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Hatten and Rittershoffen January 1945

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Kai-Petri, Dec 13, 2002.

  1. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Thank you,

    Looks as devoid of cover as the veteran's describe.

    Was there ever a railroad embankment or were the rails close to the surrounding terrain?

    Thanks
     
  2. rprice

    rprice Member

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    Here's two pix taken from the top of that bunker (Oberroedern Sud), plus one from the attackers pov.
    - Looking NE toward Stundwiller
    - Looking east toward Buhl
    - Looking west at the pillbox

    View attachment 15704
     

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  3. Alsa.se

    Alsa.se Member

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    Hi,
    I recognize the place. Where did you get these pictures?
    Eric
     
  4. Natman

    Natman Member

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    Looking for something else and found this very personal narrative of actions around H & R by Capt. Joseph Carter, HQ Co, 47th Tank Bn, 14th AD. I'm always surprised when I find a document written in this manner under the watchful eye of the military:

    View attachment 15707
     

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  5. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I'm going to leave Steve's post because it never hurts to re-post such a document. Those who are newer might never have seen it.
     
  6. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    It's just as well. I had failed to give Steve a much deserved salute on the original post #12 back on page 1 of this thread. That post has a couple other PDFs linked as well. :)
     
  7. rprice

    rprice Member

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    Eric, I found those pictures on the net several years ago while researching. I don't have a link to the website, but will let you know if I can find it again.
    Richard
     
  8. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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    Just wanted to mention that the 79th ID wrote an AAR for its role in Alsace. If anyone happens to be browsing the archives you might want to track this down.

    Also Eric (a.k.a. Alsa.se) linked to this in another thread. It's a French site, but the PDF posted 27 Jan 2012 (27/01/12) features the battle at Hatten and Rittershoffen. I don't read French but the pictures were interesting. LE MONDE EN GUERRE - Seconde Guerre Mondiale - Portail

    (my 100th post)
     
  9. Alsa.se

    Alsa.se Member

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    Hello,
    Yes, I wrote the article on-Hatten Rittershoffen in a special issue of the magazine HISTOMAG'44 on the site you mentioned.
    I also found the site on 79th USID :79th Infantry Division In WW II

    Greetings

    Eric
     
  10. Earthican

    Earthican Member

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  11. Alsa.se

    Alsa.se Member

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    Hello Earthican,
    Thank you for this link very interesting, but I already knew.
    Regards,
    Eric
     
  12. Alsa.se

    Alsa.se Member

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    Today I was at Hatten. I took a photo from the bunker Observatory (north of Hatten) to Oberroedern (village in the foreground) In the background you can see the pillbox of Aschbach East and Oberroedern North.
    Greetings,
    Eric
    View attachment 15760
     

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  13. jdewitt

    jdewitt recruit

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    My name is John DeWitt. My father, Jack DeWitt, was commander of C Company, 19th Infantry Battalion of the 14th Armored and fought at Hatten-Rittershoffen. For his heroism in December 1944 and in 1945 he received a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, a Distinguished Service Cross, and most honored by him, the British Military Cross from Great Britain. Dad retired as a Brigidier General, Reserves and died Tuesday night at age 93 which is what prompted me to this site. He often talked about the fierce battle at Hatten and although he and one of my brothers visited, I never did nor ever talked to any of his comrads in that fight.
    Dad often talked about jumping between windows of adjoining houses, having floors shot out beneath him and so forth so I can bear at least hearsay witness to the fact in some of the strings that the soldiers feared moving through the front doors and preferred going through shot out walls and windows. As he often told the story, his sidekick would say just before jumping, "Well, here's $1,000 for my old lady."
     
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  14. Alsa.se

    Alsa.se Member

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    Hello John,
    I'm very saddened by this terrible news of the death of your dad. Let me offer my deepest condolences.
    I wish that you know that I have an eternal recognition towards these American soldiers who fought, far from home, on unknown lands, to liberate Europe of the RoW Nazi. These fighters were all heroes. Know that the people in Alsace are proud and grateful. I'm here to testify it. You can be proud of your dad.

    Your father fought in Hatten in 1945. My mom was born in Hatten in 1934 and lived in that terrible battle. See how the world is small, your dad may have crossed my mom 67 years ago ... Who knows?

    I'm also in contact with the son of an American veteran (Wallace Christensen) who also fought in Hatten in 1945 (In the 813th TD Bn)

    I have read with great interest your posts in this message.

    Looking forward to discussing with you

    Sincerely,

    Eric

    (Excuse my bad English)
     
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  15. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    My condolences to you as well, John. Please know that we all have great respect for your father and his service. :S!

    Please feel welcome to post more about your father here on the forum.
     
  16. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    Very well put, Tom, as always.
    John, Please know that I respect the efforts of your father deeply. I am glad to hear he had a long and full life. I hope you will have time to share some more of your father's stories with us??

    I am related to the DeWitt family from Holmes / Knox County, Ohio (ring a bell?). Eliza DeWitt, related to the Winslows of Marshfield, MA; some of whom moved to Ohio, circa 1855, was my father's great grandmother. It is a proud family name. Winslow - DeWitt is our connection to SAR / DAR.

    God Bless America......
     
  17. Natman

    Natman Member

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  18. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Thanks for tracking that down and posting it, Steve. He was truly a remarkable gentleman.
     
  19. jdewitt

    jdewitt recruit

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    Thank you all for your condolances and kind words. Dad had an unfailing love for his fellow infantrymen and like most WWII veterans I've heard, talked more about the love and friendship between them than the killing and the hatred that came with it. Consequently I heard mostly generalites, funny stories of some of the men, etc., rather than details of the battles and killings. The only story I can remember right now involves three of them dragging a fourth, shot in the head, from house to house until dad insisted they had to leave him, they couldn't get between the houses with him any longer. He had to exert his rank because the others didn't want to leave him behind. He put a note on the soldier explaining his wounds and pleasding for sympathetic treatment, said good bye and the three remaining jumped to another house.
    A couple of things I did get. Dad kept a scrap book back in the day. Every year he'd drag it out and show us pictures, some entertaining but I think mostly to show captured pictures of the liberated conentration camp so we wouldn't forget. They included many pictures of decimated bodies, living and dead. Some piled as high as 6 or 10 feet. Others, smiling prison guards wearing stripped clothing dragging naked bodies to the ovens clear in the background, dragging them across the floor with ice hooks under their chins. I called the Wis. Veterans Museum to whom he'd gifted the scrap book and other materials to withdraw it to show his grandchildren before of after the funeral. The curator said they could not be released but said dad had warned her of the contents because they were made a time of deep anger and hatred and contained remarks perhaps inappropriate at this later date.
    After the funeral this weekend perhaps I can dig up some more factual material. I did find some information about the fortifications around Hatten that may be of interest to the tacticians among you.
    Over and out, John.
     
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  20. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    John, please know that we are interested in the story your father would want to tell, whatever that may be. We have such great respect and admiration for those, like your father, who have served the cause of freedom. Please do not feel that you need to meet the expectations of anyone here. Your father's story and memory stand on their own.

    God bless you and your family at this most difficult time.
     

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