Operation "Eclipse" became effective April 25. This meant that General Keating was henceforth the military governor of the area occupied by the 102d Division. An enormous stretch of the river then came under Ozark control. At one time we policed 50 miles along the Elbe -- eight miles had been a tremendous job back on the Roer. Revolts and disorders, however, were confined to the natural, though somewhat predatory exuberance of displaced persons. Under the Ozark's just, firm hand these disturbances were soon quelled. Patrolling, policing, searches for arms and ammunition, guarding of a wide variety of military, cultural and industrial installations -- such were the occupation duties. Though incidents connected with these duties were alien to veteran combat soldiers, they never failed for a solution. Typical problems are found in the calendar of a busy day in the office of the Gardelegen CIC detachment:
0800. The wife of the German Stadt-kommandant attempted to commit suicide and was brought in for illegal possession of firearms.
0900. German civilian inquires if this is the place where he can obtain a discharge from the Wehrmacht.
1000. Under questioning a PW told that after his discharge from the Wehrmacht because of a lame foot he had walked to Duisburg and back, a distance of several hundred miles, in order to get some things for his house.
1200. Screened the owners and employees of eighteen civilian shops to be placed "on limits" to American troops.
1300. A Hitler Jugend was brought in because he had a grenade in his possession. He was discovered when the device exploded injuring his hands.
1400. A German woman apprehended for vio-lation of circulation hours and enticing soldiers played her accordian in the waiting room.
1500. An American-born German and a German-born San Salvadorean both speaking
Opposite page top right, Colonel Williams, CO of the 405th Infantry,
welcomes the Russians. Then Ozark troops entertained Russian soldiers
and the Russians entertained the Ozarks. There was a great trading of
watches, medals, and pistols. There was dancing in the streets under
the chestnut trees. Everybody was happy, and very much excited, and
perhaps a little drunk, too. Right, the British take over in Stendal
as the Union Jack goes up.||
perfect English ask for travel-permits to visit sick aunts.
1600. Four complete families offered the heads of their respective households as PWs.
1700. At the end of an ultimatum period the Mayor of Kassieck, where an American soldier was shot, was arrested and jailed.
1800. 381st FA Battalion turned in a prosperous land owner who stated he was living for the day when the Americans would leave and he could put the Poles back to work.
1900. Two bloody Germans and the deputized Russian guard who shot them when they failed to halt upon challenge, were disentangled.
2000. A German girl complaining of rape said she had met the accused soldier in a railroad station while waiting for a train to Duisberg.
2100. A German, when told that the Russians
were occupying all the places to which
he sought travel permits, elected to remain in Gardelegen.
And so on far into the night, day after day, week after week. In spite of cries of Werewolf, buried weapon caches coming to light, communication wires being cut by little children, the area remained generally quiet. On the whole the German population was too crushed, too war weary, too shocked to offer or desire any concerted action. They accepted their conquerors with a characteristic mixture of little resentment and less remorse.