Patton's son in law

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steelballs
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Patton's son in law

Post by steelballs » 04 Jul 2003 06:47

anyone know anything about the attempt by Patton to rescue his son in law behind enemy lines from a pow camp? Did the rescue succeed?

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col. klink
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Patton's son in law

Post by col. klink » 04 Jul 2003 07:32

There is a chapter on it in John Toland's excellent The Last 100 Days. Task Force Baum was organized from Combat Command B of 4th Armored Division to attempte a rescue of American prisoners at Oflag XIIIB near Hammelberg. It was an Officer Prisoner of War Camp. Many of the prisoners were captured during the Bulge. Among the prisoners was Patton's son in law John Waters. When ordering the mission Patton was overheard saying that this would make MacArthur's raid on Cabantuan peanuts. The Task Force consisted of 307 veteran but tired troops, 10 Shermans, 6 light tanks, 3 105mm. SPs, 27 half tracks to transport the rescued prisoners, 7 jeeps and a medic weasel. They were expected to return with 900 American prisoners. The raid started on the night of March 26. They reached the camp and found more prisoners than they were counting on. The Task Force was eventually wiped out and found many of their own troops captured. 32 of Baum's men were wounded, 9 killed, 16 wounded. Though the mission was a failure the German Seventh Army was unsure of what was happening with the path of fighting and destruction involved with the task force and so had to redeploy a lot of troops to protect crossroads and the like. John Waters was badly wunded but kept alive by a Yugoslav (there were about 3,000 Yugoslav Army prisoners who had been captured in 1941 in another part of the camp) doctor, Captain Radovan Danovich. For quite some time after the war the purpoese of the raid was not discussed openly.

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col. klink
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Patton's son in law

Post by col. klink » 04 Jul 2003 07:34

That should read 16 missing in action. Sorry.

Durand
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Post by Durand » 04 Jul 2003 14:11

Hallo,

Those who wish to read more about the subject may wish to read "Raid: The Untold Story of Patton's Secret Mission" by Richard Baron, Maj. Abe Baum, and Richard Goldhurst.

Regards,

Durand

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