Another bridge crossing the Agger – no combat engineers needed - or...
#1

...Thou shalt not lie!

 

There is a concrete bridge in Lohmar/Rhineland near the village Wahlscheid across the river Agger, just wide enough for a car, which has not been destoyed by the retreating german Wehrmacht as the only one far and wide, therefore combat engineers were not needed here.

 

A local historian and churchman (and acquaintance of my parents), Peter Kemmerich, who passed away 20 years ago, wrote in his book about Lohmar’s history of the early 20th century, that a resident farmer himself told him why: The bridge was already prepared for blasting when he tiptoed in the night to the bridge just before the Americans (97th infantry) arrived there and cut the fuze, so he saved the bridge… I read the text some years ago, but forgot about it…

 

Until 2011 when the bridge was examinated to prepare its overhaul. What they found was surprising: two big explosive charges without fuzes. Everybody seemed very astonished, articles in all local newspapers, nobody remembered Kemmerich’s passage in the book, not even I.

 

Now, trying to reconstruct the last days of WWII in Lohmar, I found the “Citations for Awards of the Silver Star to U_S_ Army Personnel in World War II”:

“GLOBIS, ANTHONY W.

Citation:

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Anthony W. Globis, Private First Class, U.S. Army, for gallantry in action in connection with a military operation against an armed enemy while serving with Company A, 387th Infantry Regiment, 97th Infantry Division. On 13 April 1945 near Wahlscheid, Germany, Private Globis was sent to make a bridge reconnaissance. After advancing 2000 yards he came upon a road bridge which was mined an protected by three enemy soldiers. Though outnumbered, Private Globis unhesitatingly crawled to a position from which he could place fire upon the enemy troops and forced their surrender. He then audaciously required his prisoners to deactivate the mines and returned them to his own lines. Private Globis' boldness and gallantry on this occasion permitted his company to advance and reflects great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces.

Headquarters, 97th Infantry Division, General Orders No. 38 (June 11, 1945)

Home Town: Pennsylvania”

 

I told all this to one of our Lohmar notabilities asking what he thinks about publishing and which version he would trust. The only thing he said was he knows that farmer for more than 40 years and knows that everything he says should be considered with the utmost caution. :pdt12:

 

Christoph

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#2

What a GREAT "STORY"!!!!

 

Ya, I think I would have to suspend my disbelief on that one. :clappin2:

 

Hmmm, would I believe the Army, or believe ol' Peter? Wellll.... Me thinks the former is a bit more believable.

 

Here's to ol' Pete, and here's to the REAL hero, Anthony!

 

Just when you think, you've heard them all... :pdt12: :pdt12:

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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#3

Of course it was Anthony. But Peter wrote only down what "the Farmer" told him (I don't name him because he's still alive, and his story is "statute-barred").

 

But why were the charges not removed? :blink:

 

Christoph

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#4

Hmmm, they may have been interrupted?????? :pdt:

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"
Reply
#5

What a fascinating story Christopher!

 

Jean J

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#6

I wanted to publish it 3 years ago, but time goes by... until today, it is in the 2015 issue of our local history magazine :drinkin: (and another article about the dragonflies around here)

Christoph

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#7

Glad to hear it was published.

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"
Reply


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