USS Maine (BB-69),
foreground, and USS Illinois (BB-65)
prepare to bombard the Atlantic Wall during False Peak 1. The heaviest Allied guns (the Maine,
her sister Montana (BB-67),
and the venerable battlewagon HMS Rodney)
were tasked with reducing the German shore battery “Lindemann”. The Lindemann battery mounted the largest caliber guns on the Atlantic Wall (46cm, same as the H-Class battleships) and had only suffered minor damage from repeated air strikes. The Allied ships fired nearly 1000 16 and 18 inch shells at the German battery, eventually knocking out 2 of the 3 heavy guns. The German guns did manage to severely damage the Rodney,
which had nearly run aground engaging the German positions at near point blank range while drawing fire away from the more modern American ships. The old battleship was laid up for the rest of the war, but it’s crew was later awarded a Presidential Unit Citation by President Kennedy after a direct endorsement by CNO Admiral Clark.
A M-52 machine gun team from the 107th Infantry Division fire on German positions during the clearing of the Scheldt Estuary near Antwerp, November 1958. The 107th, formed out of several National Guard units from New York State, became famous after Stars and Stripes
began reprinting the division’s newsletter. The newsletter, penned by an enterprising Public Affairs officer 1st LT S. Lieber, captivated readers with the exploits of the 107th (affectionally dubbed the “Howling Commandos” by Lieber) from its landing in France through the end of the war.
Vyacheslav Molotov walks the grounds of the Canadian embassy in Switzerland, May 1966. After the collapse of the his government in the March 1959 sarin gas bombings of Krasnoyarsk, the Swiss government gave Molotov and other Soviet diplomatic officials sanctuary within the Swiss foreign ministry. The Soviet officials later moved back to their own embassy for the duration of the war and for a time in the immediate aftermath of the war, quietly maintained by the Swiss government. Molotov and his family were then expelled from the embassy at the order of Tsar Andrei I when the Tsarist government took control of most of the former Soviet diplomatic infrastructure postwar. The Canadian government then offered “temporary” sanctuary to Molotov, which lasted until his death in 1986. Molotov never saw Russia again.