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WWII 95th Infantry Division

WWII 95th Infantry Division

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Published by CAP History Library
Army
Army

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Categories:Types, Research, Genealogy
Published by: CAP History Library on Mar 19, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain

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01/31/2013

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CONNECTICUT
MEN
o
the
95th
-
Victor y
-
Division
J uly
- 1945
 
THE 95th IN ACTION
T h e division 's first offensive a ct ion wasa t M e t z on N ovem ber 8, 1944. T h e 2n d
a n d
3r d ba t t a lion s, 377t h In fa n t r y R e g i m en t , a t t a ck in g a t n igh t , wiped ou t th een em y
pock et
east of Ma izer es t o t h eMoselle. T h e goin g wa s r ou gh . It was
t r ia l
b y fire. M e n who pr oved themselves
t h a t
n igh t d id a lot of th e ba ll-ca r r yin gon th e
power
dr ive down to M e t z t h efollowin g
week.
Ca pt u r e of M e t z was a
r ich
a ch ievem en t . T h e cit y h a d weathered m a n yassaults. T h e 95t h D ivis ion sm a ck ed u pa ga in st th e
b r is t lin g
forts r in gin g the cit y.
S t ill,
th e
r in g
was br ok en , a n d t h is is th ewa y it was a ccom plish ed.T h e 378t h In fa n t r y Regim en t got off to a flyin g st a r t
w i t h
one of th e m ost
da r in gly
con ceived a n d
b r illia n t ly
exe
cu t ed t r ick pla ys of the en tir e offensive.
C ol .
Sa m u el L . Met ca lfe, r egim en t a l com m a n der , of 
P e a r s a ll,
Texa s, dr ea m ed it u p.
F r on t in g
th e 378t h
zon e
was a series of fortificationsin clu din g F or t Am a n viller s,the three Ca n r ober t forts a n d F or t deF eve. E a s t of t h is lin e sprea d the extensive
Lor r a in e
for t ifica t ion s. T a k i n g su ch a narea by a n a n t icipa t ed h ea d-on dr ivewou ld h a ve
been
su icide. C ol . Met ca lfe's
pla n
was t o
sweep
a r ou n d th e n or t h er n t ipof th e fortifications a n d a ppr oa ch fr om the
rear,
lea vin g beh in d a sm a ll t a sk 
force
t o
deceive
the en em y in t o
t h i n k i n g
the en tir er egim en t
s t ill
fr on t ed th e forts.T h e job of pr ovidin g th e ph on y frontwas assigned t o Ta s k F or ce St . J a cqu es,
com posed
of three pla t oon s, one a n t it a n pla t oon , a squ a d fr om a n Intelligence a n dRecon n a issa n ce pla t oon ,
cooks,
cler ks, a n dot h er r egim en t a l h ea dqu a r t er s a n d servicecom pa n y personnel. T h is ju m bled
force
was assigned to
cover
a n eigh t a n d a
h a l
m ile fr on t . T h e y d id a ba n g-u p job,
w i t h
the a id of loud-speakers a n d ot h erdecept ive means.T h e h idden
b a ll
pla y wor ked
lik e
a
ch a r m .
T h e r egim en t ju m ped off a t
0800
a n d
w it h in
three hours h a d ca pt u r ed t h et own of F eves. T w o hours la t er it swepton t o t a ke Som ecou r t . T h e surge con
t in u ed
a n d Sa u ln y, Vign eu lles, P lesn ois
a n d
N or r oy le Ben eu r t u m bled
before
th ea va la n ch e.
I n
th e first five h ou r s of th e
t h i r d
da y'soper a t ion th e r egim en t h a d ca pt u r ed a n doccu pied three Ca n r ober t F or t s. A fewot h er forts were fou n d t o be deserted.
B y
t h is t im e th e 378t h 's 3r d ba t t a lion
h a d
forced it s wa y t o th e west ba n k of t h eMoselle. On e pla t oon of C om p a n y K wascrossing a br idge in t o M e t z wh en Ger m a n st ou ch ed off dem olit ion charges.
C a s u a l 
ties were h ea vy.
N e xt
da y th e ba t t a lion crossed t o t h e
cit y
i n
boa t s
oper a t ed by C om p a n y B ,320t h E n gin eer s, a n d join ed t h e 377t h
In fa n t r y
Regim en t in fer r et in g ou t t h esnipers. T h e
t h i r d
a r m of t h e m a in effortwas powered by th e 379t h In fa n t r y R e gi-m en t , wh ich also h a d d r a wn a ba t t er in g-
r a m
assignment a ga in st th e forts fla n k in gt h e r oa d to M e t z . A t the ver y outset of the division ju m p-off, the 379t h r a n in t o
stiff 
a n d bit t er en em y resistance. T h e1st a n d 3r d Ba t t a lion s ch ipped a wa y a tone of th e greatest a n d m ost im pr egn a bleo
a ll
M e t z forts J ea n n e d 'Ar c, gu a r dia nof th e western a ppr oa ch .
2
 
Ch ip p in g
was the wor d for it . Th e h ea viest dem olit ion
charges
produced a lot of 
con cr et e
dust a n d not m u ch else.
W i t h
va r iou s forts in the J ea n n e d 'Ar c syst em
lin k e d
by t u n n els, the Ger m a n s em ployeda fire a n d r u n
defense,
a n d the 379t hfou n d it impossible to block a ll thet unnels.
B y
N ovem ber 21,
h owever ,
the
fa ll
oM e t z was som et h in g to write
h om e
a bou t .Th e 95t h Reconnaissance
T r oop
h a d
m a decon t a ct
wit h elements of the 5t h In fa n t r y
D i v i s i on ,
wh ich h a d dr iven u p fr om thesou t h to
com plet e
the
squeeze
pla y onthe fortress cit y.Ca pt u r e of M e t z was bu t one of t heh igh ligh t s in the 95th's
com ba t
h ist or y,
h owever .
Th e 95t h ju m p ed off for t he Sa a r onN ovem ber 25, 1944. Th e Ger m a n borderwas 25 miles to the east, a n d m a n y in t heoutfit
were
lookin g for wa r d to the da ywh en it cou ld wr it e "in side G e r m a n y" onletters
h om e.
Th e border in t o Ger m a n ywas
crossed
on N ovem ber 28. B y the firstpa r t of 
Decem ber
the division was in the
Sa a r la n d.
Th eir first m a jor prize on
N a z i
soilwas the
exposed
cit y of Sa a r la u t er n wh ichlies
lik e
a goldfish bowl
between
the h ighridges on either side of the Sa a r . Th eentire division was br ou gh t u p on lin e a n da series of ligh t n in g
blows
ensued. N oton ly was t h is cit y ca pt u r ed, bu t in a sur¬prise n igh t a t t a ck the on ly bridge
across
the Sa a r
s t ill
in t a ct was t a k en . So swifta n d well pla n n ed was this
pr oject
t h a tnot one m a n was lost. Th ou gh the
en em y
h a d m in ed the bridge well the 379t h Ta s F or ce ba yon et t ed the sentries on d u t y
before
the a la r m cou ld be sou n ded. T h is3

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