General Patton Admits He Was Wrong





General Patton Admits He Was WRONG!!!!


During World War II, there were two POW camps located near

Hammelburg. The name of one camp was Stalag XIII-C. The other,

an officer or Oflag camp, was Oflag XIII-B.


Stalag XIII-C a POW camp for non-commissioned officers and enlisted

personnel. It contained three compounds, one for British and

Commonwealth soldiers, one for American soldiers and the third for

Soviet soldiers.


Oflag XIII-B had two compounds. One was for American officers, while

the other was for Serbian officers.


In late March, 1945, after the crossing of the Rhine River, an armored

task force, Task Force Baum, under orders from General George S. Patton, Jr.,

was sent to Oflag XIII-B to liberate the prisoners who were being held there.

There was some controversy over the reason for the raid which is now known

to history as "The Hammelburg Raid". Patton claims that he has sent the task

force to the camp to rescue the prisoners so that they would not be executed

by the retreating Germans, while others believe that the raid had been

conducted in order to liberate Patton's son-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel John

K. Waters, who had been found to be at the camp.


The task force, made up mainly of units from the 4th US Armored Division,

reached the camp on March 27, after making a 60 miles deep penetration

through the Germans' front lines. The task force liberated the camp, and

found Waters. They soon learn from one of the other prisoners, who is a

doctor, that he has been wounded during an earlier escape attempt and

is therefore unable to be moved from the camp because of those injuries.

The troopers then leave the camp, taking with them all those who want to

get back to friendly lines. This turns out to be 1200 men.


Unfortunately, the task force, miles from the camp, was attacked on three

sides by German troops the following day, and was soon fighting for its very

life. The task force is soon destroyed, with most of the force (those who

aren't dead) captured, including a large number of the recently liberated

prisoners. About a week to ten days after the failed raid, the camp was again

liberated by American troops, but by then, most of the more able-bodied

prisoners had been sent elsewhere.


Patton is later reprimanded for the raid by both General Eisenhower and

General Bradley, for both the aborted attempt and the destruction of the

task force. He told war correspondents a short time after the reprimand

that he had no idea that his son-in-law was actually in the camp until after

the troops have reached Hammelburg. But, he later admitted that not

sending a Combat Command to Hammelburg instead of the task force is the

only mistake that he had made during the campaign.


Sgtleo head: :banghead:


Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

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