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Old 02-20-2009, 10:01 AM   #20
It's an alpaca, ok?
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Earlier in this thread I said that Lindemanns turret number was 112. This was incorrect, that number appeared on a PzIV that he was assigned to before he got his Tiger.
Markings on his Tiger were DAK palm on glacis left of drivers viewport, balkenkreuz on hull side, midway along. Turret numbers were 111 in black with a white outline. On the back of the turret on the "rummelbox" (not sure how to actually spell the word he said but it was pronounced 'roomelbachs', can one of you German guys help me out with that?), anyway, on the equipment box mounted on the back of the turret, was stenciled KG-N in black, all caps, no outline. KG-N stands for "Kampf Gruppe Nord" and refers to the Gruppen formed by Rommel for the battle of Kasserine pass. This is the gruppe known to the men of that KG as "Kampfgruppe Lindemann". It was a fairly common practice to name a gruppe after it's commander. I have also seen the gruppe refered to as "KG-Gerd" as well.

After his capture (and I will deal with all this in more detail as I actually get on with writing his story), and since he was pretty severely wounded, he went first to the Tommies field hospital but was quickly moved on to a city (I think he said Constantine), from there he was shipped to New York (he was pretty doped up throughout this and he may have changed ships a couple times, hard to tell...). From New York he was shipped to Kansas City, (any KC guys tell me if there is a Hospital or something named "General Winders" there?) After recovering to the point of being releasable, he was sent to Camp Phillips in Kansas. He wasn't there long before someone pointed out that he was an officer and this was an enlisted POW camp, so, his next stop was Camp Carson which I believe was in Texas. There in Texas, he met up with other officers from his command for the first time in more than a year. Not only his fellow officers but every Tiger tank the the Americans had been able to drag there! "They wanted us to put together a running Tiger for them, but no one would co-operate." After some time in Texas, he and some other officers were moved to Camp Custer in Michigan. He was Ranking officer there and had a U-Boat exec as his second. That's where he was when the war ended.
He went home shortly after the war with Japan was concluded and returned here to Grand Rapids in 1953 where he has been pretty much ever since.

ismov, when I asked him how tankers kept cool he basically laughed. "We are sitting in an iron box, in the desert, with an enormous motor behind us making more heat. The only place we had ever seen airconditioning was at the cinema."
He said that whenever he got a chance he would volunteer to take the northern flank of a movement, as that put his unit closest to the Med coast where conditions were a bit more comfortable.
Night time was less of a problem obviously, as temperatures tend to dip rather precipitously in the desert after dark.
I asked about water and mentioned that the British 8th army got a ration of one gallon per, day per man, for all purposes. His reply was that the Tommies had it easy, DAK got one Liter per man, per day, for all purposes. If you wanted a wash or shave you'd better hope you were close to the coast. Oh, and you don't spit when you brush your teeth.
Initially at least, water was carried in jerry cans on trucks back and forth between supplies and units. Later tanker trucks were used as you could haul more water that way and a unit would refill the cans they had.
Food was always a problem too. Rations tended to be canned sausage and potatoes, canned beans, canned fish, a bread ration as often as the bakers could manage and whatever they could scrounge. Unless they were in the deep desert, arabs alway turned up to sell the troops anything they could. Lindemann said they would just wander in through the German perimeters and suddenly there would be a bunch of them setting up a bazaar. Some of the foods were a bit suspect however. One of his crew came up to him one day and asked if he thought that a carcass being sold would be edible. Inspecting it closely, Lindemann turned back to the guy and told him "We don't eat dog meat." Still, desparate times...

Mcdeath and a couple others asked about awards;
Lindemann was allowed to pick his personal crew, all were at least OberFeldWebel and everyone had at least Eisenkreuz First or Second Class. Lindemann himself was up for a Ritterkreuz near the end but his commander kept putting it off. "There will be time later." he said. If I understand correctly, you needed both First and Second Class Iron Cross to be eligible for the Knights Cross. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for him, his war ended before the paperwork went through...

Werwulf, I'm sure you can imagine how rare a DAK guy is here in the states. Lindemann said that as far as he knew, he was the last survivor of his Kampfgruppe.
If any of you guys out there are aware of any other survivors, most likely in Germany, possibly South America, he would be grateful I am sure, for the information.

Ron, when I asked why he came back to the U.S. he said that he had gotten his engineering degree and was trying to find something that would pay him decently. He and some others had a 'too good to be true' offer in Caracas, and after that fell through he went to the states. The money here for an engineer after the war was pretty darn good and so, he stayed. Among other things he was one of the guys who did design work on the Abrams, and insists that he's the one who made sure it used a steering wheel for turning just like the Tiger.
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