19 Chapters
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1 Battle for the Remagen Bridge across the Rhine River

Malcolm L. Fleming Indiana University Press ePub

Statue of Beethoven amid the ruins of his native city, Bonn. Official pictures of this by Sig C got quite a spread in US papers.

That’s T/3 Kitzero standing there, he’s an army photographer like me.

Less than a block from this statue was the photo shop basement where by match light I located the 40 rolls of size 127 film without which this would have been among the last photos for me.

Bonn, Ger—14 March ’45
Verichrome Film

I have chosen to write in the clipped style of my field notes. “Sig C” means Army Signal Corps.

Partially ruined cathedral of which I was to see many, later. The Germans found them too effective as OPs.

Bonn, Ger—14 March ’45

OPs are observation posts.

Unusual position for a Sherman Tank, but the tanker was hunting an unusual prey. The army, still jittery about the newly won Remagen Bridge, feared the enemy might destroy it by a one-man submarine or floating mines. So that’s what this tanker is looking for. Also searchlights were even used to watch the river by night.

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3 Continued Fighting

Malcolm L. Fleming Indiana University Press ePub

On the hill above Margarethenkreuz was this Forward Observation unit which was helping the Artillery direct its fire on the towns below. Particularly at night they would spot enemy guns by their muzzle blast and phone their locations to our own batteries. Here was my first birds-eye view of war, the so-called front lines being several miles distant. The fellow showed me what towns had been taken and what had not. Big puffs of smoke and dirt would occasionally jump up over the “had nots.”

Near Königswinter—21 March ’45

The 86th Chemical Mortar Battalion assigned to 1st Div. for close infantry support, here firing 4.2 in. mortars about 800 yds. from the front lines.

3 mi. from Oberpleis, Ger—23 March ’45

Eymo 35 mm

This is a frame of a 35 mm motion picture I filmed with an Army Eymo camera. Each one-hundred-foot roll of 35 mm motion picture film we shot was flown to England for processing. Occasionally we got back a test strip, often with critical comments about how we photographers were doing. This is a frame from such a strip.

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2 Fast Evacuation of Wounded—An Experiment

Malcolm L. Fleming Indiana University Press ePub

An experiment in the rapid evacuation of wounded men by glider. A C-47 tows the glider in and drops it, later snatching it into the air again by means of the ground pickup loop shown here. This method is particularly fit for use near the front where landing fields large enough for the plane are not available. The glider can land and be picked up from a tiny strip suitable for the little L-4 liaison plane used by the Artillery.

Near Unkel, Ger—22 March ’45

The glider has been adapted to hold twelve stretcher patients and three attendants or walking patients. This glider was built as a cargo glider and used in airborne landing operations. It this time brought in bundles of medical supplies and will take out a full load of wounded.

The walking wounded on the right is a German. Men submitting to use in this experiment were either volunteer GIs or Germans, with or without their consent.

Near Unkel, Ger—22 March ’45

Hold your breath—the C-47 is swooping in to snatch that loop of nylon rope, a tricky job at 130 miles per hour. But he does it and the surprising part is that people in the glider feel only a sensation like that of a car starting with a fast pickup speed. Of course the rope had some elasticity, but the real reason for the non-jerk takeoff is a special cushioning mechanism in the C-47.

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9 Gardelegen Atrocity

Malcolm L. Fleming Indiana University Press ePub

On the day before US Forces took Gardelegen, over a thousand slave laborers were burned and shot to death here. They were herded into a barn, the floor of which was covered with gasoline-soaked straw. A grinning 16 yr. old SS boy struck the match. Victims who tried to smother the flames or escape the barn were shot—machine guns being emplaced around the building. About one in twenty was identified as Jewish.

Near Gardelegen, Ger—20 May ’45

Mayors were brought from all the towns in Gardelegen County, made to view the 300 charred bodies and the makeshift grave for the other 700. All able-bodied males in the city of Gardelegen were forced to exhume the bodies in mass graves and bury all in individual plots with white crosses.

Near Gardelegen, Ger—20 May ’45

Sign marking the cemetery entrance. As it implies, each grave has a Gardelegen family charged with keeping it forever beautiful. As we were leaving this area on May 30 the British, who had taken over, saw to it that flowers were placed on each grave.

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11 Wartime Destruction

Malcolm L. Fleming Indiana University Press ePub

This greatest synthetic oil plant in Germany, the Leuna Werk, was bombed 22 times and was forced to cut its production to ¼ its capacity. This and other interesting facts I got from a French slave laborer who worked in the office of the plant and kept track of all the raids. He now is serving the American Military Govt in the city as an interpreter.

Near Merseburg, Ger—6 May ’45

On Nov. 2, 1944, during the 12th raid on this vital Leuna Werk, the B-17 that my friend, Bob Campbell, was piloting was hit by flak, set afire, and forced down.

Near Merseberg, Ger—6 May ’45

Huge statue of Emperor Ludwig, the Bavarian, stands serene in the desolate city center. 171 winding steps bring fools and photographers groping through pitch blackness up to the top of the 125 ft pedestal. See next photo.

Darmstadt, Ger—13 May ’45

Burned-out shells that once were the city’s important buildings. The Air Force must have had a grudge to settle here. All damage is said to have been caused by a single raid with incendiary bombs. View is from a statue-topped tower.

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