American soldier Joseph Beyrle in Nazi captivity

Joseph Beyrle

American soldier Joseph Beyrle in Nazi captivity. 1944.
Joseph Robert Beyrle, 1923-2004 – parachutist of the American 101st airborne division. During the landing in Normandy in June 1944, he was captured, over the next seven months, Joseph Beyrle was held in seven different German prisons. He tried to escape twice, but both times failed. The third escape, in early January 1945, from a camp near the Oder River was crowned with success. Leaving east, after two weeks of wandering, Joseph Beyrle came across the Soviet tank battalion of the 2nd Belorussian Front of the Red Army. Rejecting the proposed evacuation to the rear, Joseph persuaded the Soviet command to allow him to join the ranks of the 1st Guards Tank Brigade, in which he fought for a month before he was wounded. While in the hospital, Joseph Beyrle met with Marshal Georgy Zhukov, who helped him get to Moscow and then return to the United States.

Joseph Beyrle is considered the only soldier of the Second World War who fought against the Nazis in both the American and Soviet armies. His son, John Beyrle, has been the US ambassador to Russia since 2008.

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In : 1944

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