WWII and 70th anniversary of the libaration - Pilsen, Czech Republic
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ToRo61
N 49° 44.834 E 013° 22.655
33U E 383120 N 5511791
The US Army liberating Plzen town - the 70th anniversary of the libaration.
Waymark Code: WMNV29
Location: Plzeňský kraj, Czechia
Date Posted: 05/04/2015
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 33

Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia) was the first victim of Nazi Germany, and also the last country that was liberated in 1945. The US Army came close to the pre-Munich Czechoslovak borders as early as on 18th April 1945 and around 10 am on that day, the first troops of the 90th Infantry Division entered the Czech territory close to the town of Hranice, in the Aš region. Patton’s (visit link) army proceeded further along the border mountains through Bavaria, heading south to Austria.

On Patton’s order, the 2nd and 97th Infantry Divisions were proceeding directly to Pilsen. On 6th May, their lines were to open at the right moment to let the 16th Armoured Division come through which was in a fast pace heading to Pilsen on the road from Bor and Stríbro.

In the morning of 6th May, the tank group of Colonel Nobel entered Pilsen (visit link) as a vanguard of the 16th Armoured Division of General Pierce. During the day, it was joined by the 2nd Infantry Division, which had a head of a Native American in its emblem and was therefore nicknamed “Indianhead”. The commander of the 16th Armoured Division, which arrived to Pilsen from the west, decided to first occupy the Škoda plant which had been bombed-out a few days ago. Only after that did they made their way to the centre of the city. Shortly after they occupied the “Square of the Republic” (námestí Republiky) and the city centre, Nobel’s soldiers were hit by gunfire from German snipers hiding in Pilsen’s tall buildings. However, the experienced and battle seasoned troops of the US Army always managed to disable them quickly. They were also supported by some Czechs dressed in various uniforms.

The citizens of Pilsen welcomed the liberators with joy, showering them with flowers and giving them food and drinks. Surprisingly, the famous Pilsner beer was not among the beverages; only later did they found out why. Colonel Nobel commented on this: “Only later we found out, that a dull (for us) crew of a plane of U.S. Air Force mistook the brewery with the Škoda Works and dropped the bombs on the beer tanks instead of the foundries of the arms factory.”

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K 70. výrocí osvobození Plzne americkou armádou se konala rada akcí (visit link) . Jednou z úvodních techto akcí byla rekonstrukce príjezdu americké armády na námestí Republiky a prestrelka se zbylými jednotkami wehrmachtu v okolí námestí. Rekonstrukce se udála za prítomnosti prímých úcastníku této historické událost i príbuzných generála Pattona. Konvoj US Army tvorilo nekolik desítek historických stroju - napr. M4 Sherman (visit link) , obrnence rady Stuart (visit link) a Hellcat, polopásové prostredky 'halftraky' (visit link) a také rada ruzných typu džípu (visit link) v ruzném provedení a výbavou. Posádky techto stroju tvorili nadšenci a clenové klubu historické techníky Cech, ale i z celé západní Evropy.
Dates of reenactment: From: 05/01/2015 To: 05/01/2015

What the reenactment is related to: Event

Cost to attend reenactment: free

Cost for parking: free

Special Events:
See: http://www.plzen2015.cz/en/events/liberation-festival-2015

Website for further information: [Web Link]

Additional parking coordinates (if necessary): Not Listed

Cost for participants: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
At least one photo of the reenactment taken by you along with your thoughts and impressions on the event and any changes in location or date the original waymarker may need to know about.
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