“Somewhere in Germany”

  • Sebastianusstraße 26, 52146 Würselen, Germany

The American 30th Infantry Division reach the Netherlands on 12 September 1944, and liberate Maastricht. They turn to the east to the next target, the city of Aachen. After days of siege only a small corridor on the north side, near the small village of Würselen, remains open for the German soldiers. In the evening, the soldiers get some rest. Sergeant William Aubut writes letters to his wife and 3-year-old daughter.

The U.S. 30th Infantry Division, better known as ‘The Old Hickory’, reached the Netherlands on 12 September 1944. Maastricht was liberated two days later. In the days and weeks that followed, village after village was conquered. The 30th Infantry Division then set its sights on the city of Aachen to the east. German troops were well-entrenched in and around Aachen, but were increasingly surrounded by the Allies. After days of siege, Aachen was almost entirely surrounded. Only a small corridor on the northern side, near the village of Würselen, remained open for the German soldiers. On Monday 16 October, the U.S. 119th Infantry Regiment slowly fought its way to Kahlensberg and took Würselen-Scherberg one metre at a time. There were heavy casualties on and around Ravelsberg. At around 18:15, the company from the 119th Infantry Regiment and units from the U.S. 1st Infantry Division met at Ravelsberg. The corridor was closed.

In his nine months of service, Sergeant William Aubut wrote 225 letters to the home front. Grandson Mark LaPointe received his grandfather’s letters from his mother Donna, and wrote a touching song about them. The song is called Somewhere in Germany and can be found on YouTube.

The battle for the so-called ‘Bloody Ravelsberg’ continued. The German Army tried to retake Ravelsberg to reopen the corridor to Aachen. During these battles, bunker groups regularly changed hands. The two deployed German battalions of the 3rd Panzergrenadier Division suffered big losses. The American Army took Würselen on 17 November. One of these American soldiers was Ernst Voß, a young captain from Würselen. In 1938, he fled on a ship from Hamburg to Colombia, from where he travelled to the United States in 1940. His parents wanted to stay in Würselen. They died because they were Jewish.

“Somewhere in Germany”