Frank Doll goes hunting for Nazis |

Frank Doll goes hunting for Nazis

Wine helps soldiers get over the Rhine

By Shirley Welch

Special to Daily

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While anti-tank mines were the most dangerous sort of evil Frank encountered in those days of occupying German homes, many times when they chose a home and questioned the occupants, the owners steadfastly denied they had any Nazi connection, when in fact once inside the home, Frank would find a Nazi flag or uniform.

As the days turned into weeks and Frank’s battalion continued through Germany, rooting Nazis from their nests, sometimes days would pass without sleep. One time Frank went seven days and seven nights without sleep, his battalion slogging their way to the Rhine River.

Exhausted and seeing spots in front of his eyes, Frank was ready to stay the course and hold his line until the unit was ready to cross the bridge over the Rhine, but those spots grew larger and larger until all of a sudden Franks’s world went black.

Collapsing from sheer exhaustion, some of his men carried him to a safe place where he was allowed to sleep, and he stayed in a deep slumber for over 36 hours. When he woke, he hardly remembered going to sleep. After washing, shaving, and changing clothes, he ate and decided he felt pretty darn sharp.

At the banks of the Rhine River, Frank’s battalion waited for the 2nd Division to arrive to secure the bridge over the river. With time on his hands, Frank and some of his men explored town and found a dark and cool wine cellar with over 35,000 cases of wine inside.

The building over the cellar was empty. It seemed a shame for all that wine to go to waste and knowing that the 2nd Division had been on the move for some time, Frank and his men carted about 100 cases of wine out of the cellar and brought them to the street. Not long afterwards, they heard the rumbling noise of trucks approaching and knew the 2nd Division was on its way through town.

Standing in the street, the men in the battalion held cases of wine and tossed them into the passing trucks, a nice welcome to the men in the 2nd Division.

As an important part in the war in Germany, the 2nd Division was able to secure the bridge over the Rhine River and defend it. Probably all the wine helped.

Once Frank’s battalion finished on the Rhine River, Frank got R and R and retreated to Nancy, France. A welcome break for Frank, he found France lovely in the spring with fruit trees in blossom, the happy spring bulbs giving the air a sweet pungent smell, the rolling hills lush green, and for a while it made Frank put the war in the back of his mind. He would need it, too, for what was to come.

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