Seeking information about the liberation of Dachau. My Grandfather U.S. Army Major Julius L. Blatt was there and is believed to be the American in the jeep who shot the commandant. I am trying to get any information on the units that were there and the seq

U.S. Army Major Julius L. Blatt was an intelligence officer, combat, with the 3rd Army. He had been granted BIGOT status and led advance parties. His group arrived at Dachau in April 1945 and he had been one of the officers who discovered the trains, and allegedly is the officer who shot the camp guard. I am trying to get any information this event and the US army personnel who were there. 

  • KZ Dachau, the main camp, was liberated by Seventh Army on 29 April 1945, specifically by elements of the 42nd and 45th Infantry Divisions.

    I have seen no evidence that anybody from 3rd Army was there on 29 April.

    Dave

  •  

    Thank you for posting your inquiry on History Hub!

    The survivors of the Dachau Concentration Camp were liberated on April 29, 1945 by the 42nd and 45th Infantry Divisions and the 20th Armored Division of the U.S. Army. We would suggest that you review records located in the series titled World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office (Record Group 407) as they contain unit histories, after action reports, operation reports, journals, general orders, and intelligence reports that document the combat operations of specific commands and units in active theaters.

    Further, records located in the series titled European Place Name Index to the Series "Case Files, 1944-1949" in the Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army) (Record Group 153) may include information of interest to you. Please note that these records have been digitized and may be searched and viewed using the National Archives Catalog.

    Next, we located a series titled Reports of Investigations, 1942–1946 for the Seventh Army in the Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter) (Record Group 338) that includes information about the liberation of Dachau. Please note that records located in this series have not been digitized.

    In addition, we located other records relating to Dachau that may also be of interest to you. Please note that most of these records have been digitized and may be viewed via the Catalog.

    You may also want to review the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum webpage on the Recognition of U.S. Liberating Army Units

    Finally, we suggest that you request your grandfather's Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for individuals who served with the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and before 1960 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. 

    Veterans and next of kin of deceased veterans also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. If there is any information requested by the form that you do not know, you may omit it or provide estimates (such as for dates), but the more information you provide, the easier it will be to locate the correct file if it survived the fire. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests

    Archival OMPFs may also be requested by visiting the Archival Research Room at the National Archives at St. Louis. Please see the linked web pages for more information. Please email stlarr.archives@nara.gov for further assistance prior to making an appointment.

    We invite you to continue the conversation with community members on History Hub, but should you have follow up questions for the staff at Archives II, please email us at archives2reference@nara.gov so that we can assist you further. 

    We hope this assists you with your research! 

    Sincerely,

    Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2RR)

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