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Fall of Magdeburg

April 16th-18th


The following map/photo section is a remarkable 'look' at Magdeburg on April 17th, 1945.   The scans of the maps are from a huge map my father, Pfc. Ralph E. Watson, 117th, Co. K, 4th platoon, picked up in Magdeburg and brought home.  The map measures about 90 cm by 120 cm and it's scale is 1:1000 =  1 cm/100m.  It is dated 1934..so a few years prior to photos but the match-up is pretty good.

This is an approximate guide to the location of map/photos #1, #6, #7, and #8.  The other are in southern Magdeburg which I do not have on this map. 









The four map scans below show the movement of my father's platoon through the entire city of Magdeburg.  They 'enter' the map at the "X" at the top of the first map.  Their route is marked with pink & dotted lines.  My father also marked various places they stopped and German's captured.  He served with the 117th, Co. K, 4th Platoon.

1. 1935 map  1941 map ( Note in 1935 there were no buildings along Bouquet Graseweg and in 1941 Junkers-Siedlung was established. )

The following is a series of present day photos taken by Jurgen Ladebeck of Magdeburg.  Series starts at "X" on map.
Beginning of trek...2007 and 1945.


Bouquet Graseweg from Olvenstedter Chausse
Bouquet Graseweg and intersection of Ostrowski (former Plauth St. on 1941 map)

Bouquet Graseweg near intersection of Thill St. ( see 1941 map )

Bouquet Graseweg at the intersection of Robert Koch St.

Bouquet Graseweg at the 6 street junction of the "spider" where straight ahead 8 Germans were captured.  Must likely the 8 Germans were manning a strategic roadblock.

6 Streets junction corner Lerchenwuhne ( 1941 map ) was Ganseei ( 1935 map and marked with Letter K )

End of Ganseei ( 1935 map ) and fort on left with 8 Germans captured.

Moving back to Robert Koch St.

Intersection of Lorenzweg and Robert Koch..presently Junker Allee-Howzweg.

Robert Koch St. looking towards Spider Junction at Bettelbruecke.

Intersection of Robert Koch and Rennetal looking back to the north.

Intersection of Robert Koch and Hindenburg St. opposite the Reichs Orphanhouse.

Intersection of Robert Koch and Hindenburg St. looking east to Erziehungsanstalt.

Intersection of Ebendorfer St. and Schopenhauer St. ( which was Spielhagen St. on 1935 map ).

2. 1935 1941

Ebendorfer St - Olvenstedter St  looking south.

Same location as above looking north to Ebendorfer St.

Intersection of Ebendorfer St - Olvenstedter St - Herder St.

Herder St looking east.

Herder St - Hutten St  looking east.

Herder St - Clausewitz St (1941) = BvSuttner St (2007) looking east.

Herder St - Rosegger St looking west.

Herder St -Gellert St looking north.

von Stein St - Gellert St looking north.

von Stein St - Rontgen St looking east.

Rontgen St looking north.

Hindenburg St - Rontgen St looking east.

Hindenburg St opposite intersection of Rontgen St. looking east.

Ander Steinkuhle St. - Hindenburg St.

Ander Steinkuhle St. - Hindenburg St. 

White street mark- Ander Steinkuhle St.

The street between Hindenburg and Lorenzweg does not exist anymore, due to a motorway and new built houses.

Lorenzweg St. - Ander Steinkuhle St. looking west.

Crossing motorway looking north.

Reaching Muncherhof St.

Munchenhof St.

Munchenhof St at G. Steiger Baugeschaft. 
This dilapidated old building of "Gustaz Stieger, Baugeschaft as marked on 1935 was there when my dad passed by in 1945.

Munchenhof St curve.

Munchenhof St curve.

Crossing Die Faule Renneard reaching Insleber St.

Insleber St. looking east across vintage pavement.


Insleber St. old sidewalk.

Insleber St - Lubecker St. looking east.

Lubecker St - Laass St looking north.

Lubecker St - Laass St. looking east.

former Actien Brewery Neustadt and Wilhelma.

Lubecker St - Friedhof St.

Lubecker St - Mittag St looking north.

Mittag St looking east.

Mittag St. - Nachtweide looking east, building marked on map.

Mittag St. - Nachtweide St. looking north, building marked on map.

Nachtweide St. looking south towards RR, there is no official crossing.

Nachtweide St. towards RR station Bahnhof Neustadt.

Nachtweide St. near RR crossing also visible in 9 photos back.


Nachtweide St - Letzlinger St. looking north towards RR.

Letzlinger St. - Sieverstor St.

Sieverstor St. - Agneten St.

Sieverstor St. - Weinberg St. looking north.

Hohepforte St - Am Weinhof looking north.

Hohepforte St. - Peter Paul St., former cemetery.

Wittenberger St. - Hohepforte St.

Wittenberger St. - Schiffer St.

Wittenberger St. looking backwards from the edge of Handelshafen area.

Wittenberger St. looking forward to Handelshafen area.

Old building of former Elektrizitatswerk at Handelshafen.

Handelshafen looking north.

Surely Old Hickory boys rested here 62 years ago!!

Reconstructing old warehouses.

Looking east across the Elbe at Handelshafen.

Handelshafen close to the river and looking north.

Old grain elevator still showing scars of the last fighting in April 1944.

Looking north towards RR bridge.

Site of Co. I, 120th IR.

Looking northwest from former Hindenburg bridge across the Elbe towards Handelshafen.

Handelshafen north end of canal with train museum.

This photo corresponds to the point on Map 4 above where the pink marker ends on the Lager Platze at the Elbe River.  It shows exactly the spot where 62 years ago the days of active combat for my father and his squad end.  The view looks north with the Elbe railroad bridge (RR to Berlin)  as indicated in the map is in the background.  The "Handelshafen" of Magdeburg marks the end of the road for the 30th. From the Normandy beaches the division fought its way through France, Holland, Belgium and Germany towards this
last objective close to Berlin.

Handelshafen...photos vintage 1938...much like the 30th viewed just seven years later.

Handelshafen's railroad bridge


On April 13th, 1945 the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 117th were ordered to stop their movement east and head south towards Magdeburg.  See Page 94, "Curlew".  Both Col. Johnson and Gen. Hobbs were traveling with the Battalions.  The 3rd stayed in Brunswick. Find Huselitz at 765422. 

Click to read the 120th history of Magdeburg battle...Adobe PDF file.

Tank destroyers move into Magdeburg after the edge of the city had been captured.

Mortar men observe effects of fire on Magdeburg as the 120th IR moves in for a new attack on the German city.  April 17th, 1944    Also found on p. 240 of 120th history book.

Juergen Ladebeck of Magdeburg, Germany is provided incredible research and photos for the Fall of Magdeburg.  We can never thank him enough!!  This photo pinpoints the MIRKRAMAG....in Juergen's words:"the good quality of the Magdeburg_Fall_photo2 has allowed me to recognize
where it has been made. The characteristic and unique shape of the former
MIKRAMAG, a municipal power station and gas production with four large
chimneys, was the key to it. I think some of the other 1945 photos were made
in the same area. But the fields of 1945 are mostly covered by a lake
(Neustädter See) today. I hope to identify more key-buildings even it's very
hard because much has changed in the last 60 years."
Approximate location of mortars today.

1945 map Present day map 

Mikramag, 1935

Magdeburg photos for the Capt. Van Heely collection

120th IR, April 17th, 1944

119th IR men are forced back by heavy artillery fire in Magdeburg on April 17th.  They are retracing their steps to out flank the fire.

Same photo as above Then & Now This is Schlageterstrasse in Gross Ottersleben

Infantry and tanks attacking north from Gross Ottersleben towards Sudenburg using the main road Halberstaedter Chaussee. The Schlageterstrasse (above) follows the line of trees on right and joins in the Halberstaedter Chaussee.

Photos from the album of a 120th, Co. I veteran.  In the first photo, upper left corner is/was the church, Saint Martin on Draseckeplatz/Salzwedeler Strasse.  It was not reconstructed after the war.  Below is photo of church how it was:

Saint Martin before bombing Church site....Feb. 2007

Feb. 2007 photo of canal in '45 photo.

T/5 Kittle, Pfc. David Lester, and Pfc. Davis of the 105th Eng. Combat Battalion, Co. A, 3rd Platoon clear roadblocks in Magdeburg.

2nd Armored Division tank moves through Magdeburg on April 18th.

Click for capture of Lt. Gen. Kurt K. Dittmar.