TWO RIFLEMEN FROM THE 84TH INFANTRY DIVISION HAVE A CHANGE OF PLANS

YANK Staff Correspondent

WITH THE NINTH ARMY—Two riflemen of the 334th Infantry of the 84th Infantry Division wish that all the Jerries they encounter could be persuaded as easily as three they shared their K rations with.



84th infantry division insignia

Insignia of the 84th Infantry Division.

Pvt. Thomas Kyle of Union City, N.J., and Pvt. Edwin Olson of Badger, Iowa, both in A company, were walking up a railroad track from the little village of Leifarth, Germany, early in the morning when they were surprised by three Germans who had penetrated the American lines in a sudden counter-attack.

The Germans motioned the Americans to join them in a dug-out near the tracks. All five crowded in together. Then the Germans found that their counter-attack was sagging and that they couldn’t move their prisoners back until our mortar barrage lifted. Time dragged on slowly; so Kyle and Olson began talking to the Germans and found that one could speak a little English and another a little French.

After a while, they brought out their wallets and showed the Germans pictures of their families and their homes. They had quite a collection of typical American scenes. Came noon, and Kyle and Olsen were getting hungry; so they opened their K Rations and shared them with the Germans. The afternoon passed with more talk about the U.S. and about how well German prisoners were treated there. As they talked the mortar shells started falling closer.

Suddenly, late in the afternoon, the three Germans threw down their rifles, raised their arms and cried “Kamerad.”

Kyle and Olson picked up the German rifles, and marched their prisoners back to the battalion CP.

84th infantry division 333rd infantry regiment helmet markings April 1945 Germany

Soldiers of the 333rd Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division in Salzuflen, Germany, April 1945.



For More on the 84th Infantry Division See:

The 84th Infantry Division in the Battle of Germany: November 1944-May 1945


The Men of Company K


For Related Articles See:

One thought on “TWO RIFLEMEN FROM THE 84TH INFANTRY DIVISION HAVE A CHANGE OF PLANS

  • Bill Getz says:

    This must be one of those “love not war” scenarios. The ordinary soldier of armies everywhere, unless they are fanatics, want to live in peace, have a family and enjoy life. The three German soldiers were quick to realize that American offered more than Hitler’s Germany. The “after story” would be interesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Past and Present WWII History Posts