Heroes: the Army
"..."The level of the river rose and rose -- and rose -- and spread and spread - and spread to a mile wide in places with a current speed of 13 to 18 feet per second."..."
Roer River Images
They say that "seeing is believing" and so we are pleased to be able to present the following photographs. The originals are on display in the museum in Linnich, Germany which some of us visited in September of 1999. These photos were taken by the Germans, who kindly supplied your historian with copies. Larger editions will be on display in the history room in Buffalo (and beyond) but since many Ozarks do not get to the reunions, we felt it appropriate to show them in the Notes.
As many of you know, the Germans jammed open the main flood gates of the dams above the area where the Allies were to cross the Roer. In a speech given Feb. 28,1998 at the Roer River Crossing Party General Reed described the Roer very aptly: "The level of the river rose and rose -- and rose -- and spread and spread - and spread to a mile wide in places with a current speed of 13 to 18 feet per second."
It was no wonder that there were so many drownings and casualties from that crossing.
A little propaganda flyer from the Germans showed a washline with clothes, and the quote from a popular song "We're going to hang our washing on the Siegfried Line..."
"We are sure you'll have many things to wash. After all these weeks at the front, where it is too cold or too dangerous to wash things. And you'll know where to wash them, too.
In front of you, between us, is the Rur river, with lots of water -- maybe too much for your taste. We know, we haven't got much to say against you personally. We won't mind you doing your washing. But we wouldn't like you to do more, and we're ready to stop you if you should for instance try to cross the Rur river...
We are sure you'll survive a washing in the Rur, but we are not sure whether you'll survive a crossing."
(Editor's note: Attempts were made throughout the text of the following story to place full names to the men listed in the story. For the most part, this is an educated guess and some names may very well be mistaken in their identy. The names were all taken from the division history book: With The 102d Infantry Division Through Germany, edited by Major Allen H. Mick. Using the text as a guide, associations with specific units were the basis for the name identifications. We are not attempting in any to rewrite the story. Any corrections are gladly welcomed.)
Interested in some background information?
Check out the related links below...
United States Army, 102nd Infantry Division
102 Infantry Division
History of the 102nd Infantry Division
Attack on Linnich, Flossdorf, Rurdorf - 29 Nov -- 4 Dec 1944
Gardelegen War Crime
Gardelegen: April 13, 1945:
Massacre at the Isenschnibbe Barn
American Battle Monuments Commission: WWII Honor Roll
National World War II Memorial
The above story, "Roer River Images", was originally published in the 102d Division "Ozark Notes", Vol. 52, No. 4, July/October 2000, pp. 4-6.
The story is re-printed here on World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words with the kind permission of the 102d Infantry Division Association, Ms. Hope Emerich, Historian. Our sincerest THANKS for the 102d Infantry Division Association allowing us to share some of their stories.
We would also like to extend our sincere THANKS to Mr. Edward L. Souder, former historian of Co. F., 405th Regiment. His collection of stories of the "Kitchen Histories Project" series entitled, Those Damn Doggies in F, were responsible for bringing the stories of the men of the 102nd Division to the forefront.
Original Story submitted on 2 November 2004.
Story added to website on 4 November 2004.
September 5, 2002.
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Updated on 17 February 2012...1351:05 CST