December 5, 1918 – The march into Germany

From December 2 to 5, the Engineers, led by the regimental band and colors marched through the German towns of Oberbillig and Wasserliesch, across the River Saar at Konz and arrived in Trier with its ancient Roman ruins on this day 100 years ago.  This three day march covered 17 km.  In addition to marching, Sergeant First Class Shetler would have been responsible for providing his Company three meals a day.  That meant staying ahead of the column and having meals ready when they arrived, cleaning and packing up and getting ahead of it again to get the next meal ready.  Busy guys!  They made camp in the nearby town of Olewig for 3 days.

“Here (Trier), as in other places, the people were curious – nothing more; groups on corners and individuals in windows gazed at the passing troops; some on the street, not wishing to appear interested, turned away; children by the dozen flocked around and followed the band.  Occasionally a man still wearing part of his “feldgrau” uniform would click his heels together and snap into the smart salute of the German Army.”

– The Three Hundred and First Engineers – A History 1917-1919

“Trier was entered with much curiosity, as it furnished the first opportunity for the regiment to see a German town of any size.  Three days in the “suburb” known as Olewig gave opportunity for direct observation of a city population, of the war’s effect on it and of its attitude and thought, which interested all ranks, perhaps more than did the Roman ruins and other objects of historical interest with which Trier abounds.”

– A Short History of the 301st Engineers

Pics of US Army arriving in Trier (not the 301st Engineers):

1918.12.05a.jpg

1918.12.05b

Period postcards from the city of Trier:

1918.12.05x.jpg

1918.12.05y.jpg

1918.12.05z.jpg

These postcards were brought home after the war by a cousin, Wilbur Huntley, who was also stationed in Germany with the Army of Occupation.

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