Come visit us at The Museum of Military Memorabilia. We have thousands of military artifacts from all branches of the Military. The Museum is located in the Naples Municipal Airport which was originally built by the Army Corps of Engineers to train pilots for the pacific theater in WWII.

What has begun as a Museum Honoring Military Aviation in WWII has evolved into so much more. You can now see historical artifacts dating back to the Revolutionary War and all the way up to the present day Iraq & Afghanistan conflicts.


2012 marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Naples Airport as a WWII Army Air Forces Training Base.


Ruhr Pocket

Reemagen enclosure.jpgAn American soldier guards German prisoners captured in the Ruhr Pocket.
Date March 7 to April 21, 1945
Location Ruhr Area, Germany
Result Decisive Allied victory
Belligerents
United States United States United Kingdom United Kingdom German Resistance Nazi Germany Germany
Commanders and leaders
United States Omar Bradley United States Courtney H. Hodges United States William Hood Simpson United States Leonard Gerow United Kingdom Bernard Montgomery Germany Walter Model  Nazi Germany Gustav-Adolf von Zangen Nazi Germany Josef Harpe
Strength
~300,000+ ~400,000
Casualties and losses
United States U.S.: 4,131 casualties (928 killed, 3,314 wounded) Total casualties unknown 300,000+ taken prisoner.

The Ruhr Pocket was a battle of encirclement that took place in late March and early April 1945, near the end of World War II, in the Ruhr Area of Germany. It marked the end of major organized resistance on Nazi Germany’s Western Front, as more than 300,000 troops were taken prisoner.

Background

In March 1945, Allied Forces crossed the Rhine river. South of the Ruhr, General Omar Bradley’s U.S. 12th Army Group’s pursuit of the disintegrating German army resulted in the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge across the Rhine at Remagen by the U.S. First Army. Bradley and his subordinates quickly exploited the crossing made on March 7, 1945, and expanded the bridge head until the bridge collapsed 10 days later.

North of the Ruhr on March 23, 1945, Field Marshal Montgomery’s British 21st Army Group launched Operation Plunder and crossed the Rhine at Rees and Wesel.

The battle

Having crossed the Rhine, both Army Groups fanned out into the German hinterland. In the south, while Third Army headed east, the First Army headed northeast and formed the southern pincer of the Ruhr envelopment. In the north, the U.S. Ninth Army, which since the Battle of the Bulge had been assigned to Montgomery’s British 21st Army Group, headed southeast forming the northern pincer, while the rest of 21st Army Group went east and northeast.

Facing the Allied armies were the remnants of a shattered Wehrmacht, a few SS training units, and large numbers of Volkssturm (militia units for aging men, including some World War I veterans) and Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) units, composed of boys as young as 12.

Lead elements of the two Allied pincers met on April 1, 1945, near Lippstadt. By April 4, the encirclement was completed and the Ninth Army reverted to the command of Bradley’s 12th Army Group. Within the Ruhr Pocket about 430,000 German soldiers of Army Group B, which comprised 21 divisions of the Wehrmacht, and millions of civilians were trapped in cities heavily damaged by numerous bombings.

While the main operations headed further toward central and northern Germany, American forces concentrated on the pocket, taking it section by section. On April 12, 1945, the U.S. 1st and 9th Armies divided the area coming from the south; the smaller, eastern part surrendered the next day. The western part continued a weak resistance until April 18 and April 21, 1945. Rather than surrender and violate his personal oath to Adolf Hitler that he would fight to the death, the commander, Field Marshal Walter Model, committed suicide in a forest south of the city of Duisburg.

German anti-Nazi resistance groups in Düsseldorf attempted to surrender the city to the Allied armies in the so-called “Aktion Rheinland” in order to spare Düsseldorf from further destruction. However, SS units were able to crush the resistance, and executed a number of those involved. Executions of foreign labourers, political prisoners, etc. by the Gestapo had already been occurring since February. The act of resistance did accomplish a cancellation of further bombings on the city by another 800 bombers, through contact with the Americans. Düsseldorf was captured by Americans on 17 April without any notable fighting.

The surviving 325,000 German soldiers from the Ruhr Pocket, and some civilians, were imprisoned in a complex of temporary prison enclosures known as Rheinwiesenlager (in English, Rhein meadow camps).

 Source Wikipedia

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