Cologne March 1945: Duel at the Cathedral – The lost human stories.

Free for amazon prime members! Watch the full length documentary here: Witness the US troops first hand on their advance from the outskirts of the city to the banks of the Rhine and the fascinating research on one of the most famous pieces of newsreel film taken during World War 2.
70th anniversary of VE-Day – special edition 2015:
Cologne, Germany, the famous Cathedral city in March 1945. Eight months after D-Day, the US troops are now on the cusp of a long-awaited milestone. Cologne is the largest city that the G.I.s will take during the war. Nazi propaganda has declared the city to be defended to the last cartridge. The impending battle has dominated the headlines of the world press for days. Dozens of correspondents, photographers, and cameramen have followed the US troops in order to report in detail on the event. Some of the shots taken by the cameramen of the US military are still perceived in the USA as the most famous scenes of World War II. The battle for Cologne ends with a final, dramatic tank duel at the base of the Cathedral. The film footage makes the engagement the most famous tank duel in the world. However, who the people in those scenes were still remains unknown. Based on several years of research into the background and contemporary witnesses, this documentary reconstructs the advance of US troops into Cologne and shows crucial moments of the battle for the city in March 5 -7, 1945.

among the long facebook threads of comments Douglas Rivela wrote:
“This looks absolutely fascinating. Too rarely do we really take one incident in a long conflict and pick it apart to find the profoundly human stories lost in all the spectacle. The film makers here, go to the archives to find out who the people were – German as well as American – in one of the most famous pieces of newsreal taken during World War II, a deadly personal battle between two tanks in front of a Cathedaral in Cologne, Germany in March 1945. What they irreverently end up doing in their research is uncover an amazing mystery where what we were told happened may well of not happened anywhere near as reported and thus one of the most famous incidents of World War II becomes an investigation as the film makers track down and find the man who may of been the commander of the tank in this photo, who was reported dead at the time but has lived a long life since. Absolutely fascinating research that puts a human face on what otherwise would of remained grainy old newsreal footage in an achive.”

Featured eye witnesses: Andy Rooney (correspondent “The Starts&Stripes”), Clarence Smoyer (3rd Armored Division), Francis Wilber (104th Infantry Division), James Bates (U.S. Signal corps cameraman), Robert Ziller (RAF-cameraman), Manfred Bockhoff (9.Panzerdivision), Gustav Schäfer (Panzerbrigade 106), Günther Müller (360 Volksgrenadier-Division) and many others.

Now available as VoD on
part 1: the attack on Cologne (80min.)
part 2: battle for Cathedral & Rhine (60min.)
extra1: Cologne tank duel: the factual pictures (30min.)
extra2: battle of the peace – 100 days of U.S. military government in Cologne (18min.)