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Few pictures of 98K capture piles after the 9th army surrendered to U.S. Forces after crossing the River Elbe.

From the Life Magazine Archives - William Vandivert Photographer









 

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Hey, look at all of the separate piles of rifle bolts! They're..um,..oh, never mind ;)

Lots of captured long arms pictured in there, too. Picture #2 has a Mannlicher, a French 1886 Lebel and a VZ-24. Thanks for sharing!
Pat
 

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Hey, look at all of the separate piles of rifle bolts! They're..um,..oh, never mind ;)

Lots of captured long arms pictured in there, too. Picture #2 has a Mannlicher, a French 1886 Lebel and a VZ-24. Thanks for sharing!
Pat
I was thinking the same thing. I would love to have that MP44 being handed over!

Great pictures. Thanks for posting them.
 

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Hey, look at all of the separate piles of rifle bolts! They're..um,..oh, never mind ;)

Lots of captured long arms pictured in there, too. Picture #2 has a Mannlicher, a French 1886 Lebel and a VZ-24. Thanks for sharing!
Pat



Always love seeing those capture pile photos. As stated, still no photo of a pile of bolts! I did see one photo of a possible explanation for bolt swapping. Some GI's were cleaning some captured rifles and had the bolts out on a table. I don't think it was normal for these to be cleaned after surrender though, so most likely not the source of the majority of the mismatches.
 

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Interesting photos
Somehow the most compelling thing about the photos to me is being thankful that some of the Nazi impressed teen age boys got to live through the nightmare of hitler and all of his thugs. Only children some of them. Not ridding on bikes, or trying to talk to girls but burdened with trying to stop the Soviet Red Army.
gil
 

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I like the expression on the GI's face holding the pistol in picture 11. Think he's saying I'm going too keep this one here you take this one. As he hands the other one too the guy next too him.
 

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The still pictures where taken at the Tangermünde bridge in May 1945. Retreating soldiers, many from the "Army Wenck" and displaced German civilians from East of the Elbe river try to make it across the destroyed bridge to escape the approaching Bolsheviks. The bridge had been blown up by the Wehrmacht in order to stop the allies. All they did was cutting off a life line for their own people to escape to the West.

General Wenck of the German 12th Army authorized tank troop General von Edelsheim to negotiate his troops' capitulation with the Americans who held the West side of the river Elbe. U.S. Army General Simpson accepted the capitulation and assured that all German soldiers who made it across the river and put down their weapons would be under protection of the U.S. army and would be treated as POW's under the Geneva Convention. General Wenck then gave the order to evacuate civilians, the wounded and unarmed soldiers first before getting the armed military members to the West side.

While soldiers and civilians were struggling to make it across the bridge, they were being shelled by Bolsheviks determined to not let anybody escape.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c7HsicYomk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7qHZo4ZLgE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrQ3RilRTo0

During our last trip to Germany I visited a war cemetery in my grandparents' hometown. Most headstones were dated April 1945, the month Canadians overran this small farm village along an important supply road. They encountered desperate resistance from remaining members of a tank troop, aided by old men and boys of the infamous Volkssturm. I had my teenage daughter look at all grave markers and tell me the age of the youngest fallen soldier. He had just turned 16.
 

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Awesome pictures.

Stan mentioned that the cleaning of these rifles after surrender might not have been normal, but when I was in the service, we were always doing busy "work". Could be what they were doing.

Now I wonder at the time of surrender, what the upper echelon discussion regarding these piles could have been about in regards to what to do with them.

Imagine if they had decided to bring ALL that stuff to the states, what would the market look like now?
 

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During our last trip to Germany I visited a war cemetery in my grandparents' hometown. Most headstones were dated April 1945, the month Canadians overran this small farm village along an important supply road. They encountered desperate resistance from remaining members of a tank troop, aided by old men and boys of the infamous Volkssturm. I had my teenage daughter look at all grave markers and tell me the age of the youngest fallen soldier. He had just turned 16.
Thanks for sharing
 

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In the second pic there ae 2 k98's that look brand new. Both are light coloredand one has a really shiny cupped butt plate.


Finestkind
 

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Does it look like the helmets in picture one are white washed? Great pics. I have seen some of this big surrender on video as well. Interesting that so many rifles shown but so few KMs.
 

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Fine point, but I believe surrendered is more appropriate than captured.

These guys have given up and are abandonong their gear.

The fight is over.
 

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Fine point, but I believe surrendered is more appropriate than captured.

These guys have given up and are abandonong their gear.

The fight is over.


This is true. The terms are frequently interchanged it seems. To be truly considered a captured weapon, it probably would have to be taken from a dead or wounded soldier during battle that had not surrendered it voluntarily. Probably a relatively small portion of the actual bringbacks. We should change the name of all those RC's to RS's!
 

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yes, but how could you tell the captured from the surrendered? with most of the men who fought in that war dead and most of their children now in their 60,s-70,s. ever the return papers don,t tell the true story and even the stories told by the men who were there get twisted and enbelished by the owners now. i have the 99 japanese rifle my uncle brought home from the south pacific with the mum deface and he said he took it from a very large pile of rifles and not from a japanese soldier. eastbank.
 
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