By Peter Furst

Stars and Stripes Staff Writer

WITH A RECON PATROL, Czechoslovakia, April 18 (Delayed)–At 11:15 A.M. an infantry and recon patrol of the 90th Div. crossed a creek into pre-Munich Czechoslovakia, after a short fight 1,000 yards from the former border. It later withdrew with prisoners and vital information.

The historic crossing into Czechoslovakia was made at a point the Germans call “Dreilaender Ecke”–Three Countries’ Corner–because in the old days Czechoslovakia, Bavaria and Saxony joined here.

Former Escape Route

Men hunted by the Gestapo used to escape to safety across the creek dividing Bavaria from the Sudentenland, but that was before the border was erased by the Munich agreement.

To the tankers and doughboys of the battalion commanded by Maj. Tom Morris Jr., of Wichita, Kan., stepping across the tiny creek meant the difference between conquering and liberating and waving to the girls by the roadside instead of having to ignore them.

This is a quiet, beautiful spot, where war seems a foreign word, but half-an-hour before the Americans entered, the countryside resounded with canon, machine-gun and rifle fire.

It was a beautiful day for liberation as you can imagine. The sky was almost cloudless and the birch trees in full bloom. Children were playing in the sun, and white flags waved from the houses of Kaiserhammer.

The first man to greet the Americans was a Sudeten German farmer whose home is in Czech territory and whose barn is in Bavaria. He wore a white armband and his four-year-old blonde daughter carried a white handkerchief tied to a stick of wood.

The farmer said he did not care whose territory he lived in and whether the Sudetenland was German or Czechoslovak as long as he was left alone to run his farm as his father had done and as he hoped his children would do after him.

He said he was never “terrorized” by the Czechs as the Nazis used to charge.

He told us that the SS had run out after telling the few soldiers nearby that they would be shot and their families hanged if they ever surrendered alive or retreated. For him, he said, the war ha been lost long ago and he cursed the day Hitler came to “liberate” him.

They crossing into Czechoslovakia by the tankers and infantryman of the 90th Div. made them the first Allied outfit to cut clear across Germany.

wwii american soldiers czechs

Americans and Czechs celebrate the liberation of Czechoslovakia

For Further Reading Check Out:

The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy)

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