The story of segregated 333rd Field Artillery Battalion and the 11 artillerymen massacred during the Battle of the Bulge is coming to television. The docudrama, “The Wereth Eleven,” premieres nationwide on National Geographic Channel on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 9 p.m. EST. (The above is a memorial video, which you may want to skip if swelling choruses and solemn drum rolls are not your thing. I’d had another video in mind but it would not embed.)
We first mentioned this one last year: The 333rd was overrun and retreated to Wereth, Belgium, where they took refuge with a local family. Their position was revealed by a Nazi sympathizer, they surrendered to an SS recon patrol, but they were taken to a field where they were tortured, maimed, and shot.
It’s an independent film with a low budget, but it looks like it could be some good Black History Month watching. (Here’s the trailer for A Soldier’s Story, a personal favorite.)
“Wereth” includes an interview with retired Staff Sgt. George Shomo, now 90. Shomo gives a blistering account of being an African American G.I. during World War II. Once outnumbered 10 to one, he and his fellow soldiers were left behind to fight the Germans.
“As a black soldier in the United States Army, you weren’t as good as a dog,” he said. “We fired until we ran out of ammunition. It’s hard when a man’s got a rifle coming at you and all you got is a trench knife. But I got a couple (of men) and some of the other guys got a couple. I’d say the Germans had to walk over piles of their dead to get to us.”