by Jonathon F. Keiler, American Thinker
The recently released movie Fury is worth seeing, if only because it addresses two aspects of World War II often ignored by movies — the bloody fighting in Northwest Europe that raged in places other than Normandy, the Ardennes, and Holland, and the particular drama and horror of armored combat. Too bad, though, that the filmmakers chose to invent a story (and at times a rather unbelievable one) rather than tell a true tale. There is a dramatic, tragic, and true story from that period and place with many similarities to the fictional version. One that involved real tank fighting, featured a colorful cast of characters famous and not, and raised serious questions of morality and purpose. That saga is the 3rd Army’s failed prisoner rescue raid on Hammelbug Lager, in late March 1945.
Although a World War II buff since boyhood, I didn’t learn about the ill-fated raid until I was well into my twenties, serving as an Army JAG officer in Fulda, Germany. I rather randomly contacted an attorney in Texas to help a soldier out with a legal problem back home. The Texas lawyer had served with Patton’s Army in Europe and knew the area around Fulda. He asked if I’d heard of the Hammelburg Raid. Read the entire story.