By Edward Monroe-jones
Conceived in desperation after the conflict of the Bulge in January 1945, Germany's Operation Nordwind culminated within the frozen Alsatian fields surrounding the Zorn River. the yankee twelfth Armored department and the German tenth Waffen SS Panzer department squared off for what was once anticipated to be a simple offensive close to the villages of Herrlisheim and Weyersheim. Neither military may have forseen the savage violence that ensued. Combining the vibrant eyewitness debts of veterans from either side of the clash with info gleaned from a number of long-unavailable print assets, this richly precise historical past casts a desirable gentle on a little-known yet an important conflict within the moment international battle. It serves as a tribute to the typical squaddies who stalwartly conducted near-impossible orders.
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Additional info for Crossing the Zorn: The January 1945 Battle at Herrlisheim as Told by the American and German Soldiers Who Fought It
When the ships arrived in New York, I was lined up with the other MPs. We were ordered to off-load the prisoners and march them onto buses. The debarkation was deliberately timed to take place around midnight. I was told this reduced the possibility of friction between curious civilians and the prisoners. I found both Germans and Italians to be obedient and respectful. After hounding drunken sailors it was a welcome change. “The prisoners boarded buses with black-painted windows. We traveled to New Jersey where we transferred the prisoners to trains.
One pointed to a Panzer IV that looked identical to all the others. Only the number on the turret was different. The cannon barrel was depressed and two men with a long pole were shoving it into the barrel. I watched without asking any questions as I circled the Panzer IV inspecting the tracks. They were wide and heavy. Eight road wheels supported the tracks with two wheels coupled to each of four pivoting leafspring suspensions. It looked to me that this huge beast would probably ride like a derailed locomotive.
When I wrote to Ilse I was almost ashamed of my comfortable lifestyle when so much serious ﬁghting was going on in the east. I told her of my daily routine and she told me of our baby son and of her life in Tilset. “On July 16, we moved to Souprosse, in southern France. The company had just settled into its new encampment when a British bomber appeared overhead. Its engines were smoking and sputtering. I watched the plane as it dove toward the earth. The men’s eyes were intent on the doomed aircraft when several parachutes opened.