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Lone Sentry: Unit History: 102d thru Germany

[Mr. Dave Reisner of 102d CIC Detachment questions Werewolves]
Mr. Dave Reisner, of the 102d CIC Detachment, questions "Werewolves" accused of wirecutting near Stendal.

After 21 April all organized defense, as well as any threat of resistance in our rear areas, had vanished. RCT 407 had rejoined the 102d after assisting in bottling up a sizeable enemy battle group that had penetrated the Corps rear area, bound for the Harz Mountains. Attention was now concentrated upon the possibilities of making contact with the Soviet forces whose artillery could sometimes be heard rumbling far to the east. Red flares at night deluded Ozarks into hopes that some historic encounter was about to take place. The flares, however, when surveyed in by artillery instruments, proved to be twenty miles away and convoys under close scrutiny, always turned into refugee columns. Nevertheless, patrols were dispatched with the specific mission of contacting the Russians.
Co C of the 407th Infantry went out with this intention on the evening of April 28. They penetrated without trouble through several miles of hostile territory until they hit a road block on the outskirts of Genthin. Here the company was suddenly subjected to heavy automatic and mortar fire which killed three of its number and wounded fourteen others. Attempting immed-iately to withdraw it found it was surrounded by a force of several hundred men and three tanks. There was no choice but to surrender. Germans who engineered this surprise, and who paradoxically expressed themselves as being unwilling to fight Americans, brought back the fourteen wounded men to the east bank of the river and helped evacuate them to our lines. The remainder of the company marched north towards Schwerin where it was "liberated" four days later by the 82d Airborne Division. On May 6 Capt Morrison and his Co C were safely in the Hildersheim airport waiting for C-47s to fly them to Le Havre, the first stage on the way to U.S. and home. A fitting reward for their sacrifice on the eve of victory.
407th's I&R Platoon had a somewhat less adventuresome experience. Crossing the river at Tangermunde, the patrol proceeded to Wust where an entire garrison of seventy-five Jerries surrendered. They then headed northeast into the woods where a German division Hq was located. This unhappy outfit wanted to surrender en masse -- all 5000 of them -- but they also wanted the Americans to occupy their area. Upon this impossible demand, negotiations ended and the platoon returned with its original bag of PWs.
Indeed, Jerries' single desire at this time seems to have been to surrender himself as swiftly as possible to anyone willing to receive him on either bank of the Elbe. A striking example is provided by the experience of a nine-man patrol from G Company, 406th Infantry. They crossed the river bound for Havelberg and returned two hours later with 165 PWs.
A rifleman of Company C 407th Infantry, wounded near Genthin, is taken back to the west bank of the Elbe.
[rifleman of Company C 407th Infantry]

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