WWII Photos and Documents

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by SSMN, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. SSMN

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    Across Europe with Patton and the 11th Armored

    I have been requested by several forum members to post photos and documents in this section. I am in possession of more than 500 photos of the 11th Armored Division beginning in basic training, progressing to England, being rushed to the Battle of the Bulge to provide rescue/relief, the battle as it progressed across Europe including photos under fire, enemy soldiers falling, towns and villages under fire by our artillery, the aftermath, captured airbases, photos of allied captured planes, liberation of Mauthausen and the attendant photos, etc.

    I am not sure how in depth viewers might like to get with some of this and would appreciate some opinions. In addition, I have more than 10,000 German documents, primarily SS, most of them Top Secret, utilized while researching for a book published last year. Again opinions welcome.

    The following documents and photographs are protected by copyright and shall not be reproduced in any form without express permission of the owner.

    Steve Stepan
    Author of "SS Walther PP/PPK Identification & Documents"
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  2. SSMN

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    The 11th Armored Division was formed at Camp Polk, La August 1942.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  3. SSMN

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    Basic Training...My uncle called Sundown was in the back row, fourth from the left.

    Second photo..."June 16, 1942. To my loving wife, Sundown

    About to enter basic training.

    Last photo is of John's military drivers license. He was cleared to hop into anything the Army made from a passenger auto to a heavyy tank and drive it away.

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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  4. SSMN

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    The 11th stepped ashore in the UK in October of 1944. Five months after D Day. Their equipment did not arrive until November.

    They arrived in France Dec 14-16 at Cherbourg and immediately were sent forward to Belgium after being informed that they might be the only unit between the Germans and the Atlantic. First combat for the 11th came on Dec 30 near Chenogne.

    This picture was taken in Belgium. Inscribed "Some joke. Rough and ready Virgil Haener and me. Plenty cold. Dead of winter"
    Note the .50 cal Browning on top of the maint halftrack.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  5. permafrost

    permafrost Active Member

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    Thanks for posting them , SSMN.
    Having seen a few of the others, I'm sure they will be well recieved. You have some great pics. PF
  6. SSMN

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    At Chenogne he received the bronze Star. If you look closely you can see a bandage on the left rear of his neck where he had been shot in the throat. General Dager presenting the Bronze Star.

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  7. SSMN

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    Inscription: Wrecked buildings following artillery and German soldier falling during firefight as he is hit.

    When a town or village refused to raise white flags of surrender or military units puts up a fight or sniper fire was received, combat units would back off and the artillery would take over. This type of destruction was the result.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  8. SSMN

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    Entitled: "Village under attack". This halftrack is carrying a rifle squad.

    Second photo: Col. Yale observing artillery fire on town. He was the Commander of Combat Command B
    Note the .50 Cal (might be a .30)Browning on a pintle mount on the right front of his jeep and our maint halftrack in the background also with a .50 The Colonel could fire this gun when moving. The normal point of attachment was on a mount located between the seats and fired over the windshield. This required the canvas top to remain down. Not a good idea in the frigid winter weather in Belgium, France and Germany.

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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  9. SSMN

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    There was still a great deal of German strafing as they prepared to enter Germany.

    Entitled "Virg and Babli waiting out strafing Jerry"

    You can see the armored halftracks had a dropdown plate to cover the windshield, but every one I have seen utilized that raised shield to carry more gear. They had benches to carry a thirteen man rifle squad, but HQ maintenance units like this, were fully loaded with gear, spare parts etc.

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    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  10. SSMN

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    Another good look at a Halftrack. This one named "Trek". (They all were named).

    Entitled: "S-4 Halftrack Regen, Germany April 24th, 1945. Stayed in Fleish House. Plenty of meat (veal), eggs & schnapps."
    Note .50 cal with attached ammo box on a pulpit mount behind the GIs. You can also see the three supports utilized to hold the slotted windshield plate up for gear storage.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  11. SSMN

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    Another comment on strafing. Posted this on another thread but wanted to point out a few things.

    Entitled: "Towhead got in some good shooting at a Jerry plane. Note half empty ammo belt. Was strafed a few minutes earlier".

    In combat, Jeeps (or Peeps as they called them at that time) did not last long. This one was named Towhead III indicating I and II bit the dust. Please note the front fender. They were a maintenance unit (HQ Co) and so had all tools and equipment at their disposal. It appears that one of the first things that they did after the first convoy through mud and rain was to add fender extensions to stop the spray. Welded to the front of the fender, curved down and welded to the bumper. You can see their Combat Command designation CCB on the fender extension. The passenger side fender extension was marked 11 followed by a triangle and an "X", signifying the 11th Armored Division. It will show up in other photos.

    Also note the spare tires hung on the front of the Jeep. They had welded a vertical steel bar from the front bumper to stop steel cable strung across roads by retreating Germans from beheading Jeep occupants. This was commonly done in Viet Nam for the same reason.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  12. SSMN

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    Entitled: "I set house on fire with a thermite grenade, took sniper fire from here. Riddled house with machinegun fire and found several bodies in the burned out hulk"

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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  13. SSMN

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    "Prisoners and civilians work to repair a road for our tanks"

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  14. SSMN

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    "Our gas truck"

    As you can see, a gas truck consisted of a deuce and a half with all the jerry cans that it could carry.

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    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  15. SSMN

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    "Burned out after a firefight, many bodies"

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