Major Richard “Dick” Winters

Major Richard “Dick” Winters

Fallen Yet Not Forgotten

Today we remember Major Richard “Dick” Winters of New Holland, Pennsylvania. Today is Richard’s birthday. Help us wish him a Happy heavenly birthday!🎂

This true American hero was one of the commander of the Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division, during World War II.

Major Richard “Dick” Winters was a soldier-savant when it came to devising battle plans on the fly and marshalling his men to accomplish mission after mission.

On June 6, 1944, Major Dick Winters parachuted into France, Normandy and commanded the unit known as the Band of Brothers. He led his men through the Battle of the Bulge and captured Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s Bavarlan retreat. Winters received the U.S. Army’s second-highest award for combat valor the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership at Brécourt Manor.

On November 1945, he was released from military service but returned briefly to active duty during the Korean War, then spent his life on a small Pennsylvania farm and was a highly successful businessman. He passed away in 2011 at age of 92.

We honor his service. ❤ 🇺🇸

Richard Davis Winters (January 21, 1918 – January 2, 2011) was an officer of the United States Army and a decorated war veteran. He is best known for having commanded Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division, during World War II. He was eventually promoted to major and put in command of the 2nd Battalion.

As a first lieutenant, Winters parachuted into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944, and later fought across France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and eventually Germany. After the German surrender in May 1945, he left the 506th and was stationed in France, where senior officers were needed to oversee the return home. In 1951, during the Korean War, Winters was recalled to the Army from the inactive list and briefly served as a regimental planning and training officer on staff at Fort Dix, New Jersey. After volunteering and completing training to become a Ranger, Winters was issued orders for deployment and was preparing to depart for Korea, but instead left the Army under a provision that allowed officers who had served in World War II but had been inactive since to resign their commission.

Winters was discharged from the Army and returned to civilian life, working first in New Jersey and later in Pennsylvania, where he set up his own company selling chocolate byproducts from The Hershey Company to producers of animal feed. He was a regular guest lecturer at the United States Military Academy at West Point until his retirement in 1997.

Winters has been featured within numerous books and was portrayed by English actor Damian Lewis in the 2001 HBO mini-series Band of Brothers

Contents

1Early life and education

2Military service

2.1World War II

2.2Korean War

3Later life

4Death

4.1Memorials

5Medals and decorations

6References

7External links

Early life and education.

Winters was born in New Holland, Pennsylvania,[2]: 4  to Richard and Edith Winters on January 21, 1918.[3] The family soon moved to nearby Ephrata, and then to Lancaster when he was eight years old.[2]: 4  He graduated from Lancaster Boys High School in 1937 and attended Franklin and Marshall College.[3][2]: 6 

New Holland is a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States.

At Franklin and Marshall, Winters was a member of the Upsilon chapter of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and participated in intramural football and basketball. He had to give up wrestling, his favorite sport, and most of his social activities for his studies and the part-time jobs that paid his way through college. He graduated in 1941 with a B.S. in Economics. He obtained the highest academic standing in the business college. Following graduation, he enlisted in the Army to fulfill a one-year requirement of service,[4] although he later wrote in his memoirs that at the time he “had no desire to get into the war” and that he had volunteered so that he would not be drafted later.[2]: 6 

Military service.

World War II.

Winters enlisted in the United States Army on August 25, 1941.[2]: 6  In September, he underwent basic training at Camp Croft, South Carolina.[2]: 7  He remained at Camp Croft to help train draftees and other volunteers, while the rest of his battalion was deployed to Panama. In April 1942, four months after the United States entered World War II, he was selected to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort BenningGeorgia.[2]: 8–9  There he became friends with Lewis Nixon, with whom he would serve throughout the war.[2]: 13  He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the infantry after graduating from OCS on July 2, 1942.[2]: 13 

During his officer training, Winters decided to join the parachute infantry, part of the U.S. Army’s new airborne forces.[2]: 12  Upon completing training, he returned to Camp Croft to train another class of draftees as there were no positions available in the paratroopers at that time. After five weeks, he received orders to join the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (506th PIR) at Camp Toccoa (formerly Camp Toombs) in Georgia.[2]: 14  The 506th was commanded by Colonel Robert Sink.

U.S. Army Paratroopers . (U.S. Army Photo by Paolo Bovo)

Winters arrived at Toccoa in mid-August 1942 and was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR,[2]: 16–17  which later became better known as “Easy Company” in accordance with the contemporaneous Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet. Serving under First Lieutenant Herbert Sobel, Winters was made platoon leader of 2nd Platoon, earning a promotion to first lieutenant in October 1942[5]: 25 [2]: 39  and made acting company executive officer,[3] although this was not made official until May 1943.[2]: 39  The 506th PIR was an experimental unit, the first regiment to undertake airborne training as a formed unit.[5]: 18  The training at Toccoa was very tough. Of the 500 officers who had volunteered, only 148 completed the course; of 5,000 enlisted volunteers, only 1,800 were ultimately selected for duty as paratroopers.[5]: 18 [2]: 18 

On June 10, 1943, after more tactical training at Camp Mackall, North Carolina, the 506th PIR was attached to Major General William Lee‘s 101st “Screaming Eagles” Airborne Division.[5]: 39  Later in the year, they embarked on the Samaria, and arrived in Liverpool on 15 September 1943.[5]: 44  They proceeded to AldbourneWiltshire, where they began intense training for the Allied invasion of Europe planned for spring 1944.[5]: 45 

The 101st Airborne Division (“Screaming Eagles”)

In November and December 1943, while Easy Company was at Aldbourne, the tension that had been brewing between Winters and Sobel came to a head.[5]: 47–52  For some time, Winters had privately held concerns over Sobel’s ability to lead the company in combat. Many of the enlisted men in the company had come to respect Winters for his competence and had also developed their own concerns about Sobel’s leadership.[5]: 48  Winters later said that he never wanted to compete with Sobel for command of Easy Company; still, Sobel attempted to bring Winters up on trumped-up charges for “failure to carry out a lawful order”.[5]: 51  Feeling that his punishment was unjust, Winters requested that the charge be reviewed by court-martial. After Winters’ punishment was set aside by the battalion commander, Major Robert L. Strayer, Sobel brought Winters up on another charge the following day. During the investigation, Winters was transferred to the Headquarters Company and appointed as the battalion mess officer.[5]: 52 

In the wake of this incident, several of the company’s non-commissioned officers (NCOs) delivered an ultimatum to the regimental commander, Colonel Sink, threatening to surrender their stripes unless Sobel was replaced. Winters tried unsuccessfully to talk them out of taking this step.[5]: 53  Sink was not impressed by the threat, and several of the NCOs were subsequently demoted and/or transferred out of the company. Nevertheless, he realized that something had to be done and decided[5]: 54  to transfer Sobel out of Easy Company, giving him command of a new parachute training school at Chilton Foliat.[2]: 57  Winters’ court-martial was set aside and he returned to Easy Company as leader of 1st Platoon. Winters later said he felt that despite his differences with Sobel, at least part of Easy Company’s success had been due to Sobel’s strenuous training and high expectations.[2]: 287  In February 1944, First Lieutenant Thomas Meehan was given command of Easy Company.[2]: 57 

Meehan remained in command of the company until the invasion of Normandy, when at about 1:15 a.m. on June 6, 1944, D-Day, the C-47 Skytrain transporting the company Headquarters Section was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire, killing everyone on board.[2]: 78–79  Winters jumped that night and landed safely near Sainte-Mère-Église.[2]: 80  Losing his weapon during the drop, he nevertheless oriented himself, assembled several paratroopers, including members of the 82nd Airborne Division, and proceeded toward the unit’s assigned objective near Sainte-Marie-du-Mont.[5]: 76  With Meehan’s fate unknown, Winters became the de facto commanding officer (CO) of Easy Company, which he remained for the duration of the Normandy campaign.[5]: 92 

Later that day, Winters led an attack that destroyed a battery of German 105mm howitzers,[6] which were firing onto the causeways that served as the principal exits from Utah Beach.[5]: 78–84  The Americans estimated that the guns were defended by about a platoon of 50 German troops, while Winters had 13 men.[5]: 78–84  This action south of the village of Le Grand-Chemin, called the Brécourt Manor Assault, has been taught at the military academy at West Point as an example of a textbook assault on a fixed position by a numerically inferior force.[4] In addition to destroying the battery, Winters also obtained a map that showed German gun emplacements near Utah Beach.[2]: 88 

On July 1, 1944, Winters was told that he had been promoted to captain.[2]: 112  The next day, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Cross by General Omar Bradley, then the commander of the U.S. First Army.[2]: 112  Shortly after, the 506th Parachute Infantry was withdrawn from France and returned to Aldbourne, England, for reorganization.[2]: 112 

In September 1944, the 506th PIR parachuted into the Netherlands, near the village of Son, north of Eindhoven, as part of Operation Market Garden, a combined airborne and armored operation. On 5 October 1944, a German force attacked the 2nd Battalion’s flank and threatened to break through the American lines. At the same time, four men in an Easy Company patrol were wounded.[2]: 136–137  Returning to the headquarters, they reported that they had encountered a large group of Germans at a crossroads about 1,300 yards (1,200 m) to the east of the company command post.[2]: 137  Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Winters took one squad from 1st Platoon, and moved off toward the crossroads, where they observed a German machine gun firing to the south, toward the battalion headquarters, from a long distance.[2]: 137  After surveying the position, Winters led the squad in an assault on the gun crew.[2]: 138  Soon after taking the position, the squad took fire from a German position opposite them. Estimating that this position was held by at least a platoon, Winters called for reinforcements from the rest of the 1st Platoon and led them in a successful assault. Later it was discovered there had been at least 300 Germans.[2]: 145 

The Battle of the Bulge

On October 9, Winters became the battalion executive officer (XO), following the death of the battalion’s former XO, Major Oliver Horton.[2]: 147  Although this position was normally held by a major, Winters filled it as a captain. The 101st Airborne Division was withdrawn to France soon afterward. On December 16, 1944, German forces launched a counter-offensive against the Western Allies in Belgium, commencing the Battle of the Bulge. The 101st Airborne Division was trucked to the Bastogne area two days later. Still serving as XO of the 2nd Battalion, Winters helped defend the line northeast of Bastogne near the town of Foy.[5]: 179–212  The entire 101st Airborne and elements of the 10th Armored Division battled about 15 German divisions, supported by heavy artillery and armor, for nearly a week before General George Patton‘s U.S. Third Army reopened ground supply lines.[5]: 179–212 

After being relieved, the 2nd Battalion attacked Foy on January 9, 1945.[5]: 205  On March 8, 1945, the 2nd Battalion was moved to Haguenau in Alsace, after which Winters was promoted to major.[2]: 200  Shortly afterwards, Robert Strayer, now a lieutenant colonel, was elevated to the regimental staff and Winters took over as acting commander of the 2nd Battalion.[5]: 221 [2]: 202 

In April, the battalion carried out defensive duties along the Rhine before deploying to Bavaria later in the month.[2]: 209–213  In early May, the 101st Airborne Division received orders to capture Berchtesgaden.[2]: 216  The 2nd Battalion set out from the town of Thale through streams of surrendering German soldiers and reached the alpine retreat at noon on 5 May 1945.[2]: 217  Three days later, the war in Europe ended.[2]: 224 

After the end of hostilities, Winters remained in Europe as the process of occupation and demobilization began. Even though he had enough points to return to the United States, he was told that he was needed in Germany.[2]: 243  Later, he was offered a regular (non-reserve) commission, but declined it.[5]: 283  He finally embarked from Marseille aboard the Wooster Victory on 4 November 1945.[2]: 254  He was separated from the Army on November 29, 1945,[2]: 254  although he was not officially discharged until January 22, 1946, and he remained on terminal leave until then.[2]: 255 

Winters was recommended for the Medal of Honor for his leadership at Brécourt Manor, but instead received the U.S. Army’s second-highest award for combat valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.[5]: 85  After the release of the Band of Brothers television miniseries, Representative Tim Holden (D-PA) introduced a bill asking the President to grant the Medal, but the bill died in the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Military Personnel in 2007.[7]

Korean War.

Winters in 2004

 

Winters in 2004

After leaving the Army, Winters worked for his close wartime friend Captain Lewis Nixon at Nixon’s family business, Nixon Nitration Works of Edison, New Jersey, rising to become general manager in 1950.[5]: 306  On May 16, 1948, Winters married Ethel Estoppey[3][2]: 256  and continued to pursue his education through the GI Bill, attending a number of business and personnel management courses at Rutgers University.[2]: 256 

In June 1951, Winters was recalled to active duty in the Army during the Korean War.[2]: 256  He was ordered to join the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, but he was given six months to report and in this time he traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak to General Anthony McAuliffe, in the hope that he could convince the Army not to send him to Korea.[2]: 256  He explained to McAuliffe that he had seen enough of war and apparently McAuliffe understood his position, but explained that he was needed because of his command experience. Winters then reported to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he was assigned as a regimental planning and training officer.[2]: 257 

While at Fort Dix, Winters became disillusioned with his job, finding that he had little enthusiasm for training officers who lacked discipline and did not attend their scheduled classes. As a result, he volunteered to attend Ranger School, where he passed and became a Ranger.[2]: 257  He then received orders to deploy to Korea and traveled to Seattle, where, during pre-deployment administration, he was offered the option of resigning his commission,[2]: 257  which he accepted.

Later life.

Winters was discharged from the Army and became a production supervisor at a plastics adhesive business, Nixon Nitration Works in New Brunswick, New Jersey.[2]: 257  In 1951, he and his wife bought a small farm where later they built a home and raised two children. In 1972, Winters went into business for himself, starting his own company and selling animal feed products to farmers throughout Pennsylvania.[2]: 257  Soon afterward, he moved his family to Hershey, Pennsylvania.[3] He retired in 1997.[2]: 258 

During the 1990s, Winters was featured in a number of books and television series about his experiences and those of the men in Easy Company. In 1992, Stephen Ambrose wrote the book Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, which was subsequently turned into an HBO mini-series Band of Brothers, with Damian Lewis portraying Winters.[3] When the miniseries won Primetime Emmy awards, Winters attended the ceremony to accept on behalf of Easy Company while other surviving members of the company watched from the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles.[8]

Winters was also the subject of the 2005 book Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led the Band of Brothers, written by Larry Alexander. His own memoir, Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters, co-written by military historian and retired U.S. Army Colonel Cole C. Kingseed, was published in early 2006. He also gave a number of lectures on leadership to cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point.[4]

On May 16, 2009, Franklin and Marshall College conferred an honorary doctorate in humane letters upon Winters.[9]

Despite the many accolades he had received, Winters remained humble about his service.[2]: 289  During the interview segment of the miniseries Band of Brothers, Winters quoted a passage from a letter he received from Sergeant Myron “Mike” Ranney: “I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, ‘Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?’ Grandpa said ‘No…but I served in a company of heroes’.”

Death.

The statue of Richard Winters at Utah Beach, Normandy, France

 

The statue of Richard Winters at Utah Beach, Normandy, France

Winters died on January 2, 2011,[10] at an assisted living facility in Campbelltown, Pennsylvania, 19 days before his 93rd birthday. He had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for several years.[11] Winters was buried in a private funeral service, which was held on 8 January 2011. He was buried in the Bergstrasse Evangelical Lutheran Church cemetery in Ephrata, Pennsylvania,[12] next to his parents in the Winters’ family plot. His grave is marked “Richard D. Winters, World War II 101st Airborne”. His wife Ethel died in 2012, at age 89.[13]

Memorials.

On June 6, 2012, the 68th anniversary of the D-Day landings, a 12-foot bronze statue of Winters by sculptor Stephen C. Spears[14] was unveiled near the village of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, France 49.3915°N 1.21345°W.[15] Winters agreed for the statue to bear his resemblance on the condition that the monument would be dedicated to all junior officers who served and died during the Normandy landings.[16]

A cast of the sculpture was placed in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, in a plaza on the Ephrata-to-Warwick linear trail park near Railroad Avenue and East Fulton Street, where Winters lived with his family from ages two to eight.[17] That statue was dedicated on May 25, 2015.[14]

Some of Winters’ World War II uniforms and memorabilia are on display at three museums:

Medals and decorations[edit]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge Ranger Tab Cp2j.jpg Parachutist Badge with two Combat Jump Stars
Distinguished Service Cross
Bronze oak leaf cluster Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Purple Heart
Bronze oak leaf cluster Presidential Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Arrowhead Bronze star Bronze star Bronze star Bronze star European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 Service Stars and Arrowhead Device
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
French Croix de Guerre with palm
French Liberation Medal
Belgian Croix de Guerre with palm
Belgian Commemorative Medal of the 1940-1945 War

 Five Overseas Service Bars for serving 2½ years overseas in Europe.

In 2001, Winters, as a representative on behalf of the U.S. Army, was one of five World War II veterans to be awarded the Freedom Medal & Freedom from Fear Medal from the Roosevelt Institute.

Band of Brothers is a 2001 American war drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose‘s 1992 non-fiction book of the same name.[3] It was created by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who also served as executive producers, and who had collaborated on the 1998 World War II film Saving Private Ryan.[4] Episodes first aired on HBO, starting on September 9, 2001. The series won Emmy and Golden Globe awards in 2001 for best miniseries.

The series dramatizes the history of “Easy” Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division, from jump training in the United States through its participation in major actions in Europe, up until Japan’s capitulation and the end of World War II. The events are based on Ambrose’s research and recorded interviews with Easy Company veterans. The series took some literary license, adapting history for dramatic effect and series structure.[5][6] The characters portrayed are based on members of Easy Company. Excerpts from interviews with some of the survivors are used as preludes to the episodes, but they are not identified by name until the end of the finale.

The title of the book and series comes from the St Crispin’s Day Speech in William Shakespeare‘s play Henry V, delivered by King Henry before the Battle of Agincourt. Ambrose quotes a passage from the speech on his book’s first page; this passage is spoken by Carwood Lipton in the series finale.

Contents

Plot

Band of Brothers is a dramatized account of “Easy Company” (part of the 2nd Battalion506th Parachute Infantry Regiment), assigned to the United States Army‘s 101st Airborne Division during World War II. Over ten episodes the series details the company’s exploits during the war. Starting with jump training at Camp ToccoaGeorgiaBand of Brothers follows the unit through the American airborne landings in NormandyOperation Market Garden, the Siege of Bastogne, and on to the war’s end. It includes the taking of the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest) at Obersalzberg in Berchtesgaden and refers to the surrender of Japan. Major Richard Winters (1918–2011) is the central character, shown working to accomplish the company’s missions and keep his men together and safe. While the series features a large ensemble cast, each episode generally focuses on a single character, following his action.[4]

As the series is based on historic events, the fates of the characters reflect those of the persons on which they are based. Many either die or sustain serious wounds which lead to their being sent home. Other soldiers recover after treatment in field hospitals and rejoin their units on the front line. Their experiences, and the moral, mental, and physical hurdles they must overcome, are central to the story’s narrative.

Production.

The series was developed chiefly by Tom Hanks and Erik Jendresen, who spent months detailing the plot outline and individual episodes.[7] Steven Spielberg served as “the final eye” and used Saving Private Ryan, the film on which he and Hanks had collaborated, to inform the series.[8] Accounts of Easy Company veterans, such as Donald Malarkey, were incorporated into production to add historic detail.[8]

Budget and promotion

Promotional poster for Band of Brothers

 

Promotional poster for Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers was at the time the most expensive TV miniseries ever to have been made by any network.[9][10] Its budget was about $125 million, or an average of $12.5 million per episode.[8]

An additional $15 million was allocated for a promotional campaign, which included screenings for World War II veterans.[9] One was held at Utah Beach, Normandy, where U.S. troops had landed on June 6, 1944. On June 7, 2001, 47 Easy Company veterans were flown to Paris and then traveled by chartered train to the site, where the series premiered.[11][12] Also sponsoring was Chrysler, as its Jeeps were used in the series.[13] Chrysler spent $5 million to $15 million on its advertising campaign, using footage from Band of Brothers.[13] Each of the spots was reviewed and approved by the co-executive producers Hanks and Spielberg.[13]

The BBC paid £7 million ($10.1 million) as co-production partner, the most it had ever paid for a bought-in program, and screened it on BBC Two. Originally, it was to have aired on BBC One but was moved to allow an “uninterrupted ten-week run”, with the BBC denying that this was because the series was not sufficiently mainstream.[14][15] Negotiations were monitored by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who spoke personally to Spielberg.[16]

Location,

The series was shot over eight to ten months on Ellenbrooke Fields, at Hatfield Aerodrome in Hertfordshire, England. Various sets, including replicas of European towns, were built.[12] This location had also been used to shoot the film Saving Private Ryan.[8][10] Replicas were constructed on the large open field to represent twelve different towns, among them Bastogne, Belgium; Eindhoven, Netherlands; and Carentan, France.[17] North Weald Airfield in Essex was also used for location shots depicting the take-off sequences before the D-Day Normandy landings.

The village of Hambleden, in Buckinghamshire, England, was used as a location extensively in the early episodes to depict the company’s training in England, as well as in later scenes. The scenes set in Germany and Austria were shot in Switzerland, in and near the village of Brienz in the Bernese Oberland, and at the nearby Hotel Giessbach.

Historical accuracy.

To preserve historical accuracy, the writers conducted additional research. One source was the memoir of Easy Company soldier David Kenyon WebsterParachute Infantry: An American Paratrooper’s Memoir of D-Day and the Fall of the Third Reich (1994).[citation needed] This was published by LSU Press, following renewed interest in World War II and more than 30 years after his death in a boating accident. In Band of Brothers Ambrose quoted liberally from Webster’s unpublished diary entries, with permission from his estate.[3][note 1]

The production team consulted Dale Dye, a retired United States Marine Corps captain and consultant on Saving Private Ryan, as well as with most of the surviving Easy Company veterans, including Richard Winters, Bill Guarnere, Frank Perconte, Ed Heffron, and Amos Taylor.[8][18] Dye (who portrays Colonel Robert Sink) instructed the actors in a 10-day boot camp.[18]

The production aimed for accuracy in the detail of weapons and costumes. Simon Atherton, the weapons master, corresponded with veterans to match weapons to scenes, and assistant costume designer Joe Hobbs used photos and veteran accounts.[8]

Most actors had contact with the individuals they were to portray before filming, often by telephone. Several veterans came to the production site.[8] Hanks acknowledged that alterations were needed to create the series: “We’ve made history fit onto our screens. We had to condense down a vast number of characters, fold other people’s experiences into 10 or 15 people, have people saying and doing things others said or did. We had people take off their helmets to identify them, when they would never have done so in combat. But I still think it is three or four times more accurate than most films like this.”[12] As a final accuracy check, the veterans saw previews of the series and approved the episodes before they were aired.[19]

Shortly after the premiere of the series, Tom Hanks asked Major Winters what he thought of Band of Brothers. The major responded, “I wish that it would have been more authentic. I was hoping for an 80 percent solution.” Hanks responded, “Look, Major, this is Hollywood. At the end of the day we will be hailed as geniuses if we get this 12 percent right. We are going to shoot for 17 percent.”[20]

506th PIR Unit emblem

 

506th PIR Unit emblem

Liberation of one of the Kaufering subcamps of Dachau was depicted in episode 9 (“Why We Fight“); however, the 101st Airborne Division arrived at Kaufering Lager IV subcamp on the day after[21] it was discovered by the 134th Ordnance Maintenance Battalion of the 12th Armored Division, on April 27, 1945.[22][23] German historian and Holocaust researcher Anton Posset worked with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks as a consultant, providing photographs of the liberators and documentation of the survivor’s reports he had collected over the years. The camp was reconstructed in England for the miniseries.[24]

It is uncertain which Allied unit was first to reach the Kehlsteinhaus; several claim the honor, compounded by confusion with the town of Berchtesgaden, which was taken on May 4 by forward elements of the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division.[25][26][note 2] Reputedly members of the 7th went as far as the elevator to the Kehlsteinhaus,[25] with at least one individual claiming he and a partner continued on to the top.[29] However, the 101st Airborne maintains it was first both to Berchtesgaden and the Kehlsteinhaus.[30][failed verification] Also, elements of the French 2nd Armored DivisionLaurent Touyeras, Georges Buis and Paul Répiton-Préneuf, were present on the night of May 4 to 5, and took several photographs before leaving on May 10 at the request of US command,[31][32] and this is supported by testimonies of the Spanish soldiers who went along with them. Major Dick Winters, who commanded the 2nd Battalion of the U.S. 506th PIR in May 1945, stated that they entered Berchtesgaden shortly after noon on May 5. He challenged competing claims stating, “If the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Division was first in Berchtesgaden, just where did they go? Berchtesgaden is a relatively small community. I walked into the Berchtesgaden Hof with Lieutenant Welsh and saw nobody other than some servants. Goering’s Officers’ Club and wine cellar certainly would have caught the attention of a French soldier from LeClerc’s 2nd Armored Division, or a rifleman from the U.S. 3rd Division. I find it hard to imagine, if the 3rd Division was there first, why they left those beautiful Mercedes staff cars untouched for our men.

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