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Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

Article about: Jean Paul Pallud makes a very detailed analysis of what the propaganda kompanie asked them to do, milling about and walking back and forward up the road. Even the "dash" across the

  1. #1

    Default Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

    "Mr Battle of the Bulge" or "Winter Fritz" as he has been called is one of the iconic images of the 1944 offensive. Young and with chiseled good looks, he has never been identified and many believe never will be - but will forever remain the unknown German SS machine-gunner of the Ardennes offensive...

    However on another Axis history forum a poster as recently as September this year has come forward with an identity.
    He believes his name was Hans Tragarsky and he passed away on January 7, 2011. He claims to have known him and that the old man didn't know that his pictures had become somewhat famous.

    He was 23 when the photo was taken and all he recalled about that day was that his unit ambushed a convoy of American armour & soft skinned vehicles and, after the fight was over, they took food, weapons and cigarettes from the US wreckage. Cameramen from the "Propagandakompanie" came by, stopped and asked if they could take pictures.... nothing spectacular, another skirmish, another day.

    Luckily for us, the images found their way into US hands ( from a captured cameraman as the newsreel tells us ) so at least we can see the cine images for ourselves to get a feel for what may have transpired.

    So, is the story true or false? ....... Hans Tragarsky has now passed on, so no-one but the OP can know for sure. Should it be case closed or do we ponder some more? .... Should he always remain the unidentified the face of the bulge? .....Does it even matter?
    Cheers, Dan
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    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

    The top photo was on ww2germanhelmets for a while captioned with the name of Hans Tragarsky, so it seems to be legit. I've always loved that photo. Fighting knife tucked in at his chest, spade ready in his belt, no doubt for close quarters fighting also.

  4. #3
    4md
    4md is offline
    ?

    Default Re: Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

    It would be great to see a modern photo of him. These photos near Poteau are probably my favorite shots of ww2.

    There is an excellent chapter in ' Battle of the Bulge then an now' on this photo and the other footage shot on this day.
    I love the fact that the little hut in the background of one of the photos is still standing and that Jean Paul Pallud drew a map of the bend, marking every camera postion and vehicle.

    If i ever go to Europe im going to this spot for sure.......although i can see my wife asking why are we standing on this road in the middle of nowhere

    regards Paul
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  5. #4

    Default Re: Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

    I was just watching episode 19 of 'World at War'! This soldier features in a couple of film snippets during the Ardennes offensive!

    I don't think we will ever truly know who this young man is..

    Josh

  6. #5

    Default Re: Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

    Quote by KradSpam View Post
    The top photo was on ww2germanhelmets for a while captioned with the name of Hans Tragarsky, so it seems to be legit. I've always loved that photo. Fighting knife tucked in at his chest, spade ready in his belt, no doubt for close quarters fighting also.
    And a 9mm tucked into his belt as well, he was armed and dangerous, and, God forgive him, probably killed a few GI's that fateful day.

  7. #6

    Red face Re: Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

    Quote by 4md View Post
    If i ever go to Europe im going to this spot for sure.......although i can see my wife asking why are we standing on this road in the middle of nowhere

    regards Paul
    Ha ! I think you'll find that this stretch of road is rather like a WWII version of the Beatles' Abbey Road pedestrian crossing.......my wife had to take a couple of these to get it reasonably 'right'......




  8. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

    Arguably some of the most "iconic" photo's of WWII.

    Is it right that he should he remain "anonymous" or "be named"?
    Big question, with an even bigger answer and open to everyone's own personal interpretation.
    Personally, I would prefer that he remained anonymous, to me, it just "seems right" that way, other's will no doubt disagree.

    Just my 2pennorth guys.

    Regards etc

    Ian D

    AKA: Jimpy

  9. #8

    Default Re: Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

    Quote by jimpy View Post
    Arguably some of the most "iconic" photo's of WWII.

    Is it right that he should he remain "anonymous" or "be named"?
    Big question, with an even bigger answer and open to everyone's own personal interpretation.
    Personally, I would prefer that he remained anonymous, to me, it just "seems right" that way, other's will no doubt disagree.

    Just my 2pennorth guys.

    Regards etc

    Ian D

    AKA: Jimpy
    Got to agree with you, gives it a bit of mystery!.....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  10. #9

    Default Re: Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	435289These are my favourite images of Hans,awesome troopers,Regards Dave.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Mr Battle of the Bulge...... Hans Tragarsky??

    did he ever light that cigarette?.

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