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 used to be 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 bright eyewitness debts of veterans from either side of the clash with details gleaned from quite a few long-unavailable print resources, this richly specific historical past casts a desirable gentle on a little-known yet the most important conflict within the moment global struggle. It serves as a tribute to the typical infantrymen 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 I was physically stretched to the limit, I often thought I should have listened to 21 22 Part I: Roads to Alsace my mother. I stood in line at the medical clinic. The men were stripped to the waist. They were pale, but their lean bodies had muscles that had been hardened during endless calisthenics. I moved to the marks on the ﬂoor and raised my left arm. The medic asked me my name and blood type. Then he examined my record. Another medic tattooed the blood type on my inside upper-left arm.
Comrades sympathized, but one thing was clear — Leo Franke wouldn’t tolerate pranks involving theft of civilian property. If he had intended to make a point he certainly had achieved his purpose. ”8 Ernst Storch spoke of his assignment as milk delivery boy: “I had been assigned to 6th Company, but my duties as messenger didn’t take me into contact with Bernhard Westerhoff until that Christmas Eve when he explained the dairy incident. From my perspective the incident was a tragedy. Each messenger in 6th Company was assigned his own motorcycle, and I took pride in my machine.
I completed the request form for the transfer and was surprised by the speed of acceptance. ”9 In America, the 12th Armored Division was also being established. In the spring of 1942, Lieutenant General McNair, commanding all Army ground forces, had authorized the new armored division. The division was formed at Camp Campbell, on the TennesseeKentucky border, with a cadre of ofﬁcers and enlisted men drawn from other units. Its ﬁrst commanding ofﬁcer was Major General Carlos Brewer, who was an experienced and dedicated ofﬁcer.