Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

US forces using German uniforms/armor at Aachen?

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by KodiakBeer, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,789
    Likes Received:
    655
    Interesting Ruud. It is possible they may have confused some of the troops from the 2d Armored Division who were supporting the 1st ID in the attack? Famously, the 2d AD was one of the few American units issued the American splinter-camouflage unifroms during the war, which were later discarded after use in combat because of the fear it would be confused with the German Tarnbekleidung. It is quite possible some were still wearing it as late as September.
     
  2. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    The 2nd Armored was supporting the 30th ID on the north flank. The 3rd Armored was supporting the 1st ID on the south flank. That's an interesting observation about the 2nd AD camo uniforms though. That might well be the explanation.
     
  3. Ruud

    Ruud Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    939
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Maastricht Netherlands
    Yes, that was also my first thought: could it be that some of the 2nd still weared these camouflage uniforms. I found another 'witness' but i lost the link. Will be back on that. It was a civilian at Kornelismunster who reported that.
    Kodiak, it is in the same german AAR which i translate in Old Hickory tread. You have to look for part starting 14september and at entry of 19.10 hrs
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Thanks, Ruud. I've been copying and pasting those translations into Word documents. When I get to that book, and I will, I'll be sure to credit you for all your hard work. At any rate, I'm a bit behind with that copy & paste, and I don't always read them when I do it. It's turning into quite a lengthy document!
     
  5. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,789
    Likes Received:
    655
    Crap, you're right, embarassing since I wrote the Aachen chapter in our Urban Warfare study. Sigh...next stop the memory care facility.
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Oh, Ruud - have you seen Fury yet? It's not based on real events, but they did a good job of getting the feel and mood of the war, and did some very good research into some of the little details - it's based on 2nd AD and 30th ID under XIX Corps in the closing weeks of the war. If you watch closely, you'll see the XXX patches on the infantry guys.

    One of the things that "felt" real is a 30th ID company commander asking this 2nd Armored sergeant (Brad Pitt) to rescue some trapped soldiers with his tanks. They're talking over a map overlay and the infantry captain says something like (paraphrasing) "I know who you are and that you know the best way to do it." That's kind of how the 30th AAR's and anecdotes read - they had been paired with 2nd AD so long they all knew each other and had a real bond and trust.

    I really like the film, even though there is some Hollywood silliness. I think you'd enjoy it as a fellow XXX fan.
     
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    I'm a 30th ID (Roosevelt's SS) guy. Through most of the war, the 30th ID and 2nd AD were the heart of XIX Corps - unbeatable. They paired them over and over again in each new offensive. It's the same with the 1st ID and 3rd AD, who were also paired so much they were like one unit, and another great combat team.
     
  8. Ruud

    Ruud Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    939
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Maastricht Netherlands
    Kodiak, youre welcome. Thanks for me being in a book . This german aar is a facinating read. Rich, i was just lucky ti find this german text. So we al have a two sided view at the front. Now on my bucketlist is to find out the wereabouts about the 67 Armored regiment in another story i am putting together.
     
  9. Ruud

    Ruud Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    939
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Maastricht Netherlands
    Yes i saw fury, and the Sherman is my favourite tank. I know that scene Kodiak, but i wondered how that infantry ended up in open field, being sitting ducks. Some sorry chief told them " well , there is an open field, cross it and we will just see how it ends "? But i liked the movie. XXX and 2nd rulesz.
     
  10. Ruud

    Ruud Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    939
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Maastricht Netherlands
    Another witness?
    http://www.aachener-nachrichten.de/lokales/aachen/zeitzeuge-meyers-erste-amerikaner-wie-eine-erscheinung-1.111276

    "
    Und da saßen Sie auch in Kornelimünster die meiste Zeit im Keller?

    Meyers: Als Kind von 13 Jahren hielt es einen trotzdem nicht im Keller. Auch nicht, als es auf einmal hieß: „Die Amerikaner kommen!” Das war noch im September, als die ersten Truppen von Eupen und Eynatten rüberkamen... Ich wollte gerade aus dem Keller raus. Das war wie im Film, wie eine Erscheinung, da standen sie direkt vor mir. Amerikanische Soldaten in Tarnkleidung, einer hielt eine Maschinenpistole... Da fiel einem schon das Herz in die Hose. Aber getan haben sie mir nichts. Nur wussten wir natürlich nicht, was in der Stadt mit meinem Vater war.

    And in Kornelimunster you were also most of the time in cellar ?
    Meyers: As a 13 years old child it was hard for us not going out. Even not when the word spread ' the Americans are coming'. That was stil in september, when the first troops from sector Eupen and Eynatten entered. I was just about to leave the cellar. It was like being in a movie. Like an apparition they stood before me. American soliders in camouflageuniforms, one of them holding à machinegun. "


    Zeitzeuge Meyers: Erste Amerikaner wie eine Erscheinung - Lesen Sie mehr auf:
    http://www.aachener-nachrichten.de/lokales/aachen/zeitzeuge-meyers-erste-amerikaner-wie-eine-erscheinung-1.111276#plx1766858813
     
  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Atlanta
    M12s were used in direct fire role against bunkers. I think that picture is of a later M40

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3OeUaJ0qX4
     
  12. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    I think they were trying to open the road in that scene and just got pinned down from the flank. When a company of the 1st Bn, 117th crossed into Holland - the first troops to enter your country - they crossed an open field towards an apple orchard and a very similar scene played out, but without the tanks. They were caught in an open field and the Germans had at least two 20mm AA guns and a number of MG 42s - about two companies lying in wait in the tree line. They just hustled up some 81 mortars to knock the guns out, then advanced. A lucky overshot from one of those mortars hit a vehicle behind the trees that had a generals aide carrying maps showing every German unit in Holland and Belgium.
     
  13. Ruud

    Ruud Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    939
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Maastricht Netherlands
    Okay, thanks. Maybe i have to see movie again. What kind of document are you puting together, Koadiak ? Will it be a completebook ?
     
  14. Ruud

    Ruud Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    939
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Maastricht Netherlands
    It is interesting to read that the report of Kornelimünster also mentioned thecamouflage outfit. Would he have said that when the Americans just wore the Olive Drab or the dark brown trousers and the Buff coloured jacket ?
     
  15. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    Ruud, yes, it will be a complete book. I've got all the unit histories and AAR's and hundreds of anecdotes from GI's, as well as much of the German side in those battles. Now, I'm trying to gather as much info from civilian observers as I can. I think telling that side of the story is important. They were the ones being liberated. They were the reason the allies were there. I've been pretty lucky with Dutch and Belgian accounts, but the French stories are pretty spotty and you hear very little from German civilians of that era. I suppose the German civilians just didn't like to talk or write about the war.
     
  16. Ruud

    Ruud Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    939
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Maastricht Netherlands
    Would like to read that book when completed. I found this in a forum:

    "I have never encountered the one piece camo coverall in the ETO, but do have a number of photos of the camo coverall being worn by US paratroopers while training in the USA. I have also been informed by a 551st veteran that the camo coveralls were popular when the 551st was in Panama.
    This would back up your assumption that the camo coveralls were mainly used for training until existing stocks could be used up.

    Anyone who has a type B-10 or B-15 flight jacket- take a look at the inside cuffs of your jacket. My bet is that you will find a band of HBT camo sewn inside of them. This is a pretty good indication that the militiary had a lot more camo material than they wanted during the war.

    Finally, I know that I have heard heard that the camo was removed from service in the ETO due to US troops who were wearing it being mistaken for Waffen SS. I have never been able to find an official source that cites this as accurate. I have also talked to a number of veterans of the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, who served in the 2nd Armored Division in Normandy and who were issued these camo uniforms. To a man, the veterans stated that they LIKED the camo uniforms as it made them feel like an elite unit. Many of the veterans refused to turn their camo in and still had their camo uniforms even fifty years after the war. One veteran told me that he threatened another GI at gunpoint who had tried to steal his camo suit while the soldier was taking a field bath. These veterans also told me that they did not recall ever being forced to turn in the camo, nor were they ever restricted from wearing it. Most of the camo disappeared over time as soldiers were wounded or killed while wearing it and replacements arrived without these uniforms."
     
  17. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    France
    The question of the withdrawal the camouflaged uniforms is still open... These uniforms appear to have been supplied by lack of supplies ... Units of the AIR 41st, the 17th Armored Engineer Bn and the 30th ID received this equipment. But the examination of pictures shows that camo was worn by soldiers of others units (official channels or exchange?) 82nd armored recon, 66th AR, 67th AR and also the French 2nd armored division. We can also see that the holding was not necessarily coordinate (pants or jacket worn alone).
    Camouflage painting examples also exist.
    Anyway, there is not, to my knowledge, any photo of camo taken after August 44.
    More than a coordinated withdrawal, I think that these uniform were used until complete wear.
     
  18. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    This is the first I've heard of any camo uniforms issued in the ETO to US forces. I don't doubt it, but it would be nice to see a picture and see how closely it resembled the German "speckled" camo uniforms.

    Edited - here it is. Apparently, they were two sided with a summer green camo side and a fall brown/tan camo side. The photo is 2nd Armored troops in France.

    [​IMG]
     
    Ruud and Kai-Petri like this.
  19. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    France
    This photo is a good exemple of the mixed outfits in the same unit. Photo taken in august....
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    21,941
    Likes Received:
    991
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    Just curious if there was any friendly fire accidents as from a distance any camo might be considered Waffen-SS...if you had not been warned about own troops wearing these...
     

Share This Page