Remembering Today: Sogel - April, 10, 1945

Discussion in 'Remembering Today' started by canuck, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Sogel, Germany
    April 10, 1945

    A wounded German soldier taken prisoner during a German counterattack on the 4th Canadian Armoured Division. Corporal Forrest Francis Thompson, (shown below with an StG-44) was awarded the Military Medal for his actions on April 10th. He was a dispatch rider attached to 12th Field Ambulance when they came under attack.


    Photographer:Alex Stirton
    Source: DND via LAC/BAC

    Citation for the Military Medal to Corporal Forrest Francis Thompson:
    “At first light on 10 April 1945, the Germans put a strong counter-attack on the village of SOLGEL, Germany MR8751.
    The ADS of 12 Cdn Light Field Ambulance was situated in a building called the Hotel Jensen. It was shortly apparent that the enemy had infiltrated from the NORTH, SOUTH and EAST. The enemy paratroopers occupied buildings all around the ADS and proceeded to snipe the medical personnel as they worked on casualties.
    Defence parties were organized. Private Thompson, a dispatch Rider, immediately volunteered to assist in the clearing of the houses.
    Armed only with a Sten Gun, he moved from house to house, personally accounting for several Germans. On no less than three occasions, he went back for more ammunition for his party, crossing and recrossing the bullet swept street with complete disregard for his personal safety.
    When the clearing parties reached a house in which the enemy seemed to be firmly established with automatic weapons, Private Thompson placed himself in an exposed position and by accurate fire support enabled the remainder of the party to dispose of the enemy.
    When four tanks arrived to assist the medical personnel, Private Thompson returned to his unit to assist in the evacuation of casualties.
    The initiative and daring of this solder, above and beyond his normal call of duty, is a splendid example of bravery and deserving of high praise and commendation."
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  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    As that German 'soldier' has Luftwaffe rank insignia on his collar I assume that makes him a para ?
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  3. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    The description I've read indicated that more than 30 German paratroops began infiltrating Sogel around 08:00, after the Lincoln and Welland Regiment had moved east along with tanks of the Governor General's Foot Guards.
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  4. klambie

    klambie Senior Member

    Report of 1 CWCIU on Misc War Crimes against members of Canadian Armed Forces in ETO 9 Sep 39 to 8 May 45 Part II 30 March 1946
    Case 67/Sogel/1
    1. Origin, Statement of Atrocity and Investigator
    This case originated with a censor intercept dated 23 April 45. On 9 April 45, citizens of Sogel, Germany are alleged to have fired on a field ambulance and used dum-dum bullets. The NWE Detachment conducted the investigation.

    2. Facts
    On 9 April 45, 4 Cdn Armd Bde established its Headquarters in the village of Sogel, Germany. On the morning of the following day a German counterattack was launched and for several hours, troops of the German Parachute Regiment Meuth, aided by German civilians, fought in the streets of the village. Casualties were suffered by the administrative elements of the Headquarters, including a Field Ambulance Section. One officer is alleged to have been hit by a dum-dum bullet.

    Following the repulse of the German counter attack, dum-dum ammunition of non military caliber and type was found in some quantity in various places around the village, together with arms. Although it is suspected that the members of the German Parachute Regiment had infiltrated into the village the previous night where they were hidden by the local inhabitants, there appears to be no evidence implicating members of this regiment in any violations of the laws and usages of war.

    Once the counter attack was beaten off order was restored in the village and during the remainder of the stay of the brigade in Sogel there was no further incidents either military or civilian.

    3. Perpetrators
    Not known.

    4. Witnesses
    Various from 12 Fd Amb, 8 Fd Sqn, 4 Amd Bde, CCS

    5. Disposition
    From the evidence it would appear that certain civilian inhabitants of Sogel took up arms in support of the German counter attack, probably employing for this purpose arms and ammunition designed for deer hunting. In view of the obvious difficulties in identifying such participants, it has been decided to close this case.

    Additional information from RG24, vol 12841
    File 393-28 67/Sogel/1
    "The censor intercept in question contained the following 'I lost a very dear friend when the citizens of Sogel turned werewolves on us, and shot up a field ambulance, and an Engineer Unit. They used dum-dum bullets and nearly tore the chaps apart that they hit. We levelled their town for them and there has been less trouble since.'"

    Alleged by Major Bruce F. MacDonald, DSO, Brigade Major, 4 Cdn Amd Bde
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  5. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Sogel, April 1945 (photos courtesy LAC Canada):


    Sogel 2.jpg Sogel 3.jpg Sogel 4.jpg
  6. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    don´t want to start a controversy about that, but:
    Between 2008 and 2011 I had a lenghty correspondence with canadian military historian Donald E. Graves concerning the 4th canadian armoured Division and the SAR recces (he wrote a book about that unit)
    From him I also received the following source:
    pp.. 55/56 holds an eyewitness account about that incident

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