Joseph Bayerli- only American infantryman, who officially took part in battles in both the US and in the Red Army on the Western and the Eastern Front of World War II. The desire to continue the fight lived in it so much that after his escape from the camp and go through the front line, he continued to fight against a common enemy in the ranks of Soviet allies, consisting of one tank battalions.
Joseph was born in 1923 in the city of Muskegon Michigan, and, after graduation, in which he
was probably not the latest apprentice, as he was offered to become a scholar at the University of Notre Dame, chose to join the army, trying to get to a war that was long ago on another continent. After the special screening Joseph offered to serve in parts, in any army regarded until elitnymi- Airborne, and he agreed.
Beyrle was in the 6th Parachute Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles," in the special purpose unit that specialized in scouting and sabotage operations.
Beyrle in training camp.
After a special training course, which lasted nine months, he was transferred to England, to the territory of which flew twice on the most secret missions related to the transfer of gold to the French Resistance. The D-Day, June 6, 1944 landing aircraft, which was flying at Byerly important mission, was shot down over France by the Nazis, but all the same paratruper able to jump out of the falling side and landed safely.
Marines in the war paint ready to fly June 6, 1944 the day D.
Unfortunately, communication with other paratroopers were lost, but he was able to orient yourself, get to the target and execute the order that was given to the group in odinochku- blow electrical substation near the city of Qom-du-Mont. After that, he spent alone in the area a few acts of sabotage in the rear of the German troops, and while one of them was captured by security one of the objects.
The fate of the others will be successful. Marines with a captured Nazi flag.
After the capture as a prisoner of war, who had served previously in the group of special purpose, physically strong and fit and thus potentially prone to insubordination, Beyrle was held not in the general camp and prison, where he was replaced six months longer pyati.V card issued by the Nazis, and which served as a prisoner of war identity card, it would indicate that he worked as a butcher, probably to prison authorities paid him more attention, both in the ability to resist and fled again.
ID POW Beyrle.
Photos from the map Bayerli.Syn POW John Beyrle's father asked what he thought when he was photographed. Answer: "I have time to kill the photographer if, when he gets distracted."
But the strict conditions of detention did not break his will to resist, and the Germans just-just have a completely opposite result ... In all, he tried to escape three times, and about his first escape, unfortunately, little is known, but the second was practically the best.
Joseph and his comrades in prison managed to escape too far, and they have to feel safe, but the error with the train, unfortunately, has ended this attempt. The fact that the fugitives mixed compositions, and boarded a train that went to the Berlin direction instead of that went to the east to Warsaw, where they hoped to cross the front line.
After that he was taken for interrogation by the Gestapo, arguing that it is not a simple prisoner and specially trained spy, seeking to get to Berlin to perform a specific task, trying to knock the torture a confession. But none of the allegations had not been proven, and the Wehrmacht insisted bring it back under its jurisdiction as a person captured on the battlefield. Thus, thanks to the German pedantry and mutual hostility departments, he was still alive.
Then Baerli was sent to a POW camp in the content Stalag III-C near the town of Kostrzyn nad Odra, from which escaped for the third time. Now he was all alone, guided only by the sound of cannon fire and a few weeks later was able to successfully cross the front line, as the time and in the area of Poland, it was quite blurred, and go to the location of the advancing Soviet tank brigade.
Stalag III-C, part of the memorial.
According to him, he went out to meet Russian tanks and as an identification mark ally, holding a pack of American cigarettes "Laiki Strike" constantly repeated "Amerikansky tovarishch, Amerikansky tovarishch!". This pack of cigarettes lendlizovskih over his head was his only identification mark Allied soldiers, who must be known to Soviet soldiers. Probably, it was quite dangerous, because the Red Army for the first time saw the American form, the stock of Russian words of Robert must have been limited, and it could easily shoot in the heat of battle.
Poster Western soyuznikov- Soviet soldier.
After his identity has been partially elucidated, and he began to believe Beyrle began to ask that, would he temporarily left to serve in the tank brigade, until a meeting with allies. Perhaps he wanted his revenge on the Germans for the humiliation of a prisoner and his nature, by nature risky, even demanded adventure. Or maybe he thought that the war would soon be over and the Allies unite, so it makes no sense to go a roundabout way to America.
Anyway, Joseph wrote a special request that was considered at a high level and competent, as they said, agencies, because, in addition to the German prisoner of war identity, he did not have any documents, and has been in kontse- all, satisfied. The team had several tanks Sherman, and he began to serve on one of the machine gunner.
Soviet Sherman. Maybe at this and fought Beyrle.
As part of the Soviet tank brigade, serving on the American tanks, bearing the Soviet form and being an American citizen, it must have been for others of his soldiers living embodiment of the idea of military brotherhood allies and hope for eternal peace between nations, regardless of the political system and ideology, but, after the surrender of the finite total vraga- Germany. Regarding the attitude towards him on the part of the authorities, as a US citizen, is not known, and although he was a special kind of soldier, hardly stands out from the masses and specially guarded.
At the end of January 1945, the tanks of the battalion, which now served as Joseph, was released the same concentration lager- (Stalag III-C), where he was detained before escaping. You can probably imagine the surprise of his former comrades captive Beyrle, who saw it as part of the Soviet liberators in uniform. But after a few days of his service with the combat units of the Red Army it was over.
During the bombing of German positions of the battalion, he was seriously wounded by shrapnel bomb dropped Ju-87, and sent for treatment in a hospital located in Landsberg. During treatment there with him as a person quite amazing destiny, and then a local landmark, I met Marshal Zhukov. During the call, Byerly, who, after being wounded probably knew enough navoyevat asked to send him home.
He was given an official letter to confirm his identity, so as documents in force, it was not. Joining a convoy of trucks, sent to the territory of the Soviet Union, Joseph arrived safely in Moscow, where he immediately went to the American Embassy. There he was surprised to learn that since June 1944 he was declared dead at home, in the local newspaper even published an obituary was in the church served a memorial service for paratrooper.
Moreover, as long as Americans could with reasonable certainty for them to confirm his identity by comparing fingerprints, he was held in the hotel Metropol protected as a suspicious person. After both fingerprint identification has been carried out successfully, all suspicions of espionage were dropped. More to war it was not possible, in April, he was sent to his home in Michigan in May has celebrated victory in Chicago.
Cutting from the newspaper. Beyrle meeting with the family.
In 1946, he married Joanna Helovel, and, notably, the wedding was going to the same church itself, which took place earlier requiem mass for him, and served the-same priest who in 1944 Joseph Beyrle burial service. Zaim family, he took a job in the "Brunswick Corporation", where he worked without interruption as much as 28 years before retiring.
During the cooling of relations of this case, of course, few people remembered, and only many years later, in 1994, Beyrle was invited to the solemn ceremony devoted to the 50th anniversary of the opening of a second front in Europe, which was held at the White House with the participation of two prezidentov- the United States and Russia. There he was awarded a special commemorative medal, dedicated to the anniversary of the Allied landings in France. In 2004, he was gone to Moscow to take part in the Victory Parade.
Again trying his cap and picks up the PCA
Beyrle and his son, US ambassador to Russia.
Joseph Baerli died during sleep from a heart attack in 2004 on 12 December, during a visit to parachute base in Toccoa, Georgia. It is in Toccoa, once, back in 1944, he trained before being sent to the war in Europe. In April 2005, he was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
Joseph Beyrle for his life raised three children, he has so were seven grandchildren and one great-grandson. One of his sons, John Beyrle, made a successful diplomatic career, and from 2008 to 2012 was US ambassador to Russia.
In September 2002, the United States, a book publicist Thomas Taylor's "The Simple Sounds of Freedom", in 2005 on the wall of the church to St. Petersburg Côme-du-Mont, near which landed the Byerly in 1944, was an open memorial plaque, in the same year released a documentary film about him in Russian directed by Nina Cherry, the English version of which in 2007 received several awards abroad, Spain and the United States.
Exhibition dedicated Beyrle and his military adventures, was opened in 2010 in Moscow, during the years 2011-12 was planned her tour in USA-in Orleans, Toccoa, statewide Omaha and ended in his hometown Bayerli- Muskegon in June 2012, .
Amazing battle your way is one of the most interesting and rather paradoxical episodes of World War II and can indirectly indicate a sincere friendship and trust each other Allies in the struggle at the level of the ordinary soldiers, and who bore the burden of the whole body of those military trials ...