This Week-End I made a Trip to the Ardennes, the weather was very bad, Rain/Fog early in the morning when I started from the Mosel to St. Vith.
I wanted to visit the Wereth-Eleven:
The Wereth Eleven:
Parts of the 333rd Field Artillery Group, esp. the Service battery was situated west of the Our River near St. Vith Belgium, while howitzer Batteries A, B, and C were located on the east side of the river to support Army VII Corps. In the early morning hours of December 16, German artillery began shelling the Schonberg area. By the afternoon, there were reports of rapid German infantry and armored progress. The 333rd FAB was ordered to displace further west but the 106th Division artillery commander requested that 'C' Battery and Service Battery remain in position to support the 14th Cavalry Regiment and 106th Division.
By the morning of December 17, the Germans had captured Schonberg and controlled the bridge across the river that connected to St. Vith. The Service Battery tried to displace to St. Vith through the village and were hit by heavy Artillery-Shelling, and small arms fire. On 17 December Battery C was flanked and overrun. Most of the troops were killed or captured.
The rest of the men were being herded to the rear, the column was attacked by an American aircraft. During the ensueing confusion, eleven men escaped into the woods. They were by this time on the east side of the river and forced to sneak their way overland in a northwest direction, hoping At about 3 pm, they approached the first house in the nine-house hamlet of Wereth, Belgium.
The farmer Mathias Langer, offered them shelter. The portion of Belgium they were in had been German territory prior to World War I and three of the nine homes in the village were loyal to Germany. The wife of a German soldier who lived in the town told members of the 1st SS Division about the black American GIs hiding in the town. Four Germans arriving with a VW-166 captured the troops and took them to a nearby field and shot all 11 soldiers.
The remains of the 11 troops were found by Allied soldiers six weeks later, in mid-February, after the Allies re-captured the area.
On Sep 11, 1994, Hermann Langer(Son of Manfred Langer) erected a small stone cross to remember the eleven black G.I.s of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion who were murdered by German SS after they had surrendered during the second day of the Battle of the Bulge.
This new memorial, dedicated on May 23, 2004, honors their memory and all black G.I.s and segregated units who fought in Europe during WW II.
It is believed that this is the only memorial of its type in Europe.
Men of the poor Eleven
Propably men of the 1.SS.PZ.AA, (here two pics of Members of this unit) killed the Eleven
After spending my Tribute to the poor Elleven we made our way towards St. Vith to the little hamlet called Ottre:
That is another nearly unknown US-Memorial that remembers a Squad of american soldiers pinned down by the germans.
The combat at Ottre near Bihain, Belgium was one of the terrible tragedies of war for the 83rd Division. On 11 January 1945, as the 331st Infantry was driving toward the town of Langlir, two assault squads of F Company made a dawn attack into the forest. They had gone 100 yards when they were pinned down by heavy machine gun crossfire. The entire slope was raked continuously for several minutes. When the fire lifted, platoon sergeant Harry Shoemaker raised his head and looked around. Many of his men were dead, most of the others wounded. He saw two SS troopers coming down the slope from the ridge and he dropped his head and watched from the corner of his eye. They began searching the clothing of the dead soldiers. A man groaned and a rifle shot rang out. Blood trickled from the man's temple. Another groan was heard followed by more shots. Everyone of the wounded was riddled and their clothes searched. Shoemaker was the only one who escaped to tell the story.
Photograph shows the body of Pvt. Henry I. Tannenbaum lying in the snow. Taken by Tony Vaccaro, the picture has been acclaimed by many as the outstanding photograph of WWII.
PVT Henry Irving Tannenbaum
Company F, 331st Infantry, 83rd Division Division,
Killed in Action 11 January, 1945
In the forest where the Americans were ambushed
After this spot our way took us further to Joubival, a little village occupied by the Americans with a Forum-Member and his Kübel in battle with the nasty Germans:
The germans hiding in the woods, preparing an attack towards Joubival:
More support for the germans arrived:
A nice Topolino which really was lost in this region.
But the americans too got stronger
I do not know in which way the combat ended because we had to rush to Bastogne.
Over Houffalize/Recogne/the woods of Foy, we reached Bastogne:
Here we visited the Panzer-Museum outside:
And look, what I found, some damage on a swim:
trying to get some support of the belgian restaurators
and......... a famous Belly-Dancer;
after having a nice meal with our prisoners
we left Bastogne under the support of a Hetzer G13 :wink: