GERMANY: PAST AND PRESENT
Towards the end of March 1945, the 347th Ordnance Depot Company passed over into Germany and crossed the Rhine River a short time later. At the end of the war the company found themselves in the Nuremberg area but their work continued for several more months as part of the Army of Occupation. Special thanks to Geoff Walden for taking matching photos in Würzburg and to André Flener for attempting to find matching viewpoints in Felsberg in the Saarland.
These trees prevented the perfectly matching modern-day shot of St. Nicholas Church in Felsberg, Germany.
Again, trees prevented the necessary line of sight to make perfectly matching modern day pictures, but here is a collection of photos which show the various buildings depicted in Grandpa's photo from different angles.
The Ludwigskirche in Saarlouis looks every bit the same as it did in 1945.
The devastation wrought upon Würzburg by the March 16, 1945 bombing by the Royal Air Force is evident in this photo of the town looking east down the Domstrasse. The "modern-day photo" taken by Geoff Walden of The Third Reich in Ruins website is actually about twelve years old. The plain pumice stone wall seen in the 1999 photo was replaced in 2006 with the romanesque front seen in the inset photo. Inset photo from Christian Horvat, 2007 (CC-by)
The Deutschhauskirche was built between 1270 - 1320 as a church of the Teutonic Order. The church survived the bombing of Würzburg in March, 1945 without any major damage. Modern-day photo by 12345678 at de.wikipedia (CC-by-sa).
The Fortress Marienberg is a very prominent landmark of Würzburg that sits atop a hill next to the River Main. It originated as a church and small fortress built in the early 8th century and was home to Würzburg's prince-bishops for 500 years. The fortress was damaged in the aerial bombing in March of 1945.
The Residenz of Würzburg was almost completely burned out as a result of the aerial bombing attack on March 16, 1945. Its reconstruction ran from 1945 until 1987.
The Franconia Fountain in the Residenz courtyard was inaugurated in 1894. It's surmounted by a figure representing Franconia with seated figures around the base depicting important cultural figures of Würzburg.
A closer view of the figure representing Franconia. Modern day photo by Paula Moya (CC-by)
One of the figures seated at the base of the Franconia Fountain, Matthias Grünewald, a Renaissance painter from Würzburg.
Totnan was one of the missionaries that was martyred along with Kilian in 689. Part of the Marienberg Fortress can be seen in the background. Modern day photo by John Abel. (CC-by-sa)
A statue of St. John of Nepomuk, a protector against floods, was a common fixture on bridges like this one throughout Europe. It's been beautifully reconstructed.
Saint Josephus and a young Jesus are depicted by this statue on the Alte Mainbrücke. What I thought looked like a ball held by the child is actually an orb which symbolizes his kingship.
Pepin The Short is another of the twelve statues on the Alte Mainbrücke. He was a famous Frankish king and father of Charlemagne.
The romanesque St. Lorenz Kirche in Nuremberg was completed in the 14th century. Modern-day photo by Angarato (CC-by-nd)
The Siegestor of Munich is a triumphal arch finished in 1852. Heavily damaged by bombing in World War II, it was only partially restored. Modern-day photo by Henning Lind (CC-by-nd)
The Kehlsteinhaus was a mountaintop retreat in the Bavarian Alps. Also known by the Allies as "The Eagle's Nest", it was a popular tourist attraction for G.I.s right after the war. Modern-day photo by Mike Schneider (CC-by-nd)
The photo of the train station in Bremen is odd in that it depicts a location that is way off the beaten path for Grandpa. Neither the unit history, nor any other identified photos record the company's travels going this far north. Perhaps it was just a single daytrip to pick-up or deliver men or materials that brought him here. I'll probably never find out for sure. Modern photo by P. Fahr (CC-by)