Setting the Record Straight: 101st Airborne Was First at Berchtesgaden

Adolf Hitler's Mountain Retreat Was Actually Captured by the Famed 101st Airborne Division.


San Diego, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/23/2012 -- The Mobile 910th Antiaircraft/Tank Battalion, attached to the 101st Airborne Division, arrived early on the morning of April 26, 1945 at the Village of Berchtesgaden, Germany—one day after British Lancaster bombers attacked the Berchtesgaden-Obersalzberg area.

Histories of the closing days of World War II often fail to mention this or the key historical artifacts captured in the action.

"There were four trucks and twenty-four men, and their assignment was to locate and free inmates of a labor camp seen near Berchtesgaden by spotter aircraft checking results of the previous day's bombing," says Bob Thomas, a veteran serving at the time with George Patton's Third Army.

"The 910th was definitely the first Allied unit to reach the village and capture Hitler's mountain home, the Berghof. They departed early in the morning of May 3, 1945. A German SS detachment arrived on the scene on the morning of May 4th to loot and set fire to the property," adds Thomas.

He also notes that during that afternoon the Third Infantry Division reached the burning Berghof—making it third in line to reach Berchtesgaden, eight days after the arrival of the 910th. The French Second Armored Division also arrived the same evening. The 101st Airborne Division, parent to the 910th, arrived on May 5, 1945.

Detailed information and photos of war trophy items taken plus the discovery and capture of Hermann Goering's hidden treasure vault can be found at