Stranded in Strasburg

Trip Start Jun 01, 2013
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Trip End Jun 25, 2013


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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Then - At about the time the allies were closing in on Aschaffenburg the Germans were ready to put up one final battle. The German were being commanded at Achaffenburg by the very strict Major Lambert. He had sent out a notice to his men that no one is to surrender and they are to fight to the bitter end. They were also to only sleep 3 hrs a day. Prior to the American arriving, the Germans had blown up every bridge into the city over the Main River except 1 railroad bridge . The Americans were able to secure this bridge which served critical.

Prior to battling in Aschaffenburg and its twin city , General Patton had sent out a group of men to bypass the town and move in enemy territory to liberate a POW camp that held his son in law and several officers from the 157th. The plan turned out to be a bust as the men were unable to get there and back and successfully complete their orders.

Back in Aschaffenburg the battles were slow an brutal. In a book about the 157th, it is said that you could watch a platoon enter a house, listen to fighting for twenty minutes, and then watch the platoon leave with Germans and casualties. The Americans were forced to fight door to door, using a lot of hand grenades and bazookas to blast into home along the way. The battle was very high in casualties. Some 3000 Germans were lost and 200 Americans. German snipers were embedded all throughout the city in the bomb ridden building an piles of rubble.

After some slow fighting, the 45th was able to encircle and take the city in the final major battle for the 157th. After circling the city, the Germans surrendered. The war was over not to much longer after that.

Now - The heavily bombed town has been rebuilt and moved on. Unlike Berlin and Munich, there is very little historical evidence that a fierce battle ever occurred here. When talking with local citizen we were able to find out much information. We were able to tour a castle from the Holy Roman Empire that the Germans had claimed . We could not get any affirmation if this is where General Lambert had ran his battle from. Beside that, the only other thing we could find is the Main River which the Americans had to cross and entrench themselves in the hill side.

Our trip now moves to Epinal where Sgt. Robert Kirchgassner was seriously wounded and much of his platoon was taken as POW. Our journey there has been frustrating to say the least. We keep missing out connecting trains because they are always delayed. An old German man said to me on the train platform "what's the difference between a broken clock and the trains . A broken clock is on time at least twice a day." It has also been brutally hit today, and we can't find AC or a fan anywhere. Oh well, we are crossing our fingers trying to make it to France.

We made it to France! Strasburg France. We got stranded here for the night. We were forced to grab a hotel and get a train out tomorrow at 6:29 to Nancy and then Epinal. It is definitely an adventure.
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