Germany (Part 3)
| Autobahn demolition, half successful.
We enjoyed our first trip on an Autobahn, the super-duper highway system
on which the Führer planned to move his armies so quickly. Now backfiring
on him the Allied Forces were making the best of them. We sped north through
the once beautiful city of Frankfurt am Main to . . .
. . . HERSFELD many miles to the north. At Hersfeld the gun batteries
settled down at the four points of the compass around the town. Furthermore
our three-star General George Patton wanted the men of Headquarters Battery
-- combat men, understand -- to live in the buildings around his spacious
quarters as "Palace Guards". Needless to say George slept well
while we were there. Battalion Headquarters took over some flats, and
it was in one of these that our Dental Officer found offices and a laboratory
all set up with the latest gadgets. Fortunately our stay in Hersfeld was
short and we didn't fall under his hand.
Just about the time that we were nicely settled two gun batteries and
a part of the S-3 Section moved to Weimar on a hurry call, only to find
on their arrival that it was a "dry run". The Third Army had
changed its mind on its tactical direction. The batteries returned to
Hersfeld only to start out the next day, the 18th of April, with the entire
Battalion in the new direction the Third Army Spearhead was taking. This
led us south, and our objective was . . .
| Germany needs a little reconstruction!
. . . SCHWEINFURT, the ball-bearing center of Germany. Our mission
... to guard the Main Supply Route to the front.
We weren't to protect it for long, for the Third gained steadily and
the MSR was changed to a highway further south. On the road again. It
was at ....
. . . SCHEINFELD that Headquarters found the Castle Schwarzenberg,
a real old Bavarian Castle that had been modernized and was quite livable.
It looked too big for Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Battery;
we moved in nevertheless and closed off a lot of rooms in which DP's had
left evidence of their ransacking and looting. What a joint! No crowded
quarters, light, large kitchen, beer on tap in the brewery, those huge
17th century things they called stoves, paintings on the ceilings of those
women in their under-rationed clothes. This is the life. Stay here a while?
No, "March Order" and on to the Bavarian Plain, many kilometers
to the south.