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George Koukeas

Collaboration at Castle Itter: When German and American Troops Joined Forces

Throughout World War 2, Allied and German soldiers were continually in conflict. But on 5 May 1945, Wehrmacht Major Josef Gangl and his troops joined Captain John Lee’s 23rd Tank Battalion to help fight the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division.

Their common goal: rescue French hostages who were imprisoned by the Nazis at Castle Itter. In 1945, the SS Panzer Division was travelling towards the castle to mass-murder the prisoners as part of Hitler’s “final solution.” Standing in their way was this highly unlikely alliance.

Why did Gangl’s troops take the side of American soldiers? What were the events leading to the Battle of Castle Itter? And how did Lee know he could trust these German soldiers? Find out during this highly informative talk.

George Koukeas is a freelance history speaker who debunks popular misconceptions about significant people and events in American history. His approach to history is characterized by respect for facts and logically supportable theories, bringing the most accurate information to the subject to educate and inform audiences.