Ed Zubler - 102nd US Infantry Division
The German PA system
During the winter of 1944, our advance through the Siegfried stopped at the Roer River and we spent about 2 months on the west bank of the river with the Germans on the east bank. During this period, we had our Batallion Aid station in the basement of a partially bombed out hospital. The top floor was occupied by artillery observers who directed fire on the Germans. For about 2 weeks, there was a propaganda truck that made nightly visits to an area directly across from this hospital. At first, we enjoyed the music and the propaganda was not too annoying. But as time passed, they reduced the amount of music and increased the amount of the propaganda which also became nastier and the whole affair became annoying but far from demoralizing. After awhile, the artillery people decided to end this annoyance and during the day, they zeroed in a crossroad on the bank where they knew the truck had to cross when it departed. That evening with all of us watching, the truck appeared on schedule. When the Germans started the propaganda segment, the artillery observers called for a flare to illuminate the area and the truck quickly started to leave. Just before, it reached the cross roads, the observers called for the artillery fire. We could hear the shells travel over head and there was a tremendous explosion at the intersection, completely demolishing the truck. Everyone on our side cheered and clapped briefly but this ended quickly. I supposed that we all realized that people had just died and that we would probably miss the music in the future. That was the last time that we encounter this tactic by the Germans. They only used it when the lines were stagnant momentarily.
As a result of a heart failure, on March 20, 2004, Edward G. Zubler died of heart attack in Cleveland, OH.