teeth. It was met by a furious sustained barrage — nebelwerfer, tanks, artillery.
As interlocking sections of their defense line were knocked out, Germans inside the concrete and steel fortifications wavered. White flags appeared. Resistance collapsed completely. Led by a special mobile unit from the 143rd, a long column of armored infantry streamed for the Rhine. Bergzabern was stormed as the last pillboxes were shattered.
On March 22, the artillery fired 198 missions; March 23, it fired only 10. That day, infantry cleared the remaining small towns and closed on the Rhine.
more Medals of Honor were awarded wearers of the T-Patch for the northern
Alsace battles. Lt. Edward Dahlgren, Portland, Me., single-handedly broke
up one of the large German attacks through the center of Oberhoffen when
T-Patch lines were split. Pfc Silvestre Herrera, Glendale, Ariz., advanced
through an enemy mine field on the Moder River, had his feet blown off,
but continued to fight off the Germans while his platoon flanked its
In the days that followed, the 36th enjoyed its first rest since Italy, policing in the vicinity of Kaiserslautern. While Seventh Army thundered into Bavaria, the 36th stood guard in the Saar.
Nine days before the war’s end, the 36th went to bat for its last licks against the Nazis, near Kunzelsau, in the so-called National Redoubt.
From Kunzelsau to Kitzbuhel in Austria’s Tyrol, the division fought rear guards. Fiercest resistance came at Bad Tolz, where Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt, German military master-brain, was captured.
There were other, equally important prisoners: Air Marshall Sperlle, foremost exponent of dive bombing and director of the London blitz; Air Marshal Ritter von Greim, successor to Goering as chief of the Luftwaffe; Reichminister Fran, Poland’s No. 1 war criminal; Max Amann, third member of the Nazi party and publisher of Mein Kampf; Leni Reifenstahl, directress of the German film industry; Admiral Horthy, regent of Hungry, Air Marshal Hermann Goering. Liberated
Copyright © 2000