Patton's 3rd Army

Patton's 3rd Army - Picking up the pace - the sprint was on.

Gen. Patton’s Third Army Reaches The Rhine – First Army Reaches Bonn – 70,000 Prisoners Taken – March 7, 1945

Patton's 3rd Army
Patton’s 3rd Army – Picking up the pace – the sprint was on.

H.V. Kaltenborn News – March 7, 1945 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

On this day in 1945 and between two news blackouts, General Patton’s 3rd Army was making sweeping advances into Germany. First crossing The Rhine river, north and west of Koblenz, taking some 30 German villages along the way and with little resistance while netting an increasing number of prisoners in the process – some 70,000 since February 3rd.

Meanwhile, the 1st Army which was occupying Cologne as of the previous day, had reached the outskirts of Bonn, some 15 miles south of Cologne. After this news, a security blackout was clamped on both the 1st and 3rd Armies as of news time.

General Patton’s 3rd Army Armored units completed a 60 mile advance from Bittburg to The Rhine in two days. This was a record.

Front reports, previous to the news blackout said the 1st Army advanced as much as seven miles south of Bonn in a drive that overran 27 to 30 towns without a fight. The Germans appeared to be making no effort to evacuate their forces across the Bonn Bridge, which was reported still intact.

An inspection of the historic Cologne Cathedral revealed much minor damage. The only major damage was a gaping hole midway up the front elevation, but the portions of the roof had collapsed as well as the keystones of some of the arches had caved in. It was estimated repairs could take as long as ten years. One of the priests at the Cathedral said the building was never hit directly, while the rest of the city was laid in ruins.

Allied air attacks struck several plants in the Ruhr earlier in the day. It was one more effort to paralyze German oil production.

And it was reported Marshall Zhukov has opened a frontal assault against Berlin, striking at the Oder River defenses some 30 miles east of the German Capitol. Moscow was maintaining its usual silence until the assault was well underway.

And that’s just a sampling of what went on, this March 7, 1945 as reported by H.V. Kaltenborn and The Pure Oil News for NBC.

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