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Visit from 65th Infantry Division's veterans

From 27 April through 11 May, 2005 veterans from the 65th Infantry Division and relatives followed the battle route of the division on occasion of the 60th anniversary of VE-Day – but this time they did not have to fight their way across Europe.

For the fifth day of that »60th Anniversary Tour« excursions to the West Wall (Siegfried Line) in the Saarlouis (then Saarlautern) area were scheduled – most of the division‘s men had received their baptism of fire here. Among the group of 25 people were even four veterans who had fought in the Saarlouis and Dillingen area then.

A couple of weeks before the veterans had made contact with the Dillinger Geschichtswerkstatt and requested a local guide especially for that day – that wasn’t surprising, because since their research for the book »Dillingen im Zweiten Weltkrieg« (»Dillingen in World War II«) the Dillinger Geschichtswerkstatt is in touch with some of the veterans.

Thus Stefan Reuter accompanied the group throughout the day on their visit of several Siegfried Line pillboxes in the Saarlouis, Dillingen and Merzig area. In Dillingen other members of the Dillinger Geschichtswerkstatt and members of the group »Projekt Westwall« took over. Here the American visitors had the chance to take a look inside a pillbox with a steelturret with six embrasures: Pillbox WH 20 in the Annastrasse in Pachten. Markus Lauer and Johannes Draeger led the visitors through the pillbox. The afternoon came up with a special highlight for the American visitors: a two-hour tour of the B-Werk (B-Fort) in Besseringen! Tour guide was Egon Scholl from the Heimatverein Merzig e.V. Even the veterans of the group hadn’t seen a Siegfried Line pillbox of that size, not to mention the rest of the group who knew the Siegfried Line only from hearsay.

Referring to the visit of the Americans in Dillingen, there was a report in the weekend edition of the »Saarbruecker Zeitung« of 7 May, 2005 (see below).

Maynard Hanson and his granddaughter

Ray Callanan

Maynard Hanson and his granddaughter Jessica in front of the turret of Pillbox WH 372 in Roden.

Ray Callanan in front of the same pillbox in Roden.

At the steel panel of pillbox WH 11

The Veterans at pillbox WH 20

David Ream, Jim Hanson and Sybil Ream investigating the steel panel of Pillbox WH 11 in Pachten that had been penetrated by armor-piercing ammunition.

The four veterans: Bob Patton, Maynard Hanson, Lynn LaBarre and Ray Callanan at the steelturret with six embrasueres of Pillbox WH 20 in the Annastrasse in Pachten.

Bob Patton at the Besseringen B-Fort

Report in the Saarbruecker Zeitung

Bob Patton at the B-Fort in Besseringen.

Report in the »Saarbruecker Zeitung« – click on picture opens new window!

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