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Pfaffenheck, Part 2

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Release Date: 05/30/2019

Lieutenant Warfield's Widow show art Lieutenant Warfield's Widow

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Before Harry and Meghan, as royal scandals go, there was Princess Diana, and before Diana, there was Wallis Warfield Simpson, for whom King Edward VIII abdicated the throne. All the fuss about Meghxit got me to thinking about Lieutenant Marshall Warfield, who was a cousin of Wallis Warfield Simpson. This episode largely departs from the stories of combat and contains excerpts of my interview with Lieutenant Warfield's widow, Olga.

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Hill 122 Part 9: The Turning Plow show art Hill 122 Part 9: The Turning Plow

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

In this episode, which concludes the series on Hill 122, Lieutenant Jim Flowers is reunited at the 1995 reunion of the 90th "Texas-Oklahoma" Infantry Division with Claude Lovett, who led the platoon that rescued him and Jim Rothschadl; and Dr. William McConahey, who treated their wounds and later wrote about Flowers in his book "Battalion Surgeon."

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Hill 122 Part 8: Hill 122 Part 8: "It says here hand to hand combat ... that's me."

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Many podcasts have background music. In this and a couple of other episodes, the background music is provided by a radio or TV playing in the next room. It's annoying, but only a minor distraction from the compelling events being described. In Part 8 of the Hill 122 series, you'll hear from Michael Vona, Clarence Morrison and Kenneth Titman, whose tank was one of four that were knocked out in the battle. Vona gives a chilling account of hand to hand combat. For more information, please visit aaronelson.com.

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Hill 122, Part 7: A Side Trip to Anzio show art Hill 122, Part 7: A Side Trip to Anzio

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

When Myron Kiballa received the letter from his family telling him his brother Jerry was killed, he had just gotten out of the hospital after being wounded at Anzio. Reading the letter, he said, was like entering the Twilight Zone. For more of the story of Hill 122, visit aaronelson.com/the-middle-of-hell. There will be more about Hill 122 in the next few podcast episodes. First, though, let's hear about Anzio.

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Hill 122, Part 6: No Man's Land show art Hill 122, Part 6: No Man's Land

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Lieutenant Jim Flowers and his gunner describe the two days and nights they spent in no man's land waiting to be rescued and fearing they wouldn't. But first, we solve the mystery of how a fellow named Rothschadl grew up on an Indian reservation. For more on the battle of Hill 122 involving the first platoon, Company C, of the 712th Tank Battalion, check out They Were All Young Kids in print or for Kindle at amazon, or order the audio epic "The Middle of Hell" in the ecommerce section of aaronelson.com.

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Hill 122, Part 5: Jim Flowers' statement show art Hill 122, Part 5: Jim Flowers' statement

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

This episode of War As My Father's Tank Battalion Knew It begins with a description of a letter gunner Jim Rothschadl wrote to his younger brother from his hospital bed, and concludes with a statement Lieutenant Jim Flowers wrote from his hospital bed after being recommended for the Medal of Honor (he received the Distinguished Service Cross). There will be more from my interviews with Flowers and Rothschadl in the next episode.

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Hill 122, Part 4: Survivor Guilt show art Hill 122, Part 4: Survivor Guilt

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

Tank commander Judd Wiley describes a harrowing week of combat leading up to the battle for Hill 122, in which nine members of the First Platoon, Company C, 712th Tank Battalion were killed. Among them were the tight-knit crew of Wiley's Sherman tank, a day after he was injured and evacuated. For Wiley's full interview, and interviews with several survivors of the battle, check out "The Middle of Hell" in the ecommerce store at aaronelson.com, or "They Were All Young Kids" in print and for Kindle at amazon.

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Episode 21: Hill 122, Part 3: The motorcycle (kettenrad) show art Episode 21: Hill 122, Part 3: The motorcycle (kettenrad)

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

On July 10, 1944, four Sherman tanks of the 712th Tank Battalion came to the rescue of an infantry battalion that was surrounded on Hill 122. After breaking through the German lines and leading an infantry company off the hill, all four tanks were knocked out, three of them bursting into flames. For more about Hill 122, check out the audiobook The Middle of Hell in the ecommerce store at aaronelson.com and the print book "They Were All Young Kids" at amazon.

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Hill 122 Part 2: Louis Gerrard show art Hill 122 Part 2: Louis Gerrard

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

The story of the First Platoon, Company C, 712th Tank Battalion in the battle for Hill 122 contains many universal themes that run through the stories of World War II veterans: survivor's guilt, fate, courage, heroism, irony, among others. Hill 122 Part 2 is excerpted from a 1993 interview with Louis Gerrard and his brother Jack. The gunner in Captain Jack Sheppard's tank, Lou lost an eye when his tank was hit and played dead while German soldiers searched him and took his watch.

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Hill 122 Part 1 show art Hill 122 Part 1

War As My Fathers Tank Battalion Knew It

The destruction of the First Platoon, Company C, on July 10, 1944 -- four tanks knocked out, three of them "flamers"; nine of 20 crew members killed, several wounded, two captured -- was a defining moment in the history of my father's tank battalion. . Narratives from my interviews are in the book "They Were All Young Kids," are available in print and for Kindle at amazon, and a 17-CD audio epic, "The Middle of Hell," available in the ecommerce section of aaronelson.com. Thank you for listening.

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More Episodes

On 16 March 1945 the second platoon of Company C, 712th Tank Battalion, fought a battle in Pfaffenheck, Germany, in what Lieutenant Francis "Snuffy" Fuller called "my worst day in combat." His platoon lost four men killed, three wounded, and had three tanks knocked out. In this episode Aaron Elson, whose father served in the 712th, presents accounts of the battle from several of its participants.