Thursday, Mar 8, 1945
Patton has reached the Rhine! The 3rd Army has dashed 50 miles inside the Reich. Some of the encounters with the enemy have been bizarre. Some 46 armed German soldiers guided a mere five GIs through a minefield and made no attempt to arrest or stop them. Plus, this small group accepted the surrender of 20 armed Germans firing from a small farmhouse. In Cologne, Germans ordered to fight to the last in a bunker did a bunk leaving only a portrait of Goering to guard the place. And now the story comes out that Patton twice swam the icy Sure River near the Luxemburg border to encourage his men to follow. He first had the men crossing in boats but feared they were obvious targets for German fire. So, he plunged in and the men followed. “He figured the men would have a better chance swimming, since they would then present only the tops of their heads as targets,” recalled Staff Sgt Thomas J. Defibaugh of Cumberland, MD. Coming up next: The Battle for Berlin.