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

Discussion in 'WWII Books' started by syscom3, May 12, 2013.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe by Stephen Harding | NOOK Book (eBook), Hardcover | Barnes Noble

    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
     
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  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I never even heard of it, thanks for the heads up!
     
  3. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Huh? Really? Cool!
     
  4. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting story! Never heard of it before now, will have to now keep an eye out for that book...
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    You learn something new everyday. Isn't that the truth?
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this.
     
  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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  9. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    news to me too....
     
  10. BlackSheepTwoOneFour

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    That book has been on my must read list. Had been for about a month since I first heard of this.
     
  11. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Incredible!! Thanks Sys!
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Great find, Sys!

    I read the fascinating story published back in September 2008 by WWII History Magazine (The Battle for Castle Itter) in the condensed form by Stephen Harding.

    Sometimes truth is better than Hollywood. It would definately make an awesome movie as long as Hollywood kept to the original events!.

    You can read WWII History Magazine's article here: The Battle for Castle Itter
     
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  13. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    There was also an interesting story of WW1 where German and Russian troops fought together against packs of wolves.
     
  14. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    this IS a good story!! thanks for posting the mag link...
     
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  15. Augsburg Eagle

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    Thanks for this link. I never heard about this story before.
     
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  16. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this story. And thanks to OldCrow for digging it up from the forum archives!!
     
  17. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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