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Extra info for American Eagles - American Volunteers RAF

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81 Clothing The lack of proper winter clothes greatly added to the suffering of the The Eastern Front, 1941-45 24 soldiers. D. were still wearing the same clothes with which they had crossed the frontier when the bitter Russian winter began. 83 Only Russian felt boots proved to be of any use against the cold, and those could be acquired only by looting the civilian population and the POWs. D. 85 Among the troops of the other two divisions the situation was not much better. , for instance, instructed its men to protect their bodies from the cold by anything they could lay their hands on, including 'paper, tent sheets .

By 12 January 1945 the GD was rushed to the south in the face of a major Russian offensive across the Narev river, but by the end of the month it had retreated from Ortelsburg all the way to Brandenburg, where it remained till mid-March. Another offensive of the Red Army forced the few remaining GD soldiers to evacuate their positions in the Balga-Kahlholz and cross over to Pillau on the Samland Peninsula. On 12 April the remnants of the division were attacked once more, and only some 800 men succeeded in escaping to the thin strip of land of Frische Nehrung.

They are hollow-eyed, pale, and many are ill. D. reported that as the troops could not wash or change their clothes they were infested with lice and suffered from frequent skin infections. 27 claimed that serious skin irritations, numerous cases of diarrhoea and endless hours of guard duty combined to cause loss of weight and exhaustion to such an extent that some guards had fainted while on duty. Div. also suffered badly from the cold. 100 This situation lasted till the division was disbanded, as a medical report for September 1943 clearly illustrates: The general health of the division reflects the almost ceaseless military action since early July.

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