In WW1, Alvin York Captured 132 German Soldiers Pretty Much Single Handed

Alvin York on his uniform.
Alvin York on his uniform.

Alvin York almost captured 132 German soldiers during WW1 using a rifle and pistol. The Germans had 32 machine guns together with rifles and pistols. They were also having an advantage of being above him in the forays.

The Germans killed almost all the soldiers who were in York unit including the commanding officer leaving him in charge. The original group had 17 soldiers. Those who survived guarded the prisoners they had captured leaving him alone to face more than 100 Germans.

During the fight York had no time to take cover since he was in an open area, so he started shooting the German soldiers who showed themselves one by one.

A German officer together with five soldiers charged towards him in a range of about 25 yards, York killed them using his pistol starting with the back ones so that those in-fronts could think they had support behind them.

He called for the Germans to surrender since he did not want to kill any more. The German commander who had witnessed his soldiers being killed ordered them to surrender. They all did except one who threw a grenade to him which exploded in-front of him leaving him with no choice but to kill him. He couldn’t take any chances.

Alvin York and his men found themselves in between two Germans front lines since the group they had captured was second in the rank, meaning they had to go through the next line before they arrived in the American base. One of his men told him that it was not possible for them to go through the next Germany line. After hearing this, the German major asked him how many men he had. He said he had plenty of them. The major also suggested that they use gully but Alvin new that it was not a good idea and he refused and gave a command that they were going to go through the next rank.

The German Major could speak English as any American because he had worked in Chicago before the war. This made it easier for York to order the Germans through him.

On reaching the next front line, the Germans opened fire to them. York ordered the major to blow a whistle which was a sign of surrender, he blew it and they too surrendered except one who he killed.

A statue of Alvin York as a respect to him
A statue of Alvin York as a respect to him

The number of prisoners was now over 100. It was a risky situation because the American could easily mistake them to be Germany retaliation. They met a squad that was sent to help them in the bush. They marched the prisoners to the post of command in the department of intelligence; Lieutenant Woods counted all the prisoners who were 132 in number. He ordered Alvin and his men to take them to regimental headquarters at Chehery and hand them over to the military.

York and his men continued with their mission and they cut the Germans supplies by cutting the railroad which made them to back up.

The next morning Captain Danforth sent them back to check if had missed any American soldier, but they were all dead. They were 28 Germans dead exactly the number of shots York fired and thirty five machine guns.

According to “TODAY I FOUND OUT” news, York accounted for all the events that happened that day, his fellow soldiers confirmed his story.

York survived WW1 and fathered two daughters and five sons. He also founded a school called academic excellence.

He tried to re-enlist in WW2 but denied because of his age. He founded Tennessee State Guard in which he served as the colonel.

Steve Khalif

Steve Khalif is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE