Stephen Harding
ARRSE Rating
4.5 Mushroom Heads
You couldn't make it up. 5th May 1945, and only three days before WWII ended.

American Tankies from Company B, 23rd Tank Battalion, US 12th Armoured Division and GI's from 142nd Infantry Regiment joined forces with Wehrmacht Major Josef 'Sepp' Gangl and Waffen SS Hauptsturmführer Kurt Siegfried Schrader and ten Wehrmacht soldiers, with some Austrian resistance fighters, to free fourteen VIP French hostages.

These including Edouard Deladier, Maurice Gamelin, Leon Jouhaux, Jean Borotra and Paul Reynaud plus some servant/prisoners. This action took place at Schloss Itter in Austria close to the German border. The ad hoc force was up against 150-200 Waffen SS troops from 17th Panzer Grenadier Division.

An incredibly gripping story. The book includes a good history of Schloss Itter and photos of some of the people involved.

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