Warriors in their Own Words

Remarkable stories of war told by the men who fought for a proud nation. Their words. Their voices. Our first episodes tell riveting stories from World War II, then we move on to the Vietnam War and other dramatic conflicts.

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Cpl. Clarence Smoyer: The Hero of Cologne

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Cpl. Clarence Smoyer: The Hero of Cologne

Corporal Clarence Smoyer served in World War II as a tank gunner. After fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, Smoyer was assigned to the ‘Eagle 7’ M26 Pershing, a “Super Tank” developed for the U.S. Army. With this new assignment came the responsibility of spearheading future attacks, including what would become the Battle of Cologne.

Cologne was a German stronghold. It was defended by a German Panther tank, which was far superior to all American tanks. The Panther sat in the middle of the city, and as the spearhead of the attack, Smoyer and his division were the first to meet it in battle.

In an astounding duel, the Pershing and the Panther faced off. Thanks to Smoyer’s quick thinking and spectacular aim, his crew destroyed the Panther, and Smoyer was dubbed the Hero of Cologne.

Spectacularly, the entire battle was caught on camera by combat cameraman Sgt. Jim Bates. It was shared on newsreels, and seen by Smoyer’s family in a theater in Pennsylvania.

To learn more about Smoyer, check out the New York Times Bestselling book about him and his division, Spearhead.


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