Sunday, December 28, 2008

whitebread stomach division

A point of historical interest, from a freelance correspondent:

Walcheren Island in the Netherlands: the Romans called it Vallacra, and there was a temple to Nehalennia there, but towards the end of WW2 it was the scene of the Battle of Walcheren Island. Where, what? I must admit: I am a fan of WW2, battles or otherwise, but, you know, I’d never heard of this battle before. Perhaps it’s because the Canucks were to blame or thank for it ...

Battle of Walcheren Island

The savage fight for Walcheren Island, key to Antwerp, had an almost comic ending when fussy little Lieut. General Wilhelm Daser, commander of the Wehrmacht’s 70th (White Bread) Division, suddenly made up his mind to surrender.

Some 250 British and Canadian troops, ready to drop from battle exhaustion, stumbled into 15th-Century Middelburg to find that Daser had paraded all his available troops—more than 2,500 of them —into the square and ordered them to squat down for the night. Then individualist Daser wrapped himself in a yellow patchwork quilt, retired to his bedroom with quantities of aspirin and Veuve Clicquot champagne, refused to go through with the formal details of surrender before dawn (link).

These quotidian images are disturbing, n’est pas?


Lynne Rutter said...

veuve clicquot. nice touch!

Erling Wold said...

ach, don't bother me, ve surrender in the morning.

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