BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Thanks Dad..

From Bloody Herrlisheim to a Slave Labor Camp

James Muschell served in the 43rd Tank Battalion of the 12th Armoured Division. This unit arrived in the ETO in November 44 and was involved in attacks on the Siegfried Line before getting caught in front of the Northwind attack. As the title implies, the author is captured and spends the rest of the war as a prisoner.

Muschell's account is straight into the action. He is a loader/assistant gunner in a Sherman tank. There is no personal background, though we learn he can speak German, so he was one of many Americans with German ancestry. There's a little bit of divisional history too. All up though, there are only 40 pages prior to his capture, with most devoted to the battle of Herrlisheim. The author does recount a few interesting stories of earlier battles but as he reveals he had five tanks shot from under him, there was quite a bit more to be said. With Herrlisheim there was quite a bit of detail. His unit loses half its tanks the first day and on the second the remainder are cut-off and wiped out. They face the 10th SS Pz Division and it is quite proficient and brutal. He was beaten up during interrogation and he and his fellow POWs are lucky to avoid a Malmedy style execution.

Muschell is unlucky enough to be suspected of being Jewish and he is assigned to a work detail rather than being allowed to sit the war out in a POW camp. He has a pretty horrendous time in Hannover. It is heavily bombed and he is guarded by very brutal SS guards. There is virtually no food and he suffers considerably from trench foot. The worst part was a horrendous train journey that almost defies belief. He is freed in early April and aside from his journey home, his story basically concludes.

The first thing to say, is this is quite a short book

An Amazon review by John E. Larsen on February 4, 2015

Legendary Locals of Cheboygan

By Matthew J. Friday

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pandy this is a nice post to your father who deserves all our thanks too.