[Twelfth Armored Division, Scrapbook 6] Page: 173 of 220
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
While I was closing the Seventh Armored Division*s post exchange, I ran into
Captain Bartholomew somewhere. He commanded Company D of the Ninety-second
Reconnaissance Battalion of the Twelfth Armored Division which had received the
Presidential Citation. When I asked him how he was getting along, he replied:
“Terrible. We have been attached to another division and are treated like step-
children. Why, we can't even get PX supplies for the men." I said: “That is a
coincidence. I am EX Officer for the Seventh Armored Division. We are closing
the PX and sending our remaining supplies to a warehouse and my funds to a finance
officer. If you and a couple of noncoms will come to our PX and make a list of
what we have and the prices, then go back and get the orders and the money from
the men, I will let you have them." Capto Bartholomew did this and he and his
men were quite happy with the results. It also meant less supplies for me to turn
in, and from what I heard later, would in all probability be stolen from the
There wasn't a watch in the division, except GI issued watches. The boys had
traded their privately owned watches to the Russian soldiers with whom they had
been in contact. The Russians were giving $300 to $500 of invasion marks for a
watch, particularly one with a swing second hand. Watches had a high trading
value in Russia. I recall a story of a Russian GI buying a watch from an American
GI. They could not understand each other. Finally, the Russian handed the American
a large roll of bills, took the watch and motioned to the American to count off
its worth. The American counted off $300, and handed the roll back. The Russian
shook his head, counted off $200 more and handed it to the American. We found out
later (and it appeared in the Readers Digest) that the Russians had somehow
acquired a set of plates, were printing the money and giving it to their soldiers.
Presumably the United States redeemed the money.
Shortly before we left for the Port of Embarkation at Camp Lucky Strike the
Special Service Officer was flown home, because he was the only surviving son of
his parents. Because of my rank I became Special Service Officer®
Mrs. La Horty, with whose family I had been billeted for about a week at Auffay,
France, after landing in Europe, wrote me that if I left for the United States
her family would like for me to visit them for a few days. Camp Lucky Strike was
near Le Harve, so I accepted her invitation. I was given permission to leave
with the first convoy to Le Harve and to arrive at Camp Lucky Strike with the
Enroute we spent the night at Nancy. The next morning both the officers' and
enlisted men's messes had oranges. My driver and I each got enough for both of
us to eat as we went along. I also got from our disbanded mess enough food to
take care of my and my driver's eating and the La Hortys*, as food was scarce
and expensive. This food we gave to the La Hortys. One day the driver was clean-
ing out the jeep with Mrs. La Horty and me standing nearby watching. An orange
rolled out from under the seat. I handed it toward Mrs. La Horty and said:
“You can have this." She drew back, her eyes wide, and said: "No. I can't
think of depriving you of that." I asked her: "What do you mean by 'you can't
deprive us of that*?" She replied: "Why, I haven't seen an orange in five years.".
We insisted that she take it and were sorry we didn't have more left to give her.
There had not been any American soldiers in Auffay in nearly a year. I wandered
around Auffey looking in the stores and checking the prices. Earlier I had a
pass to Paris and had purchased a few items for my wife, daughter, and my mother*,
The prices seemed very high. But they were the same for the same items here as
in Paris. Evidently it was the rate of exchange that made things high in France.
The U. S. Government did that on purpose to keep the Americans from buying up too
many items in France as there was a great scarcity of things and there would be
little left for the French. In Germany I thought the prices were very reasonable.
Of course, in both countries we (the Americans) thought of the purchasing power
of the invasion marks and invasion francs in terms of what they would buy in
dollars, not in the value the French or Germans put on them in their currancy.
On the day the last convoy was to go near Auffay we just drove to Camp Lucky
Strike and reported in* instead of poming in with the convoy. We waited some
four weeks at Gamp Lucky Strike for transportation to take us to the United
States. During this period I persuaded Camp Lucky Strike Special Service Officer
I to open the movie theatres in the mornings as well as the afternoons and evenings.
This increased the hours the men could go to the movies and gave them a little
I more to do.
Because I had a small child, I had not picked up any German pistols while we
were in combat. But while at Camp Lucky Strike I was offered a very fine luger
of 1914 vintage for twenty dollars. I bought it, and brought it home with me.
We were afraid we would land at New York City, which has a very strict antigun
law, the Sullivan Act. But we landed at Newport News, Virginia.
Finally we got our orders to board ship. We sailed for the United States on the
marine transport, General Le Jeune, with several troupes of US0 actors on beard.
It kept me quite busy coordinating their performances. The main thing I remember
is constantly climbing ladders between decks arranging their performances.
JDuring this activity I came in contact with the captain and some of the crew. I
found that the husband of a daughter of Joseph Saks, a cousin who lived in
Gadsden, Alabama, about twenty-five miles from Anniston, was an officer on the
ship. We met, but didn't have much contact on the trip. It's a small world.
When I took ay pass to Paris earlier in the summer, while walking down a Paris
street, I encountered a friend from Anniston, Alabama, my home town.
We landed at Newport News, near Norfolk, Virginia. After being processed we
were allowed to go into town. I was still under the influence of the European
environment: ragged people, shortages, dimly lighted places, almost empty stores
with items placed several feet apart to try to give the impression that the store
wasn't so empty, and above all hunger from the lack of food. It was after dark
when we went into the city. We went around a corner and suddenly were facing a
brightly lighted window of a hardware store jammed with items. It was a shock
after being in Europe with its shortages. It took a moment to adjust to the
changeo I was now home in a land of plenty, no war damage, and found only a
few shortages, which were minor.
From Newport News I travelled on a crowded troop train to Fort McPherson, Georgia,
on an overnight trip. I slept on a bunch of rolled sleeping bags in the sitting
compartment of the men's room as this was the best place I could find.
I was sent back to reserve status at Fort McPherson as a full colonel. 1
continued in the reserve but because of family duties I was unable to keep up
the reserve training and went on the inactive list. When we were given the
choice of being active or taking an honorable discharge I had a hard time making
up my mind. On the last day I finally chose taking an honorable discharge,
figuring that if they needed me again they knew where to find me. However,
for about a year I received notices of various courses that were being giveno
The awards and decorations given Julien David Saks were: the Bronze Star Medal,
the Liberation of Colmar Medal (given by the French Government), the European
Theatre of Operation Medal with three campaign stars, the Pre-Pearl Harbor
Medal, the Occupation of Germany Medal, and the World War II Medal.
After making observations of the way the population of France, Gerraary and
Poland was handled 1 came to the conclusion that Hitler was carrying out his
plan to populate the world, or what part he controlled, with his "Master Race",
the German people.
When we were in France I do not recall seeing any very small children. The
men of the army were in P.O.W. camps. The diet was of such low calories that
it caused sterilization of the population. In a generation or two there would
be no more Frenchmen. Meanwhile those living would continue the economy after
a fashion until they were replaced by Germans.
When we reached Germany small children abounded. Women walked down the streets
followed by a brood of children reminding me of a sow followed by a litter of
pigs. Medals were given to women when they bore three, five and, I think, nine
children. Camps were set up where boys and girls went together. Everything was
being done to create more Germans.
On the other side of Germany from France a policy of extermination was being
carried out. The Poles were being killed in concentration camps.
I think it was Hitler's plan to settle Germans in Poland first as the children
now growing up matured and the second generation in France. Other countries
would have to wait until the Germans matured. Finally, there would be only
Germans in the German controlled area.
. An incident occurred that gives an idea of the.thinking of the European? and,
possibly most of the rest of the world, as contrasted with that of the United
Capt. Moses Wurm's family had come from Vienna, Austria. He looked somewhat
German and spoke several languages perfectly. While he never told me so, I
felt that during combat he put on civilian clothes and mixed with the German
civilians to find out what they were thinking. After the war he mixed with
the D.P.s (displaced persons), particularly the prominent, well-educated ones.
His house was across the street from mine. I was frequently over there and had
many conversations with a Polish D. P. Before being brought to Heidenheim to
do forced labor on the farms, the D.P. was Warsaw Manager for Cook's Travel Tours
and spoke excellent English. He became a sort of an unofficial helper to Captain
At the time the United States gave the Philippines their independence, Capt. Wurm
gave a party for about ten or fifteen prominent D.P.s of about eight nationalities.
They asked him: "What is the United States getting out of giving the Philippines
their independence? We have tried to figure that out but cannot. Can you tell
Captain Wurm told them that the U. S. was not getting anything out of it; that
the U. S. thought they should have their independence and gave it to them.,
They unanimously took the stand: "Our countries do not give anyone anything
without getting something in return. And we don't think your country does
either. Tell us what the U. S. is getting out of it."
Captain Wurm told me about this the next day.
There was a factory in Heidenheim that made .88 mm gun barrels. The Allies
did not know about it or it would have been bombed. The Germans kept the
factory open without their forced labor for four or five days thinking they
would be making gun barrels for us. Then they shut it down. Sometime after
this I went through the factory. There were concrete guard houses scattered
throughout it. These consisted of a concrete cylinder large enough for a guard
to stand or sit in with peepholes in it. Here the guard could stand and watch
the D. P.s (displaced persons or forced labor) running the machines or doing
other work. There was an opening in the rear through which the guards entered
and then closed the opening with a piece of concrete about an inch and a half
thick. Also details of forced or slave labor were taken under guard to work
in the fields or do other work. I passed a building which housed D. P.s when
I went from the second house we were billeted in to Division Headquarters. It
was situated in a field surrounded by barbed wire. There was a wooden packing
case against the outside of the building. I was told a girl used it for her
sleeping quarters. She evidently preferred a private room to sleeping among
When we were in combat in France I was billeted in a small village. The house
in which we were billeted was in the most disorderly condition I had ever seen.
The dishes and the chairs were mostly broken; the contents of the drawers and
the clothes were dumped in the middle of the rooms, and the house generally was
in a mess. There were no bullet holes in the walls or, at least, I didn't see
any, so there probably had not been a fire fight 0 When I went to Division
Headquarters I stopped by a section and asked what happened.
I was told that is one of the tragedies of war. The people in this village
are French and our friends. But they were in German domination for many years.
They were not allowed to speak French but only German. Our troops had a terrific
battle driving the Germans out of the village. They had lost many of their
buddies and we re crying. The villagers, after the battle was over, came out of
hiding to greet the American troops and to welcome them. But they did it in
German, the language they had been forced to use for many years. That did it.
The soldiers vented their anger on the people's possessions. You can't teach^
people to hate and turn it off and on like you would a water faucet. But I didn't
hear of a villager who was hurt by the soldiers.
The last remark: "You cannot teach people to hate and turn it off and on as
you would a water faucet" brought up later some "food for thought".
It is quite difficult to get one normal human being to kill another unless he
hates or fears him. That is why people are taught to hate their enemies. The
Communists do not usually allow their people to travel freely in their own
country and, except for selected people, do not allow them to go outside their own
countries to the western world. Thus, they know only what they are told about it.
Also they discourage contact with visitors from outside their own countries.
What does the Communist press and radio say to their own people? It speaks of the
decadence of capitalism and its oppression of the common people; distorts news;
accuses the U. S. of a tremendous military build-up and warlike intentions, while
at the same time building up its navy and military supply of weapons and men to
far greater strength than needed for defense; invades Afganistan; supports Cuba
and Nicaragua; is active in Africa; has a tremendous spy system throughout the
world; oppresses their own people; has in the past refused to negotiate arras
reductions without being given concessions in advance; makes and breaks treaties
and promises at their own pleasure, believing that the end justifies the means;
and doing many other things contrary to our ideas of right and justice.
To go back to the question of teaching people to hate capitalism and those who
believe in it. Why? Because if the occasion arose it would make it much easier
to get their soldiers to kill us. They have plenty of people. They could want
our material things and the know how to use them—not our people. They have
little regard for human life. Look at the way they treat people who disagree
with them. That is the reason they teach hatred of the western world.
Does warfare pay?
In World War II we practically destroyed many German cities with thousand bomber
raids and damaged many others of Germany and her allies. We destroyed most of
Germany's industrial system. Germany practically destroyed Rotterdam, a great
part of London and damaged many of her enemies' cities. Many naval vessels and
aircraft were lost or damaged on both sides. Most of the nations of the world
mobilized great armies to fight their enemies, costing millions of lives. The
war caused the cost of making tremendous amounts of arms, ammunition and equip-
ment, a great part of which was destroyed. Then there is the cost of paying,
clothing, feeding, housing, and transporting the armies, not for producing goods
but to destroy then. On top of that is the oost of pensions, disability payments,
hospitals to take care of the wounded and other costs.
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
United States. Army. 12th Armored Division. [Twelfth Armored Division, Scrapbook 6], book, Date Unknown; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth639084/m1/173/: accessed August 13, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.