Building of the "MGS" - Military History Collection PzBrig21 - Augustdorf
Building of the "MGS" - Military History Collection PzBrig21 - Augustdorf

Our offer of lectures

Easter 1945 - "The fighting south of Paderborn"

On March 30, 1945, Good Friday, there was a serious battle between German and American troops south of Paderborn between Borchen and Scherfede. This costly battle was completely unexpected for both sides. The Americans actually wanted to encircle the German Army Group B near Paderborn in the so-called Ruhr Pocket. In preparation, they had bombed Paderborn several times since January 17, 1945. 

The last bombing raid on March 27 was the eighth and heaviest. After this eighth bombing raid, Paderborn was almost 96 percent destroyed, so people actually considered rebuilding the city somewhere else.

The unexpectedly tough German resistance prompted the commanding general of the VII US Corps, which was attacking on the left of the 1st US Army, General Collins, to establish direct contact with General Simpson. He was commander in chief of the 9th US Army, which attacked from the west north of what later became the Ruhr basin. Collins and Simpson knew each other personally from previous assignments. Only in this way was it possible for Collins to avoid the actual official channels when making contact. He asked Simpson to allow troops from his 2nd US Panzer Division, which was attacking on the right, to march southwest, now towards Lippstadt, earlier than planned. Collins himself spun off his own Task Force Kane, which followed behind on the left as part of the attack by the 3rd US Armored Division. From Geseke he also had them turn towards Lippstadt. So, contrary to the Americans' original intention, the Ruhr basin was closed near Lippstadt and not near Paderborn.

The lecture is divided into three parts, each lasting approximately 45 minutes.

The first part discusses the question of whether these difficult battles were inevitable at Paderborn and whether Paderborn was named as an attack target in the Allied operational plans at an early stage. It deals with the situation in the Western European theater of war at the end of March 1945, the withdrawal of German troops from France, the Allies' intentions in September 1944 and March 1945 as well as the advance of the 1st US Army across the Rhine into the Marburg/Giessen area.

The second part deals with the turn of the 1st US Army to the north, the intention of the VII US Corps attacking on the left in the focus of the 1st US Army, and that of the 3rd US Corps attacking at the head of the VII US Corps. Panzer division on four routes.

The third part deals with the deployment of the German training and replacement regiments as well as the heavy tank division 507 with their new Tiger II main battle tanks in the area between Borchen and Scherfede, the death of the commander of the 3rd US Panzer Division, Major General Maurice Rose, the case Paderborn on Easter Sunday, April 1st, 1945 and the end of the fighting in this area on April 3rd, 1945.

If desired, an approximately two-hour excursion over part of the former battlefield will take place following the lecture.

Important note: The lectures are only offered in German.

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