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Fürth, Germany

Fürth is a city located in northern Bavaria that is contiguous with the city of Nuremberg. The town, first mentioned in records in 1007, grew at the confluence of the Pegnitz and Rednitz Rivers which was at the intersection of old important trade routes. The town has an over one thousand year history during which it was under varying authority from the Bishopric of Bamberg, the Principality of Ansbach and the City of Nuremberg. Fürth was nearly destroyed in the Thirty Years War when Croatian soldiers set fire to the town in 1634. With the beginning of industrialization in the 19th century, the population growth of Fürth saw an explosion. Also owing to this growth was the fact that Fürth was a very important transportation hub in rail (and later air) travel in Germany. Fürth had become a pioneer of rail transport in Germany when it became part of the very first rail network in Germany when a railway was built between Fürth and Nuremberg in 1835.

Fürth did see some damage from Allied aerial bombings during World War II, but nothing as severe as nearby Nuremberg suffered. The city was captured by the U.S. 42nd Infantry Division on April 18-19 1945. The 347th Ordnance Depot Company moved into a former infantry kaserne on April 25, 1945.

Flugplatz Atzenhof Fürth

The airfield at Atzenhof dates back to 1914 when it was used for flight training of military pilots. After World War I the aerodrome was expanded and became a civilian international airport which allowed it to remain in operation under the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles. In the interwar years it was again used for the training of military pilots and later, exclusively as a Luftwaffe airfield. It was captured by the US 42nd Infantry Division on April 16-17, 1945 and used as a Ninth Air Force combat airfield until the end of the war in Europe. On May 8th, 1945, dozens of Luftwaffe staff and refugees took flight to the west and were rounded up, escorted and directed to land at Fürth by Mustang pilots of the 10th Photo Reconnaissance Group. The US Army used the site as Monteith Barracks until closure in 1993 (Named after Lt. Jimmie Monteith, KIA June 6, 1944). Today, part of the area is operated as a golf course by the Fürth Golf Club, with the remainder of the land owned by private companies, parks and the city.

William O. Darby Barracks

This large military complex began as three separate barracks, the Sedan Kaserne, The artillery kaserne and the train kaserne which were expanded and merged into one barracks after the Nazis took power in 1933. Some buildings in the southern part were damaged by bombs in September f 1944. The name was given to the barracks in March of 1949 during the American occupation after William Orlando Darby, commander of the famed "Darby's Rangers" who was killed in action in Italy during the last days of the war. The American occupation ended in the 1990s and many of the former military buildings are being put to other uses. Many of these photos seem to have been taken from a wooden radio mast which was built in 1945.

Siebenbogenbrücke

The Siebenbogenbrücke (seven arch bridge) in Fürth is a railway bridge that was completed in 1863 spanning the Rednitz River. Over the years the bridge underwent several expansions and improvements so that today it is 25 meters wide, about 187 meters long and accommodates five tracks. Before Fürth's capture in April of 1945, German troops demolished a pillar of the bridge, causing the US Army to build a temporary repair to get the bridge back into service. One photo taken by Jerry Pinkowski of the 347th Ordnance Depot Company shows what is thought to be Croatian displaced persons on a train, apparently on their way back home.