Case Title: Close call to German Fratricide

Subject: Retreating Wehrmacht soldiers clash with fresh SS troops en route to the front.

Date: September 17th, 1944

Location: Eindhoven, Holland


Introduction: The same eye-witness who was our source in Case File # 5, mr. Theo Bayens of Eindhoven, 18 years old at the time, told us the following story. On Sunday September 17th 1944 Theo was near the Van Abbe Museum when he saw some trucks with fresh SS troops driving South on Wal. Obviously they had heard the news of the British Second Army breaking through at the Main Line of Resistance on the Belgian border that day. These SS men were en route to engage the British soldiers. At the same time some trucks with battle weary Wehrmacht soldiers drove across Bilderdijk Laan. The SS troops and the Wehrmacht soldiers stopped at the crossroads and the SS men asked where the Wehrmacht men were going to. The latter informed the SS men of the numerical superior British Army and that they were in no mood to make a stand against the tanks and infantry.

The SS men became infuriated at this lack of motivation and at gunpoint they tried to convince their comrades in arms to turn around and follow them to the frontline. The Wehrmacht soldiers also got their rifles ready. For a moment Theo thought that this situation was going to turn into a gun battle between German soldiers. Cooler heads took control of the situation and it never came to a case of fratricide. Finally, both columns continued on their originally planned ways.


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