AFTER THE BATTLE ISSUE 177
- ISSUE 177
THE BATTLE FOR KOBLENZ
The German city of Koblenz lies at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Famous for being the centre of the Moselle wine-making, it was also the Third Reich’s largest garrison city. Although much of it had already been destroyed by Allied bombs, the Germans in March 1945 decided to make a stand in the ruins and it took the US 87th Infantry Division two days of unexpectedly fierce street-fighting before the last of the German strongholds in the main city surrendered. The massive Fortress Ehrenbreitstein, looming high above the city from the rock face on the east bank of the Rhine, was not finally cleared until eight days later. The image of the destroyed horse statue of Kaiser Wilhelm, toppled from its base by American artillery, soon became a symbol of the defeat of Germany. The fighting in Koblenz was comprehensively covered by American combat photographers, and this has enabled us to illustrate every phase of the battle with some exceptional then and now comparison photographs.
TRAGEDY AT LAKE POURSOLLET
In August 1944, German mountain troops made a surprise attack on a small force of French Maquis fighters at Lake Poursollet, high up in the Alps mountains south-east of Grenoble. Outnumbered by the enemy force, in the ensuing battle several of the Maquis were killed. Jean Paul Pallud found a series of pictures which graphically illustrates this little-known small action, and climbed up to Poursollet to match them up.
THE AXIS-HELD ISLAND OF RHODES and THE GUNS OF NAVARONE
The Greek island of Rhodes, lynchpin in the Dodecanese Sea, was occupied first by the Italians and then, from September 1943, by the Germans. The Guns of Navarone, blockbuster war movie of the 1960s, was filmed on Rhodes, so we decided to do two companion stories, one describing the Axis occupation of the island and the other the making of the film. A few locations that feature in the wartime photos later appeared in the movie as well, but most of the other film locations entailed a long search before they were found