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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> Trip to Herrlisheim
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Author Topic:  Trip to Herrlisheim
ldarden
Junior Member
Member # 10214

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From: Richmond, Virginia
Registered: 11/23/2012
posted 4/10/2017 12:56:54 AM    Click here to view the profile for ldarden  Click here to email ldarden  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Anyone know the location of the waterworks and is it still visible? Going there May 24, 2017. Any advice will help. B Co 66th AIB

MikeWoldenberg
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Member # 16

Posts: 918
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 4/10/2017 5:56:58 AM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Hello, I visited Herrlisheim about 10 years ago.
At that time the Waterworks was rubble with some
walls. I was surprised to learn later that the building was intact and repaired in the early 1950s. (George Rich had photos from his visit). Since your father (?) was in the 66th, I think you should also be interested in visiting other places quite near by. The Steinwald (a forest) is very important. Many men from the 66th were killed there. I will give you some references
to check for maps of the battle.

Mike

harry dhans
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Member # 9107

Posts: 301
From: Abilene,TX
Registered: 5/24/2012
posted 4/10/2017 6:55:07 PM    Click here to view the profile for harry dhans  Click here to email harry dhans  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
you might like to contact Nina. Her post is a few messages below. She should have returned from there.

ndonath
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From: Huntsville, AL
Registered: 9/8/2013
posted 4/11/2017 4:23:03 PM    Click here to view the profile for ndonath  Click here to email ndonath  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Yes I recently visited Herrlisheim (on March 26). Originally we (my boyfriend and I) planned to take the train from Strasbourg but we ended up renting a car. I am so glad we did because if you want to see the town and surrounding areas, a car (or bikes) is the best way to see it all and to try to imagine what happened there. Plus the trains run infrequently, particularly on Sunday morning when we visited.

We drove up from the south into town. I noticed some ruins on the north side of town but did not know if it was the waterworks. I saw what I am pretty sure were the Steinwald woods outside of town. I saw the Zorn river and how the men described the landscape as flat. Just imagine it with snow and bitter cold.

The town of Herrlisheim itself is pretty unremarkable. Most of the construction is fairly "new" as you would expect. It is a sleepy small town. I saw the railroad and the train station. However ...

There is a not so attractive church near the center of town. You cannot miss it, it has a very tall austere grey steeple, and when coming upon it, you can see stairs going up the middle of it. My BF and I wanted to climb the steps to the top to get a view but the door to the entrance was locked. However, to the side of the steeple in a grassy area, there was a sort of pinkish stone monument about 6 feet tall or so with bronze plaques in the sides. Upon the plaques were inscribed with what I assume were names of men from the town killed in war. I then looked at the bottom of one of the plaques and saw the inscription (in French) to the fallen American Soldiers of the 12th Armored Division for the liberation of Herrlisheim January February 1945.

I could not believe I had stumbled upon that as I certainly was not looking for it.

Just to be in Herrlisheim and the area, then seeing the monument was worth the trip for me. I hope you find it meaningful.

Nina

PS Anyone interested in a picture of the monument email me and I will email back a photo. ninaewd@gmail.com

harry dhans
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Posts: 301
From: Abilene,TX
Registered: 5/24/2012
posted 4/11/2017 6:58:26 PM    Click here to view the profile for harry dhans  Click here to email harry dhans  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Nina, for sharing!

Guest
Unregistered

posted 4/17/2017 12:23:28 PM  Reply w/Quote
For those interested, I'm fairly certain that you can view whats left of the Waterworks buildings on Google maps. Coming out of Rorhwiller southeast on road D2029 you cross a bridge over the Zorn. Immediately on you left are old red brick buildings, then another bridge over what looks like a creek that clearly flows under those buildings. There are a few houses next to the brick buildings that look newer. The road at that point takes on the name "Biergarten". Those farm fields on your right are the fields that some of our dads crossed on foot going towards Herlisheim.

MikeWoldenberg
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Member # 16

Posts: 918
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 4/17/2017 1:30:21 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Yes! and the road D2029 was called Purple Heart Lane by our soldiers.
The road bridge just before passing by the water works looked fairly new to me circa
10 years ago.

Mike

ldarden
Junior Member
Member # 10214

Posts: 4
From: Richmond, Virginia
Registered: 11/23/2012
posted 4/25/2017 8:34:46 PM    Click here to view the profile for ldarden  Click here to email ldarden  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Thanks all for your replies and advice. Also wrote to George O'Bryan that I was going and he mentioned for me to share my photos and that the Steinwald was mostly underwater now. I hope I can get inside the forest without getting arrested in France. I will have my trusty translator app on my iPhone just in case someone taps me on the shoulder.
I'd like to meet the lady from Herrlisheim who use to schedule your tours. I've forgotten her name. Thank you all again for sharing your knowledge.
Take care,
Louis Darden

ldarden
Junior Member
Member # 10214

Posts: 4
From: Richmond, Virginia
Registered: 11/23/2012
posted 6/6/2017 8:28:21 PM    Click here to view the profile for ldarden  Click here to email ldarden  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Just returned from Germany and France. Wonderful trip. Met Lise Pommois at the Waterworks and we toured the battle fields, the town, the church, the Waterworks, and more for about 6 hours. The land is flat as a pancake. The Zorn bridge was still riddled with bullet holes. The Steinwald offered numerous 250 and 500 pound bomb craters from our US fighters. It was a wonderful day and Lise is a real trooper having no fear about anywhere we bushwacked to. Numerous mounds in the fields, now forrests, where the 66th laid foot bridges over the Landgraber. It was a great day to be the son of a HELLCAT. God Bless Lise and the HELLCATS.