Chodské Square

Chodské Square

Pilsen, Czech Republic
Keywords for this place of interest
Fighting Liberation Victory and defeat
Liberation Route Europe

Chodské Square

On 4 May 1945 the 9th Infantry Regiment of the US ‘Indianhead’ 2nd Infantry Division broke through the eastern frontier of the Third Reich and entered occupied Czechoslovakia. The monument at Chodské shows the gratitude of the population of Pilsen to its liberators of the 2nd Infantry Division.

Not long before noon, the regiment set up its command base in Neukirchen. According to a U.S. Army officer’s eyewitness report in May 1945, before the regiment took control of its new sector on the front, the German 11th Panzer Division (12,000 fully armoured soldiers) surrendered to the US 90th Infantry Division.

German tanks, trucks and armoured vehicles rode through the U.S. positions throughout the night. It was remarkable to see the German 11th Panzer Division. Its soldiers seemed to be among the best the German army had to offer. Men rode into captivity in an orderly fashion, looking clean and refreshed: unlike how other battle-scarred Wehrmacht units had appeared. Many vehicles and pieces of artillery were surrendered, from tanks and self-propelled cannons to hundreds of armoured cars, trucks and jeeps. The ammunition would have been enough for a dreadful battle. Instead, munition and weapons were deposited in designated places.

The idea to erect a memorial for the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division was initiated and based on a design by Dr. Pershing Wakefield, a WWII 2nd Infantry Division veteran.

Dr. Pershing Wakefield, referring to Pilsen, said: “The best part of our distressful journey from Omaha Beach through Normandy, Brest and Germany was liberating Czechoslovakia. Our friends accommodated us in their homes without hesitation. We celebrated the great victory together.”

Players of the ice hockey club HC Škoda Pilsen wear an Indian head patch on their shirts and are nicknamed the Pilsen Indians in honour of the 2nd Infantry Division.

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Pilsen, Czech Republic

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