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2nd Armored Division

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Buten42, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Nice site, Fred. I've bookmarked it for future reference.

    I'm using Firefox and I don't have any major issues. The google maps applet is a big laggy, but that's likely because of my current internet connection and the large number of placemarks on it.
     
  2. Natman

    Natman Member

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    Fred,
    I'm using IE 8.0 also and had the same experience as Richard. Looks like a good site though!
     
  3. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I hope you'll excuse my resurrecting an old thread. The 2nd Armored (Hell on Wheels) spent most of the war tied to the 30th Infantry Division. They moved and fought together through most of the war.

    Below is an excerpt from statements of liberated Jewish slaves from Buchenwald sub-camp Lippstadt recorded after the war. The 2nd Armored with an attached company of the 30th found these women near Kaunitz, Germany, on the 1st of April 1945.

    [FONT=&quot]Buchenwald sub-camp Lippstadt
    The Buchenwald sub-camp Lippstadt held women, predominantly Hungarian Jews, who had been deported from Auschwitz when the sub-camp opened in the summer of 1944. The women were forced to work in the armaments industry as part of the SS Kommando Lippstadt I.


    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Liberation of Inmates from Lippstadt[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]With the approach of the Allied Armies, the SS forced the women to march towards [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Bergen-Belsen[/FONT][FONT=&quot] on 29 March 1945. 25km away from Lippstadt, at Kaunitz, near Gütersloh in Eastern Westphalia, the guards ran away and left the women in a field. On 1 April 1945, the American Army arrived and liberated the 830 women. The American Army housed the women with the inhabitants of Kaunitz, a measure which was to cause much friction and resentment. Even today most of the people at Kaunitz reject putting up a small monument to the memory of the liberation of the Jewish forced labourers.

    [/FONT]

    ·[FONT=&quot] Anna Kaletska: 1945. They drove us out from [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Lippstadt[/FONT][FONT=&quot]—at night we were evacuated. We were to go to [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bergen-Belsen[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [ this with irony in her voice]. They couldn't take us any more to [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bergen-Belsen[/FONT][FONT=&quot], but they didn't know. Driven at night and during the day locked up in shops. [In the midst of her German she uses the English word "shops". That is one of those new words that was adopted into the German language during the war]. They had everything ready to finish us off. But there was no more time. [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] David Boder: What do you mean, finish you off? [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] Anna Kaletska: They had orders not to release us alive. On the third day at dawn we remained standing in a little lane, deep in mud, and the top division leader was frothing at his mouth. We heard already the rumbling American tanks, and we were led into the woods. I don't know how they happened not to hit us. So he says (he still yelled then), "You band of Jew-pigs." And he left us alone with all the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]SS[/FONT][FONT=&quot] men, and he himself ran away. So I said then to one of the girls, "You know, I don't know whether we shall survive, but he will not come back any more." So she says: "I have a half a bread and I give you this half a bread if that should happen the way you say." And I still thought that I would have a chance to eat that half a bread in case he should not return. But it has become very late. And it happened the first of April, 1945, a quarter of nine. Shooting! [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] David Boder: In the evening or in the morning? [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] Anna Kaletska: In the morning. Shooting, [with joy in her voice] Americans! They are shooting at us, and here we are, together with the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]SS[/FONT][FONT=&quot] men, lying under the trees. The bullets whistled. [She uses the expression—bullets burned]. And we laughed—crazy of us. The [/FONT][FONT=&quot]SS[/FONT][FONT=&quot] men stood around. They were no heroes any more. They don't know where to run. Only five minutes before, they wouldn't run away. They could not leave us alone. They still believed in the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Fuehrer[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. And now they were standing with their arms down. They were still ordering to go to the "shops", but nobody went. We remained lying down right there. The Americans fired three times, and then a silence came over us. An aeroplane came down at low altitude, and a white flag [here she sobs again], and it was spread out. [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] David Boder: What do you mean, a white flag? [/FONT]
    ·[FONT=&quot] Anna Kaletska: The Germans raised a white flag. The name of the town is [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Kaunitz[/FONT][FONT=&quot], in Westphalia near [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Lippstadt[/FONT][FONT=&quot], twenty-seven kilometers from [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Lippstadt[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. And here we were, almost crazy. We haven't a strip of a white thing. Somebody had a bandage around a wounded leg, and that bandage was raised at an approaching American tank, and the women prostrated themselves on the ground, kissing the wheels. The Americans thought it was a house of the insane. They looked at us. [I am not sure of the correct translation of the next few sentences.] And how we looked! All in tatters. [Her words are barely audible.] And speaking—nobody could. We were all speechless. And then he understood, and two tears rolled down his face. [Again the text is not clear, she is very upset.] And until the others arrived, he wept with us. Not a Jew—a Christian. And then they began to arrive, the tanks. It was Passover. The last day of it. And matzos [Unleavened bread, eaten by Jews at Easter] fell from the tanks. And chocolate and cigarettes. And they would jump off the tanks and they were kissing us. Us dirty and lousy ones. "Do not weep," they would say. But we wept more and again. And incessantly the tears ran. The Ninth Army had not seen any Jews in Germany, and we thought that we were the only Jewish survivors, and we did not want to live. But they consoled us. They were telling us that there were many other armies that have reached other [/FONT][FONT=&quot]lagers[/FONT][FONT=&quot] which were liberated. That was liberation. We were all dead sick. I was half swollen. Immediately the American army led us into homes. They burned everything we had on us, although we wanted to save the clothing. But it was all infected, and we were afraid to keep it. Dirty. And we changed our clothes, putting on whatever we could. We could take things, good things, from the Germans. We took it from the Germans [with irony in her voice], they gave it to us themselves. They were afraid now. We dressed [here her voice again breaks into sobs]. We washed ourselves, with soap, warm water, a clean towel, pure underwear. [She uses the English word "pure"]. Oh! The Americans themselves were crazy with joy. They now understood—"You are going to liberate human beings." And that army hadn't seen before those who were liberated. We were the first ones, and they were rejoicing like little children. And in the evening one American put on his head a hat, a German hat, a womans hat, and another one played some kind of instrument, and he danced with a little girl from our [/FONT][FONT=&quot]lager[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. I shall not forget it, ever. [She weeps again and speaks in exhaustion.] For the first time we got into the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]lager[/FONT][FONT=&quot] a radio, and we heard the news. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Bergen-Belsen[/FONT][FONT=&quot] liberated. Thirty thousand hopelessly sick. Thousands and thousands dead. Who knows whether my people were there? Everybody thought so, and their eyes would run out [in tears].[/FONT]
     
  4. Cas

    Cas Member

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    I'm very interested in 2nd Armor (as you know) I'll share some photo's out of my own collection tomorow is this topic.

    2nd Armor especially the Powerhouse Regiment was envolved in the liberation in Limburg
     
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  5. fredvogels

    fredvogels Member

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    Thanks for the very moving story, Kodiakbeer. And for the location info too. I did not know that the 2nd Armor was already in Kaunitz at the 1st of april '45

    @Cas: On Back to Normandy there are quit some records about the liberation of Limburg. But I could not find anything about the Powerhouse Regiment. What does it mean?
    I do hope you want to share the info.
     
  6. fredvogels

    fredvogels Member

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    I hope it is getting better. I replaced most of the website with new software, so the website is much faster now. Some things are still a matter of hard work to get it better:) The problem is also that the database is growing also. Some parts are not easy like rendering all the google map information. Sometimes thaousands of records at the same time. It has to be done on the computer of the user.
     
  7. fredvogels

    fredvogels Member

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    Attached Files:

  8. Cas

    Cas Member

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    @Fred: How do you mean busy in Limburg ?

    I dived into the Book D-Day in South Limburg and there is a passage which says:

    The 2nd Armored Division was a heavy armored division and together with the 1st and 3rd (Old Ironsides & Spearhead) Arm. Div belonged to the heaviest units the US threw into the war in Europe. It also had the nicknam Powerhouse, originally the code name for Division Headquarters.

    So I guess my memory failed me (and that at the age of 30....) sorry for that

    I promided to upload some 2nd Arm. photo's So here they are (out of my own collection):

    All photo's are take september 1944 in Valkenburg aan de Geul Limburg (at 6 km of Maastricht)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. fredvogels

    fredvogels Member

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    When you look on the map 1944-45 by unit and zoom into Limburg you will see that Limburg (in and around) was very busy with all kinds of troops. That's all, nothing special.
     
  10. Cas

    Cas Member

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    Ok, thanks for the site, just have to see I can find out how this works....
     
  11. fredvogels

    fredvogels Member

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    There are helpfiles (FAQ in the main menu) learning how.
     
  12. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Cas, after August 13, 1944, the 2nd Armored Division and 30th Infantry Division became the heart of XIX Corps under General Corlett. At times they would pull one or the other out of the XIXth for other brief operations, but for most of the war (after 13 Aug 44), the 2nd Armored and 30th Infantry were essentially a single mutually supportive unit.

    Do you have this photo?
     

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  13. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Fred,

    The 2nd Armored/30th Infantry also rescued a slave train in Zelich on 13 April, 45. There were 2500 Jewish inmates on this train, and the circumstances were similar - they were being moved from munitions factories to death camps ahead of the approaching allies.
     

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  14. Cas

    Cas Member

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    Yep, over here this is known photo, It's take not far from where I now live, see if I can take my dog on longer walk one of these days and if it's still light I'll take the now photo. This photo is published in virtually every book about the liberation over here. But I have saved it any because I did'nt have it digital jet so thanks !
     
  15. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I have a much better copy of that photo that was too big too upload. I'll email it to you. It is Company C, 1st Battalion, 117th, with their 57 mm.
     
  16. Cas

    Cas Member

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    Thanks, I'll sent something back this week when I got my scanner going again.
     
  17. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Kodiak, would you be so kind to send me this pic too? Thanks!
     
  18. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Ruud,

    I'd be happy to send you that photo if I could figure out how to find your Email in this forum. I had Cas' email because he emailed me a few days ago.
     
  19. Cas

    Cas Member

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    @KodiakBeer: Keith just mail me I'll forward it to ruud, got his e-mail

    @Ruud: I'll forward it you
     
  20. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Sent earlier today, along with another picture of some Dutch resistance fighters taken at Heerlen.
     

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