My Grandfather’s Battle for Coburg

My grandfather’s Army unit captured Coburg, Germany, from the Nazis during World War II. Coburg was the seat of the British Crown, since Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, and mother, Princess Victoria, were born there. According to Grandpa, the people were very friendly — but they begged the GIs to not eat their chickens. Unfortunately, since food was so scarce, the American soldiers were forced to do just that.

Many years later, Grandpa was telling this story over dinner with his daughter (my aunt), her husband Peter, Uncle Peter’s mother, and my grandmother. He told how his tank had fired on Coburg Castle and other parts of the town during the battle.

Suddenly Uncle Peter’s mother exclaimed “It was you! You destroyed my house!” As it turned out — she was from Coburg! From that point on, my aunt would tease my grandpa about it, saying she and Peter never would have met and gotten married if he hadn’t captured Coburg and kept it from falling to the Soviet Union.

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