Of all the U.S. Army units to serve in Czechoslovakia during 1945, none was as combat experienced as the 1st Infantry Division. From the assault landing at Oran, Algeria on 8 November 1942 to V-E Day in north-west Czechoslovakia on 8 May 1945, the “Big Red One” spent an astonishing 443 days in combat across two continents.
The Prague Uprising (not to be confused with the Prague Spring of 1968), occurred from May 5 to May 8, 1945. With the Third Reich collapsing on all fronts the last significant German military grouping was that of Army Group Center, which early in May 1945 controlled, among other areas, the better part of Bohemia and Moravia - including the Czech capital of Prague.
The Telegraph is reporting on how, following the September 1938 Nazi initiated dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, the Bank of England transferred to Germany Czech gold held in its vaults. This gold, valued at 5.6 million pounds, was sent to the Reichsbank in spite of the fact Czech assets had been frozen in response to what was essentially an invasion of Czechoslovakia enabled by British and French efforts to avoid outright war via acquiescing to Hitler's demands.
The actual transfer of the roughly 2,000 bars of gold to the Reichsbank took place in March of 1939, and was done at the behest of
Another new "long-form" article is up in the Articles Section of The Globe At War. The U.S. 9th Armored Division in the Liberation of Western Czechoslovakia 1945 is by Bryan J. Dickerson, a military historian and former Religious Program Specialist 1st Class in the U.S. Navy Reserve and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (having served in Iraq twice with units of the II Marine Expeditionary Force / 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing). His article takes a look at one aspect of the often overlooked final days of the Second World War in Europe; as well as offers a succinct overview of late war U.S.
On the morning of 7 May 1945 and as the Third Reich collapsed, soldiers of Combat Command A (CCA), U.S. 9th Armored Division mounted up their vehicles and resumed their advance eastward further into north-western Czechoslovakia. Temporarily attached to the 1st Infantry Division, CCA’s mission was to liberate the Czech city of Karlovy Vary. CCA’s task forces rolled forward against negligible German resistance. Nevertheless, after only a couple hours, higher headquarters radioed orders for CCA to halt its forces in place.
Another new "long-form" article is up in the Articles Section of The Globe At War. There at the End: The U.S. 16th Armored Division's Liberation of Plzen is by Bryan J. Dickerson, a military historian and former Religious Program Specialist 1st Class in the U.S. Navy Reserve and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (having served in Iraq twice with units of the II Marine Expeditionary Force / 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing). His article takes a look at the often overlooked final days of the Second World War in Europe; as well as offers a succinct overview of late war U.S.
Prologue – Plzen, Czech Republic, Saturday 6 May 2000,
On this warm sunny day, I stood among several hundred people who had gathered on Husova Street; several blocks from Plzen’s Republic Square. 55 years ago on this very day, soldiers of the U.S. 16th Armored Division had rolled into Plzen and liberated its people from six oppressive years of German occupation (pictured here - Photo Courtesy of Jaroslav Peklo). Later on that same day, other soldiers from the U.S. 97th and 2nd Infantry Divisions had arrived to help secure the city.
On May 27, 1942 a joint British, Czech, Slovak commando operation attacked Reinhard Heydrich, one of history's truly vile human beings he is best known as being the founder of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and chair of the January 1942 Wannsee Conference laying out the scope of the Final Solution, as he travelled near Prague in Czechoslovakia. He would die from his wounds shortly thereafter.
Then on June 9, 1942 Adolf Hitler, infuriated by Heydrich's assassination, set in train orders meant to make up for Heydrich's death by exacting horrific retribution on villages in the area that were
Following the Third Reich's Anschluss, or political union, with Austria Hitler looked to Czechoslovakia for his next conquest. As a pretext for war the German media, under Goebbels direction, emitted a constant propaganda stream heightening tensions in the area by calling for protecting the German minority in Czechoslovakia. Goebbels agitations focused on the Sudetenland, a Czechoslovakian region running along the German border and home to most of Czechoslovakia's ethnic Germans.