Hermann GrafGerman 29th Panzer Grenadier Division
I had the honor to visit Hermann in Berlin in December 2006. He was obviously a pious man from the religious icons on the wall. A very soft spoken man that was reserved about telling me his war story. Graf stated that Salerno on September 13, 1943 was their first battle. Another company had already retaken the village of Alte Ville. They lined up in broad daylight with their Battalion C.O. Meizel. Then they ran down the hill shouting "HURRAH" while firing their weapons. He said the Texans, who had already been pushed out of the village had set up a defensive position down the hill. He stated that none of the Texans retreated. The Germans broke into the American positions where hand to hand fighting broke out. None of the Texans surrendered, they fought until the last man. "They were very brave." Needless to say, as a Texan and the son of a 36th Division veteran, that was a tough story to hear. But he shot straight with me and that is what history is about. Hermann was wounded five times in the war. Three of which were in the left arm. From his paper work, I could tell that 2-3 of his wounds were received in battle against the 36th Division. He kept talking about his friend Franz Bertele that went MIA during that first battle against the Texans. He could not forget his friend. He kept showing me his picture which is also posted on this site. Graf was such a nice man, I would have liked to gone to church with him and then to dinner. The brutality of war.
Vorbei Marsch 29 Panzer Grenadier 2 Battalion 15 Regiment....Hermann is in the group
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