Friday, March 1, 2013

Wingen-sur-Moder in Film

     By the winter of 1944-45, the German Army's fate was already sealed. This does not mean that the struggles for control of the battlefield across wide swaths of frontage were always without imminent peril. The Soldiers of the 70th Division's 276th and 274th Infantry Regiments were to find themselves pitted in a knock-down drag-out fight with two German Divisions for the village of Wingen-sur-Moder.
     The German 361st Volksgrenadier Division was of the Wehrmacht's most recent reorganizing efforts. This meant that it was smaller with only two fighting regiments, but was more than compensated through heavy issuing of assault weapons like the MP-44, and increased issuing of antitank weapons like the Panzerschreck. The 6. Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS "Nord" brought its own advantages as well. While there were no mountains in the area, there was plenty of cold weather. The "Nord" Division had been waging war in Finland since late 1942 where the cold weather was an enemy by its own rights.
     The below video is of the fighting in and around Wingen-sur-Moder. It also contains images of the local inhabitants and their plight. In its short few minutes, the viewer can gain a significant sense of the human toll the fighting took in materials, spirit, and especially lives. Fighting in the bitter cold only adds to the level of human suffering for both soldier and civilian alike.
     For  a more in depth description of the battle of Wingen-sur-Moder, please follow this link to an excellent article written by Allyn Vannoy for World War II magazine in May of 2004.

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