was dear. Tigers' losses were heavy, Almost 5,000 were killed or wounded. The Tigers' combat achievements are a matter of record. More that 56,000 enemy were taken prisoner and 650 towns and cities were captured. More important, the Tigers played a key role in many of the war's greatest battles. The epic stand at Bastogne [note: only recently receiving the credit] will never be forgotten nor will the spectacular successes in the Saar-Moselle Triangle be overlooked by military historians. The capture of Trier was most important in the U. S. Third Army's effort to pierce the vaunted West Wall. And finally, every step of the way from Cherbourg to the Brenner Pass, a distance of 600 miles, was made possible by the Tigers' courage, initiative, and persistence. They has met and defeated the enemy's best. Hitler's earlier boast that American soldiers would never stand and fight must have provided slim comfort to the Nazi commanders who, one by one, capitulated in late April of 1945.

Two postcards sent by my father to his family back in Pennsylvania of the Garmisch-Partenkirche area where they ended the war.

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