Tuesday, 5 May 2020

75 years ago today...

...a celebration
Today would have been the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Schloss Itter and it seems only appropriate to mark the day with a suitable post.  As colossal an undertaking as this has been, the project remains one of the most enjoyable and rewarding enterprises, one we are committed to seeing through to its end, whenever that may be?  We have learnt a great deal in terms of our own abilities and along the way we have been buoyed and supported by the many positive comments left on the various posts, blown away by the generosity of individuals wanting to contribute in some small way.
There was, however, a most unexpected outcome that we thought we would share with you today, that of our introduction to Glenn E. Sherman and the role he played in the battle for Schloss Itter.  Back in early December an otherwise nondescript work in progress update to James' Instagram yielded a most unexpected outcome.  In addition to the usual kindly 'likes' offered by myself and his daughters, there was a favourable comment too!  Far be it from me to suggest that a positive comment on James's Instagram is a rare thing, but on this occasion it really was a most welcome surprise - being as it came from over the pond from a Mr. John G. Sherman.
Introductions aside, it became clear that John Sherman was the grandson of Glenn E. Sherman, a name that was strikingly familiar not least because we had come across it in Stephen Harding's, The Last Battle, the book we were using as our primary source of information.  The book makes reference of the decisive action of Boche Buster, the tank that led the reinforcements to the castle, disappointing though, Harding does not fully recognise Glenn's accomplishments as he does for some of the other personalities at the battle.
Therefore, to mark the events that took place seventy five years ago this day, and as part of the wider VE Day75 celebrations, we would like to take a moment to honour Glenn E. Sherman, and thank his grandson John for reaching-out and getting in touch with us. 
Part of the original column that had set out to liberate the castle with Capt. Jack Lee, Glenn and Tech. Sgt. William E. Elliot remained in their tank, nicknamed Boche Buster to defend the bridge serving as an escape route.  However no sooner had Lee arrived at Schloss Itter when the probing assaults of the SS Troops started, culminating with an artillery bombardment of the medieval structure the following day.
Fortunately Glen had navigated his way across enemy held territory, at night, to arrive in true U. S. cavalry style and literally save the day!  The attacking SS soldiers, realising they were no match for Boche Buster’s firepower, immediately retreated, the battle was over.   Glenn was awarded the Silver Star, for gallantry in action with the 12th Armoured Division, near Worgel, Austria, his citation reads as follows: 
“Technician Fourth Grade Sherman, whose regular duty is a tank mechanic, volunteered, although his company had been relieved to drive a tank on a mission during the hours of darkness over ten miles of roads lined with enemy armour.  The following day he drove his tank in the lead of all troops to liberate his company commander and members of the old French Government who were surrounded by an undetermined number of SS troops.  Technician Fourth Grade Sherman's actions were one of the most important elements that [brought] success to such a bold venture.”
James and I have pondered over how best to honour Glenn, and really there is no better way than to allow his Grandson John to do the talking.  The following words, written by John Sherman give a fascinating insight into the life of Glenn, his personality and achievements.

"My Grandpa Glenn Sherman seldom spoke about his experiences in World War II. On the rare occasions he did I was too young to understand; what I do remember vividly are his actions. Over and over again he provided a shining example of someone who worked hard, loved his family, and gave back to his community. 
 From letting his grandkids ride on the fire truck during the 4th of July parade, or taking one fishing, to patiently listening to a fellow farmer’s tale, to letting me explore the attic for the thousandth time,  Grandpa Sherman could always find time to serve his family and friends in his seemingly endless days of carrying mail, farming, and the occasional call to put out a fire.  
After the war, Glenn returned to Cameron to raise a family with his wife Doris and to work on the family farm. He continued to serve the community in many ways; as a member of the Cameron Volunteer Fire Department for 40 years and as a Cameron Postal employee for over 30 years.  
 I will always remember Grandpa Sherman for his gentle smile and quick wit; his tireless days of working without complaint, and his constant willingness to help those in need."
He would often shovel snow for someone not able, or fix a broken down car at a moment’s notice. He even built a house for a son and his young family. 

John G Sherman
It seems unnecessary to add anymore, may the post serve to honour the memory of this community spirited hero, and all who suffered, as we reflect upon the 75th anniversary of VE day.


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49 comments:

  1. A very nice post and a good one to remember those involved. Thank you 👍

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    1. Entirely our pleasure Matt, this has been such a wonderful journey and we delighted to share our progress.

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  2. A most excellent post, and a fitting way to mark the day.

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    1. Thank you James, I simply couldn't have done it without you.

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  3. Michael, thank you for this post, which is great in hobby terms -- beautiful work (as usual) on Sherman and his fellow U.S. Tankers -- and also in historical terms. To top it all off it's a nice example of positive use of social media.

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    1. Thank you so very much, we were so thrilled when John reached out through social media, I have no doubt that his connection galvanised us to keep going with the project.

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  4. Wow I'm gobstuck, what a truly wonderful post Michael :)

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    1. Thank you so much Frank, this has been a definite highlight on our journey.

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  5. Very nice and interessting report.

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  6. Always great when a family member gets in touch. You have done these soldiers proud, not only with the meticulous research, but the skill you've both put into the project.

    Cheers,

    Richard

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    1. Thank you so much Richard that is incredibly kind. We are very proud of the project and so for it to now have a tangible connection to the men that fought in the battle has really been a boost to morale.

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  7. Michael, your post is a splendid tribute to an incredible event involving extraordinary characters. Excellent Shermans, too!

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    1. Thank you so much Dean, from its concept we were keen to honour and remember all those that fought and sacrificed for our benefit. This connection has been a wonderful addition to our project.

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    1. Thank you so much Ray, greatly appreciated.

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  9. Nice guy and what an excellent fitting sirname

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    1. Thank you Paul, it really is, isn't it. Could resist painting up his tank as well.

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  10. A remarkable man in a remarkable crew. All honour to them for their achievements in war and peace.

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    1. What a tremendous sentiment, thank you A.J.

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  11. Wholly fitting for such an occasion.

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    1. Thank you we were keen to mark the occasion with a suitable post.

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  12. Certainly an aspect of the project you were not expecting which makes the whole affair that much greater! As we age, we will rely more & more on the generations after the boom to carry on these stories & memories, ensuring they are shared to continue to honour them.

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    1. I couldn't agree more Terry. We were always looking to commemorate those that had fought and celebrate the end of war, to have a tangible connection to that has made the project all the more worthwhile.

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  13. Thank you so much for honoring my Uncle Glenn. I can second everything that John said about him. I remember him as quiet, funny, and always kind.

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    1. Teala Sindt Sipes, Glenn's niece, John's second cousin

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    2. Dear Teala, thank you so much for taking the time to comment, it means the world to us. As teachers our primary objective was to educate those who may be unaware of the sacrifices made by so many all those years ago. Men like your Uncle Glenn played such an important role and it is because of them that we enjoy the freedoms that we have today. It has been our absolute joy and privilege to be able to share this with his family.

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  14. What a great post. Very interesting and a nice personal touch to this great project.

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    1. Thank you so much Kym, the connection with the family has given a sense of worth to the project neither of us could have anticipated.

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  15. Awesome post Michael, and what an amazing story from a loved one !

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    1. Thank you so much Dave, it really was such a surprise and a wonderful addition to the story.

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  16. What a wonderful post, both James and yourself must have been gobsmacked to recieve the letter from a relative of one of those involved in the action.
    I think the granson will be proud of your tribute, I know it moved me.

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    1. It really was Joe, totally blew us away and lifted our sprits at a time when we were wondering if we would ever get the project finished.

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  17. Super post! Lovely additional detail from the horses mouth and nice figure too!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you so much Iain, we were so pleased to hear from the Grandson, it just gave the project such a lift.

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  18. Loved that final group photo of the painted figurines. A varied and interesting photo composition.

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  19. Hi Michael !
    For some reasons (all bad ), I've missed all those excellent posts about the Schloss Itter.
    I'm not very interested with WWII but I've learned a lot about that quite uncommon battle.
    Many thanks !

    I've read several posts from you. They are all excellent and your painting work on all those characters is awesome.
    I imagine all the work done to find the informations, find the figures and sometimes doing conversions.

    Be sure that I will come back !

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    1. Not a problem Sam, so pleased that you have enjoyed them.

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  22. What a great story, it must have been lovely to make contact with a relative.

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  23. What an amazing story, how beautiful is it that someone reaches out to you like that to contribute and tell his grandfather's story. Heartfelt!

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