Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The virtually unknown story of the American airmen who, in 1945, marched 600 miles in 86 days during one of the cruelist winters on record

Randomly today, I thought about an experience of which I heard great details as a child. I had read an article about Japan intercepting a test missile in Hawaii, and I found this strange. It just seemed a little strange that our military would be allowing the very country that caused Pearl Harbor to be testing missiles in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor. Thus this made me think of the WWII Death March though Germany. My uncle, John Rogers, was sadly one of the soldiers who was forced to march 600 miles across Germany in the ice and snow for 86 days during one of the most grueling winters in Germany's history. They did have shoes at the beginning, but it didn't take long for the soles to wear out and then they were barefoot. They bartered cigarettes with their captors for fresh water on the rare occasions that they got it and often slept crammed so tightly into barns or shelters along the way that they slept standing up.

Doesn't that sound so far removed? Yes, it does. However, he is still alive. It was ONLY 62 years ago. That isn't that long ago in relation to our lifespans.

About the Death March, which is often overlooked bc the same name was bestowed upon a POW event in the Philippines in WWII, this site (http://www.b24.net/pow/march.htm) said this: Though often overlooked by history, the death march across Germany ranks as one of the most outrageous cruelties ever committed against American fighting men. Fittingly, a memorial to these soldiers now stands on the Polish ground where Stalag Luft IV once stood.

And THAT is your history lesson for today, students, cause I am dorky like that.

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