After 17 months of hard work, team Ottré has finished their investigation, concerning the Ottré massacre. On january 10th 1945 a massacre among American soldiers of F company, 331th regiment, 83rd Infantry Division was committed by the Germans.
We all know the story about the Malmedy massacre, the Wereth massacre and the massacre against civilians in Stavelot and Bande. But the story of Ottré is a hardly known for most of us. In may 2009, a veteran asked me to investigate this massacre. At first I believed the investigation would cost me a couple of months. But I was wrong. This story is difficult and confusing. The stories that are available conflict with eachother. Team Ottré made a great effort to research the events that occured on january 10th 1945.
Just this week, we were able to close the investigation and translated the text in English. On the Grandmenil website you can read the story, the investigation, our fieldwork and our conclusions and comments for now. You will also find a remembrance page. This does not mean that we're finished. Behind the scene, we're still trying to find loose ends, clues and findings from the fields outside Ottré.
Some observations: The mention that many of the members of the massacred squads were replacements. Someone (might have been Stephen Ambrose) said that the American replacement system of WWII could have been designed by the Germans. Treating replacements as, virtually, replacement parts, completely interchangeable, was detrimental to unit cohesion. The sergeant doesn't seem to have been familiar with his men. The men weren't unified into a team. When the stuff hit the fan, they froze. They may well ahve been in a position where there was nothing they could do. On the other hand, and a more experienced, more cohesive unit might have been able to either avoid the ambush or fight its way out of it.
Why wasn't the massacre reported in the AAR? Or given more publicity? This was the tail end of the Battle of the Bulge. Things had been really nasty for almost a month. In the great scheme of things the loss of two squads was not an overly noteworthy event to overworked, tired, stressed out staff people. And I doubt if this was the first time they'd heard an engagment refered to as a "massacre".
"I used to be full of piss and vinegar. Now I'm just full of..." - Grandpa Simpson
Dracul: It looks like it lost a lot of steam and I now feel bad for randomly dropping off.
Jun 15, 2018 14:58:17 GMT -5
stuka: I mean it's not your fault. It is interesting though that things are falling off as we are finally getting our ww2 guns with the type 38/96 and the enfield as well as it recieving a new loading system, it's kind of unfortunate
Jun 16, 2018 3:30:04 GMT -5
Dracul: I don't know, maybe its because all the guns are becoming available, there is a decreasing need for the forums.
Jun 16, 2018 16:29:26 GMT -5
Dracul: Most of the talk was about making guns, as all the uniform info was already out there, but now the weapons are out there and are usually decent quality.
Jun 16, 2018 16:33:32 GMT -5
stuka: well the forum is and should still be useful for updates on guns, creating groups/events and building kits
Jun 18, 2018 1:33:29 GMT -5
Cpl. Hicks: I haven't been here in years, but I'm glad to see this forum is still kicking! So much great info on here.
Jun 22, 2018 14:00:12 GMT -5
savoy6: anyone know if anyone still carries the enfield?
Jul 15, 2018 18:47:08 GMT -5
Dracul: I think Redwolf has a Enfield. If not or not longer, then not until G&G releases theirs. The old gas Iron Airsoft brand SMLE isn't carried by anyone anymore and was such piece of crap. Not worth trying to track one down.
Jul 19, 2018 5:55:35 GMT -5