Mr. David Turner, President of Turner Publishing Co. of Paducah, Kentucky donated copies of its book " The U.S. Constabulary - A History", one each to Captain Hans-Jurgen Schmidt, Colburg, Germany and Toni Schindler, Nettetal, Germany. One book will be put on display in the U.S. Constabulary Museum in Colburg, Germany and the other in the German Army Museum in Heidelberg, Germany.
Both Toni Schindler and Hans-Jurgen Schmidt, Captain-Retired, Ministry of the Interior-Police are closely associated with the U.S. Constabulary Association. Toni Schindler is a member and he served as a young employee of the 81st. Constabulary Sqd. in 1947. Captain Schmidt has authored several books, including Operations and Photographs of the U.S. Constabulary. He was awarded the medal of Federal Republic of Germany by the Federal President of Germany, Mr. Herzog, in 1996.
THE UNITED STATES CONSTABULARY FORCES
The United States Army Constabulary Forces, formed in 1945 and fully operational in 1946 functioned as a fast, hard-hitting police force providing protection for a disorganized Germany and Austria. It controlled displaced persons over which the Germans had no authority, watched borders and frequently was involved in dramatic raids breaking up black market and smuggling operations. It also served as a mobile striking force, giving military protection to the United States Zone in Germany and Austria and guarded German Military Prisoners, including S.S. Troopers.
For more than six years striped helmets and with "Circle C" patches on front, Sam Brown Belts, yellow scarfs and Thompson Submachine Guns commanded instant respect. Germans named the force the "Blitz Polizei", or Lightening Police, as they dashed over 40,000 sq. miles of the American Zone.
Although the Constabulary Troopers were primarily concerned with police work, they were equipped and trained to fight a delaying action against invading forces. Frequent alerts and raids kept them prepared. High morale was also reflected in assistance to the German Youth Activities Programs which were designed to help teach young people to think for themselves.
The U.S. Army Constabulary was organized by Major General Ernest N. Harmon, war time Commander of the 1st and 2nd. Armored Divisions and a key leader in the Ardennes Campaign. He designed the shoulder patch, combining the gold of the cavalry as background color, the blue of the infantry, and a central blue "C" crossed with a lightening bolt of artillery red. The motto of the command was "Mobility, Vigilance, Justice."
The Constabulary, which never saw it homeland, completed its mission by the end of 1952 when it was deactivated. However, it will always be ranked among the elite organizations in American Military History. Its memory is carried on by the U.S. Constabulary Association.
George B. Thompson Edelweiss131@AOL.Com
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