To call World War II veteran T. Moffat Burris a “badass” would be an understatement.
He was among the group of heroic soldiers who helped liberate the Wobbelin concentration camp in April of 1945. He jumped during Operation Market Garden in Germany and also fought in the battles of Salerno and Anzio.
But there’s one story Burris will remember vividly for the rest of time.
The year was 1945, and 24-year-old Capt. T. Moffat Burris and the rest of his military unit were preparing to “take Berlin.”
Burris told the harrowing story to Fox News:
“We had our men lined up, ready to go, and take Berlin. Just as we started to step off the road to Berlin, orders came in from General Eisenhower:
‘Stop, do not cross the hill. A political decision has been made to allow the Russians to take it.’
“I said, ‘I can’t stand this any longer.’ I got in my Jeep with the lieutenant and sergeant and said, ‘Let’s go across the river and see what we can see.’
What they found across the river were 15,000 German soldiers.
“So they stopped, we stopped, went to their leader and said, ‘I’m here to accept your surrender.’
Shocked, the German military leader responded, “Three men and a Jeep, are you crazy?”
Burris then stretched the truth to outsmart the Germans.
“No, I have a whole army of paratroopers and tanks behind me,” he told the German. “The Russians are behind you. Either you surrender to them or us.”
The situation was escalated when a German three-star general got involved. Burris said the general put up some opposition — and then things got plain scary.
“He went back and had a conference with his senior staff, walked back, pulled his pistol out and pointed it right at my heart,” Burris said. “I will admit that I had a flutter inside my body at that moment. But he turned it around and had the pistol pointed toward himself.”
That’s when Burris told the three-star general, “Alright, you get in the Jeep with me and I’ll take you to my commander, and you have your troops move forward and we’ll disarm them.”
And that’s exactly what he did. Burris took the general and troops to his commanding officer and informed him that they had surrendered to him.
Burris got dressed down by his commanding officer for crossing the river, but no one could deny the impressiveness of his feat.
Captain Burris and two of his men somehow got 15,000 German troops to surrender to them — and survived to tell the tale. Now, that’s a war story.