Segment 12

Annotation

The end of the war was approaching. Baum went to the command platoon, to Abrams, to get permission to rejoin the troops. The division surgeon was not happy that Baum did not get permission from him and the division's psychiatrist. They tried to make him rest, but he wanted to finish the war with the troops. Against Baum's will, they sent him to the French Riviera for 11 days of rest. He had to share a room with the Lt. Colonel hat tried to court-martialed him. After his rest, he was finally able to go back and finish the war with the troops. He wanted to be back with the men because that was his life. Looking back on it now, Baum thinks the Hammelburg Raid was a success and a failure; it was a failure because they could not give the POWs the help they deserved, but it was successful because of the damage and confusion they inflicted on the Germans. His states his men were outstanding on this mission. The task force functioned well. The mission started going bad at Gemunden because he could not keep moving. He never thought that they were in real danger until the final attack. After the war in Europe was over, Baum was supposed to be transferred to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana as an infantry officer. He refused to go to Louisiana; it had a reputation as the worst post. He called General Wood was in charge of the replacement center at Fort Knox; Wood changed his orders and Baum was sent to him. Wood sent Baum to armored school to teach them how to fight tanks. He reported to a Colonel Brown who wanted him to write a field manual. Baum thought that was ridiculous because he hadn't even graduated high school and he wanted to be out in the field with the troops. The following day he was teaching an OCS group when they found out the war in Japan was over. They sat down under a big tree and they began to kibbutz [Annotator's Note: Yiddish for wisecracking and joking around]. A Major walked up and started to reprimand Baum in front of the students. Baum told him, "When you've taken your 1st village, come back and talk to me." Baum walked away; he received a letter telling him to treat officers with respect no matter what their experience. But General Wood ended up siding with Baum because they were both from the 4th Armored Division and kicking the major off of his post.

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