Saturday, February 25, 2006

Danke Herr Mix !

Photo shows: On the right, our billets in Trieben, on the left, German troops marching in. Both photos were taken in 1936.

In June 1945, my Regiment, the 4th Queen's Own Hussars, was running a POW camp for Germans that had surrendered to us at the war's end.
The entertainment officer had decided that it would be a good idea to open the local gasthaus or pub for our troops but the proprietor of the said pub had no beer. I went with the entertainments officer to the pub to act as interpreter and explained that the publican was suggesting that if the pub was in effect 'taken over' by our Regiment then he could get the beer from the local distillery which was now under the control of AMGOT or the Allied Military Government.
Arrangements were made for us to turn up at the pub with a 7 tonner and the pub owner loaned us loads of barrels.
We were then taken to the right place near Spittal and the manager of the distillery had fresh barrels of beer loaded for us on to our truck. We had just finished loading and the distillery manager was keen to get a signature from us to keep things in order.
My officer casually said to me 'sign for it will you while I get my things together'.
I was not completely convinced that what we were doing was completely legal so when a place in a ledger was presented for my signature I signed it as TOM MIX (a cowboy hero of my younger days).
The distillery manager looked over my shoulder and said 'Danke Herr Mix'. We beat a hasty retreat and the signature is probably still there today.

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