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"Aachen" The U.S. Army's Battle for Charlemagne's City in WWII"

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by Buten42, May 12, 2015.

  1. Buten42

    Buten42 Member

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    title: Aachen. The U.S. Army's Battle foe Charlemagne's City in WWII
    Author: Robert W. Baumer
    Copyright: 2015
    Pages: 410 including afterword, notes, and index.

    This is a very detailed, and well researched, description of the Battle for Aachen--the first large German City encountered by Allied troops after breaking through the Siegfried Line. For the followers of the 30th Infantry Division, 1st Infantry Division and the 29th ID, this would be a must read. Mr. Baumer gives an easy to follow, and very detailed description of both the American and the German units as they fight and suffer for the city that Hitler ordered held until the last man and last bullet--which is nearly what occurred.

    Although the 2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions also participated in this battle, these units were only given a cursory mention in favor of the much deserved heroics and suffering of the infantry units for what ended as a totally destroyed city.
    Being a 2nd Armored fan, I was a little disappointed at the lack of credit given for their participation, but I was soon caught up in the action and found it difficult to put down. It's kinda pricey, even in Kindle, but should have spent the extra few bucks and got the hard cover to add to my collection which I seldom have time to look at.
     
  2. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I just ordered the book for my own collection. It was certainly an interesting battle, and expensive in terms of casualties...

    Most people don't realize that this was the first German city to fall. We tend to think of the eastern front, but Aachen was the first. And of course the Reich put everything they had into holding it. In accounts from Old Hickory (30th ID), everyone talks about the German artillery being the worst of the war. The term "freight cars" came into vogue to describe the big 240mm shells the Germans brought in. The fighting was fierce. The north wing of the encirclement was hit particularly hard.

    Anyway, looking forward to the book. Thanks for the tip!
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I admit to being a bit put off by the title. I learned in school one was suppose to use peoples names as they were rather than mangling them in translation.
     
  4. Buten42

    Buten42 Member

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    I guess "Karl" or "Charles" would be more fitting but nobody would know who he was.
     
  5. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Charlemagne was King of the Franks who spoke French (or an early version of it), even if the King was Germanic.
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The Franks were a Germanic people. French did not exist at that point. Karl spoke a German dialect and some Latin possibly other languages as well.
     
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Neither did German, but the language spoken by most Franks evolved into French. Charlemagne (Karl) spoke a different dialect which evolved into German.
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Depends on when. The Franks of Karl's time spoke a Germanic language. French evolved primarily from Latin with some influence by the Celtic and Germanic languages native to the region. Two or three generations after Karl your statement is likely true. I don't think it is if you are talking about his reign though.
     
  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Karl's language had to be translated to the non-Romanic dialect that most Franks spoke. Those languages eventually split entirely.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The official language by his time from what I can tell was Latin. According to Wiki:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne
    Again from what I've read on the topic his "native language" would have been Frankish, a Germanic Language.
     
  11. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Charlemagne - The Baldwin Project


    www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=marshall...charlemagne4
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I read that thta the US troops used German uniform at one time to break through the defences?! More on that?
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Is that your subtle way of trying to get us back on topic? I find the linguistic discussion inetersting but this really isn't the place for it. So whether it was your intent or not...

    By the way I'd like to know about the above as well.
     
  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Here's an interesting aspect of the Aachen battle. The "doodlebug." These remote controlled devices were loaded with explosives and driven through the streets at American strong points. Apparently, they were slow and not well armored. The GI's just shot them up before they got close.

    View attachment 22502
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Buten42

    Buten42 Member

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    Don't recall the book mentioning the GI's doing this, but he writes about the Germans dressing in GI clothes and trying to infiltrate the American lines. They were quickly discovered and shot by the angry GI's.
     

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