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.
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.
“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
Click button for related posts