April 10 1945 - Western Front, Germany
The Morning dawned and it was a warm sunny day. We tried to keep each other’s spirits up but it was getting harder and harder to slow down the Allies. Someone joked “Enjoy the War because the Peace will be terrible”. To make matters worse the Recon had reported to me that they had spotted a new type of Allied tank. Much larger than a Sherman with a gun judged to be as big as one of our 88s. I try to tell myself this could not be, but it was lodged firmly in the back of my mine.
The recon platoon moved out with the halftrack and a 222 with a squad of Troopen looking for the Allies. It wasn’t long before we made contact and I ordered our Stug forward to maybe cut them off before they could get into a choice firing position. I position myself on the left and the Marder Commander place his gun to my right for a perfect cross fire position at the fork in the road.
Looking through the binoculars I spotted a Stewart in front of the formation. I ordered my gunner to take aim and made short work of him, The Marder then blew a hole in the Allied track and sent them running. However, our victory was short lived as the large beast that the recon had spoken of rounded the curve along with a Sherman. I fired and hit the Sherman but the Beast fired at me with a direct hit on my left I order the crew to abandon the vehicle. The Marder exchange fire but was no use and started to retreat. Our soldiers fought bravely but we could not hold them and had to retreat. The War goes on but I think not for long.
The Mechanized Warfare Museum in New Hampshire held its first event at the Deerfield NH fairgrounds and the 9th SS was invited to bring our vehicles and strut our stuff. Along with the guys from the Grabe collection in Illinois we filled out the Axis side. We brought the Stug, and Halftrack and our newly restored 222 “Gretchen”. Grabe brought out their Marder which was assembled from original parts and a restored “Slepper” tracked truck. 3rd Panzer came with their 41 Ford troop truck and Zundapp MC and field kitchen. The Museum showed off its Pershing Tank which is a Veteran of the fighting at Remagen which just so happens to be our next event in Western PA. They also had a Sherman, a Stewart, and halftracks.
The weather was great Saturday not so much on Sunday. We had a great time talking to the public and getting in some much needed driver training. All in all I think the event went off well and look forward to doing this event next year. Next event is the bridge at Remagen, in Tidioute PA August 4th.
Hope to see you all there!
Haputshafuhrer Jochien Michien (John Mick)
7th Company 9th SS Hohenstaufen