MARCH 1950

This report describes the 9th Armored Division in the
EXPLOITATION, from the breakout of the REMAGEN BRIDGEHEAD to the
encirclement of LEIPSIG .
Records and accounts of the planning phase, other than cer-
tain logistical information, are meagre--if not non-existent--and
are purposely omitted from the renort.
Material used in compiling this report consisted of:
1. Reports of higher headquarters.
2. After-Action Reports of the 9th, Combat Command A,
Combat Command B, Reserve Command, the Armored
Infantry and Tank Battalions, and the Division
Armored Engineer Battalion.
3. Letter interviews with 76 officers who partici-
pated in this phase.
4. Personal interviews with Brigadier General
Thomas L. Harrold, Lieutenant Colonel M. K. Goers,
Lieutenant Colonel C. F. Fiore, and Captain J. W.
5. "The Training andCombat of the 19th Tank Bat-
talion" by Captain Edgar A. Terrell.
After-action reports are not comprehensive and are vague.
They served merely as a framework around which to build the report.
Exceptionally good material was obtained from certain letter
i nt ervi ews. Mre a r e e s pe c i a l l y i ndebt ed t o t he fol l owi ng of f i cer s
f o r response and t he i n t e r e s t shown:
Capt ai n John W. Schal l es
Dr. R. W. Pomeroy
Colonel Harry W. Johnson
Major George I. Taylor
Ahj or John P. n e e l e r ,
Li eut enant Colone 1 J. I!. Tfeyhenneyer, Jr .
These l e t t e r s were a gr eat hel p ic v i t a l i z i n g t he r e ~ o r t and i n
rounding out t he pi ct ur e wi t h many ot herwi se unobt ai nabl e de t a i l s .
Major R. B e Crayton, Command and St af f Department, The
Armored School, f ur ni shed nzmes and addresses, and s u e ~ e s t i o n s
which were very hel pf ul i n t he nl anni ng st age.
The Committee m s qui t e f or t unat e i n bei ng abl e t o per-
s onal l y i nt er vi ew General Hwr ol d acd obt ai n a f i r s t ha nd account of
t he 9t h1s combat experi ences.
Commanders and per s onal i t i es , da i l y composition and di sno-
s i t i o n of uni t s , and Hi st or y of t he 9t h Armored Di vi si on a r e added
i n t he appendices i n order t o pr es ent a c l e a r , unbroken nar r at i ve.
Lt Colonel Robert J. C. Osborne
Major John W. Throckmorton
Ilajor John J. Ki l l i a n
lla j or Robert W. Carpenter
Major Fa l t e r E. Reynolds, Jr .,USB4C
C a ~ t a i n Frank A. Wi l l i ms
C a ~ t a i n Sidney H. Young, Jr.
Caut ai n John H. Cobb, Jr.
. . Jr
Chapter Page
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6 LIMBURG TO WARBURG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
APPENDI CES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I. Hi s t or y of 9t h Armored Di vi s i on 78
I I. Commanders and Pe r s ona l i t i e s . . . . . . . . .82
I I I. Task Or gani zat i ons and Dai l y Di s pos i t i on . . .85
I V. Or gani zat i ons 9t h Armored Di vi si on.
Major Un i t s 93
V. Enemy Order of Ba t t l e . . . . . . . . . . . .94
VI. Enemy Di s pos i t i ons . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95
"You will enter .the continent of Europe and, in conjunction
with the other. Allied nations, undertake operations aimed at the
heart of Germany and the destruction of her Armed Forces."1 By the
above simple directive from the Combined Chiefs of Staff to SHAEF,
the second destruction of Germanyas a military power was begun.
The successful assault on the NORMANDY beaches on 6 June 1944 com-
pleted the first requirement of the directive. We had "entered the
continent of Europe." Now, with the seizure of bridgeheads over
the RHINE complete, we were truly "aimed at the heart of Germany and
the destruction of her Armed Forces." Few people realized that this
was the beginning of the end, or just how near the end was. It was
obviously apparent to the Combined Chiefs of Staff and to others
experienced in war--to Generals Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Hodges,
Simpson, Patch, Devers, Clark--to the British Imperial Staff and
its field commanders--and to the leadersof some of our other Allies.
But to the tired and dirty Doughboys and Tankers, there was still a
long road before them. There were, however, many changes, in war
"as they knew it." Instead of hardfought gains of 1,000 to 2,000
yards each day, one was now hard-pressed to keep up. "Thirty miles
today--we got to do forty tomorrovr." There were still nights
without time for enough sleep; rations were still canned and cold.
But suddenly "fuel and lube" were more importnnt than ammunition.
Objectives were suddenly changed from "that hillto your front" to
"the city of LIMBURG, 40 miles from here on the AUTOBAHN." And
instead of the proud, well-trained but fanatical SS Divisions and
Panzer Divisions, the opposition was suddenly made up of a beaten
enemy. There were to be many more killed in action, mare wounded
in action; and more missing in action; but the fact remained that
the German Army, as such, was fast becoming; a group of confused and
bewildered individuals.
At this period of the war, speed was of the essence,
Capture of terrain was more important than the monping
up of a beaten enemy, Total disruption of the enemy
interior was in order, Onlyconfused and bewildered
enemy organizations were left; fighting everywhere
was by remnant. , . ,
For the ensuing month, 22 March- 21 April, though
some casual pockets of resistance had tc be forced,
the war, for the most part, became a road march. In
fact, at one time on the AUTOBAHN north of FRANKFURT,
two armored and two infantry divisions, using both
sides of the road, were moving north abreast toward
KASSEL: while in the center of the same road, tens
cf thousands of German prisoners were moving south
without guard .
German reserves were overrun, rear installations
crushed or ignored, and the civilian populstion be-
wildered. Nazi atrocities came to light.2
Crumbling resistance, frequent attacks from march column,
by-passing or enveloping strongpoints,meeting engagements with
groups of enemy reinforcements, objectives deep in the enemy rear,
maximum speed in reaching objectives and mission type crders--all
cf the above characterize one phase of combat--EXPLOITATION, And
this was it. The background ofthis study is thus laid in the
final stages of the war in Europe.
This report constitutes an examination of the employment
of the 9th Armored Division fromthe breakout of the REMAGEN
bridgehead to the completion of the encirclement of LEIPZIG. The
period covered is 28 March 1945 to 18 April 1945. Events that
occurred prior to the REMAGEN breakout or subsequent to the encir-
clement of LEIPZIG lie outside the purview of this report and will
not be discussed.
The purposes of the report are fourfold:
1. To study the action involving the exploitation of a
weak, dispirited, and. disorganized enemy from the preparation and
planning phase through the build-up to final victory.
2. To study the organization for combat and the employment
in combat of the major combat, service, and attached units of the
3. To examine the adherence to or violation of the present
. .
doctrine of exploitation in the two decisive phases indicated below:
a. The breakout from REMAGEN and the advance to LIMBURG.
b. The advance to LEIPZIG and its encirclement.
4. To determine the lessons to be learned, the conclusions
to be drawn, the recommendations to bemade on current Armored
Division Tables of OrganizationandEquipment, and recommendations
to be madeon the employment of armored units in the exploitation
As previously stated, arc' as will be shown in subsequent
chapters, the conditions in Germany during this period (28 March
---- -- --
18 A ~ r i l 1945) were r i p e f o r 3 c l ? s s i c example of t he expl oi t at i on.
Did t he 9t h Armored Di vi si on t akc every a dva nt a ~e of enemy weak-
nes s ? Did it r ecei ve mission-type or *er s? Did it by-pass s t r ong
poi nt s t h a t di d not i nt e r f e r e wi t h i t s mi ssi on and reduce t hose
that di d? Did it accomplish i t s mi ssi on of s ei zi ng c r i t i c a l
obj ect i ves , deep i n t he enemy r e a r , which would cont r i but e t o t he
s t r a t e g i c success of t he campaign? I n s hor t , what di d it do and
how di d it perform?
l ~ e ~ o r t by The Supreme Comcnder t o t he Combined Chi efs of
St af f on t he Operations i n Europe of t 3e Al l i ed Expedi t i onary Force,
6 J une 1944 t o 8 Nsy 1945, R r opor t prepared by General of t he ~ r m f
Dwight D. Eisenhuwer (Waehington: Government Pr i nt i ng Off i c e , 1946),
pp VI , VI I .
2 ~ e n e r a l George S. ;atton., Jr. , War As I Knew It, ( ~ o u ~ h t o n
and Mi f f l i n Co.), p 270.
Si t uat i on. When t he e xpl oi t a t i on s t age has been ent er ed, t he
l oc a l enemy s i t u a t i a n wi l l most c e r t a i nl y be .me >f canfusi on and
p a r t i a l di sorgani zat i on. " (FK 17-30).
AS a r e s u l t of t he a h o s t complete di s or gani zat i s n of
German f or ces immediately precedi ng t he capi t ul at i on, l i t t l e
German source mat er i al coveri ng t h i s peri od i s avai l abl e. Units
di d not mai nt ai n t he normal reccrrls .?f combat, and t he German
commanders themselves knsw 1. i t t l e or no thin^ of what went on out -
s i de t h e i r own immediate spheres.
The majar source ma t s r i a l airai l abl e c . ~ n s j s t s 3f r e ~ m t s
of i nt er r ngat i , - ns of hi gher Crervan c.?mmsnders. E, ?wev~r, t he
r e l j . a bi ? i t y of t hese r epor t s , i ns of ar as c..ncerns s peci f jc det aj I-,
i s . . ften qur-st j onahle, dun t.?t he time l ag betwean t h r i n t e r r 7-
gat i on and t he actj. ?n di. scusse. l, t h ~ ! l ack of German ~ ~ c v l n ~ n t s .
s i t uat i , ?n maps, and s i mi l ar mat er i al wi t h which t3 r e f r e s h t h e
P'JV's mem.?ry, and t he nent al a t t i t u d e -f t he Pin). I n t he i nst ance
of t he PW's mcntal a t t i t u d e , t he case af Gensral Li s ut emnt
Fr i t z Bayerl si n i s a case i n poi nt . A prnfessi . ona1 s a l d i e r ?f
t he .31d Gwrnan schnol and t r a d i t i m, General Bayerleiri, when
i nt er r . >gat sd J n 16 Apr i l 1945, could rec.311ect ?nl y vaTuely
s pe c i f i c d s t a i l s ;.f c e r t a i n maj?r event s i n whjch he, as mmrnander
>f t he f m?us P y p r Lohr 9i vi sj . m and l a t e r as c.,minan.lor ?f t he
LIII C.>rps, fi gured . H.)wcver, hi s remembrance .>f persanal embar-
rassments was most vi vi d.
I n pi ct ur i ng t he enemy (elements of Army Grmp B) wi t h
which t he 9t h Arrn.>red Divisi.?n had trr contend e a s t af t he RHI NE, t he
f ?1l>wing have been c ~ns i de r e d: jrder . ~ f ba t t l e ; disp.>siti..-n;
st r engt h; supply; m~ r a l e ; and b a t t l e plans.
N,?c.>mplete,, r e l i a bl e order .?f b a t t l e .>f German f .>rces
eas t zf t he RHINE a f t e r t he peri3d ending 25 Maroh 1945 e xi s t s , due
l arge l g t ? t he almost o.:\mpl+ t e brsakd \wn >f Garman c . ~muni c a t i . ~ns
enil t he ? i s . -rgani zat i sn of German f ?rces which made it si r t ua11y
i mp~s s i bl e f+.r sven t he Gormans t .* kn?w t he di sp * s i t i -n >f German
f j rcos . (See Appenl?ices V and VI . ) American i nt el l i gence d.?cu-
ments2 s h ~ w t he f ,311 >wing uni t opp:>sing elements >f t he 9t h Urnx-ed
Divis i ~ n iniicate1-i: as
26 Mar 45 CCB
KG 167
27 Mar 45 CCB
I l EL
167th Inf Div
276th Rem Div
6t h EL SS Div
5t h Pars. Div
G lrnl\lrY
10 Apr 45 CCB vs Armd Bri g Ti. BLEICHERODE
KG 26
66l s t Inf Regt
594th Inf Regt
Civ ( - ) vs 166t h Inf Reqt SOmER
11Apr 45 Di v vs 869th Inf Regt HOFGEISMAR
66t h Inf Div
11Apr 45 Di v vs 593d Inf Re gt BAD
594t h Inf Reqt FRAYKENHAUS
26 EL
166 EL
14 Apr 45 Div vs KG SCHUIDT LEIPZ I G
409th Adm Div
16 Apr 45 Di v vs 409th Adm Div LETPZIG
Rem Bn (627 E)
The breakout from t h e REIFAGEF RRTDG3FXAF was e n t i r e l y
di f f e r e nt from t he breakt hrough e a s t of t he RUiIR. Af t er
t he i n i t i a l c r u s t i n t he REFAG3N BRIDGEEEAn had been pene-
t r a t e d , t he onl y opposi t i on which t he V C?rps met were
i s ~ l a t e d groups, AA crews, and s er vi ce Ir school t r oops ,
a 11. i n l oose l y knot organi zat i ons which never ered s er i qus ~ f f
opposi t i on t o t ha advance .3
German estimates,' g5 made a f t e r t he c a pi t ul a t i on (and
ad justerj, where necessary, on t he bas i s of more r e l i a b l e avai l abl e
i nformat i on, by American i nt el l i gence per sonnel ) f i xed t he German
s t r e ngt h on t he e a s t bank of t he RHINE, between KOBLENZ and
DUISBURG (23C ki l omet ers ) ,and excl usi ve of t he REIbUGEN ar ea, as
s i x d i v i s i onal Kampf gruppen equal i n6 an average s t r engt h per
ki l omet er of 42 men, t wo t o t hr eo pi eces of a r t i l l e r y , and .06 AT
guns. The armored reserve on t h i s f r o n t conci st ed of 15 t anks.
I n t he _SGNL!GEN ar ea, 14 di vi s i onal Kmpf qruppen r es ul t ed
i n a f or ce conf r ont i ng t he bridgehead averagi ng t he f o i i 6 ~ i f i g
s t r engt h per ki l omet er: 80 men, two pi eces ~f a r t i l l e r y , and
0.5 AT guns.
Tank s t r engt h a t REIviilGEN was est i mat ed a t 50 vehi cl es.
I n r eser va were two di vi s i ona l Kmpfgruppen, wi t h a t o t a l i nf ant r v
s t r engt h of 600 ~ n e n . ~ , ~
Divis i onal Kampf gruppen were a t gr e a t l y reduced s t r engt h -
200 t o 300 men each. 899 Four panzer di vi s i ons , two motorized
br i gades , and t hr e e a r t i l l e r y corps harl been rel i eve?. from t he
Army Group B ar ea and s e nt t o t hc East Front.' @ Movement of t he
11t h Panzer Di vi si on t o t he s out h on 23- 24 Jdjarch 1945 f o r at t ach-
m e ~ tt o Army Group G f u r t h e r wenkoned t he A c e r t a i n
backbone f o r defense was formsd by t he ilA p n s st i ndus t r i a l pl ant s
al ong t he RHINE and a t t he cross i.ngs ; however, t h e i r val ue was
l i mi t ed because of t h e i r immobility ana hal f - ci vi l i an gun crews.
( I t i s af pa r t i c ul a r n.?te t h a t , des pi t e t has e l i mi t at i ons , t hes e
AB guns gave z formidable account af t hemsel ves, bht h cln t he RHIIX
and i n t he v i c i n i t y of LSIPZTG.)
Troops, t o a l arge dogree, c~ns i s t c- , 3 of Volksturm and
s t r a ggl e r s . Behind t he whole f r o n t wandered a c<>nfused army of
s t r a ggl e r s , an army which was r epeat edl y gat hered and committed
~ n l yt a s l i p away agai n and again. 13 General Bayer l ei nt s des-
c r i p t i o n 3f t he Volksturm zs "t he l a s t , al msst grot esque, imprqvi-
s n t i ,n 7f t he par t y i n t he desperat e ef f .?rt t o fend .ff t he s uper i ir,
we 11-equipped encmyl'l* i s i nt e r e s t i ng.


16 Apri l1945, the oncemighty Panzer Lehr Divisionturned over
only a total of 10 tanks and TDs.
The belatedattempt at establishing a fortifiedline east
of the RHINE was seriously handicapped by a sh ortage of even such
primitive tools as picks and shovels.
Bayerlein, in commenting on the situation in Army Group B
as of21 March 1945, had this to say, "But what a front! . . A
state of troop moralevarying from suspicion to callous resigna-
tion. An officer corps which lacked confidenceand wondered just
what were the demands of duty.
Aside from cells of fanatic SS troops, little of the
will to fight, even to save the Fatherland, remained in the common
s er. His civilian brothers were eagerly awaiting the "con-
queror to come and end those unbearable nights of bombing and had
at handy reach white cloths to greet him.
His supply had failed
him, and more importantly,and quite obviously ,his leaders had
failed him. Such orders as that promulgated by Hitler to the
effect that the REMAGEN BRIDGEHEAD would be destroyed by V-2 bombs
regardless of the resulting toll in German civilians and German
troops had a most dilatory effect on him (actually, several
V-2 bombs did fall within the Bridgehead). Sabotaging their own
vehicles to avoid combat was a common practice among the tank
That morale in the officer corps, even at high level, was
low is reflected in the bickering, disobedience of orders, and

i n ~r 2c . rt ?pr 31-jng t he f i n a l l-lecisi jn u n t i l , perhaps, t he summer
->f 1945 and t hereby gi ve t he p \ l i t i g a l l eader s time t- a r r i ve a t
new de c i s i -3s. Parad ?xi cal l y, alth.?ugh Hi t l e r -rr.lere? defense, he
f.,rbade t r >mps 2f Army G r >up B t. c r .>ss t., t he e a s t bank .?f t he
RHITB f .r t he purpase af a- gani zi ng defensi ve p a s i t i 3ns u n t i 1
1March 1945 .29
Base6 .?n an es t i mat e as .>f 29 March 1945 t.?t he e f f e c t
t h a t t he RHINE defense c ~ u l d be c-nsidcrerl br \ken and t h a t
f u r t h e r at t empt s t 3 defend were absurd, Army Grwp B asked OB
West f ~ r new mi s s i ?n, In t h e ni ght nf 29/30 March, a Hawever,
. \ rdcrs f ' 3r t he defense were r eaf f irnerl by OB West and t he i mp. xsi bl e
t a s k was c, ntinued , 30
. By t h i s t i me c ~mrnunicati tns wers di sr upt ed al mxi t e n t i r e l y .
The whereab.?uts 3f army an.! czrps s t a f f s were unkn?wn. I n t he
end, t he b a t t l e :Tn t he German s i de was r e s t r i c t e d t . 3 t he b l x k i n g
.>f vi l l a ge s , br i dges, and imp. >rtant r \ a d s . The cmmand was n-?
l anger i n a p x i t i m t.?d i r e c t b a t t l e and m, ~vement s. ~' Di srupt ed
railr,mcl.s and bri dges requi red wide ~ J e t . ~ u r s and r es ul t er l i n t he
piecemeal ct>mmitment af uni t s i n what c, 3?rdinated at t acks were
made .32
Iff1nt e r r ?gat i . ?n :jf General Li eut enant Fr i t z Bayerl ei n, "
The Armx-ed Sch. 2~1 Li br ar y (850.88), p 1, Annex 111.
2 w C, ~r ps Operati:,ns i n t he ETO, 6 Jan 42 - 9 May 45," ~
pp 409, 411, 425, 427, 429.
4 " ~ e p o r t of t he Chief of St a f f , Army Group B, " General
Major Carl Wagener , The Armared School Li br ar y (850. 3), pp 2, 3.
50P c i t , "I nt er r ogat i on of General Li eut enant Fr i t z
Bayerl ei n, " p 9.
60p c i t , "Report of t he Chief of St a f f , Army Group B," pp 2, 3.
7 ~ p c i t , "I nt er r ogat i on of General Li eut enant Fr i t z Bayer-
l ei n, " p 9.
c i t , "Report of t he Chief of St a f f , Army Group B," pp 2, 3.
'bp c i t , "I nt er r ogat i on of General Li eut enant Fr i t z Bayer-
l e i n, " p 9.
l l ~ pc i t , " ~ e ~ o r t of St a f f , Army Group B," of t he Chief p 7 .
140p c i t , "I nt er r ogat i on of General Li eut enant Fr i t z Bayer-
l ei n, " p 33.-.
16personal Let t er , Doctor R. W. Pomeroy.
l70p c i t , "I nt er r ogat i on 3f General Li eut enant Fr i t z Bayer-
l e i n, " p 25,
c i t , "Report of t h e Chief of St a f f , Army Group B ," p 3.
2 0 ~ pc i t , "I nt er r ogat i on of General Li eut enant Fr i t z Bayer-
l ei n, " p 51.
2 1 ~ p c i t , "Report of t he Chief of St a f f , Army Group 8, " p 3.
2 2 ~ pc i t , " I nt er r ogat i on of General Li eut enant Fr i t z Bayer-
l ei n, " p 24.
281bi d, '
p 26.
290p .it, "Report of the Chief of S t a f f , Army Group 8," p 12.
32Gp c i t , "Intorrogation of General Li eut enant F'ritt Bayer-
l ei n. "
The peri od covered by t h i s r epor t probably was t he bus i e s t
per i od t he suppl y personnel of t h e 9t h Armored Di vi si on had i n
t h e i r e n t i r e oper at i ons. The const ant r api d forward movement of
t he Di vi si on was r ef l ect ed d i r e c t l y i n const ant changes of suppl y
i ns t a l l a t i ons . The neces s i t y of keeping suppl y poi nt s wi t hi \ con-
veni ent r each of advancing combat c ~ ma n d s r es ul t ed i n cons t ant l y
changing l acat i ons .
Likewise dur i ng t h i s sane per i od, suppl y agenci es .,f t h e
F i r s t Army were experi enci ng t he bus i es t time i n t h e i r h i s t my .
The concert ed Al l i ed dr i ves deep i nt o t he hear t of Germany
made it necessary t a s h i f t t he l acat i cns af uni t s and i n s t a l l a -
t i ~ n scons t ant l y s.) that t hey cauld be t t e r serve t he r api dl y
advancing t r aops .
Rai l del i ver y af suppl i es t o t he Army depot c ~ n t i n u e d
i r r e gul a r l y, and a t times t he st ackage i n t h ~ dep:rt neared
a c r i t i c a l l evel . This s i t u a t i o n c ~ n t i n u e d because .3f t he
s i ngl e t r a c k r a i l r a s d which served t he ?s pat .
The bul k of t he suppl i es was t r ans f er r ed by t r uck from
t he dep. l t t o f 2rward di s t r i but i ng poi nt s . During t h i s p e r i A,
t hes e d i s t ~ n c e s were ext remel y gre3t and necessi t at ed Advance
Sect i on C >mmunicati.~ns Zane f ur ni s hi ng many hel vy t r uck c.?m-
pani es t~ augment Army t r ans p ~rtati. 311. S :me Class I and I11
s uppl i es were del i ver ed by a i r , being pl aced -mil f ~r wa r ? .,f
t he d e p . ~t . These a i r del i ver i es gr eat 1 r el i eved t he c r i t i c a l
s i t u a t i i n .r\f suppl y and t r a mp z\ r t at i >n. 9
Alth;\ugh t he Arny depL!ts f or Cl asses I, 11, 111, and IVm%aved
a t l e a s t mc e duri ng t h i s peri . >d, a l l except t he dep.)t f.-!r Class I T 1
st ayed e a s t 3f t he RHINE River beczuse .?f t he i n a b i l i t y ~f t he
Arivance Se c t i ' m ' ~. xununi cat i ~>n suppl y F i r s t Army uni t s a c r , ss Z.?ne t c ~
t he r i ve r . This imm,.rbilizxti .n rf t he dep- t , while c mbat uni t s
c;lntinue.l t c l e a s t , requi red t he t r uck ct3mpanios t.?t r a ve l as
f a r as 400 miles r , ~und t r i p del i ver i ng suppl i es. This was causi ng
s e r i ~ u s c3mpl i cat i . ~ns i n t he a mi l l b i l i t y ?f t r uck t r n n s p ~ r t a t i .n.
I n e a r l y Apr i l , smal l dumps f dr Classes I, 11, and I V were lclcated
i n t he vi c i ni t y .*f IZNDERKICH and WEISSENTHURM, and l a t e r a t s ?me
forward 3ump a t USSEL, VoLN~RSEN, and WRBURG.
L L ~t hi s t h e , p r i ~ r i t y was switched fr:m ammunitic.n t .r
gas ~ l i n c ; and canst ant e f f ~ r t was exer t ed t, i nsure t h a t gas . l i ne
suppl y waulr! keep up wi t h t he advancing arrn'x-ed ? i vi s i ? ns and
~ t h e r s . Since t rucks cauld n,.rt keep up t he pace an? r ai l r oads
were stopped a t t he RHIIa River, it wzs necessary t o e s t a bl i s h a
si x-i nch cr oss- r i ver pi pe l i ne. "Delivery a t t he west ern end was
by t ank t r uck c r r a i l t ank car , 2nd gnsl l i ne was pumped tb?st . -rage
t anks s e t up Jn t he e a s t s i de zf t he r i ve r . . . .TJ t i e i n wi t h
t he pipe l i ne , a decant i ng pai nt was mdved ta t he vi c i ni t y >f
Salvage col l ect i ng, maintenance r epai r s , and &her funct i s>ns
f e l l f a r belaw what was expected. The f a c t ~ r behind t he l i mi t i ng
f unct i ans was t he l ack .,f t r a n ~ p ~ ~ r t s t i ~ ~ n avai l abl e t a m,me mat er i al
t o t he depst s. Thraughaut t hi s peri od, t rucks haul i ng Class I
suppl i es forward were l ~ a d e d wi t h pr i s me r s of war ar salvage f.,r
t he r e t ur n t r i p s .
Af t er lopking a t t he condi t i sns af suppl y agencies i n t he
cammunicati?n zane, l e t us ~ n c e agai n t ur n t o t he 9t h Armzred
Di vi si on.
Following capt ure of t he REMAGEN Bridge, t her e was a
gr eat fl ow of vehi cul ar t r a f f i c through t he Di vi si on ar ea
moving e a s t . The road net , of necessi t y being l i mi t ed by
a va i l a bi l i t y of bri dge cr ossi ng, couple? wi t h l i mi t ed per-
sonnel avai l abl e and urgency of rapi d movement, imposed a
gr eat problem of t r a f f i c cont r ol duri ng t h i s c r i t i c a l peri od.
The Di vi si on formulated and executed a t r a f f i c ci r cul at i on
pl an t o permit t he smoothest fl ow possi bl e of movement over
t he RHINE ~ i v e r . 3
By 26 March, t he out er c r e s t of enemy r es i s t ance cont ai ni ng
t he bridgehead kad been broken, and t he 9t h Armored Di vi si on was
r ol l i ng eastward. With t h i s , t he p r i o r i t y m s switched from amrnu-
ni t i on t o gasol i ne, and every e f f or t possi bl e was exert ed t o keep
t h a t gasol i ne suppl y up wi t h t he advance.
The r api d movement and t he gr eat di st ance covered by t he
Di vi si on a f t e r cr ossi ng t he MINE River made necessary un-
us ual l y long turn-around t r i p s f or resupply. The Di vi si on
ut i l i z e d a l l avai l abl e t r ucks t o e s t a bl i s h and operat e gaso-
l i ne truckheads s s cl ose as possi bl e t o r epl eni sh t he l arge
amounts of gasol i ne expended .4
During t h i s peri od, of t he 37 t r uck companies under Corps
cont r ol , two were at t ached t o t he 9t h Armored Di vi si on t o hel p
expedi t e t he handling of gasol i ne. However, by t he end af March,
one of t hese cmpani es was t aken away f ram Di vi si on. Thus t he l oss
duri ng t h i s peri od, when supply l i nes were extended and l ar ge quan-
t i t i e s of gasol i ne were qui ckl y requirerl ,made resuppl y ? i f f i c u l t .
Only by t i r e l a s s and continuous e f f o r t af xga ni c uni t s and t he
at t ached Quart ermast er t rucks was t h i s successf ul l y accomplished;
it was of mat er i al as s i s t ance i n enabl i ng t he Di vi si on t o a t t a i n
i t s obj ect i ve ,
Class I an.1 V I suppl i es werc almast t he sane as Class 111;
usual l y t he convoys were made up wi t h Classes I, 111, a nj V sup-
pl i e s , whi l e Classes 11 aria I V were del i vered only as r equest s,
usual l y weekly.
St a t i s t i c s
During t h i s p e r i d , . t he Di v i s i ~ n evacuated onl y 606
cas ual t i es ; expended appr axi mt el y 303,876 r3unds of 105-mm h ~ wi t -
zer ammunitian and. 900 t ans .~fa mu n i t i ~ n ;.ther t han 105-mm; c.?n-
s u e d 1,000,000 gal l ans of gasol i ne, 32,000 gal l zns of engine lil,
18,000 p~un-' s zf gear l ubr i cant , and 2 1,000 poun3s ;.f mis ce l l ane >us
grease. A l s ~duri ng t h i s r api d advance, t hey capt ured 16,770
pr i s <~ne r s sf war, I n adai t i an, t he Di vi si an sust ai ned t he f . 3 1 1 ~ ~ -
i ng l as s es :
Ki l l ed i n act i . ?n
Wsunded i n a c t i a n
Missing i n a c t i a n
Mat eri al Destroyed :.
SP Guns
Half -Tracks
Trucks ( a l l t ypes )
2 2
' ~ e ~ ~ > r t f Operations, F i r s t U. S. i'irmy,. 23 Februl ry - 8 May
1945, p 63.

After-Action Report, 9th ArmoredDivis ion,March 1945,
G-4 Comments.
After-Action Report, 9th Armored Division, April 1945.
The 9t h Armcred Di v i s i ~ n , having perf xmed t he mnst
remarkable s i ngl e f e a t i n m.-vqern mi l i t ar y hi s t.?r;y--that 3f c r -ss-
i ng t he RHINE River a l m~ s t un>pp..-se"-f ?und i t s e l f recrgani zi ng
20 March 1345 i n assembly ar eas. C;lmbat C?mmana B was c -ncent rat e?
a t LINZ,' n t.mJn t he e a s t bank s f t he RHINE River t hr ee ki l . >-
meters s mt h ~f t he bri dge t hey ha4 captured seven days bef -re.
Combat elements at t ached were:
27t h Armored I nf ant r y Bat t al i on
52d Armored I nf ant r y Bat t al i on
60th Armsxed I nf ant r y Bat t al i on
14t h Tank Bat t al i on
16t h Armored Fi el d Ar t i l l e r y Bat t al i on
Company C, 89t h Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
Company B, 9t h Armored Engineer Bat t al i on
Ccmpany C., 656th Tank Destroyer Bat t al i s n
Company B, 2d Armored Medical Bat t al i an
Company C, 131st Ordnance Maintenance Bat t al i on
The remainder of t he di vi s i an, wi t h t he 4828 Ant i a i r c r a f t
Ar t i l l e r y (AW) Bat t al i r n, t he 656th Tank Destrcyer Battali,-.ln ( - ) ,
and t he 3458th and 3600th Quart ermast er Truck C-mpanies at t ached,
were s t i l l *?n t he west s i de ~f t ho r i ve r .
Passi ng f'ram cont r dl ~f I11 Corps t o V C.?rps a t t h i s time,
t he di vi s i on was ordered t o at t zck sout h along t he e a s t bank of
t he RHI NE, usi ng only t he di vi s i anal t r oaps al r eady e a s t of t he
r i ve r .
The remainder af t he d i v i s i ~ n was t c ? c r ~ s s cn t he V C. ~r ps
treadway bri dge a t HCINNINGEN, s i x k i l me t e r s s t ~ u t h c.f LI NZ. 2
Late i n t he aftern?.?n ~f 2 0 March, C.~mbat C,mmand B r e-
ceived zriiers fram di vi s i a n t o r el i eve elements >-f t he. 394th
I nf ant r y Regiment (99t h I nf ant r y Di v i s i ~ n ) s . mt h .:f HGNNINGEN,
and t a be prepared t o a t t a c k s s ut h taward EHRENBREITSTEIN,~ a t a m
acr css t he WINE f r . m COBLENZ sJme 30 ki l amet ers scut h. This as-
signment cauld have been t he basi s f a r t r ue "mi ssi . m type :rders ,"
but , as s h a l l be seen l a t e r sn, t h i s dr i ve t~t he s. -ut h evclved
i nt o a s e r i e s of l i mi t ed abj ect i ve at t acks which def i ni t el y
s l ~ we d t he pr.>gress cf t he ~ i v i s i . : n . ~
Task or gani zat i m f L?r t h i s a t t a c k was as f .r\ll?ws :
Combat C. mand A
Headquarters C~mpany , Cclmbat Ccmmand A
19t h Tank Bat t al i Lm
Campany A, pl us me plat,.cn )f Campany C and me
p l a t o m ~f Campany F, 89t h Cavalry Recannaissance
Company A, 9t h Armored Engineer Bat t al i an
Company A, 2d Armxed Medical Bat t al i on
C.jmpany A, 131st Orrlnance Maintenance Bat t a1i . m
Combat C. ma nd B
Headquarters Csmpany, Combat Camnand B
27th Armsred I nf ant r y Bat t al i on
60th Armored I nf ant r y B a t t a l i ~ n
14t h Tank Bat t al i an
C;mpany C ( - me p l a t o m) , pl us one pl at . vn ?f
C >mpany E and me p l a t x n .3f C:mpany F, 89t h
Cavalry Recannais s ance Squadron
C Jmpany B, 9th Arm~rcc! Engineer Bat t al i an
Company B, 2d Armdred Medical Ba t t a l i ~ n
Battery B, 482d Ant i ai r cr af t Bat t al i m
Company C, 656th Tank Destroyer Bat t al i an
16th Armxed Field A r t i l l e t y Bat t al i cn
Company C, 13 1s t Ordnance .Maintenance Bat t al i zn
Combat C~mmand R
Headquarters Campany, C~mbat Ccmmand R
52d Armxed Infantry Bnt t al i ?n
2d Tank 0at t al i . m
The 27th Armxed Infantry Bat t al i on mmed t c HHONNINGEN
during t he night ~f 20-21 March and shor t l y af t er ni.,Jn .-f t he 21st
had taken mer the ar sa ~ccupi ed by t he 18th Cavalry Squadrzn and
t he 3d Battali.?n, 394th Infantry Regiment, eas t and s>ut heast f
HAMMERSTEIN. The 60th Armored Infantry Bat t al i ' m, prepared t-J
f l ~l l o wup t he advance sf t he 27th, moved t o t he vi ci ni t y - ~ f
H~MMERSTEI N~ along with other elements df t he command.
Orders were received l at e i n t he af t er nj on af 21 March t c
at t ack a t 0700 t he f ~ l l ~ w i n g m,~rning, advance t o t he WEI D River,
est abl i sh a bridgehead and await f ur t her ~ r d e r s . Plans were
cmr di mt ed with t he 38th Infantry Regiment (2d Infantry Divisi.>n)
attacking Jn t he l e f t .7
Whilo these plans were i n pragress, C~mbat Cm~nand B 1v.t
i t s c~mmanding general, William M. H>>ge,t hr mgh hi s t r ansf er frsm
the 9th ti?t he 4t h Armored Di vi si m. C.l~nel Harry W. Jchnsm
suoceeded h h as C.>mbat Command Cornrpander .8 Because of t hi s change,
Canbat C.>mmanr! A was ardererl t o move eas t . ~ f t he RHINE River ~ ? n
22 March, assume command of Cambat Csmmand B t r. x?ps, and c a r r y
out t h e i r mission. The change'mer was n,>t ef f ecte-!, h?wever, u n t i l
1000 h..>urs, 23 March.
The at t ack jumped off as planned, and t he C.mbat Clmnand
. . bj ect i ve, NEUWEID, was at t ai ned by 2300 h.:urs an t he 2213. Typi cal
del ayi ng a c t i >n t a c t i c s had been met. Has t i l y emplaced mines
sl.?wea t he Fr,>gress of t he t anks a t s ever al p yints . Bl , , wn brirlges
an.! mined approaches i n t h e i r sect..>r f l ~ r c e A t he 60th Arm,?reJ In-
f a nt r y Batta1ii.n and Clampany B, 14t h Tank Bat t al i %. n, t.?use a
brie!ge i n t he 2d I nf ant r y Di vi s i . ~n sect,:r t . ~ t he n ~ r t h . The 27t h
Armxed I nf ant r y Bat t al i J n, .,n t he r i ght .:f t he 6Wh, made as s aul t
cr assi ngs :f t he WEI D River me r f . ~>t br i dge si n t h e i r sect,.r under
heavy f i r e f r ~ m 20 and 40 mi l l i met er a nt i a i r c r a f t guns. Enemy
defenses, stubb:rn when f i r s t encountered, faded away a t each
successi ve p ~ s A t ypi cal example i t i m bef me ca. >rdi mt ed at t acks.
accurred a t NEWYEID, which had been s t r ongl y defended u n t i l t h e
27t h Armxed I nf ant r y Bat t a1i . m mdunted a c o~r di na t e d at t ack
supported by i nt ense a r t i l l e r y concent rat i ans , The a r t i l l e r y
pr epar at i an evi dent l y canvinced t he defenders, f.->rt he Bat t al i on
r e p ~ r t s "t he town was cleaned out wi t h l i t t l e r es i s t ance, rr 10
On t he 23d, p a t r ~ l s f r . ~m both t he 27t h and 60th Arm-red
I nf ant r y Bat t al i . ~ns r e p x t e a no enemy c mt a c t t~t he f r nnt f ~ r
1500 yards. On t he 24th, b.?th bat t al i cns mL-verl f ~r wa r d s.3me
2G00 y a r d s a g a i n s t l i g h t , s c a t t e r e d r e s i s t a n c e , expatldinp; t h e i r
br i dge he a d over t h e T'JEID t o t h e sou-t'n and e a s t . Tr oops engaged
wer e now a t t a c h e d t o Combat Command A. Combat Command B had moved
back t o LEXTTE3DORF wher e t h e s t a f f was empl oyed t o f i t i d a r e a s f o r
ar1.d c o o r d i n a t e ~ove r ne nt a c r o s s t h e RHINE of t h e r emai ni ng e l e me nt s
of t h e Di vi si on. .
A t 0500 h o u r s on 25 March, Combat Command A c ont i nue d t h e
a t t a c k s o u t h t o s e c u r e a br i dge he a d over t h e LOTTR Ri ve r i n t h e
v i c i n i t y of VALLL:JDiiR, The 27t h Armored I t f ant r y Ba t t a l i o n c l e a r e d
ENGERS wh i l e t h e 6 0 t h Armored I n f a n t r y E a t t a l i o n r educed BEWORF
a g a i n s t h a l f h e a r t e d r e s i s t a n c e . Appr oxi mt i t el y 150 enemy s o l d i e r s
s ur r e nde r e d wi t h o u t m c h f i ght i : l g. A ~ t i t a n k mi nes whi ch had been
h a s t i l y l a i d i n t h e s t r e e t s b y t h e enexy wer e removed b y c i v i l i a n s
b e f o r e our t r o o p s e n t e r e d .
As s oon as t h e 60t h Armored I n f a n t r y Ba t t a l i o n e n t e r e d
BEYDGRF, it was or der ed t o move s o u t h , bypa s s t h e t m n of VIEITERS-
ETRZ and a t t a c k VliLIJE DAR whi ch s a t a s t r i d e t h e LO:f,9 Ri ve r a t i t s
j u n c t i o n wi t h t h e RVI:JE. The Ba t t a l i o n Cozmander or der ed Company A
t o f o l l m t h e Ra t t a l i o n t o a p o i n t i n t h e v i c i n i t y of IfiJEITmSBSTRG,
send a p l a t o o n t o occupy t h e t own, and a wa i t f u r t h e r o r d e r s . The
p l a t o o n accompl i s hed i t s mi ssi . on, t a k i n g a ppr oxi ma t e l y 4 0 FVds.
COP-pany F was g i v e n t h e mi s s i on of c l e a r i n g BENDORF, a f t e r
whi ch i t was t o r e l i e v e t h e p l a t o o n i n WEITERSBURG and r e v e r t t o
b a t t a l i o n r e s e r v e . 1 2 The n e t r e s u l t of t h e b a t t a l i o n commander I s
a c t i o n h e r e was t o t i e down Conpani es A and E i n and ne a r
I'iEITERSWRG, a town he had been t o l d t o bypass.
Both t h e 27t h and 60t h krmored I nf a nt r y Ba t t a l i o n s j oi ned
i n t h e a t t a c k on VALUNDAR. Pr ogr es s was al most compl et el y st opped
on s e ve r a l occasi ons dur i ng t h e a f t e r noon by t e r r i f i c ba r r a ge s
f r om 20 and 40 mi l l i me t e r a n t i a i r c r a f t guns l oc a t e d on t h e hi gh
ground s m t h of t h e town. The town was envel oped f r om t h e e a s t by
Company A, 60t h krmored I nf a nt r y Fa t t a l i o n , and by 04CO hour s on
t h e 26t h, VALLENDAR had been c l e a r e d and t h e hi c h ground t o t h e
s out h, whi ch was t h e f i n a l obj e c t i ve , had been occupi ed.
I n di s c us s i ng t h e f i e l d a r t i l l e r y phase of t h i s d r i v e
s out h from t h e REMAGEN Bri dgehead t o VhLLEi4JlkR, Naj or ( t he n c a p t a i n )
George I . Tayl or , who commanded Ba t t e r y C , 3d Armored Fi e l d Ar t i l l e r y
Ba t t a l i on, s t a t e d :
A pl a t oon of t h e .UA's was al ways a t t a c he d t o t h e 3d and
wer e he l d i n hi gh r egar d. Si nce t h e Luxembourg days i n
November, t h e &&-FA cooper at i on l e f t n o t h i ~ g t o be de s i r e d.
They wer e al ways on t h e j ob. Task or ga ni z a t i on of t h e Combat
Command va r i e d s l i g h t l y f r om day t o day, b u t i n ge ne r a l t h e
3d was i n suppor t of t hr e e r e i nf or c e d b a t t a l i o n s who wer e
ve r y o f t e n as s i gned or changed mi ssi ons i n a mat t er of
mi nut es. I t was i n t e r e s t i n g and c a l l e d f o r a l e r t a r t i l l e r y ,
b u t t h e d r a i n of f our l i a i s o n s e c t i ons and s i x obser ver
s e c t i ons us i ng t a nks , h a l f - t r a c k s , and peeps was a heavy
one. I t was r e g r e t t a b l e t h a t t h e e xpe r t s who desi gned t h e
t a b l e s of or ga ni z a t i on wer e not made t o f i ght . t h e i r own
paper u n i t s . The b a t t a l i o n wos al ways unde r s t r e ngt h i n
o f f i c e r s , men. and ve hi c l e s . 13
Dur i ns t h i s f our-day a c t i o n (22-25 arch) t h e Di vi s i on had
dr i ve n some 20 ki l ome t e r s upst r eam p a r a l l e l t o t h e REfIiJE i n count r y
a s uns ui t e d t o t h e employment of armor a s coul d be encount er ed.
I n a narrow zone bet ween t h e r i v e r and t h e mountainous b l u f f s which
r i s o heycnd i t s narrow v a l l e y , t h e 9t:i had s x ~ a . : ~ d e d .the 2EXASEX
Bridgehead s u f f i c i e n t l y f o r t h e opening of e. dr i ve deep i n t o
c e n t r a l .?ermany.
The f i ght i np; on t h e 25t h of hTarch f o r t h e hi c h ground
below TTALL!!VDAR had been b i t t e r , and t h e advance cons i der abl y
hampered by t h e rugged count r y and by t h e dogged r e s i s t a n c e of
t r oops from a German a n t i a i r c r a f t a r t i l l e r y t r a i n i n g c e nt e r . The
f i r e from enemy ml t i p l c i a : . ~ t i a i r c r a f t mounts was d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t
our t r oops t hr oughout t h e 25t h and ~ l l of dur i ng thc: ni ght t h e
25t h- 26t h. kt t i mcs t h i s f i r e r ender ed t h e main suppl y road
5c;tween ViiLLEI\JDkR and BElKIORF i mpassabl e. Over 500 pr i s one r s were
capt ur ed dur i ng t h e f our - day per i od.
hiain r out e s were avoi ded dur i ng t h e ope r a t i on, wherever
pos s i bl e . Thi r d and f o u r t h c l a s s r oads and even t r a i l s vlere used
i n a n endeavor t o bypass enemy poi nt s of r e s i s t a n c e , know-I t o be
a l onc t h6 m;>in r out es. of advance. Task f o r c e s wi t h i n t h e Combat
Somniand wer e, s o f a r a s pr a c t i c c bl s , r o t a t e d pe r i odi c a l l y. 15
The Dr i ve t o Limburg
The 9t h Armored Di vi s i on was or der cd by V Corps t o a t t x c k
t o t h e e a s t on 26 F.'arch wi t h tsvo combat comrnands a b r e a s t , passi ng
t hr ough t h e 2d I n f a n t r y Di vi . si on i n t h e v i c i n i t y of Gi?EXZY!USEN,
and secur e br i dgeheads a c r c s s t h e LAFIB Ri vcr a t DIEZ and LI ?GZRG.
These tojvns wer e t o bc secur cd and hel d u n t i l t h e a r r i w. 1 of Thi r d
Army t r oops , f ol l avj . ag which t he Di vi s i on was t o cont i nue
t h e advance t o t he e a s t and s ecur e t h e LIiT3N Ri ver l i n e i n t h e
dof ps s e c t or . For t h i s dr i ve , t he 38t h I n f a n t r y Regiment (2d
I nf ant r y ~ i v i s i on) was a t t a c he d t o t h e 9t h Armored Di vi s i on; and,
i n t u r n , t h e 2d i 3at t al i on t o Combat Command A; and t h e Regiment ( - )
t o Combet Command B.
Combat Command k was pl aced on t h e r i g h t ( s out h) f l a n k
wi t h DIEZ i t s obj e c t i ve ; Combat Command B was t o advance on t h e
l e f t ( nor t h) f l a n k , moving on LIMWJRG.
Task or ga ni z a t i on was a s f ol l ows :
Combat Command A
Headquar t er s Company, Combat Command A
60t h Armored I nf a nt r y Ba t t a l i o n
14t h Tank Ba t t a l i o n
3d Armored Fi e l d i i r t i l l e r y Ea t t a l i o n
2d Fa t t a l i o n , 38t h I n f a n t r y Begiment
Company C , pl us one pl at oon of Company E and one
pl at oon of Company F, 89t h Caval r y Reconnai ssance
Company '-,9t h Armored Zngi neer Ba t t s l i o n
"ompany B, 2d i r mor ed Medi cal Ba t t a l i o n
Ba t t e r y A, 482d An t i a i r c r a f t ( i ! )F a t t a l i o n
Compnny ?, 656t h Tank Dest r oyer Ea t t a l i o n
Suppor t
Company C , 131s t Ordnance Maintenance Ra t t a l i o n
"ombat Command B
Yeadquar t er s Company, Combnt Command E
At t ached
, 52d Armored I n f a n t r y Ba t t a l i o n
19t h Tank F a t t a l i o n
16t h Armored Fi e l d ~ i r t i l l e r y Ea t t a l i o n
38t h Jrzfant ry Rc gi mnt ( - )
Compc.ny i:, pl us one pl at oon of Compr.ny E r'.nd one
p l ~ t o o n of Company F, 89t h Ccval r y R~c onna i s s a nc e
Company E, 9t h Armored Fngi neer Ba t t c l i o n
Company i,, 2d l ~r mor od Medical Ba t t a l i o n
Ba t t e r y D, 482d bLnt i a i r c r nf t (!a)Ba t t a l i o n
Company A, 656t h Tank Dest r oyer Ba t t a l i on
Suppor t
Company A, 131s t Ordnancc ?d7aintcnance Ba t t a l i o n
Combat Command R
Headquar t er s Company, Combat Command R
At t ached
2?t h Armored I n f a n t r y Ba t t a l i o n
Zd Tank Ba t t a l i o n
89t h Caval ry Recontmissnnce Squadron ( - )
Ba t t e r y B, 482d An t i a i r c r a f t (AK) Ba t t a l i on
Combat Cormand B marched a t 0800 on t ho 26t h wi t h t h e
r cconnai ssonce t r o o p l eadi ng. Af t e r a n al most u nop~os e d cdvcince,
t he y r eached LIMBURG l c t e i n t h e af t er noon. . The move had been
r e s t r i c t e d onl y hy passage t h r o u ~ h t he 2d I nf a nt r y Di vi s i on l i n e s ,
a blown over pass, and one r oad c r a t e r . The advcnce on LIMBURG
t ur ned out t o be a ques- t i on of moving a s f a s t a s pos s i bl e .
At one poi nt i n t h e advancc, however, i n t h e woods wes t
of FPONTABAUR, a German r azd bl ock suppor t ed by a r t i l l e r y hel d u p
t h e r econnai ssance t r oop which wc s t o o l i g h t t o remove t h e r c s i s -
t a nc e , The t r oop was s i des t epped t o t h e r i g h t and gi ve n t h e
mi s s i on of mai nt ai ni ng c ont a c t wi t h Combat Command k under Col onel
Har r ol d. The l eadi ng r e i nf or c e d b a t t a l i o n was gi ven t h e mi ssi on
of l e a di ng t h e advance. Shor t l y t h e r e a f t e r , Combat Comrnnnd B
cr ushed i t s way t hr ouph t h e opposi t i on.
Fur t he r compl i cnt i ons dcvcl oped when t h e l ead b e t t a l i o n ,
di s cover i ng t h a t a br i dge was blown on t h e AUTOBAHN e a s t of
MONTABtUR, det our ed t hr augh t h a t town. Fol l owi ng el ement s missed
t h i s de t our 2nd moved on t o t h e IJJTOBAHN, ne c e s s i t nt i ng t h e col umn' s
doubl i ng back on Thi s mishap, whi ch l e f t o gap i n t h e
column of about 10 mi l e s , l a t e r had cons i der cbl e e f f e c t i n t h e a t t a c k
Upon r eachi ng t h e IIUTOBAHN a t I\TO?!Ti,Bi,UR, Combat Cormand E
encount er ed a combat command of t h e 7 t h Armored Di vi s i on under
Col oncl Tr i p p l e t t . t conf er ence bet ween Col onel Har r y W. Johnson
(commanding Combat Commcnd B) and Col onel Tr i p p l e t t i ndi c a t e d t h a t
t h e r e was a pps r e nt l y a t i e - up i n or de r s f r om Corps, i n a s mc h a s
h i s obj e c t i ve was a l s o LIbWRG. I n v e s t i g a t i o n r e v e ~ l e d t h a t h i s
or de r s had been changed b u t he had not been i nformed.
\while messages went back t hr ough command channel s t o
c o r r e c t t h i s e r r o r , t h e columns ke pt moving. For about a n hour
bot h combat commands wer e r a c i ng a b r e a s t :!om t h e PJJTOBJIHN f o r
LIhrIBURG. Peeps were f or ced t o t r a v e l 35 mph t o keep u p wi t h t h e
t a nks i n t h e column. Or der s were f i n a l l y changed f o r Col onel
Tr i p p l e t t , however., and h i s column t ur ned nor t h and e a s t , whi l e
Col onel Johnson' s combat command cont i nued t h e i r d r i v e t o
L I MB J R G. ~ ~
Meanwhile, i n t h e Combat Command A s e c t or , pos i t i ons had
been cons ol i dat ed nl ong t h e hi gh ground s out h of VALLENDAR by e a r l y
r or ni ng of t h e 26t h; and u t 1130 hour s , t h e cormand was r e l i e ve d
of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t he a r e a by t h e 27t h . rmored I n f a n t r y Bat -
t a l i o n under Combat Command R.
Combzt Comrr,and h l aunched i t s a t t a c k t o t h e e a s t a t 1500
hour s on t h e 26t h wi t h DfEZ a s i t s obj ect i ve. Movemont on HILL-
SCHEID was made i n one column where l i g h t r e s i s t a n c e was el i mi nat ed
by a r t i l l e r y f i r e . Company B, 60t h Armored Infant ry Ba t t a l i o n
del ayed i t s advance l ong e nmgh t o check HILLSCHEID t hor oughl y .
The r emai nder of t h e combat command s epar at ed i n t o t wo col umns
and cont i nued east war d.
St andi ng be s i de h i s peep, Col onel Har r ol d hear d t h e d i v i -
s i o n commander announce over t h e r a d i o t h a t Combat Command B,
r a c i ng dawn t h e AUTOWHN a t 35 mph i n d wb l e columns, had r eached
LIMBURG, t h e i r obj e c t i ve f o r t h e next day. At t h e t i me, no one
r e a l i z e d t h a t t h i s was t h e s t a r t i n g s i gna l f o r t h e r a c e of t h e
armored d i v i s i o n s a c r os s Germany. I t was t o be t h e F i r s t , Thi r d,
and Ni nt h American Armies competing d a i l y f o r p u b l i c i t y and
mi l eage. Once a ga i n, armor was i n t h e e xpl oi t a t i on.
Combat Command A r eached t h e west bank of t h e LAHN Ri ver
oppos i t e DIE2 a t 1950 t h a t ni ght . Lead el ement s of t h e 60t h
Armored I n f a n t r y Ba t t a l i on, whose obj e c t i ve i ncl uded t h e e s t a b-
l i s hment of a br i dgehead over t h e r i v e r , met t h e i r f i r s t or gani zed
r e s i s t a n c e of t h e day from a gr oup of st ubbor n enemy dug i n on t h e
e a s t bank.
A l l br i dge s over t he r i v e r i n t h e b a t t a l i o n ' s s e c t o r had
been blown; and Li eut enant Col onel Col l i ns , t h e b a t t a l i o n commander,
or der ed t h e a t t a c he d Engi neer Pl at oon t o c ons t r uc t n f o o t br i dge.
Fut because of t h e wi dt h, dept h, and s wi f t c ur r e nt of t h e r i v e r ,
such a br i dge coul d be cons t r uct ed onl y a t poi nt s we l l covered by
observed enemy small arms f i r e wi t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t t h e engi neer
mi ssi on coul d not be accompl i shed.
At t empt s t o f, ord t h e r i v e r f a i l e d , and p a t r o l s were unabl e
t o f i n d c r os s i ng poi nt s on e i t h e r f l a n k of t h e combat c o n ~a n d
s e c t or . Company B, 14t h Tank Ba t t a l i on, was t he n or der ed i n t o
f i r i n g pos i t i ons on t h e wes t bank of t h e r i v e r and pul ver i zed t h e
bui l di ngs and pos s i bl e enemy f i r i n g pos i t i ons on t h e e a s t bank.
A t da yl i ght t h e next morning, Companies B and C, .Goth Armored
I nf a nt r y Ba t t a l i on, were s e n t nor t h t o t h e v i c i n i t y of LIMEWRG,
where a c r os s i ng hod been e s t a bl i s he d by Combat Command B, wi t h
t h e mi s s i on of c r os s i ng t h e r i v e r and a t t a c k i n g DIEZ f r om t h e
nor t h and e a s t .
m i l e t h i s maneuver was i n pr ogr es s , a n u n i d e n t i f i e d
engi neer s o l d i e r swam t o t h e e a s t bank of . t h e r i v e r a t t h e s out h
edge of DIEZ and unt i e d n l ong bar ge anchored t h e r e . Si nce t h e
bar ge was l onger t han t h e r i v e r was wi de a t t h a t poi nt , t h e bar ge
was pul l ed di a gona l l y a c r os s t h e r i v e r , formi ng a f o o t br i dge
over which Company li, 60t h hrmored I n f a n t r y Ba t t a l i on, passed. 22
Psychol ogi cal war par e pl ayed a minor b u t y e t i mpor t ant
r o l e a t t h i s s t a ge of t h e oper at i ons . h powerful publ i c addr es s
syst em had been made a v a i l a b l e t o t h e 60t h Armored I n f a n t r y
Ba t t a l i on, and t h i s was s e t up on t h e we s t bank of t h e LAHN Ri ver .
Kar ni ngs were br oa dc a s t t o t h e c i v i l i a n s and s o l d i e r s on t h e ot her
s i d e whi l e Company A c l e a r e d t h e c i t y . Due t o t h e e f f e c t s of t h e
t anks f i r i n g dur i ng t h e ni ght , t h e speedy c r os s i ng of Company A ,
and t h e war ni ngs br oa dc a s t t o t h e peopl e and s o l d i e r s , t h e dug- i n
enemy on t h e e a s t bank of t h e r i v e r and t hos e i n p o s i t i o n i n t h e
town of DIEZ sur r ender ed wi t hout f u r t h e r r e s i s t a nc e . 23 s e v e r a l
o f f i c e r s end over 200 e n l i s t e d men vrerc t a ke n pr i s one r . The t mr n
was qui ckl y checked and out post ed,
Duri ng t h i s f i ve - da y per i od (22-27 Narch) t h e 9t h Armored
Di vi s i on had advanced t h e f r o n t l i n e s some 68 mi l es , capt ur ed
2, 518 pr i s one r s , and e s t a bl i s he d c ont a c t wi t h t h e Thi r d .Army nor t h
1. Al t hough t h e Di vi s i on had been gi ven "mi ssi on t ypet '
or de r s f o r i t s i n i t i a l br eakout f r om t h e RELYLGEN Bri dgehead, it
f a i l e d t o t a k e advant age of t he s e or der s and of t h e r a p i d l y
weakening German s i t u a t i o n , and caused i t s combat commands t o
make l i mi t e d obj e c t i ve a t t a c k s which d e f i n i t e l y slowed t h e pr o-
gr e s s of t h e Di vi s i on.
2. World War 11 t a b l e s of or ge. ni zat i on and equi pment ,
p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r t h e 105 mi l l i me t e r hmr i t z e r f i e l d a r t i l l e r y
u n i t s , were demonst r at ed t o have been ext r emel y weak i n manpower
and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n f o r t h e d u t i e s of l i a i s o n and f or war d observa-
t i o n . Thi s shor t comi ng has been c or r e c t e d i n pr esent - day t a b l e s
of or gani zat i on.
3 . One phase of psychol ogi ~cel war f ar e proved i t s p r a c t i c a l
val ue i n comb&t dur i ng t h e per i od covered by t h i s chapt er .
l ~ f t e r - ~ c t i o n Combat Command B, 9t h Armored Repor t ,
Di vi s i on, hfarch 1945, . p 11.
' ~ f t e r - ~ c t i o nRepor t , . 9t h Armored Di vi s i on, - Blarch 1945,
p 22.
' ~ f t e r - h e t i o n Repor t , Combat Command B, 9t h Armored
Di vi s i on, March 1945, p 11.
4 ~ f t e r - ~ c t i o n 9t h Armored Di vi s i on, March 1945, Repor t ,
p 22.
' ~ f t e r - ~ c t i o nRepor t , Combat Command F, 9t h krmored
Di vi s i on, March 1945, p 11.
' Af t e r - ~c t i o n Repor t , Combat Command A, 9t h Armored
Di vi s i on, March 1945, p 17.
1 0 k f t e r - ~ c t i o n Repor t , 27t h hrmorcd I n f a n t r y Ba t t a l i on,
March 1945, p 8.
l l ~ f t c r - ~ c t i o nRepor t , Combat Command B, 9t h IIrmored
Di vi si on, March 1945, p 12. .
1 2 [ Lf t e r - ~c t i o n Repor t , 60t h Armored I nf a nt r y Ba t t a l i on,
h5arch 1945, p 9.
13b1a j or George I. Tayl or , Le t t e r I nt er vi ew.
l 4 ~ f ' t e r - ~ c t i o n Repor t , Combat Coinmand A, 9t h Armored
Di vi s i on, Blarch 1945, .p 19.
16i , ft er-dct i on Report , 9th ;&rmored Di vi si on, March 1945,
p 22.
1 8 ~ o l o n e l Harry W. Johnson, Let t er Int ervi ew.
20,1f'ter -t act i on ~ e ~ o r t 9t h Armored ,'Combat Command B,
Di vi si on, March 1945, p 12.
21~f t e r - kc t i on Report, 60th ~rmore' d I nf ant r y Bat t al i on,
March '1945, p 10.
2 4 ~ f t e r - ~ c t i o n Repor t , 9t h Armored Di vi si on, l a r c h 1945 ;
Operating under Letter of Instructions, V ('orps, 26 March
1945, the 9th Armored Division launched its attack on LIMBURG--a
key communication center, the capture of which was vital to future
operations to the north and east. Vlbile Combat Command A was
seeking a crossing of the LiLT-IN River (canal) in the vicinity of
DIEZ, Combat Command B had run into a two-pronged problem at
LIMBURG. The reduction of LIMBURG included not only a river
crossing in the face of hostile resistance, but also the reduction
of a built-up area.
The Combat COITllllf.lnd B task organization during this period
is indicated below:
Combat Command B
Colonel Harry VI!. Johnson, Commanding
Headquarters Company, Combat Command B
19th Tank Battalion
52d Armored Infantry Battalion
16th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
38th Infantry Regiment ( - 2d Battalion)
Company C - one platoon, Company E - one platoon,
Company F, 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron
Company B, 9th Armored Engineer Battalion
Battery D, 482d Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion
Company f ~ , 2d Armored Medical Battalion
Company A, 656th Tank Destroyer Battalion
Company A, l3lst Armored Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
"During the day, 26 March 1945. Company C, 52d il.rmored
Infantry Battalion, was attached to the 19th Tank Battalion which
was leading the Combat Command B column. Only light opposition
w ~ s met o.s the column approached LIMBURG from thE; north. ,,1 Near
the LiI.HN River (canal), it was suddenly noted by the leading ele-
ments that the main bridge was still intact. The lead tanks made
a run for it--four succeeded in crossing the bridge before it waS
blown by the enemy. Separated from the infantry and the remainder
of the battalion,' these four tanks were soon immobilized. Fortun-
ately the tank crews were not all casualties. Although they could
not maneuver, the tanks continued to fire with their guns.
Company C, 52d Armored Infantry Battalion, attached to the
19th Tank Battalion, was given the mission of finding an entrance
to the city. This it succeeded in doing by repairing the railroad
bridge into the city to the extent that infantry could cross dis-
mounted. Soon after entering the city, Company C initiated the
reduction against moderate to stiff resistance. This infantry
company progressed favorably until 261730 March, at which time
the reduction of the city was assigned to the 52d Armored Infantry
Battalion. Company C was relieved from its attachment to the 19th
Tank Battalion and reverted to the control of its parent unit. It
will be noted here that the Company had been engaged in this fight
wi th none of its share of the battalion supporting weapons. All
of these weapons were under battalion control for the advance to
Upon the assignment of the reduction mission to the 52d
Armored Infantry Battalion, Companies A and B were rushed into the
city. Company A was moved into the line on the left of Company C
and was given the mission of advancing throo/!:h the center of the
city and seizing the high ground to the sruth and southeast.
At 2200, Company B was moved across the river to take up
a posi ti on on the left of C:olfipany A. At thi s time, the 52d's
weapons were attached to the assault companies to pro-
vide close mortar and machine gun support during the reduction;
however, the machine gun platoon attached to Company A did not
succeed in locating the company until daylight 27 March. The
Commanding Officer"," Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 52d
Armored Infantry Battalion, stated that although LIMBURG was not
a large city, it was one of the most confusing he had ever seen.
Due to the irregularity of the streets and the darkness, it was
almost impossible to find anything.3
With the three rifle companies abreast, C on the right, A
in the center, and supported by attached machi ne guns, the Battali on
advanced through the city to the southeastern sector. The Bat-
talion mortars furnished support from positions just behind the
assault companies. They were held under battalion control. None
but the first four tanks had succeeded in crossing the river and
entering the city.
Upon reaching the southeastern sector of the city, the
entire Battalion was held up by heavy small arms fire from the
high ground just outside the city to the southeast. Failure to
advance any farther during darkness indicated that a coordinated
daylight attack would have to be made in order to dislodge or
cJOGtroy the enemy. Plans for this attack wore made; however, at
dawn on 27 1 , ~ a r c h , a heavy ground fog reduced visibility to the
extent that any type of ground operations against the enemy was
virtually impossible. It was not until 1200 on the 27th of March
that a coordinated attack with infantry and tanks reduced the
pocket. During the night 26/27 March and during the early morning
of 27 March, the 9th Armored Engineer Battalion had thrown a pon-
toon treadway bridge across the canal. This bridge permitted the
passage of the tanks which joined in the successful attack.
During the reduction of LIMBURG, 125 of the enemy were
killed, 150 wounded, and 1,800 taken prisoner .. wr casualties
were light to moderate--the exact figures for the reduction of
LHffiURG were not rec orded as such. t'The 52d Armored Infantry
Batta.lion did, however, record three officers killed in action--
two of them being company commanders. This constituted a serious
loss tc a battalion. It is interesting to note that a P-47 airplane
was taken intact and undamaged. ,,4 Company C, 52d :\.rmorcd Infantry
Battalion, did not participate in the coordinated attack on 27
March. At 0645 that day, Company C was withdrawn from the line to
form the Battalion reserve. Part of the Company was assigned the
mission of securing the bridge at DEHRN. The bridge was intact
at that time. This detachment waS withdrawn at 1230 hours when
it Was discovered that the enemy had just blown the bridge.
At 271330 March, the 52d Armored Infantry Battalion was
notified that Combat Command R would pass through the Battalion
zone using the pontoon bridge across the LAHN River. At the same
time, the Battalion was given the mission of clearing its zone as
soon as Combat Command R had passed. Companies Band C accomplished
the clearing mission and out posted the southern part of the sector
to the south and southeast of the city.
At 281445 March, the 52d Armored Infantry Battalion was
ordered to move to OFFHEIM upon completion of its relief by ele-
ments of the 2d infantry Division. This relief waS accomplished
at 1600,and the Battalion closed at O F F H E H ~ at 1845 hours 28 March.
The reducti on of LHmtJRG was successfully completed. and this phase
of the battle was over.
With the reconstruction of the tactical phase of the opera-
ti.on completE:;, attention be directed to one other phase--the
liberation, treatment, and evo.cuation of the Allied Prisoners of
War found i.n three hospitals in LIHEURG. This recount is included
in this report because it is believed to be an outstanding example
of the many large and small problems that confront the commander
of an exploiting force. It is further believed to be essential
that such contingencies as are described below be considered in
planning an exploitation.
The medics sat at the rear of the column during the early
afternoon attack (26 March). Between 1600 and 1700 hours
(after taking care of one of our enlisted men who had been
shot while searching a Prisoner of War and who later died),
I went to the command post on the outskirts of the city and
was there told that a Bri ti sh Major General who was a Prisoner
of War in the hospital down the road wanted to see the medical
I didn't get to see him until after dark, but then went to
thu (the new one N. of the river) and greeted
most graciously (!) by the German Medical Officer in charge.
One of the Sisters guided me to the General's room and there
after confusing the dressed aide for the undressed General
we had a most delightful chat: The M.G. in his long under-
wear and I in a very dirty and unkept outfit considering its
one day's use. Major General Fortune was most informative.
He had been a Prisoner of War since 1940. Being the ranking
British P.W. he had been allowed liberties of the German
Prisons and hospitals and had been very influential in keeping
things "in order." He said there were two hospitals on the
other side of the river, in the city proper, which had many
Allied P.W.'s. One, the larger of the two, was not in such
bad shape. The smaller, however, he said we shoulrl see first,
for there the conditions were deplorable. We spent a most
pleasant hour as he gave me the information and when I left
full arrangements were made for housing our Hedics in the
hospital. The Jerry and his "Sisters" really dashed out to
give us service, clearing out a couple of rooms for all of us
and cur meager medical set-up and for the first night in some
time we not only slept in a hospital, but between sheets.
The following morning March 27 I went down to the river
early and run across one of our Infantry officers there. Vie
poled our way across the stream in a boat (the pontoon or new
bridge being uncompleted as yet) and went into the town. Fol-
lowing the Hajor General's direction we went up the hill,
stopped in the cathedral mid the stares of the belligerent
and curious krauts, then on down toward the R.R. tracks to
the church alongside of which Was the frame barracks building
used as their hospital. As we approached the church we saw a
black haired G.I. standing in front watching us. Somewhat
surprised at seeing him (for there were none of our men there
as far as we knew) we asked him if he was a "G.I." "You're
damned right," he answered, "and are we glad to see youl"
Briefly the conditions were sad indeed. All told there
were probably only 50 to 75 in this hospital (although I
learned later there were more in the other and larger h'ospi tal
in the other part of town) but these men were in the worst
condition. We were the first fresh "Americans
they had seen for months or years" and their expressions and
feelings were unlimited. Anybody would have thought we walked
there from Paris all alone! Many were nothing but skin and
bonesj (one later made Life Magazine and syndicated papers in
this country); all had infected wounds and or pneumonia or
on0 of its allies. Post-surgicals, freshly wounded, belly
wounds-, cachectic, pneumoniaj French, British, Italians were
all mixed together. Mainly if not entirely officers, I never
learned their rank. Part of them were huddled in the frame
building, but most and the saddest cases had been taken to the
basement of the church for protection frolf. llery anJ
bombs (allied) and were bedded down on the cru.J0st of beds,
even one on the concrete mortorium slab, in the cold, dark,
damp basement. Our guide (the above mentioned dark haired
lad from Brooklyn) guided us by flashlight, with silent
Germans following us. Russians, Serbs, Italians, Amcrico.ns,
British, etc., officers and enlisted men alike were there in
this basement. Tears of joy were plentiful. I walked from
room to rOOm utterly for it was my first contact with
such conditions. In ooe room perhaps 10 by 10 where the men
were more numerous than the cubic feet, I hailed them asking
if there were any Americans. A loud chorus of "Hey Joe."
"Any.from the 9th Armored?" I asked. A weak answer from the
corner, "Here, sir!" I walked over there to shine my light
in the face of a bearded unrecognizable creature. He asked
me. what outfit I was with and when I told him he called me by
name. Hy heart welled up in my throat, and I could say nothing
sensible, for here WaS a chap I couldn't name who remembered
me from early Sblte days and had been "lost" in the Bulge. I
saw him several times later that day and each time he spoke to
me and thanked me as if I had anything to do with it.
But these men had been taken from their ward, the barracks
outside, which was nothing but a vermine infested building,
stacked with straw ticks, many of which were split spilling
their dirty contents allover the floor. Those that had been
able to walk got their meals and had to clean the place. The
others were dependent upoo tho able, and our guide, to feed
them. The were just out of luck, unless somebody
happened to thin..l( of them. And the one that thought of them
the most waS Terry (wish I knew his last name) the dark
haired Brooklyn lad, a Battalion aid man who had been cap-
tured uninjured at Metz. He had really done a fine job.
All the men and officers fairly loved him for his heart was
true. He was more than an orderly, apparently, for he gave
the men spirit and life which they said they would have lost
long ago but for him. He was telling me about it: "You know,
Captai n," he said, "I'm a Jew, and when I was co.ptured I told
them that. The guard warned me and said I should say I was
Protestant. I did and was glad, for they treated me better.
I speak Jewish," and he flirted his head, "yet these people
think I have learned a lot of German in the past 6 months.
Really what I am speaking to them is Jewish!" He was wounded
in our air attacks and (is) going back to have some shrapnel
removed from his leg. He said the Germans paid him 41 Marks
a month ($4.00)--which he used as toilet paper. Terry
practically ran the hospital--it was Terry this and Terry
that espeCially as we spent the remainder of the day evacuating
these men across the newly constructed bridge. Even the Jerry
hospital personnel came to our Peep to say good-bye as we
pulled out behind the last ambulunce to return to "our side"
of the river.
Perhaps I have gone into too nuch detail here. Colonel,
but this was a most impressive incident to me. and may be of
some value to you. These men were all evaouated by noon to
our Medical tin which had moved up in the early morning and
were set up in the where we had slept (incidentally
where the photographs were while we were busy evacuat-
ing the and all was under good control. Aside from
Maj. Gen. Fortune in the original and best hospital. I have
a few names of those we tOQk out--officers who were -of great
service to us in this and were most interested in getting
some type of commendation for Terry: Capt. John E. Bridgman.
Maj. Richard Kirby. Capt. Paul Van Dugucht.
Evaluation of a specific battle or phase of a campaign is
a particularly treacherous undertaking--especially when the evalua-
tion is made five years after the action and when the units were
s·o small that histories are incomplete or non-existent. Completely
unrecorded in all but dimming memory are the many variables that
influence the commander's decision--awareness of the battlefield,
condition of troops and units, condition and completeness of equip-
and pressure from higher headquarters. In many historical
records of small such important considerations o.s weather
. and terrain are completely unmentioned. All of the above omis-
sions are pertinent to the re.duction of LIMEURG with the exception
of one cryptic statement conc.crning the ,presence of ground fog on
the morning of 27
From the information availo.ble to this committee. it is
believed that the reduction of LU::BURG wa.s not a classic example
of the proper reduction of 0. strong PQint impeding an exploiting
force. In arriving at the above conclusion', follovdnl!, pertinent
factors were consid6red:
1. Combat Command B was ordered to march on LIMBURG and to
reduce that strongpoint.
2. !n the advance on LIMBURG, the Combat Command B column
became separated. A gap of approximately ten miles between elements
of Combat Command 13 resulted. (This event was reported in the pre-
3. LIMBURG hud long bvon recognized as a key cOIllIJllnication
center in the zone.
4. Combat Command B entered LIMBURG with a tank hea.vy team
leading in spite of the fact that a sizeable river had to be cros-
sed--probably forced and a sizeable city had to be reduced--pro-
bably by building-to-building reduction.
5. Supporting engineers and supporting weapons were not
well forflard in the column.
6. An unreconnoitered night attack was made.
7. The night attack was piecemec.l and without detailed
8. LIMBURG was reduced in less than 24 hours.
It is believed that individual discussion of each of the
above factors would result in placing false value on them. This
is due to the interrelation of all factors in combat. Again, from
the av::.ilable I Combat Command B was ordered to advance
on LIMBURG and to reduce that city as a strongpoint impeding an
exploiting force. This mission was begun on 26 N.nrch. A tank
heavy team, the .l9th Medium Tank Battalion with Company A_ 52d
Armored Infantry Ba.tta.lion attached, led this phase. This em-
ployment was in adherence to the present doctrine of the
employment of armor in the exploitation a.s outlined in Field
Manuat As described in the preceding chapter, the
Combat COlJlIll!lnd B column became separated when it turned off the
AUTOBAHN to avoid a blwln bridge. This separation could only
hQve been due to (1) incomplete orders or a lack of orders;
(2) too much interval in the column; (3) improper route marking;
or (4) a combination of the above three. Vihutever the cause, the
result was a ten-mile gap in the Combat Command B column. This
gap" in all probability, had considerable influence in the com-
mander's use of troops for the attack of LIMBURG.
The city of LIMBURG had early been recognized as a key
communication center in this sector of Germany. This alone
should have been adequate evidence that the city would be
defended to the maxinum possible to include the blONing of
bridges over the LAHN River, or ut least their preparation for
demoli tion.
Thus, faced with the possibility of having to force a
river crossing, coupled with the possible task of a building-to-
building reduction of a si2eable town, it is believed that Combat
Command B should have entered LIMBURG with an infantry-heavy team
or at the very a balanced team. It is further
believed that with armored infantry in the lead in this case,
there was a chance, probably a very good chance, that r.ombat
Command B could ha"e seized the bridge and thus have prevented
its demolition. Four tanks and much time would have been
With tanks in the lead, there was little or no chance of pre-
venting the demolition of the bridge. One could only trust to
luck that it had not been mined.
In a similar manner J it is believed that hud a coordinated
attack been made with the 52d Armored Infantry Battulion, heavily
supported by tanks and artillery, LIMBURG could and probably would
hav8 been reduced during the or early evening of 26
March. In this event, 12 to 18 hours could have been saved, in
addition to the risk of a night attack in an unrecnnnoitered city.
As a result of some all of the above-mentioned factors
and contingencies, Combat B assigned the reduction of the
city of LIMBURG to the 52d Armored Infantry Battalion at 261730
March 1945. This battalion was ordered to continue its efforts
to reduce the city throughout the night 26/27 March. At the late
hour of 1730 and during the month of March, there was time for
little or no daylight reconnuissance by the Battalion less Company
C. (Attention is invited to the fact that C arrived at
LIMBURG earlier with the 19th Medium Tank Battalion und crossed
into the city via the blown railroad bridge".) In addition to the
lack of reconnaissance, the "Battalion was committed piecemeal to
the attack. Company C was committed shortly after it arrived
with the 19th Tank Battalion, while Companies A and B were com-
mitted after 1730 hours. Objectives assigned, if any, were not
recorded, nor were boundaries, zonElS of action. or support. Like-
wise. the progress made by the assault companies throogh the night
was not recorded. The After-Aotion Report of the 52d Armored
Infantry Battalion doos indicutc. however. that the reduotion was
not accomplished until after 271200 March, .when a coordinated
attack by the Battalion. supported by tanks and artillery. suc-
ceeded in destroying the enemy on the high ground to tho southeast
of tho city. I'n view of whut is known now. the gains
through the night a.ttack were not worth the calculated risk taken•
••. It was shown conclusively on two occasions during this
period that a unit ordered to make a night attack mst be
allowed ample time for daylight reconnaissance. for-detailed
pbnning. and for a thorrugh briefing of offioers and en-
listed men. To neglect these things is to court failure.
A properly coordinated and closely supervised Infantry-
Tank-Artillery team proved, during this period, to be the
combination necessary to gain victory.6
To the credit of Combat Command B must be added its aggres-
siveness perseverance. LIMBURG was reduced in less than 24
hoors and in a very workmanlike manner.
The follO\'ring: principles in the employment of armor in the
exploitation were adhered to:
1. A t'1nk-heavy team led the exploitation.
2. The strong point of LIMBURG. impeding the exploiting
force, reduced quickly.
3. The bridge at LIMBURG was seized promptly.
The followi ng principle s wer(;; violuted:
1. Infc.ntry was not used to perform the following tasks,
usually infantry tasks:
a. Leading a river crossing thnt may have to be
b. The reduction of a city.
2. A piecemeal attack waS made.
3. A dangerous and unnecessary night uttack waS made wi th
little planning and little or no reconnaissance.
4. Although the bridge at waS seized, it was not
examined for demolition.
Report, 52d Armored Infantry Battalion,
March 1945, p 6.
2personnl Interview, Captain J. W. Commander,
Headquarters Company, 52d Armored Infantry Battalion.
40p After-Action Report, pp 6 and 7.
5Letter, Dr. R. W. Pomeroy" former Battalion Surgeon,
52d Armored Infantry Bnttalion.
60p cit, After-Action Report, Section IV, Battalion
Commander's Comments.
27 March - 2 Apri 1 1945
With the obstacle of the LAHN River behind, the elements
of the 9th ~ r m o r e d Division were again free to continue their
race ucross Germany. During this period (27 March - 2 April 1945)
the task organization of the 9th Armored Division was as follows:
9th Armored Division
Major General John W. Leonard
Combat Command A - Brigadier General Thomas L. Harrold
60th Armored Infantry Battalion (attached Company B, 14th
Tank Battalion, one platoon, Company A, 9th Armored
Engineer Battalion)
14th Tank Battalion (-) (+ attached one platoon Company A,
9th Armored Engineer Battalion. Company C, 656th Tank
Destroyer Battalion)
2d Battalion,. 38th Infantry Regiment (+ Company C, 14th
Tank Battalion and one platoon. Company A. 9th Armored
Engineer Battalion)
Company C. 89th CavC'.lry Reconnaissance Squa..on (+ one
platoon, Company E. and one platoon, Company F, 89th
Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron)
Company A (-) 9th Armored Engineer Battalion
Company B. 2d Medical Battalion
3d Armored Field Artillery Battalion
Battery A, 482d Antiaircraft Battalion
Company C" 131st Ordnance Mnintenance Battalion
Combat COI'IUnand 'B- Colonol Harry W. Johnson
52d Armored Infantry Battalion
19th Tank Battalion
16th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
Company C, 9th Armored Engineer Battalion
Company A. 2:1 Medical Battalion
Company A, 131st Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
Battery 13, D • 482d Antiaircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion (SP)
Company A, 656th Tank Destroyer Battalion (SP)
Resorve Commund - Lieutenant Colonel Churles Wesner
, (
27th Armored Infantry Battalion
2d Tank Battalion
3d Battalion. 38th Infantry Regiment
Company C. 9th Armored Engineer Battalion
Battery B. 482d Antiaircraft Automatic Weapons
Battalion (SP)
73d Armored Field Artillery Battalion
89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron ( - A, C, D, and two
platoons E and F).
Company C, 2d Medical Battalion
Company C, 656th Tank Destroyer Battalion
Company B, 13lst Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
Once the LAHN River had been crossed, the Division axis of
advance w ~ s changed from east to north. The scattered elements of
the Division were ordered to assemble in the vicinity of .\MENAU.
All elements of the Division were thus assembled by 28 March 1945.
In the assembly area at AMENAU, one order was issued direct-
ing the Division to attack in its zone with two combat commands
abreast, Combat Command A on the right. Combat Command A was to
seize GIESSIDf •. Shortly after receipt of the above orders, elements
of the Division were ordered to change their objectives; now ele-
ments of the Division would go into a march bivouac in the vicinity
of GIESSEN and be prepared on order to seiz.e or construct crossings
over the EDER River in zone and continue the advance.
The attack was launched at 290600 March,. with an east-west
road through AMENAU as the line of departure. The order of march
for Combst Command A for this advance was as follows:
14th Tank Battalion
Company C, 89th Reconnaissance Squadron (to cross line
of departur6 behind 14th Tank Battalion and move to
east to protect Combat Command A right flank)
Headquarters and Headquarters Comb3.t Commr.tnd A to follow
14th Tank Battalion
Company A_ 9th Armored Engineer Battalion
3d Armored Field Artillery Battalion
2d Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment
60th Armored Infantry Battalion
Battery A, 482d Antiuircro.ft AutomCltic Weapons
Battalion (SP)
Company B. 2d Medical Battalion
Combat Command A Trains
Company B, 656th Tank Destroyer
The order of march of Combat Command B and the Reserve
Command for this advance is not recorded. Combat Command B was
to on the left of Combat Command A. while the Reserve
Command was to advance on the Combat Command A axis; Combat Com-
mand B departed WEILBURG at 290800 March and rrt 1200 hours was
just short of GIES3EN. In the city, Combat Command P found ele-
ments of the 7th ArGored Division moving north on the only road.
These conflicting plans resulted in no movement for Combat Command
B until after 291400 March. Once the 7th Armored Division was
out of the way, Combat Command B lost no time in its advance. The
road net in the zone wc.s very poor. All roads had been used ex-
tensively by the heavy 'Jerman vehicles in their retreat.
As a
general rule, secondary roads were the best.
AS to resistance from the enemy, suffice it to srry that
during 11 hours of the period, Combat Command A advanced 70.8 miles •
.....hile Combat Command B advanced 67 miles in 16 hours. There was
sporudic fire at points a19ng the advance, but nothing short of
major resistance was allovved to slow the columns.
At the end of the period 29 March, Combat Command A was
at KIRTOHF, Combat Comm2-nd Bat SCHNEINB1TRG, the Reserve
Command in an assembly area at ROCRELSHEIM.
On 3C March at 0600 hours, the advance continued with
Combo.t Commr-::.nd A o.nd Comba.t Command B abreast, with Combat Command
A on the right. rhe Reserve Command continued along the Comb:::.t
Command A axis. Orders for the continuation of the attack named
the WARBURG area as the final objective, with crossings over the
EDER River in the FRITZLAR-BAD area as intermediate
· ..... , 7
ob .lec 'Jl IfE;.
By 301200 March, the 19th Tank Battalion of Combat Command
B was on the high ground east of PAD WILIJUNGEN. It had located
three intact bridges over the EDER. 0'18 bridge northwest of BAD
WILIXJNGE'\J had been seized by the 7th Armored Division which had
been parallel to the 9th on the left. Early in the
afternoon of 30 March, the 19th Tank Battalion crossed the EDER
at WEGA, moved west along the river, and seized the bridge at
BERGREBL Vilhile the 52d Armored Infantry Battalion occupied BAD
WILlJJIJGEN, the 1st Battalion, 38th Infclntry Regiment, moved
through B.lill WILDUNGEN and crossed the EDER on the bridge held
by the 7th Armored Division.
On the right, the attack advancerl Combat Command A to
FRITZLAR, where it met the first organized since the
crossing of the LARN. As the Combat Command A column neared
the city, the 60th Armored Infantry leading the column,
discovered that the main bridge across the EDER had been blown.
(A sep?. rzt c s ~ c t i o i i wi l l be dcvotc,.' t o t he red~:cf,ior, of ;'?TTZI,iR
cnd t h e s e i z ur e of cr os s i ngs ovcr t h e EDER a t t n ~ t poi nt . )
Upon r e c e i p t of t h e 9t h i~rrnored b i v i s i o n or der f o r t h e
advance, Cornbet Command A i s s ue d a l e t t e r of i n s t r u c t i o n s , dat ed
29 Mcrch 1S45, f u r t h c r a s s i gni ng t h e i nt er mecl i at e obj e c t i ve of
the EDER Ri ver c r os s i ngs t o t h e 60t h Armcred I n f a n t r y Ea t t . ~ l i o n .
Tihe 60t h Armorecl I n f a n t r y Ba t t a l i on, a l s o known a s TnSI' FORCE
COLLI?ZS, v ~ i s or gani zed a s f 0110~s :
60t h Armored I n f a n t r y Ba t t a l i o n
Li eut enant Col onel K . W. Col l i ns
Company A, 60t h Armored I nf a nt r y Ba t t a l i on + Pl at oon,
Company R , 14t h Tank Ba t t a l i on
Company E, 14t h Tank 2 a t t l l i o n ( - )
Sompany Ec, 60t h ;,rmored I n f a n t r y Ba t t a l i on
Co~pa nyC , 60t h Armored I n f a n t r y Ba t t a l i on
Hezdquar t er s and Ser vi ce Co~pa ny, 60t h Armored I nf a nt r y
Ba t t a l i on
One tat-&:, 738t h Tank Ba t t a l i on, wi t h publ i c addr ess
system. 10
Ccrcpany A, t h e l ecd company, mountcc! one pl at oon of i nf an-
t r y on i t s t anks .
As t h e column approached FRITZLAR, and about f o u r ki l omet er s
f r om t h e c i t y , it was cont act ed by t a c t i c a l a i r . The f i g h t e r squad-
r o n r epor t e, ? 2 l o t of' a n t i n i r c r e f t f i r e fro^ t h e c i t y . Thi s r e p o r t
was l a t e r v e r i f i e d by t h e pr esence of 88' s .
A t TREYSA, two 2nd one-hal f ki l omet er s f r om t h e c i t y , a t
1320 t h e column was hel d up one and one-hal f hour s by s ni pe r f i r s.
Farther on, the lead tanks fired a fow roun:ls nt Getman large
calibre anti t'lnk gun.. The crew promptly surr()nJercd. AS the
column udv::l. 'lceel, Company B was ordered to le'lvo thE. column to
secure the bridge at WEG.ii five miles west of FRITZLrJL The company
WaS heid up by fire) when it did arrive at Combat Comma,nd B
heid the bridge. In spite of this, the Compuny was orjereri to
remain at WEGA. It din not participate in the reduction of FRITZ-
A_ speecing down the road to the airfield (time,
1530) completely surprised the enemy forces there. One plane took
off. As it became airborne, the gunner in the lead tank knocked
its tail off in one shot. He was a true sportsman in that he
waited until the pl:me soared aloft rather than shoot it on the
ground. This occurrence is a further testimonial of the flexi-
bility of armor.
The airfield waS secured readily. Captain John W. Schalles,
Commander of Company A, then sent a platoon to the bridge which
spanned the EDER from the field to the city proper, As the platoon
neared the br.idge. it was literally blown up in their faces. The
Germans shelled the south approach to the so heavily that
the plat,Don vms forced to retire. The fire was so intense that the
recovery of the bodj.cs of tv'lO m!:'n killed on the approach han to
be postponed until nightfall.
Pecause of artillery and small arms fire# it was impossi-
ble to ford the river, , At 1630. Colonel Collins ordered Company A
to consolichtc their position ,'And sfint Comp--.ny C along the riven"
to cross ov€;r another bric1ge 8ast of tho city" The COmFCl''1Y was
then to attack FRITZLAR from the
By dc-rk, Company C, under comIr.and of Lieutenant McCarthy,
had penetratd the northeast edge of the city. The two assaulting
platoons had lost contact and had become separated. At 0230, the
Germans counterattacked and surrounded the company.
Upon hearing heavy firing, Captain Schal1es rusheo. two
platoons acrOss the river at a wading point. These platoons
worked their way around the east side of town with the mission of
gaining contact with and relieving C!ompc.ny C.
Approximately halfway up the east side of FRITZLAR, an
enemy light tank fired pointblank into the platoons. The men
scattered, and it took one hour to reorganize the force and
resume the advance. In the meantime, the tank had retired into
the city.
The force then came under rifle fire and was pinned down.
and Lieutenant Parks debated whether this fire was Com.
pany CIS or the enemy's. They decided it was CIS. This
was a correct assumption. They held up and waited for dawn.
Before daylight, a runner from McCarthy reached Schalles
for the purpose of leading him to the Company C Commann Post. The
Command Post was in a house about two blocks &way. Schalles
reached the Command Post anci stated that "je[.lrJ were strewn all
over the area.,'ill
At daylight, tht two companies reorganized.
,it dawn, an intense firefight broke out back at the blown
bridge. i]-ern;an tanks were heard t1H.Ving out of town on the north.
The enemy resumed thoir shelling of tho bridgo and o.lso began
the Battalion Cormnand Post.
Companies A <And C were then ordered to clear the town and
move back to the area of the
The 27th Armored Infantry Battalion was ordered into
to relieve the 60th. By 1515, the relief waS complete.
At 1635, the 27th had their mortar platoon lay a fast concentration
into the city.12 This concentration convinced the inhabitants and
the defenders that they were being subjected to an artillery bar-
rage (confirmed by the burgomeister). The mortar fire blew up an
oil dump an:] drove the artillery observers from their observation
posts. The 27th cleared the town by 1230 the follaNing day. This
mortar fire eliminated the enemy's will to fight.
With FRITZLAR behincl, Combat Command A was ready on 31
March to advance with Combat Command B to the WARBURG area.
v'ihile Combat Command A went into WARBURG, Combat Command B's ob-
jecti'Te WaS OSSENDORF just to the west of WARIURG. By nightfall
cn 31 !·!:arch, both Combat CommanrJs were on their objectives. Only
light resistance served so much as to delay the aclv3.nce. Combat
Cornrnand A waS at YiARBURG, Combat B 3.t OSSENDORF, and e16ments of
the 38th Infantry were out occupying RIMBECK, NORDE, and
MENNE. All 81ements were prepared to resume the attack on 1 April.
The:' Res,;rve Ccmma!1d was <tssignerl the mission r)f s';cur'inr- the
Corps' right flnnk to the south as far as FRITZLAR.
On 31 March the 9th Armored Division vms holding a
Gver the DIEI-:'EL River in the vicinity of WARBURG.
It ha.1 just completed a three-day 125-milG drive across Germany.13
In this o.r..ivunce, the Division had formed the right flank of the
frcm the south that closed the RUHR pocket. On 31
the Division was to expand the to include
Division was orckrc'J to continuEl the protection of tho V Corps'
flanks (on the right to FRI TZLliR and on the left south of RUffiECK
until cont:lct with VII Corps cculd be establisheJ).14 Upon receipt
of this order, the 9th Armored Division ordE:red Combat Command A
and Combat Command P to crmtinu8 the attack 010700 April. Task
orgo.nizG.tions f0r both Comba.t Comrno.nds remainec] the This
advancE; was completed, and the Combat Commands h:ld each outposted
their respElctive zcnes of responsibility by the night of 1 April. G on 1 April, the Reserve Commctnd was r(;lieved in FRITZLA.. 'q by
elements of the l02d Cav>l.lry Grcup. In a,jdition,elements of the
69th Division relievEd the Reserve COInrnan= of the mission
of pre,vi-Eng ri.:;ht flank security feT the Corps frcm FRITZLAR tc
OB:GRLISTENGEN. Except fur lc:cal atbcks by the enemy on 2 !l.pril,
the v{ARBURG area. WEl,S secure.
three noteworthy the Qcticn for this
can be cOrlsolldated into an l)valuu.til-,n of' thr; rer'uction of
FRITZL·I.R. These points, aside from the FRITZLAR evu.luution, are
1. Althc"'.1f.h little opposition wus enccu:J.tered during the
rericd, the practice of having two combat teams advancing on two
parallel axes worked particularly well. Such employment permits
one cornmanr:! to continue the advance when the other is held up.
Ths crossing of the EDER River exemplified this.
2. The ordsr of march of Combat C'Jmmancl A was particularly
good ,-juring the perio'l. The :;offilTk.1.nd Group, thl, artillery, and the
8:J.ginGcrs were well forward in the column. This was in strict
accord with the principles e.s Gutliuvrl in Field IILnual 17-100 and
as taught at The :\.rmored School.
3. From the information o.vailable to this cc)mmittee, it
seoms that affected by V Corps left a lot to he
desired. On two occasions, either objectivos or routes of the 7th
Armored Division and the 9th {I.rmored Division were in conflict.
One conflict was tho cbjocti ve of LIL'IBURG on 26 March, and the
other w:.s use by both divisions of on8 road north from GIESSEN.
EV'lluRtion of the Reduction of Fri tzlar
The nduction of FRITZLj\.R f\.lrnishes an enlightening study
CAn the sidelights of four major cons}serations for an exploiting
force. The feu!, arE s.s follows:
1. Reductio1: of a city.
2. F()rcing 8. river crossing.
3, Byp3.ssing an impe(!iment to an t;;xploi ting force.
4. Night uttuck in a city.
Upon receipt of Division orders to seize FRITZLAR anj to
secure crossings over the EDER River in the FRITZUiR area, the
r:ommundinr.; CombCtt Command A, orgClniz8'1 his Combat Command
w'ith an infantry heavy team in the lead. This was done because of
the infantry jobs thnt lay ahep..d: (1) the reduction of a city;
(2) the probable of a river line. This was in strict
accord with the principles of the employment of armor as they are
known today.
In this case, however, the infantry failed to accomplish
its missiun in spite of the good start given it by Ccmbat ComInand
A. At the time the 60th Armured Infantry Battalion was ordered
i ate FRITZLAR, it was not known that Combat CO!l1Il1:1.nd B had already
secured bridges over the EDER to the west of FRITZL.ill in the WEGA
arCl-:. Almost from the beginning, it seems that the 60th was cJ oomed
to failure in this venture. First, 80mpany B was sent to the WEGA
area to secure a brLlge that was alrearly in the hands of Combat
Command B. In spite of this, Ccmpany B was ordered to remain in
that area rather thD.n to rejoin the Battalion. Thus, one entire
ccmpany vms lost to the Batt£',li on for the peri od. SecondlyJ
Company A permitted itself to be diverted from its primary mission
of seizing the bridge ever the EDER. The lucrative target of the
Liesserschmidts and the airfielc proved too alluring. Since the
the airfield achieved c8mpletc surprise
it is reasonable
to believe that an attack en the brUge couLl have been equally
successful. Although the unit after-acti on report mc.:.kes no menticn
of artillery support. the Ccmmc.nJinf!: GGnerul, Combat Command A,
Brigc,"i0r General Thomas L. Harrold. St'ltCG that artillery was
literally pourec1 into tho city during the after!loon and night.l
The defenses were manned with an estimated 500 Hitler Jugend
supported by Clrtillcry Cln,1 tanks. The defenders had no intenticn
(jf qui ttinr; ,'1S lonz as they could c1eny the river
The 60th Armored Infantry Battalion made a night attack
in the city without detailed plB."lni ng or detfliled reconnaissance,
according to information 3.vailable. The unit after-action report
for the period does state, hswE:vur, that ccnsiderahle mD.neuver was
involved, Objectives, if designated, were not recorded. Reasons
fcr the night attack ure n0t readily apparent, a"ld it is believed
th'3.t such action is contrary to the principles as outliner] in Fiel:
Manual 17-100 '.lnc1 as taught The Armored Scheol. The outcome WQS
that Companie s and C b8cQT'lt: engrJ.ged in u firefight with each
c;thEOr. The mission of s(3curing the city and the river crossings
still had not bEOcn &cccmplisheri. From the evidence,
it is believecJ that two companies wcre net sufficient strength for
the undertrlking. If the were tc have been launched at all,
it should hQve bE-en em a narrc,w frent with definite but limited
cbjectives. Wide maneuvers such us tho cne executed by Cr'mpany C
are unnecessary and extremely hazardous. They ShOll 1'] be'ided.

tc,r: ccnfusing during darkness. In ac1
Htion, such a ren-
jers propE:r virtually impossible.
The to be learned from this peri'.'c1 are indicatej
1. The practice of advancing with two cOI'lbat cOIT:manJs
abreast works well when enemy resistance I thd rond nct, and the
terrain permit.
2. Hethods of control should be ordered by higher head-
. quurters and should be closely supervised to prevent interference
between columns.
3. A d,;..ngerous and unnecessary night attack was made.
a. Night require dE:tailed planning and
rec annai sSa.!1ce.
b. An 'ldequ,'lte. force mu st be used.
c. The principles of the night attack must be
adhered to.
4. Uni ts rru st not be lured from their primary missio'1s.
5. The armored divisions,. as organized, had insufficient
infantry. In this period, partial compens:;,tion W'lS made
by the attachncnt of the 38th Infantry Reg;iment.
P 12.
1After -Jlcti on Report, 9th Armored Di vi si on, !,:io.rch 1945,
CCl!., 9th 11.rmored Division; r·:arch
1945 i P 2l.
3Ibid , P 23.
Report, CC1:l, 9th ll.rmorl'd Di
Jision, F::::.rch
19<1-5, P 13.


80p cit, eCA, p 26.
9After-Action Report, 60th Armored I nf:;.:ntry Buttuli oni
Farch 1945, p 32.
10Ibid, P 32.
11Lettcr, C::..ptain John V;. Scha11es, former Commanding
Officer, Company A, 60th Armored Infc1ntry BattCtlion.
12i ,fter-Action Report, 27th Armored Infantry Battulion,
:r,"arch 1945, p 13.
l30p cit, 9th Armored Division, p 26.
l5persona1 Interview with Brigadier General Thorru..1.s L.
Burrola, formerly General, Cf;A, 9th Armored Division.
:n Apr i l 1945, t h e 9t'n Rraored Di vi s i on t ook p a r t i n one
more- i npor t e nt a c t i on, TBE RtlCE FOR THE ELBE RIVER. The Russi an
f r o n t I ~ ~ S Ti ne w2s s h o r t ; speed was onl y 3 0 0 mi l cs t o t h c e a s t .
e s s ~ n t l c t l . Un i t commanders f e l t t h u i t he y vrcre bei ng pushed.
? ~ tit m ~ s t be bor ne i n mird t h a t ns s3on a s t h e Gni t ed S t a t e s and
Red ar mi es vrsre t o meet , t h e Gcrman nrm'cs cou1.d but c ol l z ps o.
bring t h 3 rr.0nt.h cf Apr i l l S45, t h e 9t h Armorsd Di vi si -on
wa s a t t a c ki ng ni ne days, dur i z g whi ch t i me it a d i ~ ~ n c o d t h e V Corps
f r o n t 295 miles.' Thi s was accompl i shed a t a. c c s t of 650 cas ual -
t i e s , whi l e 12, 696 K s were c, ~<pt ur ed.
On 9 Apr i l , t h e Di vi s l on r ecei ved t h e V Cor ps' or der t o
a t t a c k t o s ecur c a br i dgehezd over t h e ELBE ~ i v e r . ~ Eut t h e 9t h
k r ~ o r s d Di vi s i on was de s t i ne d nevcr t o r s 2ch t h e ELBE, f o r it was
or der ed t o t u r n nor t h and bl ock t h e e x i t s of t h e c i t y of LEIPZIG
t o t he s out h and e n s t .
Thi s per i od m y be di vi ded i n t o t h r e e phases:
2. The &LA 9 e l t .
5 . f l o c k i ~ gLEIPZIG.
1. KASS31, t o Bj LLE (5-12 i l pr i l 1945)
The t i t l e , , "8i:SSEL t o H~LLLE;" may be al i sl cat i i ng, f o r t h e s s
towns were not occupi ed by t h e 9t h ,irrnored Di vi s i on. However,
t he s e a r e t h e nos t i mpor t ant towns of t he r e gi on.
On 5 Apr i l 1945, t h e 9t h Arrnored Di vi s i on r ecei ved the: V
Corps' Le t t e r of I n s t r u c t i o n s gi vi ng t h e pl an of at t vcl c t o t h e
e a s t . The 9t h was t o be r e l i e ve d i n t h e zooe nor t h of XARWJRG by
t h e 104t h I n f a n t r y Di vi s i on and wa s t o pr epar e t o pass t h r mg h
tine 2d and 69t h Tnf ant r y Di vi s i ons and a t t a c k t o t h e e a s t on Corps
or der . On 6 Apr i l , t he Combat Cormnnds were r e l i e ve d by elerrients
of t h e V I I Corps and went i n t o assembly a r e a s . On 8 Apr i l , t ho
9t h Armored Di vi s i on moved t o n new assembly a r e a near WiDEN e a s t
of t h e XESSA Ri ver .
On 9 Apr i l 1945, t he 9t h Armored Di vi s i on r ccei ved t h e V
Corps' or der t o a t t a c k e a r l y i n t h e morning of 10 Apr , i l , passi ng
t hr ough t h e 2d and 69t h I n f a n t r y Di vi s i ons t o secur e a br i dgehead
over t he ELEE Ri ver , bypassi ng LEIPZIG t o t h e sout h.
For t h i s t r e k t o t h e ELRE Ri ver , t h e 9t h Armored Di vi s i on
omployed t h r e e c o ~ b a t com, ands zi br east , f r om t h e l e f t : CCF, CCA,
and CCR.
The enemy opposed wi t h no major u n i t s , but h a s t i l y assem-
bl ed r epl acement u n i t s , school t r oops , home guard b a t t a l i o n s ,
Volksturm-er, and many a n t i a i r c r a f t a r t i l l c r y b a t t a l i o n s , 2nd
bl ocked t h e approach of t h e 9t h Di vi s i on. There wa s no e~r i dence
of c ont r ol by hi gher headquar t er s . 8
A slirnpsc, would show t h a t i n i t i a l l y t ho Combat Commsnds
went s t r e nni ng down t h e highways. The we:l+,her was cool and c l e 3 r
wi t h onl y a n occasi onal s pr i ng shower; ~ u d w~i s no problern; and
dus t carl . ed above t h e column^.^ The 1:100, 000 maps wer:; bei ng
us ad, and t hos e were i n s hor t supply.1c Psychol ogi cnl l a r f a r e
r n ~ n t e d loud speaker s i n a tank of t h e 14t h Tunk Za t t nl i on and
wc r e s uc c e s s f ul i n t a l k i n g some of t h e towns i ~ t o s ur r ender i ng.
For t h e nont h of Apr i l 1945, t h e 19t h Tnnk F a t t a l i o n used 450,'000
r ounds of c a l i b e r 30 ammunition, due t o t h e r a pi d ad~ai ?ce and t h e
e xt e ns i ve us e of r econnai ssance by f i r e .
No one was el l owed t i me f o r r econnai ssance. They were
bei ng pushed t o o h::rd f r o = t h s r enr . 13 The que s t i oni ns of c i v i l i a n s
a s t o whtlt l a y ahead hnd t o be st opped, f o r it slowed down t h e
column t o o mch. 14 Tho ;;ir Corps f l us he d t h e r oads ~ h e o d of t h e
columns and al l owed al most ctn uni nt e r r upt e d 2dvancs bct ween t h e
c i t i e s or v i l l a g e s . l5 A p r o d y on t h e mine-warnir,g s i g n s c a r l i e r
seen i n NORIkibDY appeared - "20,J)S CLEiLEIED OF i<FU..TS TO TTTE DITCXES
Smal l i s c l a t e d u n i t s f ought f u r i c u s l y , b u t t h e v i l l a g e s
s ur r endcr r d I n t h e r oods n o r t h c i s t of SCTERB318G, 2.p-
pr oxi na t e l y 100 H i t l ~ rYcuth were encount er ed. They wer e we l l
du? i.1and 5rned ur l t h s m l l I r ms, r a c hi ne hwns, "P: i nzerfaust , " and
mo r t ~ r s . These young t r oops picre f a n a t i c i n t h e i r dc; f t nss of t he
woods and would l o t surrender s a s i l y . I t wa s nt , cessar y t o st;;ld
t h e advancc ~ ~ 3 r d i n t o t h e woods t o k i l l t h e younr enemy or br i ng
them a ut a s Fds.
Thc 60t h i Lrnored I n f a n t r y Ea t t z l i c n r;?s fo l l mi n r t h e 3d
krrnorcd Fi e l d Ar t i l l e r y Ra t t z l i o n i n t h e CC;! c c l u ~ n . About t ho
~ i d d l e of t h e nf t cr noon, T.'LSK FOXCE E!!JGET:,N, l e- di n? the CC!;i
column, met s t i f f enemy r e s i s t a n c e a t EEELEBEN. i i i t hout h s s i t a -
t i o n , Gener al IIarr ol d ( t he n c ol one l ) , C onibat Commander, ordered
TASK FOACE COLLI'TS t o doubl e t h e column t o TOBA; and t h e r e , i nde-
pondcnt of t h e r emai nder of CCA, t o bypass t h e r e s i s t a n c e .I9 The
A i r Corps and t h e a r t i l l e r y worked over t h e town f o r t h r e e and one-
hnl f hour s ; t he n TASK FORCE ENGEFUiX noved on t hr ough t he r ui ns .
I n UUCHA, t h e Rurgomei st er sur r ender ed t h e town t o t he
5t h Armored ve hi c l e s a s t he y went t hr ough t h e town. 2ut once t he y
had passed, t h e whi t e f l a g s wer e t a ke n dmin. Then t h e American
f i ght er - bomber s a t t a c ke d t h e town. The whi t e f l a g s popped out t h e
windows once more. The t mn s f ol k b e a t u p t h e h r g o me i s t e r f o r
s poi l i ng t h e i r town.
Thi s r a pi d advance, hme ve r ,was d i f f i c u l t t o mai nt ai n.
Af t e r s e ve r a l mi l e s of good pr ogr es s a t hi gh speed, n sudden b u r s t
of a r t i l l e r y f i r e would cause t h e t r oops t o s eek s h e l t e r . I t was
har d t o g e t them t o under st and t h a t s a f e t y l a y i n moving ahead.
Most of t h e r e s i s t a n c e w;?.s met i n t h e v i l l a g e o u t s k i r t s .
An armored i n f s n t r y c o n ~ a n d e r r e l a t e s t h a t t he y would a t t a c k wi t h
a r i f l e pl at oon, . wi t h t a nks cover i ng by f i r e . I f t h e f i r s t pl at oon
were he l d up, t h e y would s hoot a second pl at oon around one f l a n k
or t he o t h e r . When t h e envel opi ng u n i t g o t t h e f i g h t b u i l t u p t o
where t h e enemy became al armed, . t h e f i r s t pl a t oon would
"r usht f t h e
v i l l a g e , and t he r e s i s t a n c e would cease. 23
On 12 Apr i l 1945, t h e or der was. r ecei ved a t CCA t o "keep
goi ng njL&ht and day t o t h e ELRE.
CC.4 wris rit t h e c d ~ eof
WEISQENFELS, tine onl y h o t s pot t he y had encount er ed t h u s f a r i n
t h i s move. The enemy,. el ement s of t h e -26t h and 166t h Di vi s i ons ,
t r a i n i n g b a t t a l i o n s , Hi t l e r Y out n, Vol kst urmer ,. and a n t i a i r c r a f t
b u t t n l i o n s , numbered f r om 16, 000 t o 18, 000. Fa r t he r t o t h e
s out h, CCH had capt ur ed a br i dge a c r o s s t he' ShkLE Ri ver i n t h e
v i c i n i t y of MAGDEBERG. So CCi i and B wer e or der ed t o s i d e s l i p t o
t h e sout h i n t o t h e CCR a r e a . CCB he l d al ong t h e SMLE Ri ver , whi l e
el cment s of t h e 69t h I n f a n t r y Di vi s i on cl eaned out FiEISSENFELS.
CCA y s h e d on t o t h e e a s t .
Going ni ght and day proved t o be d i f f i c u l t . 28 The 2d Tank
Ba t t a l i o n pul l ed i n t o t h e town cf TJDCHEiUT a t 1830 h w r s and moved
cut i n rt ni ght a t t a c k at 2220 hour s 12 Apr i l 1945. . The ni ght was
ver y dar k and pr ogr es s \vas slow; r e c o n n a i s s ~n c e el ement s had d i f f i -
c u l t y s t a yi ng on t h e r o u t s of march. The column br oke t h r e e t i mc s
because of l o s s of c ont a c t . A t 0530 hour s 13 Apr i l , a f t e r moving
onl y seven mi l es a l l ni ght , t h e r e c on r a n i n t o enemy i n t h e tawn
of ZhITHENWJRG. The l eadi ng el ement s began t o draw f i r e from smal l
arrris, "Panzerf a u s t ,"and 88-mm a s da yl i ght approached. Yy dawn, t h e
e n t i r e t a s k f o r c e wss under i nt e ns e 88-mm f i r e .
2 9
The Hi s t or y of t h e 9t h Armwed Di vi s i on, wr i t t e n a s an
a f t e r - a c t i o n r e p o r t , comments: "At t ack by a l l combat commands on
t h e l o t h , l l t ' n, . and 12t h of Apr i l a ga i ns t moderat e t o heavy r e s i s -
t a nc e i n t h e nor t h and l i g h t i n t h e scut h. "
2. The AAA Be l t (13-14 Apr i l 1945)
Besi des f ur ni s hi ng a s t r ong def ense f o r LEIPZIG, t h e a n t i -
a i r c r a f t b a t t e r i e s ser ved a s a p a r t of t h e l a r ge out er r i n g of
a n t i a i r c r a f t def ense f o r BERLIN i t s e l f . Some of t h e pos i t i ons i n -
cl uded 18 t o 36 guns i n one ge ne r a l l oc a t i on. Commanding l e v e l ,
open ground, t he y r a i ne d f l a k on t h e heads of t h e a t t a c ki ng Ameri-
can t r oops a t poi nt bl ank range. 30 Because t he y ext ended a c r os s t h e
whole V Corps f r o n t , and because of t h e dept h of t h e b e l t , it was
not pos s i bl e t o bypass them. LEIPZIG was e e n e r s l l y known t o con-
t a i n one of t h e he a vi e s t f l a k concent r at i ons i n Germany, b u t "our
f or c e s were unaware of t he s e def ens es u n t i l t he y were we l l wi t h i n
t he b e l t on 13 Apr i l 45. . . Urgent c a l l s t o Hi gher Headquar t er s
yi el ded f a i r l y complete i nf or mat i on r egar di ng t he s e i n s t a l l a t i o n s
on 15 Apr i l 4 5 . ~ ~ ~
Because of t h e v a s t f l a t , open t e r r a i n nor t h of HAI NCHEN,
t h e gun pos i t i ons had a l e v e l c l e a r f i e l d of f i r e f o r hundreds of
yar ds i n a l l d i r e c t i o n s . The t h r e e b a t t e r i e s of 12 88-mm guns
each had such we l l dug-i n pos i t i ons t h a t a l l t h e a r t i l l e r y and
d i r e c t f i r e h3d l i t t l e e f f e c t . The guns wi t h i n each b a t t e r y were
pl aced t o gi ve al l - ar ound pr ot e c t i on f o r t h e pos i t i on. The t h r e e
b a t t e r i e s were appr oxi mat el y 150 yar ds a pa r t . The f i r e of t h e
88-m gun was supplemented by t h a t of a few 40-mm and 20-mm f l a k
guns wi t h i n t h e pos i t i ons . These guns c ml d l a y a b e l t of f i r e
around t h e combined pos i t j ons which made it s u i c i d a l t o at t empt
a dismounted a t t a c k .
´`Cr¦.n¸ D, lStll Tunk Eatt;lion, lost seven tanks, with the
company CD and one other officer being wounded. As they came over
the slope in front of BChÛTJ££\, they were met with heavy direct
fir from 88's nd 120-mm guns. Some of the guns were as close as
200 YClrds. On this flat grond, it waS necessary to adopt "naval"
cV:sivc tactics. Moving to right or left after a few rounds of
llrtillery came in prevented the uncunny accuracy of the antiaircraft
guns from really telling. Jne fire was from flak guns using time
fuses to burst over the column. Eight 66-m and 120-mm guns in
concrete-covered positions were so cleverly camoflaged that the
attacking tanks and i nfuntry on the tanks never Saw them. They
suffered heavy casualties.
But by attacking after darkness, the 9th Armored Division
ws able to advance. The observation of the Germans was curtailed.v
Another method of advancing was to surround the position und then
send in C committee of civilians to convince the di8.hards that the
game waS up.
. Blocking LEIPZIG (15-21 April 1945)
On 14 April 1945, the 9th Armored Division sont word to
.'11 combat commands that the mission was no longer to reach the
ELBE River, but to take positions along the 1LDE River and to
block the roads from LEIPZIG to the south and east. No diffi-
culty was experienced in capturing large quantities of Ps and
vehicles. "Hine times out of ten we would actually ambush them
and loer the boom before they knew they were in troble. ''
·O .`´' ¯¯|..:J·t knOck.Ò out a complete CCnVOV of ¿ó
`CtCu^ ttucks and light atmote d vehicles in less than ó! DiDl6L.
¬c piCke C off tho first to or three and the last few
plustercd the whoh; COiuun+`
A ëtoup of fifty soldiers tried to
pass throgh the Compnny B otposts: "6 killGd. 3 wonded, and
lcnty ni ne ¡¹s. ,,40
The battle arond LE 1V¿I' was a crazy one, The infantry
was still fighting in latceº towns 35 miles west of the MJLDE River
while CU¡ had [ six-mile front along the NLDE River 20 miles
south of LEIPZIG. The urcC bet\'Veen waS "no man's lc,nd." Roads
b8ing used b\ attOr·O supply columns were dangerous for individual
ve h· lC18S. ´¯
Ur 1Y April 1
1.¡ CCR passed throgh the CCA area, swng
on to the north, and blockf:d off the last of the roads OJt of
JI!VZ1G. The VII Corps was on its "a\ don from the north to
f' . h the l'Ink -up. lnlS
On 21 April 1945, the 9th Armored Division was assigned
to V Corps reserve. E18melts of the 69th Infantry took over the
road blocks. 1t was a great disappointment to have COme so close
to a meeting with the Red Army and th8n not to be permitted to
cross the last river and march the last few mil(s. Someone else
was to have that honor, even thogh the 9th Armored Division had
ear ned it. ´´
Par ìUU¸ Departm6nt of the Army Field anal ì7-ìUÜ, states:
" [rmore Division in the line I1 the 6xploitation .• • . . the
mission may . . • require the arrival of elements of the division on
the objoctive in the quickest possible time . • • a formation of three
major commands abreast. . .when it is necessary to approach o.n ob­
jective on as wide a front as possible • • • against sporadic and weak
resi stance." The 9th Armored Division was ordered by V Corps to
adopt a formation of three combat commnnds abreast. Their rapid
rate of advance and small number of casualties indicote that the
resistance was weak.
Small unit commanders had to slight troop leading proce­
dures. Reconm.issance by fire and attack from column formation
met the requirements for speed.
In the 9th Armored Division History, G-2 says, "Advance
photo coverage of the LEIPZIG Ai belt wold hCve been of ines­
timable value but was not received." War Department Field Manual
30-5, in Par õ6, p 74, states: "Idlitary intelligence is of no
value unless it reaches the individuals or units concerned in time
to serve their purposes."
Personal Letter, Schalles. John W., dated circa 15 Decem­
ber ì'1'.
9th Armored Division History, ì~õU April 1945, p ì?.
'.•ftcr"Attion Report) ¿d iitth(Id !.dic'11 t:1TuÅ1O!¸ 1-Ô!
.DT1J 1UºDI D 1Z|
1Û9D¸ O 9<9.
¨±¸ O 19
`.\ITCT¬.\CT1O! ÏOOOTT¸ <O ¯3O Battalion, 1~Ô\ 1OT1J 1U9D¸
| Ô.
UTD AT0OTCO Ù1V1S1O! H1STOTV¸ 1~Ô\ 1OT1J 1U9D¸ | 1U.
Í´CUO112CO¸ 1~Ô\ 1OT1J 1U9D¸ O ÔÔ
itITCT~ÀCT1O! ÏC|OTT¸ ZO ..T0OTCO ÌCO1C.\J Battalion, 1~Ô\
·|T1J 1
9D¸ O Û
]ITtT¬HCT1O! ÏCOOT1¸ 19TD TaDR Battalion, 1~Ô\ AOT11 1U9D¸
¨¯DC ¯T01!J!2 0!C ''OHD.T H1STOTV OI 'OHO3!V Ù 1UTD ¯0!K
DoTT0J1O!¸ Í0V 9Ô ~ U0JV 9D¸` Û¯OTu1! Î. A. ¯CTTCJJ¸ UT.¸ O Û9¬
1~Ô\ 1OT1J 1Y±D¸ ¡ 1D
1¸ O 1Ô.

1U9D¸ O 9<Û.

1~Ô\ 1O11J 1U0D¸ O 9·
JD1O¸ O 9.
D¸ O D
ÌU9D¸ [ 9ZÕ+
22:.ftnr-ilction Report, Z71h "rJ1ored Infontr:, Butt:dion,
I-óÛ April l'.t¸ D 15.
personal Letter, SchaJ1eS, JOhn W., circa lb December 1949.
personal Letter, Taylor, Major George 1., 9 December l¬1¬.
6Aftcr-A ction Report, 27th Armored Infantry Battalion,
1-30 Ar- ri1 195, p 12.
9th Armored Division History, 1-30 pril 1945, p 14.
ftor-Action Report, Z71h l\rmored Infantry Battalion,
l-o( Lpril 19/5, D 12.
After-iction Report, ZÒ Tan Battalion, 1-30 :.pril 1945,
p 5.
History of OPNS in ETO, 6 January 1942 - 9 May 1945, p 426.
9th ilrmorEd Division History, 1-3
0 lpril l¬1b, p 19.
After-Acti on Report, 60th Armored Infantry Battalion,
1-30 April 19·15, p
After-Action Report, l¬t! Tan Battalion, 1-30 April
1945. p 9.
"The Training and Combat History of Company D, 19th Ta:
Eattalion, May 43 - July 45," Captain E. f.. Terrell, Jr., p 72.
History of ÛlIS in ETÛ, V Corps, 6 January 1942 - 9 May
1945, p 4
ifter-Action Report, 60th Armored Infantry Battalion,
0 April 194t, p 7.
9th Armored Division History, 1-30 April 19
5, p 14.
BPersoal Letter, \eeler, Captain John P. Jr., 9 Decem­
ber 1949.
After -Action Report. 19th Tank Battalion, 1-30 "i.pril l¬1b,
p 11.
'E`.l¯r¯ of OPNS i: ÐTÐ, ¯ Corps 5 Ja^nr' 1942 .. 9 '\
I'±l, þ +ôÛ.
¯'=fh Atmored Division History I~óU April 1945) p 14.
43persona1 !o1f·i¡ Taylor, Major George I. circa 15 Decem­
ber 1949.

General Clarence Ï. Huebner's verbal instructions were,
":ove fast and let me kno where you ;rc."
The 9th moved so fast thJt in every letter received from
company grade officers, their only complaint was, "',rie were pshed
too hard." After the turn to the east at BENDORF, the 9th trav81­
led 628 miles in 21 days. Eight of these days were sp' ent \A- at
BRG awaiting orders. The exploitation is characterized by aI-
tacki nz night and day to thE limit of endurance of men and
machines. The enemy was never able to moss a force of any size
to block the Division.
At times all three commands att.: cked abreost, each com­
mand h:wing tv,o to three columns. Resistance was either by-passed
or overrun until the objectives were attained. SEcondory ro&ds
and even troils were used to by-pass. Engineers and artillery
were well fonmrd in the columns. If one command was held up,
the others sped on, thus causing resistance to collapse. Attacks
from march column with single and double envelopments were routine.
i\dvances, such as 1Ü miles in 11 hours and 6¬ miles in 16 hours,
were commonplace. Speed was the essence.
Two deficienci(s in the organization of the armored divi­
sion existed. One was the lack of organic liaison officers and

fonvlrd observers in the ,rtillGry; the second was all inudequate
strength in armored infantry. Both deficiencies have been cor­
rected in the present tables of orgQnization, in tht each battalion
of 105-mm hoitzers no has three liaison officers per battalion
and three forward observers per battery, and that the armored divi­
sion no has for armored infantry battalions.
The lack of organic liaison officers and forward observers
resulted in a serios drain on officer personnel within the artil­
Infantry were attached from infantry divisions and were
generally without transportation. The detils of obtaining trans­
portation were time-consuming. The infantry were not treined to
work with an armored division; the transportQtion obtained for
thor consisted of cnrgo trucks, which afforded far less protection
than would armored personnel carriers. This protection for infan­
try is vital in the exploitation.
On the high level intelligence side, two interesting
examples were brought to light. In one, high level intelligence
materially aided the division; in the other, it failed comp10tely
to get vital intellihcnce don to the division. II discussion of
these examples follows in the succeediCg paragraphs.
On the 26th of March, the Division was ordered to chane
direction and drive east to secure crossings on the URN River in
the vicinity of DIEZ and LIrEERG. As stated in Chapter 4, the
Div:sion had encountered stiff opposition in advancing south along
the RLJE. Brif<ldier GEnerlll HarrGld states tha t this order came
as a su r prise and attributed it to high level intel li g ence plan­
ni ng. U pan changi ng directLm, little or no opp o si ti on was en­
ce/untereo un ti l reachi ng tht: c·bjectives 70 mile s to the east.. The
attack seuth and the subsequent shirt to the east ca ught the enemy
unaware, as he hd place d his forces to the south to block the
advance along the RINE.
The second example is almost unbelievable. The 9th Armored
did not have any kn ,)wle dge of the existence of the antiaircraft
defenses of LEIPZIG until the combat teams ra n int o them, but
these defenses wer.: so well known in Air Corps circles that they
had :lcquired the ni ck name of "FLJt¥ ALLEY. II They extended across
the whole Corps front and consisted of groups of lÛ to 36 guns, the
distance between grops be ing frum one-half to three miles. Briga­
dier General Harrold states that the first kn oledge he had of the
defenses was when he saw the beams of the searchlights .
This lack of intellige nce necessi tated : hurried change
of plans. I ns te ad of executi ng a doble envelopment ar ound
LIPZIG, the DivisiDn hE,d to swing deep to the scuth to encircle
LEIPZIG on the east. This res ulted in a l os s cf time and a further
strai n on the al rea d y extended supply li nes.
This comm ittee recommen:s that the sc ope of this paper
would be a fruitful field for further research in small unit
a cti o :1 s . Such a study wculd Rntail considerable time and effort,
as letter interviews WGuld have to be augmented by considerable

c 1F··:¸` ``¯. v:th COC! 11C1V1´¦uU1 Ia the
Specific, not 7CDC1ol¸ questions would have
out experience 1hat CCIDoDV CFad e officers'
five Veur?¡ arc quito clear on the details
actions in which theV participated.
Ut ge Deral conclusion is that the
the breakout from tho KrÎUL¯ Bridgehead to
this exploitation woB exem91ified by 8ÏLLС
2ctioh OD!CÌÒOO.•
to be uBKCU. It is
memories" even after
of ,the SPu11 unit
9th 1tU¯:6U exploi ted
the fullest, and that
lD :ÏU±\ 1942 - 13 ·c1obet l'+D
JDC '1D 1tB´tCO ÙlV1Sl´1 was uC1lV-J1CG u1 ÎLnJ nJLL¯¡ Ì.:lOcO¸
0" 1HC lD1Ì ´l uU±\¸ l`:<. JÌC U111S C´BTtlSlO 1ÌC ÏlVlSl´1 wCtC
1DC l91Ì At7¯ICO nC2lPC11 u1C 1DC 2d 1rmote d nt7lPC11¸ ÍtPCC lt·P
|CIS¨11CJ ´l 1DC CCDC1lVB1U´ l91D ÛuVBJt\ n·2lBC11 and 1ÌC 2d ÛuV¬
BJt\ nCPlPC11.
The ÛiVlsi o n vms C´0P31CCC D\ !`0¸Ct ÛC1CtC± ÛC´lÍtC\ tC\CS
lt´P uC1JVu1l¹1 tc OCT1CPDtT 1942. From ·C1´U't 1942 1O l13C1lVH-
1l¹1¸ 1DC ÏlVlS1´1 Commander was "u¨´t ÛC^CtH± uCÌ1 W. LC'H¯tC.
J1 CÐ11+1 be 3UlC 1:·1 1DC cÌan2C Ît´B Ì´tS¹ 1´ 1IC
.t¦´tCO ``OCC± liT" ´l 1HCSC ܬ\ S WBS accomplished wl1H´U1
Dt´1CS1 ´t B1ZUlS¹ O1 1!¬ DðT1 ·l 1Ìt ClVO±t\ WÌ´SC ±¹VC
l´t Ì´tSOS 1C'tJ\ uutdated 1DO -tHV l1SC±l. ÜU1 l1 1lPC
1ÌC wDlJ ClCC 1´ a PttL !!11Ctl!2 u1C 1ÌC OVCt B´òT1ÐD±C
6C±ClCI SC11±CC ´Ow1 1´ ±´Ut1 ÌJS nCw S1tCC
lDC \CutS lt| uU±\ l'¬< 1´ uU±\ l'±9 were S|C11 11 1Dt
0tUU·US 1ÐSY of !´±¯¯ ng a îltS1¬C±0SS llZÌ1l1Z PuCD11C. JDC
ÛlVlSl´1 U1CCtwC11 CCfCT1 1tul1l12 u1 ܬ!¯ 1'ÏU. Ü1LJÍLÍNl\¡ l1
1Ht SUBPCt ´l l'¬´+ J1 1DO fall cf l'¬´¸ 1DC ÛlVlS1´1 Dut1lCl~
Dò1CC in 1ÌO LrISLNA !`u^c\VOtS
L1 9 Lc1´bCr l'¬´ 1ÌC ÏlVlSl´1 w9S rC otL a1l z ed JÌC .
:C[¸lPC11D± cqanization ÌOC Tt¹ VCC Ð:C wUS ¬Dc1C´1CO l1ͱCXlD±C
l1 1OV·: .t St|3tO1C lo11uJ0´:IS JDlS TerB i11e G 1^C ît´0Tl12 of
C´Bll1CC ÐtPS teams ·l l1liD1Y\ 1öOÌS artillery, 01¨ SU|T¹t1l12
units to meet varying situc,tions.
On the 20th of August, the 9th boarde d the Queen Mary
and sailed for ErGLi1\ T.
Th mcnth of September was spent in preparation for move­
ment to FRANCE, modifying tanks, .and reviewing gunnery training,
On 30 September, the Division boarded LST's and sailed
for UT;l BECH. After debarking,. the 9th went into bivcuac at
STE YRIE V 1;ONT. NORMANDY,. Demonstrations and classes were held
on abondoned German equipment.
The Di visi on moved out of STE MARIE D rWNT on the 13th
of September [d closed at MNSCH, WXEr@aRG, on the 18th. MNSCH
was located approximately 20 miles from the front lines.
The 9th was placed in VIII Corps reserve, .. and its first
combat mission was to prepare plans for counterattacks within the
Corps se ctor.
General Leonard obtained authority to coordimte with the
2d, Bth, and 83d Infantry Divisions to replace units of those
divisions on the front with units of the 9th on a te mporary basis.
The first units went into the line on the 23d of October. This
relief gave the men and staffs experience in actuol operations in
CO!t::ct with the enemy in a comparr,ti vely quiet sector.
Yuen thE Germans launched their ARDENNES winter offensive,
the 9th, with no real combat experience, found itself engaged in
heavy fighting. The Division partiipated in its sBve rest actions
ot ST. VITH, ECHTERNACH, and BASTOGlJ, its units fighting in
widly separated areas .
Combat Command 3, on 16 December, moved to ST. V1TH uD=
engaged in six days O! heavy fighting in defending that city; the
overall mission waS to build up a defense line along the northern
edge of the BLGE. For 36 hors, Combat Command Ü engaged the
62d Volkes Grenadier Division and elements O! the 1st ÛÛ Panzer
Division alone withot support.
Combat Command A, on the 26th. was given the mission by
the 4th Armored Division to which it wos attached, of attacking
along the r03d between NEUFCHATEAU and Ü·ÛT¹'Nt- The purpose was
to relieve the lOlst Airborne Division which was surrounded at
BASTOGNE. On the 28th, Combo.t LCnoDà A had effected contact with
the lOlst. The seige of BLSTOGNE ended.
Combat Command R Was committed by VIII Corps to defend
BASTOGNE from the sothwest. Its stand at L´ÛTLUNt held off the
Germans loDg enogh to enable the lOlst to dig in for defense of
the city.
T¡C Divi sion casual ties during the ARDENNES totalled
2,265 officers and mCD killed, captured. or wonded in action.
After a rst period in January and February of 1945, the
Division participated in the RHINELAN offensive. T¡¬ offensive
was launched on 28 Februory; and on 9 .'arch, the 9th had smashed
across the ROER to RHEINBACH and had sent patrols into REMGEN.
The UDENDORFF Bridge at REMAGEN was fond intact ur¨ WElS
seized by elements of the 9th Armored mintes before demolition
ComJ´3DV T Unknon), ¬-
This seizure resulted in the est8blishment of 0 bridge-
head from which the great encirclement of the RHR was launched.
The 9t!l pcrticipated in the encirclement of the RHR, and
upon re'ching WARBRG. was ordered to encircle LEIPZIG and effect
0. .iuncture with the REd I.rmy. Un 19 April, this mission was accom-
plished. The war was over. IJew duties consisted of policing a
defeated Germany.
The 9th Armored Division WGS returned to the United states
in September 195.
iOF Division was inactivated at CA}W PATRICK HENRY. VIR-
GIHIII, on 13 October 194-5.
captain Ldgar .. Terrell, Jr., Training and Comblt History
of D. 19th Battalion, (German:: D
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Atb.ched Units
482 .\ I Bn (SF)
656th TD Bn (SF)
3600th Q�'T Trk 0·
3458th QM Trk Co
19th Tan Battalion
19th Tu¬ Battalion
19th T9 ': Battolior
19th Tank Battalion
19th Tan Battalion
Lt Col Burton ¨.. Kalsteter
bapt lack stockton
Lt Col George Rhlen
Uajor Dight s. Hull
Lt Col John J. MacFarland
Lt Col Ezra L. Evans, Jr .
Lt Col Ashley L. Rice
Lt 0ol Vincent F. Lupinacci
Lt Col John C. Meador
1st Lt Edwart `. Ic¬ic
Capt Thomas L. 0ra1¿
Personali tie s
0n¸l Joseph J. Barattu
1st Lt Hich�; 1 Kruich
0\;l Robert B. Crayon
1st Lt John P. Wheeler
C a;t Edgar i" • Terrell, Jr.
19th Tank Battalion 1st Lt Edward Mrphy
656th Tank Destroyer
656th Tank Destroyer
19th Tan Eattalion
19th TDn Battalion
52c Armd Inf Bn
0a¡t David V. Cleary
1st Lt Wesley Ù+ Tollett
0c¡\ John F. Sicks
2d Lt Herbert D. Caney
Capt Joseph Vi. Mitchell, Jr.
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A¡Ï£ílX I II
24 March 1945 Saturday
Hq Co, CCA
60th Armd Inf Bn
27th Armd Inf Bn
14th Tk Bn
Co C, O1 us 1 pIa tE a nd 1 plat F,
89th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz
Co B, 9th Armd Engr Bn
Co B, 2d Med Bn Armd
Co C, 131 st Ord Mai nt Bn
Div Arty
3d Armd FA En
16th l1rmd Bn
73d Armd FA Bn
Div Control
lq Co, 9th "\rmd Div
9th i.rmd Engr B'
89th Cav Rcn Sg Mecz ( - C, 1
plat £¸ and 1 plat F)
482d f AW Bn (SF) ( - B)
149th Armd Sig Co
656th TD En ( - C)
Hq Co, CCB
52d Armd Inf Bn
19th Tk Bn
2d Tk Bn
Co A, 9th Armd Engr En
Co i., 2d Med Bn, Armd
Co A, 131st Ord r·Jai nt Bn
Div Trains
lq Co, Div Trains
2d Med Bn, i.rmd ( - A&B)
131 st Ord Mai nt Bn
3458th QM Truck Co
3600th 0Y Truck Co
Btry C, 482d AA AW
Bn (SF)
The 9th Armored Division, under orders from V Corps, was attacking
south out of the RElGEN Bridgehead in a series of limited objective
attacks, and by evening had reached BENDORF, NIWEID, HLLENBERG,
cO Jiarch 1945 Sun:ty
Task organi za ti ons changed RS follows:
Co I ¸ 9th Armd 19th Tk B n attached 19th Tk Bn relieved
Engr Bn attached Co A¡ 2d Med Bn Co A, 9th Armd Engr Bn
attached relieved
0O .¡ l3 1st Ord Maint Co A, 2d Med ÜD
Bn support re li eved
Co A, 131st Ord :laint
¯D relieved support
The Division contined its attacks, and l\ nightfall had occupied
26 March 1945 I/onday
Iq Co, CCA
60th ·tKd in! ::
14th Tk Bt
3d.rmd ¡. Bn
2d [·+¸ 38th Inf Regt (2d 1nf Div)
r. plus 1 pht E and 1 plat ͸
89th Cav Rcn Sq, 1,:ecz
Co 1.¡ 9th Armd Engr Bn
Co P, 2d ;-ed Bn
Etry A, 482d n 1. ¯D (SF)
Co C, 656th TD Bn (SF)
Co C, 131st Ord Naint Bn
27th .rKd Inf En
2d ]¹ Pn
89th ÜuV Rcn Sq, Icz ( - A¡Ü¸ 2
plats t, and 2 plats F)
ÏttV p¡ 482d ll A Bn (SF)
Hq Co,
52d Armd Inf Bn
19th Tk Bn
16th Armd Í´ Bn
38th Inf Regt ( - 2d En)
(2d Inf Div)
J. plus 1 plat E and 1
plat ͸ 89th Cav Rcn
Sq, Eecz
Btry D, 482- A AA
Bn (SF)
Co A, 656th TD Bn (SF)
Co 1¡ 2d i1ed Bn
Co A, 1 3 ist Ord Maint Bn
Diy Control
¡U Co, 9th Armd Div
149th -tKu Sig Co
9th Armd Engr Bn ( - A&R)
482d ,\.\ Þ lD ( - B&D)
656th TD En ( - A&C)
m ~
?6 Jarch conti'ued
Div Arty
U1V Trains
HO Btry, Div Arty
:0 0O¸ Û1v "ra1ns
73d Armd FA En
2d Med Bn, Armd ¦ - A&B)
131st Ord ¥ai nt Br
FIr¯ A¸ 482d A AW Bn |3J)
3458th Ua Truck Co
ó6ÛÛÌ¡ U' Truck Co
Btry C¸ +o<0 .\L Ah
Bn |3I}
The Division attacked to seize bridgeheads over the ¡.\'! 51VO1 in
!C nity of DIEZ and LI'¯JI0. UU[ attacked Ica:C I1!n0 and
tV 2400 had cleared most of the ton. ÜÜ´. attacked toward ܯtZ
a·d had reached the Ii ne of the L`d by 2130. CÜn marched at
262140, closing ìn ÛÏIHtI1 at 271150.
27 ´a1c: 1945 Tue sday
Co U¸ 656tD íC relieved Co B,9h Armd 73d Armd IA Bn
Engr Bn 0O 0
2d Med Bn Armd
3d Bn, 38th Co ), 9th Armd Engr En
i:f Regt 3d Bn, 38th In 5egt
Co E, 656th TD a11 of atDVe re11eved
'r |5F)
t11 of above ou OOort
relieved C^ [¡ 1ó1st Ord Main t
CC· captured D`tZ¡ UC! cOr¡1·'ed the carture of LIIBJ¡U, and ÜÜn
was given the missiOn of advancing south elong the A¯¯Ût.\¬I to
1£0ER`Ill..u3L! to iwait contact with eloments of '!c T!1rC "irmy.
ÜÜn re n cied ìI$ objective at 1700.
¿c `u:ct 1¬C¯ Wedne sday
C, 9th
:,0 No "ne Co Armd Engr Bn chanre

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formed maintenance of vehicles and equipment.
ó April 1945 Tuesday
3d Armd FA Bn - relieved attachment eCA and placed in support.
16th Armd FA Bn - relieved attachment CCB and placed in support.
73d Armd F! Dn - relieved attachnent CCR and placed ìn support.
1st Bn, 23d lnf Regt with 38th FA 5n attached placed under
operational control of CCB.
From 3 April to 10 April the units of the 9th Armd Division per­
10 April 1945 Tuesday
Fq Co, CCA
60th Armd I: 'n
14th Tk En
2d Bn, 273d Tnf plus 1 plat Tks
and 1 plat TDs (69th Tnf Div)
C plus 1 plat E and 1 plat F,
89th Cav Rcn Sq, Mecz
Co A. 9th 11rmd Engr Bn
Co B, 2d Med Bn
Co B ( - 1 plat),656th TD Bn(SF)
Co C, 131st Ord Maint Bn
3d Armd FA Pn
27th Armd I nf Bn
3d Fn, 273d lm Regt plus 1
plat Tks and 1 plat TDs
2d Tk En ( - 1 plat D)
B plus 1 plat E and 1 plat F,
89th Cav Rcn Sq, Mecz
Co B, 9th ,lrmd Engr Bn
r 0 C, 2d Med Bn
Co C, ( - 1 plat) 656th ¯U Bn
Co B, 131 s t Or d Mi nt Bn
73d Armd Fli Bn
Hq Co, CeB
52d Armd Tnf Pn
3d Bn, 3,lth Im Regt plus 1 plat TDs
19th Tk En ( - 1 plat)
A plus 1 plat E and l plat F,
89th Cav Rcn Sq, Mecz
Co C¸ 9th Armd Engr Bn
Co A, 2d Med Bn
Co A ( - 1 plat), 656th TD En (SF)
Co A, 131st Ord Maint Bn
16th Armd Fj Bn
Div Trains
Hq Co, Div Trains
2 d Me d R n (- A t B & C)
131st Ord Maint Bn
3458th 0H Truck Co
3600th 0l Truck Co
I plat Co D, 14th Tk En
1 plat Co D, 19th Tk Bn
1 plat Co C, 656th TD Bn (SP)
C and D Btrys, 482d AAA AW Bn(SP)
Div Control
Hq Co, Armd Div
12th Armd Gp
1 ' ..DY` 1 1 S45 (c ont; nued)
Div Arty
Div Contro i (cont)
Hq Btry, Div Arty
9th 1tBO Ï1t Bn (-A,B"C).
3d ilrmd FA En
89th Cav HCD Sq, Mecz ( A,
1bth ,,tPC ÎÍ Bn
ϸ C, 3 plats L¡ an0 3 plats F)
73d lrmd Î1 Bn
482d nµ ÄÃ Dn (SF)
656th ¯Û ÏD ( ¯ A, Ï le ss 1 plat,
iittached C less 1 plat; DiJB l plat
186th Armd Ï1 ÏD Co D, <C Tk Bn attach eC)
987th Armd Ï1 Bn 149th rmd Sig Co
Co B, 89th Cml Mort Bn
¯u ]|ort
h ^ Ï Btrys, +tZd .±U 1ò ÏD (SP)
After marchin to an assembly area east of the W¯ÛÛ1 Ri9e r on
8 April, the 9th Armd Division passed through the Zd and 69th In
Divisions with the final objecti"e of seizing bridgeheads over the
ÏÏDL River. By evenin of the LÕÌD¸ all three combat commands
tr aveling abreast had T0dCDFC the initial Corps objective along
the 2e n era 1 line ¯i¸ ¯¯UÏ!1h\¡ .LLÎtu¯ÏÌ.
11 )pri L 1Ü+D ,;ednesaay
lO changes in task OtgaHi 2ation &
The Div ision contlDe C its lttack to tDe east, They reached a li ne
throuh RINGLEPEN, KAI"\VRF, Ï.\ÛÏb x
lZ :lpril 1945 ¯DJTsday
'\ÌD c ha nges in task organization •»
The Ti v i Sion 3dvnced to the line of the River and the outer
d e f e Hse3 of LÏJ1L1Û.
1.3 April 1945 Friday
·Jo chane.
UíÍ. aHC CeB s ldeSl l||ed southward during the night of 12/13 April
to make use of a bridge over the R Tve V at NAUMERG captu red
13 i'pril 1945 (continued)
by CCR. By evening, the Division hud reached the lim, Gr;.NSCHTZ,
14 April 1945 Saturday
No change.
The Divisi on started its encirclement of LEIPZIG to prtvent the
escape of the troops there and occu pie d the general lne RJ':SDORF,
15 ilpri 1 1945 Su nday
CCR drove throgh to the MLDE River, c u pturc d several bridges and
e stablishe d bridgeheads !cross the river. CCll contined its advance
toard the ,ULDE River, and by the morning of the 16th h&d reached
the river; CCB followed behind CCA.
16 April 1945 Monday
CCR sent a task force to COLDITZ where it liberated an estimated
1800 Allied Pr j soners of War. It also contined mopping up in its
zone ond set up defensive positions around the bridgeheads. CCA
d north along the MLDE [l,1d took up dcfensive positions.
CeB continued to follo CCit.
17 April 1945 Tuesday
CCE att-.cked north (md wcst to complete the encirclement of LEIPZIG
on three sides and then took up defensive posi tions . The 9th lrmd
Division remoined in its defensive positions until 21 i>pril when
they wore relievod by elments of the 69th In Division.

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