Beyond the Rhine : Beyond the Rhine Is the Fourth Volume in the Series 'Donald R. Burgett a Screaming Eagle'
Overview - Donald R. Burgett and the rest of the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne had fought long and hard since the Normandy invasion. They fought through seventy-two days of continuous combat in Holland, and thirty days of frozen hell in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. Read more...
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More About Beyond the Rhine by Donald R. Burgett
Donald R. Burgett and the rest of the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne had fought long and hard since the Normandy invasion. They fought through seventy-two days of continuous combat in Holland, and thirty days of frozen hell in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. War weary, tired, and bloodied, Burgett and other Screaming Eagles of A Company were heading for the last battle, the drive that would carry them through Alsace, Germany's Ruhr Valley, the Rhineland, Austria, and the end of the war in Europe. The last push across Germany did not hold the full-scale fanatic resistance the U.S. command had expected, but rather, small pockets of die-hard Nazis unwilling to admit that they had lost. It became clear why some did not wish to surrender. Burgett and the other American soldiers discovered forced labor camps of half-starved Poles, Russians, Czechs, and Jews; men, women, and children all forced to labor for the cause of Germany, or die. Burgett and his men liberated four Nazi concentration camps where inmates were starved, brutally and systematically tortured, medically and surgically experimented on, and finally gassed and cremated. Burgett writes" "German guards were still forcing inmates to stoke the furnaces with human bodies as we tore through the barbed-wire enclosures. We witnessed atrocities that were beyond human comprehension." The Americans fought on from the Black Forest in Bavaria, to Berchtesgaden, where VE day found the Screaming Eagles finally at rest in the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's fabled mountaintop retreat. Certainly now the hard charging paratroopers could return home to enjoy the fruits of their victory, bloodied but proud, to take up family life with loved ones in a world they fought to keep free. But the war against Japan still raged, however, and the 101st was one of the two airborne divisions alerted for redeployment to the Pacific. August 1945 brought atomic relief to Burgett and millions more around the world with the surrender of Japan. On New Year's Eve, 1945, Sergeant Burgett finally returned to his home in Detroit, still just twenty years old.
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