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.
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.
A hidden stash of Hitler's private art collection has been found. What's more, and rather uniquely, this time it appears the seven discovered paintings may have included items he might have actually bought. Normally, Hitler and his cronies were more likely to have stolen whatever it is they acquired. Massive looting ranked among the signature activities of the Third Reich during its sweep across Europe, that is once one gets past genocide, mass enslavement, and other such core Nazi values and pursuits.
Even more noteworthy is that the art appears to have been found in a Czech convent not far