The final liberation

After the unsuccessful raid of Task Force Baum the area of Mainfranconia was turned into a hornet's nest. The raiding force was regarded to be the advance party of General Patton´s 4th Armored Division. But they did not come. The 4th Armored Division turned to the north and headed then to the east into Thuringia. The city of Aschaffenburg, where Baum started on 26 March 1945, was handed over to the 45th Infantry Division. The Seventh US-Army was now in charge, but it took them a while to bring up the troops.

 

Soldiers of the SS were looking for people who had hung out white flags. NSDAP (NAZI-party) leaders addressed warnings to the population that the disbelief in the final German victory was betrayal and would cost them their lives. The situation was intensified because a “Flying Court Martial” under the command of Major Erwin Helm moved through the Spessart, looking for deserters and cowards. The local Volksturm was alerted in the towns and villages, and the Volksturm leaders ordered the construction of anti-tank obstacles and road blocks. Travel became more difficult because of  checkpoints everywhere. The local German Army and the NSDAP had gotten a taste of what will happen when the entire US-Army rolls over the river Main. The simple people just hoped that it would go quickly to the end, without much pain and destruction. But this should come partially differently and will still require ten long days.

2005 © Copyright Peter Domes -  Date of last change: 2005-06-06