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U 2 1 1965

5
THE loth US ARMCRID DIVI Sl m. IN THE

SAAR- MOSELLE TRIANGLE

A RESEARCH ~PORT PREPARED

BY

COlliuTTEE 1 5, OFFICERS ADVAI'GED COURSE

THE ARtI_ORED SC HOOL

194 - 1949

MAJOR J. CAJTLY, ARTY (Chai rma n)


UJOR J. R. SYKES, INF

1.AJm , J . L . PEITCN, CAV

JOR. C . C . ED,,~OIIDSO ! , CAV

LAJCR J. C. NOEL , DIF

. :AJ OR R . 1. DHEi:S , CI\ V

CEPTAl t H. J. CROttC H, INF

C APTAIi~ J. B. STOCKTON , CAV

FORT KNOX., liliNTUC KY

.AY 1949
--
PREFACE

As is known to most professional and some ama­

teur military historians, troops of the Third US Army

were making a concentrated effort to crack the vaunted

SIEGtlRIED Line north and south of SAARBRUCKEN in Decem­

ber, 1944, when the urgency of the German counterattack

through the ARDEN~lliS caused a temporary halt to this

effort. The operation had begun early in November and

had been primarily successful in its first objective -­

the capture of the heavily defended METZ fortified area.

As soon as possible after the ARDENNES thru~t had been

repulsed, General PATTON directed his forces to resume

the task which had been left uncompleted. In mid­

February the attack was again launched.

The SAAR-M:OSELLE Triangle lay in the zone of

XX Corps during both the November-December and February

phases of the operation. Of the many units wtich partici­

pated in one or the other of thesE phases, only one of

division size took part in botr. This unit was tbe

lOth Armored Division, commanded by lY.ajor General

W. H. H. MORRIS, JR.

The authors of this report have undertak::m to

.- make a study of the loth Armored Division in both

phases. Our decision was based on several factors.

ii

._------------_ _-_._ ...


....... _._._---­
First, we are all students of the Officers Advanced

Cours~ at The Armored School at present (September,

1948 to June, 1949), and although we represent most

of the ground combat arms, our principal current in­

terest is armor. Second, we considered the problems

confronted by an armored division in its battle in­

doctrination to be of especial interest to us as potcn­

tial commanders or staff officers of large armored units.

Such was the case with the 10th Armored in November­

December. Finally, our study showed that tho{rebruary

attack was a near-classical example of the attack by an

armored unit through infantry to seize a deCisive ob­

jective deep in tho er£~v rear area:)


:
Now to the actual scope of our report. We shall

first consider the actions of our Divisio~l frem about

the 8th of November, when XX Corps of Third Army started

in its attack on W~TZ, to the night of 16-17th of Decem­

ber when the Division was recalled by 12th Army Group

to meGt the German HIDENNES thrust. Following a very-

brief account of the Division' 8 actions in tpo Bulge,

we shall take up the February attack which ended on

the 2nd of March with the capture of TRIER. In conclu­

sian, we will compare the operations and doctrine of

the Division wi th present-day dcctrine as taught at The

J.rmored School.

iii
It would not be fitting to conclude this preface

without acknowlec1gIrent of the outstanding contributions

to the ccrrpl~tion of this report made by JlIlrS. C. C.

EdmondsCl'l and t,:,rs. R. E. Drews (wives of members of the

Committee). Their unflagging interest in our mrk, coupled

with their yeomanlike efforts in typing referenc6 cards,

notes and manuscript have been invaluable. Also of grbat

assistance to us has been the service rendered by Major

General :WRRIS, who corrected our draft am wrote the

following foreword.

iv
-
~.- t , ' ,

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter Page

I. INTRODUCTION • • • • • • • • • .• • • • • 1

II. ENEMY SITUATION AND DEFENSIVE PLANS FOR

THE EXPECTED A1ERICAN AT~CK • • • • • • • • 8

III. 10th iillMORED DIVISION BATTLE UIDOCTRINi.TION

AND INITIAL ROLE IN THE SAAR-li;OSELLE

OFFENSIVE • • • • • • . • • . . • • • • • • 13

IV. CCA - NOVEMBER 14th TO DECEt'BER 16th. • • 20

Plans for tho Employment of CCA. • • • • • 20

The Attack on Bouzonville. • • • • • • 23

CGA Hits the Switch Line ••••••• 30

V. CCB THRUSTS EhST ..• .• .. ··. · • 41

OF FIRST PHhSE . .
VI. Sm.~:r-/..'~RY
·.·• · 46

VII. DECEAlBER 16th to FEBRUi~HY


9th • · · • 52

CC1~-- Brigadi er General Piburn


CCE - Colonel W. 1- Roberts .
· · ·
· ·

· · • 53

54

VIII. AN t\ TT i,CE IS PLiiNNED • • • • • •


Conference Between CG XX Corps and

·... 57

CG 94tL Division, February 8,1945. 57

Intelligenco Data • • • • • • • 57

A Near Hitch in Plans • • • • . . . . . . . 58

The Corps Plan • • • • • • • • • • • 59

J..rti llery Fire Plan • • • 60

IX. THE h TT"CK OF THE SWITCH LUJ'E • • • 63

l~,h j~rmored Di vi sion--February 1-19, 1945 63

The Infantry i.ttack--February 19, 19h5 • • 64

Exploitation by the lOth Armored Division 65

x. DETh.ILED kOV2Ii.:ENTS OF THE 10TH mhOilED


DIVISION reOk TFE CllPTURE OF THE DIVISION
OBJECTIVE 1,T TJ..',,£HN TO INCLUDE THE sr.hR

-. RIVER CROSSING • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Plans and Preparations
Plans for the Crossing . .· . .. 70

70

The First i.ttempt .... 73

74

vi

Chapter Page

The Second bttempt •


The Crossing • • • • • • • • •
·.. 75

77

Actions of CCA • • • • 79

The Diversionary Att&ck • • • • • 8a.

Change in Plans • • • • • • • • • • • 83

Intelligence Data • • • • • • • • • 84

The b.rmored Infantry Cros ses • • • • • 84

Armored Infantry and Pillboxes • • • • • • as

.hrmor kust Hcve Bridges • • • • • • • 89

XI. THE FALL OF TRIER


Team J. Takes Zerf
· . ·• .. . • • •
• • •
• 93

95

CCB Move s North • • • • • • • • •• 95

CCB Start s to Drive on Trier • • • • • 97

Trier is Entered • • • • • • • • • • • • • 103

XII. SUii?di.RY OF SECOr..'D PHASE · . . · . · . · . • 107

XIII. CONCLUSION • • • • • • • · . . .113

.hPPENDICES • • • • ·. .. • •

I ~aps ... .···


• •
XX Corps Operations, Nov-Dec, 44 · · · ·· • ·
XX Corps Operations, Feb-Ear,45
·
II Tcrrai n Analw-sis.
III Order of Bo.ttle • ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· · · · · •
IV Operations Orders of xx. Corps
· · · ·· • ··
V Personalities .· • •
·· ·
VI Bibliography

vii
.;;.;..''-St'''''''_
. .., .... _ _ _........
_ 't......
· . .tm
...._ _ _""""1T'f11-.................P_.......
... · ___m
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _---~--_ _ _ ,~

__ .. ~

TABLE OF Ef.PS, CHf.RTS rlND ILLUSTR..T10NS

Opposite Page

UAJOR GENERhL W. H. H. MORRIS, JR. .. . .. · .... v

Map showing Third Army Front Lines on November 1, 1944­


location of Divisions of Third J.rmy on November 1,
1944, and enerrlf situation as it existed at the start
of the November offensive • • • • • • • • •• 4

Map st-,owing XX Corps Plan of 10 ttack .. ... 6

Chart showing Organization an::! Task Force Breakdown


of 10th hrmored Di vision November 8th to
December 16tb • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •• 13

Map showing Movements of CCA, November 16th to


December 16th • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • .... 24
Map showing 11overoents of CeE, NOV€Ir..ber 15th to
Dec ember 16th • • • • • • • • • •• • • .. 41
Map showing Third J_rmy Front Line s on Fe bruary 19,
1945, locations of Divisions of XX Corps Dn
February 19, 1945, and enemy situation as it
existed at the start of the Febrll9 ry offensive. •• 59

Chart showing Organization ~d Task Force Breakdown


of 10th Armored Division February 19th to March 2nd 63

Map showing i.ttack on February 19th to 21st • • • 66

1iap showing J.ttack on Februp.ry 21st to 26th ... 70

Map sbowing 376th RCT Crossing at OCKFEN [nd


Armored Infantry Batt?~ions from OCKFEN
to lFiSCH • • • • • • • . • • • • • • ·.. 77
li.ap showing Attack on Februg ry 26tr to ~.:arct. 2nd 93

l!..ap showing i. ssault on TRIER • • ... .. .. "103

Map showing Third 1.rmy Si tu.£.tion on Uarch 2nd • • 106

viii
Map showing xx. Corps O~ration Nov-Dec 44 . . App i

Map showing XX Corps Gperat ion Fe lHIar 45 App i

Map showing Terrain of SAAR-MOSELlE Triangle . . . App ii

llap sham ng Wooded Area in ShAR-},:OSELLE Triangle. App ii

Chart showing Third J...rmy Order of Battle Nov-Dec 44 ApP iii

Chart showing Third .Army Order of Battle Feb 45 . .App iii

Chart showing Troop Ust of 10th itrmored Division . App iii

--
ix
CJiJ:~ PTER I
INTRODUCTION

This is a story of the 10th Armored Division.

In particular, this is a story about what the Division

did in the S.AJ.R~OSELLE Triangle during November am

December of 1944, and again in February, 1945.

Strictly sIXlaking, the SAAR~OSELLE Triangle

is the name given to a small slice of C'18rmany, bounded

on the west by the MOSELLE River, on the east by the

ShAR River, and across the bottom bv an fJ"lst-west ad­

junct of the SIEGERIED Line constructed before the last

war. Generally spGr-tking, the two legs of tr:e Triangle

(th~ rivers) could bE: exterrled south as far as the

vicinity of EETZ on the 1'Jest, and SJu..RBRUCKEN on the

east. .As extended the Triangle <.:lso takes in a portion

of the northeastern c orner of France. The SidJi. end

MOSELLE intersect at the northern tip of the Trh.ngle

just east of the Duchy of LUXE!BOURG and a few miles

to the southwest of the German city of TRIER.

This entire area from TRIER south to and in­

cluding ~~TZ was of greatest tactical importanc0 to our

- forces during the autumn of 1944. If the rerder will

recall, German resistance began to stiffen in October

of that year, following the nllied sweep across France.

1

By the ilrst week of ~ovemb.;:;r it had stalled our c,d-

VlCmces from tum·BOURG to the North Sea. And the

extremely rough terrain from the Swiss border to a

point somewhere south am east of l~ETZ precluded a

blitz-type attack in thB.t zone. This left th<:l TRIER.­

l,::El'Z area as one of the few logical cppro<"ch0S into

the heart of GerlllE.ny which afforded a reasonl'.ble chance

of being exploited. To take TRIER the Triangle had to

be taken. To take the Triangle M.:SrZ had to be t.qkcn.

General PATTON £.00 hi s Tr.ird US Army had been

in front of r.1ETZ since September. Not only was he

extremely short of supplies as a partial result of the un­

interrupted drive to his present location from the break­

out at bVlii.NCHES in western France, but he h£od been

ordered by SHJ;:EF on tho 23rd of Sept ember to take up

an lIoffensive ll defGns", as e. part of the la,rge-scale plan

for the fJ..lled Winter Offensi ve, which c onVclmpla ted a


1
main effort to the north.

On the same day that Gcne:-al pj,TTON receiw.;d these

orders, thE;. lOth i.rmored Division landed on the continent

at CHERBOURG. J.t the very moment tho. t the; units of the

Division were setting up billets in the port 2rG8, General

Pi-.TTON and his Corps Conm8nders - LieutenC',nt General

(thf;;;n kr.;jor C,eneral) W. H. WALKER of XX Corps arrl Major

General M. S. EDDY of XII Corps --~were planning Rt Army

heCldquarters in NANCY to extend the imposed defensive

to include the capture of METZ and a subsequent drive

to gcin bridgeheads across the SAAR in the SAJJlBURG­

SAMffiUCKEN arGa. 2 The unexpressed purpose of this

operation \'las, of course, to captur~ TRIER, cross the

RHINE, and continue into Germany (with perhaps BERLIN

or MUNICH as the final objectivet).

While the loth drew equipm:mt, tested it, and

reconditioned itself in the fields around CHERBOURG,

General. WALKm's XX Corps was making tentdive attacks

across the MOSELLE south of }EETZ, am on some of the

forts of the MErz area which were on the west aide of

the river. One result of these probing operati'':;.ns was

the establishment of OJ. bridgehead acros's the river in

the vicinity of a town named ARNi,VILLE, some ten miles

south of 1:ETZ, which was to prove quite valuable in

weeks to ·come. rinother result was the realization ~

all concerned that 1ZTZ could not be taken by frontal

assault without an undue concentration of forces •.

By mid-0ctober the lOt.h was ready to (.ntcr combat.

Units were once more in fighting shape following the

Atlantic crossing, guns had been test-fired, e.m th€

officers and men of the Division were eager to get into


-. the middle of things. ILeanwhile, Third Army had formu­

lcted the final plan for the attack (disposition of

:3
c£ r At £t/ OPL

M.

troops by November 1st was as sbown in the map on the

opposite page). To the soutb XII Corps was to attack

in a generally easterly direction toward the Sru\RBRUCKEN­

SM.REGUEMlNES area, and maintain contact with and as­

sist xx. Corps to its north. XX Corps was giV€;n the

dual missicn of c~pturing METZ aOO securing a bridge­

hc<:d across the SAAR in the area of SMRBURG. To do this

job properly General WALKER needed at least one em


preferably two addition~l infantry divisicns, and an

arrr.ored di visL:m. The 95tr Divisicn wa.s assigned am


plans were made to use the 83rd Division, at that tine
/ ­

a part of VIII Corps in the First Army zone to the ncrth.

hS to the Armored D1 vision? Of cours~

On tht;; 26th of October the 10th Arr::ored Division

cleared the CHERBOURG area and heeded for 1.lETZ. It had

realized the tanker's dream - assignment to Third Army.

On October 30th it arrived at its destinetion and W0S

placed nenr l£ARS-U-TOUR on ttl{' southwest side of the

German salient west of' the MOSELLE from ?;ZTZ. This

placement' was pre-planned. The 4th and 6th Armored

Di visions of Xli Corps were already located in the same

general area, and it was hoped tha t the Genna.ns would

interpret this ~:JJparent concentration of armor as an


-- indication of (;. tcnk thrust south and east of' }..'ETZ

and would di spl.?ce troops to llEet it, thus weakening


his defenses to the north of t he fortress) Evidence

later proved thE.t this ruse w&.s successful.

xx Corps now consisted of the following units:

1. The 5th, 90th and 95th Divisions

2. The loth Armored Division

3. The 3rd Cavalry Group, reinforced


(approximately brigade size)

4. Corps Artillery, comprising 18 plus


battalions

5. Corps Tr~ops 5 TO Batt8lions,

4 AAAW Battalions.,

2 Engineer Combat Gr:)UPS, an:!

other supporting units.

(Although the 83rd Division h[.d been pr:)mised, it

was not released from VIn Corps and played no part in

this ph2se of operations by XX Corps. The mission

originally intended for i t W::J.S given to the 3rc Cavclry

Group) •

Generd WALKER planned to destr'JY or c2.pture

the ~:.ETZ garrisC)n "without the investure Or seige

of the 1;ETZ forts. ,,4 To accomplish tbis tusk he intended

that too 90th Division from the viciJlity at' THIONVILLE

to the north and the 5th Division fran the ;JtNl.. VILI.E

bridgehead to the south would be the prongs of e. giant

pincer which would close on BOULAY Gnd t!Jus isolate

rLTZ and prevent its inhpbitonts from being reinforced

or escaping.. Concurrently the 95tb Division wC'.s t'J

contein the enemy in front of ILETZ and to estr,blish

a bridgehead at LA.IZIERES-LES-r;:ETZ on D - 1 to lure

troops of the enemy into believing that this wns the

mdn crossing. Then when the pincers had met at /PULhY,

the 95th was to assault METZ from the northwest. After

thE> 90th had GatE.blished ::t firm bridgeh3ad in the

THIONVILLE area, the 10th ArmorEd was tel cross And be

comrrdtted in two forces -- Combat Command A to ~ttack

parallel to the 9Otr' Division on its left flank, Gamet

Corrrnand B to drive due east to seize crossings of the

SAAR at or near MERZIG. Once the 10th Armorlld had cleared

the bridgehead, the 3rd Cevalry was to cross and att8ck

northeast to seize S~,P~URG and establish a bridgehead

in that area. (Se~ map on opposite page.)

IX Corps Field Order 12 was published on the

3rd of Novembor, 1944, (See Annex IV). During the period

just prior to its issuance troops hr>.d been reshuffled to

be in place for the coming operati:ms, and the 5th am

90th Divisions hgd been given time to conduct training

on the assault of fortified area s. The ::>peration called

for close timing and mf'ximum effort by every lIIln who was

to pr.~ticip~tc in the attack.

By the 8th of Novenb{;::r the stnge v'as set. ERrly


.-­ that morning the feint crossing by a batta:.~bn of the 95th

~-.--

Di visLm WBS launched ~cross the l{OSELLE at l,fAI2..IERES.

But before going further it is, perhaps, appropriate

to consider the ene~ situation.

-------------------------------------------------------
NOTES FeR CHAPTER I

lThe Invasion of \,est6rn Europe, Part I (USt.\j:,: Departm<n t


of Military Art mld Engineering, 1946) p. 57 & p. 65.

2J.fter Action R~rt! Trird US h.rl.!!l, Volume I "The Operations"


(l hUg 44 - 9 l,~ay 45) p. 107.
3The R~uction of Fortress lclITZ, XX Corps Operctional Report
(1 Sep - 6 Dec 44) p. 14.
4!c1.eld Order Number Twdve, r:cedql.l3rters XX Corps (:3 Nov 44)
para 3x( 1).

CHAPTER II

ENE11Y SITUhTla\ hND DEffiNSIVi!: PLi-.~S FOR THE


EXPECTED AI,ERICi'JJ hTI'l-<CK
(see map opposite page 4)

The German Comrr,an:ier immedia tely concerned with

stopping C;. ny further advcnce along the US Third f..rir3

front was General BALCK, commanding hrmy Group G. BALCK,

according to postw;:>.r rl.ocumentc:ry prep&red by hirr.self,

must have understo'.xl. tbe US offensi ve plans 2.1most as

well as did General PhTTm;. His statements to higher

headquarters - OBW, and his moves to C:lUnter tbe Third


--- hrmy and XX Corps prE')parati ons were almost psychic in

analysis. Had BALCK bc:en able to wrangle the necessary

troops end equipment, 1'r.tird hrmy might never have brought

its Nov6lEber offensive to ,g successful conclusion.

Generc~l KNOBELSDORFF, cOlT'lllcnding the Gerrc!an ~

.Army .?nd the c orrmcmder who should ha vo most directly in­

fluenced the ~'ETZ <'lOd SAAR-KOSELLE acti on, must he.ve been

somewhat weak and ineffective for, frDm 211 C'v~ilc~ble

accounts, he did little more than tro.nsmi t orders froo.

BALCK to the subordinc>te Corps Corrmanders ~~nd forward

their requests up to h.rrr,y Group G. Early in Decsmber

KNOBELSDORFF went thIS way of a1.1 uns!lccessful com.rnanders


he Vias relieved frorr. c:)n;rrc.nd of first hrf!ll and was

gi Vel1 8 fortr·:;ss C oirm::.nd in G€rmany. His II ret ire.me nt II

(night have b€>Gl1 extr serious had not BhLCK inter­

ceded for him at f:igher heE.dau:::rters.

LXXXII Corps COfillllHnded by Gerer~:l Lieutep£nt

HOERNLEIN had r61iev~d XIII 58 Corps in the right

(northern) sector of first J,.rrr,v on the 1st of !\ovember

and assumed resp~)fisiliility for the sector fr:JJ1l

GRbV£l~8~J,.CI-IER in the n;)rth, along the 1,DSELLE including

the Y,ETZ salient to c few kilometers south of kETZ.

LXXXII Corps consisted !)f a~)proxirmtely thirty thousend

troops, assignBCl t J four eli visions Clnd nd. laneous

corps org.<mizutions, including housekeeping and officer

candid&te units.

The northern pOl'tion fron, A'.E;TRICH to tTJ, VENSLt..CP.ER,

was defended by ths 4l6tr Inffmtrl Division with 8,300

troops. These tr .:0 ps .:Jver.<;ged thirty-eig:l.t '.T",ars ~xf

ago; and had 1i ttl.: or 11;) b.et tle cxperienc 0. Ca1l6d

the "Whipped Crean, Divisicn ll b~r first Army units, it,

was rded a lIDi tGd defensive division.

South of the 4l6tb an.i in the north c£:n ter

sect~r, stO?O the 19th Infantr,r Division with an ~Dpr

mate strength cf SCCX) offi!3ers c:nr. ,1lGI1. J.lth-.>ugh c:m­

sirlered better th,m the 416th, it t:J) carrit-::1 [: r1: ting

as E: defensive (1i visic'Il. The 19th was di vi:ded int:o three

regiments, three crtillery battalions and Cl company of

eleven new assault guns. Its s8ctor wC';s fr::>lii KOENIGS1'lACHER

to HhUCOI';COURT.

Occupying r..,ETZ and its perimeter fortrf3sses from

Hi.UCONCOURTs.c:uth t b.rollgh kETZ to the vicinity of

JOUY-;.UX-JlRCHES, W"S th8 462nd Volksgrenadier Division.

Genera1 Lieutem:nt KITTEL, an expert in f:::>rtrcss defense,

had been brought fr·:rr the enstern fre;nt to t2ke co~mqnd

of this unit cib:-llt the 1st of November. His o.rrivp.l

was d61Ryed and XX Corps had hlread,V penctr['.ted the outer

shell of defenses before he was 2ble to reorgani ze the

di visi0n sector. riG did what he could t.) better the

G€rm<:ln position by rdocnting the 9000 men, including

an officer candidetG schc;:)l .clOd special fortress troops,

to meet the [,ssault which was already un<'ierw1:,Y 3.gainst

LETZ.

To the s:::,uth of l-ETZ ~nd astride the boundary

between XX and XII Corps WC'S tbl';; b?t.h SS ?enzer GrGnarlier

Di visi on of apprcxin!B tel y 6,000 men, plr.ccd to meet the

expectect armsl'ed attack fr~)m the vic ini ty of PONT-J.-LOUSSON.

Gersan intelligence WeS fairly ac~ur2te. It

loc[;.ted the 90th 2nr. 5tr Di visbns opposing the !,ETZ

defenses, the 95t.h Division n::.'rth uf ~\EI'Z along the

1,~OSELili, clOd ths 3rd Cavalry Grc}up in the vininity of

-
THIONVILLE. The 83rd Divisbn WCiS also lOC3.ted as a

10
reserve unit. OB West cnrried &n unidentified nrmored

division believed t;) be thE. 14tb not yet in line, e.nd

sDffiewhere in XX Corps reserve.

GenercJl BhLCK had decided in Oct:Jb8r that the

Third J...rmy offensive would be a twC)-prDnged att;;ck

north and south of THIONVILLE across tbe l\:~OSELLE wit h a

supporting advance to be lEunched in the north ageinst

TRIER. Accordingly, he disposed his troops in strength

in the center and adjusted his artillery t~ !!leet a threat

issuing fr~m the vicinity of THIONVILLE. Since the only

repl m.tural defense in the sector was the h:irrier of

the EOSELLE River, BALCK ordered <1 tremendous nUfl'ber

of mines placed to block the expected crossing sites

(e.g. the 19th Infantry Division al:)ne lc,id 40,000

mines). He also concentrated his limited anti-tank

riefenses, the 486tl: P.J....K. Bc:ttalion, wi th forty t,~

fifty anti-te:nk guns, in the vicinity of DALSTEIN wherE;;

they coul r ] be Employed &gainst tank threats from either

sector. In .sddition, BALCK he.d thooretic?l contl'Jl over

the 11th Panzer Division as a m.)bile rGservc, although

it W~:lS tieri by 2. string t) OB West, 2nd w::.s subsequently

lost when it wcs sent t,:, the south to help stbm the

Americcm XII Ccrps attack wLich c ommencect ')no d~y before

the XX Corps attnck.


- General Bi,LCK desired to c~Jnctuct 2 delaying action

11
from the MOSELLE to the SAhli, meanwhilE; c.Jn serving his

f~)rces, and concentrating them behind the defens€ : s of

the West Wall. However, the sacred soil of Gerffi.?ny lay

betw6en the SIJ,.R and ~i:OSELIE, an-1 Hi tIer decreerl that

the enemy would pay dearly to re&ch the G€rrrlf'Ji border.

Theref3re, the German High Command forcefully ordered

BhLCK t:) defenr! the) U.o&LIE River line et ell costs,

despi te BhLCK I S person-'ll feelings in the metter.

Regardless ::Jf thE; ::Jrders he reCeiVGd, R~LCK

found himsGlf equipped to perform 1i ttle ll::Jr::;; th~.n a

delaying Cl.cti::m. His divisions were woefully bwlow

strength, the indivictu(}l soldiers were of ti,(; pDorest

t~,pe, nd he had nothing which he c.)u11 hurl d thJ

American armored thrusts oree they commenced.

NOTES FOH CHAPTE..~ II

~r. H. M. Cole, untitled mcnuscri~t on Third Army


Operations in ETO (Hi st oric!,.l Di visLm, DepartIn€ n t of
the Army) chep. S and chap 13.

~ ~ The Reduction of F::Jrtress ~ETZ

12

oR G A N I Z A T ION 0 F COM 8 ATE LIM T S

B NO V. TO 16 DEC. '~~
( ) 10
MORRIS

A C )
10 B 10
ALTHAUS

CHCllity

11(-) 6J(..)~ ~3(-)


A/S1 A/21 cQ] ~A120
~C15i l?!~' ~
ITtiI/8/55
A155(-)
1/011I [Q]
, Y, Z/AftS [ffi]

e:
~5it-)

LQJz/alll
lDJ3/Aj55

IOfV RESI

GATCHELL

NOT E : O"U.Y TANK, 'Nff"ANTlfy, !litO ItNIlII'.£1f IJItITS-C"MPDN£NTS


o"'C.",.~r 'OIfItfAT'ON$- AliI SHOtt/No OTN~1t O~GIf/ll" ,fIItD
,,-
IITrMI4"~ cJlI,1'8 ~AAJtfltt~D NMMII~ ~UPPt1lfr I)fln1olV$
011 klr~r IIY P't'/MIJN HES~AY£.
CHAPTER. III

10th IJ1.EORED DIVISION BriTTLE INDCCTRIN;,TION ;,ND

INITH.L ROlli IN THE SAAR-kOSELLE OFFENSIVE

Note: For a pictorial representation 0·£ the entire


XX Corps offensive during this period, see
Lap h, 1.nnex I.

The lOth j,rrl1oreri Division closed into i ts fir~t

assenbly area in the Combat Zone at rARS-LJ,-TOUR, twenty-

two kilorrcters west of l.ErZ, when tt:B trailing dements

of CCA rolled in nt 2130, October 31st, 1944. 1,11 its

trDining was oohinrl • The tro opa were hDrdene":' £tnrl eager

to tiisplay their abilities to the battle veterans of

Thirc1 .,rmy. The 10th j.rmor~ Division WetS rea,-ly to

fight.

As November 1st nawneo, elements of CCB com'"

menced relief of a portion of the 90th Division which

was in contact with the ene."ny.

The lOth hrmorec DivisLm entered a quiet sector

ff.cir.g the fortress of l'ETZ. For tre men who ~vere placed

in the line, the actLm was terrific, but in cOJ:'parison

with the be.ttle raging elsewhere, the sector w~s a summer

idyll.

As menti:)nen in the first chapter ~ thE 4th end

6th Armore0 DivisLms were not too far south, am the

1:3

..,.merican COflmi.c....n''iers h:.:>pcd trtE' 3rriv0.1 :;1' t.h" 10th

;..rm:)!"'ed Di vi sian in this sector woulci rlecci V6 the

Gern~(Jns, causing tilcm to shuffle troops and anti-tank

defenses to meet rTl aX'rrDI'E;O attack froI:: tms area.

}is WI:lS sbown in the precedirg chapt.a-, the ,manGuvcr

was successful, for tho "n1y Panzer unit avrilable,

the. 17th SS tanzel' .Gren"r~izr DivisioI}, was plLCEr1 t')

d,,:;f(;nd the scuthern sE.ct::;r, below ·I~iiJTZ. 'lJbil,.:; in tt:is

sector, the 10th };l'!l~ore(l coulr! c')ntinue prop!'rations

for c;:.--:bf.lt.

T\h,O modific[;tic)ns rocently innovr.tad by Third

hrmy technicLms WEire adden to the tanks of t!'ie Division

during this perioti.. ThG first of th,:,'s", were IIduck bills"

- five inch extensive; s on the tank trends ;1'3sign€d to

permit tank lrencuvers off the ro<lUS end over the; swarrpy

and muddy terrain b6tW{;Cn trl(; r,:OSELIE and S~q to. verso
These rluck bil Ls pr ovt."r'I extremely valu[,blc. 'I'll", second

m.::dificat.L)n servod a sin:il1}r purp:)si:.; iu 2. rl.ifferE'nt way.

Selected, tanks rec{)ilred five to six inchc.s of ermor plate

on prticularly vulnerable spots. Ttcs" t,'::nks, when

EncoWltering a roar: block wh""rc the t.:::rrain pr:,.hibi t",ri

frce r..8neuver, c:Julrl adv~nce Clgainst tre dreaded BBI s

with relativ(' immmity, thereby avoiding t:,c custoR'.1ry

losses e.m Gclr"ys usuF'lly experienc0r1. at tLcso roa.dblocks.

On LtG 2n1 of November, 1944, eGB's 54th Armored

14
Infe.ntry Battelion, reportect first· positive c mtact with
,
the enemy • .i. All .?ctivity Was limi ten to patrol and

harassir€ actie>n against the German s of the 462nrl

Volksgrenar1i~r Division, rlefenrling r.ETZ.

On l~ovember 4th the learling elements of the

Di vi si on le ft LAli.S-lJ;. -TOUR to rr.) "lie no rt h to the vic init y

of THIONVILLE. Division artillery less one battalion

Wf\S withdrawn on XX Corps order and sent north to supper t

the orossings of the 90th Division in its assault on the

rOSELLE Hi ver line.

General EDWIN PIBURN assume" cOlrunenn 'of CCB on

the 6th of November, 1944. (He led CCB across the

1.:0SELLE to t he heigh ts overlooking t he SAi~R befor (3 he

relinquished this CJrfman(~ to Colonel H.OBEHTS anct took

commanr1 of CCh).

During this peri;.,d, eel. prep:u-e'l counterattack

plans tJ meet any possi ble enemy essault from the LETZ

defenses. Concurrently, the comb&t com.:ran::I st8ff m;de

pl&ns enr: cCJn0.uct(;r'[ reconnaissance f.:::>r movement ;)f the

units to a forward 'assembly area behinct the 90th Divisi:::.n

from which to launch the arm0red assault planner'!. by

Ge Il9 ral WALKER.

CCB ccntinu€:.:1 its c0ntaining mission against tre

Gerrran s until relieved by the 95th Di viBi)n on the 8th

of November. LeantiIrfl, General ?IBURlII ani his staff

1.5

also planner. anti reconnoitered t::J enter the 90th Division

bridgehead from forward assembly areas behind THIONV1LLE.

On -the 9th of Nove/nber the Divisi on commencer]

the move to the MALVl,NGE and RUn:UI>jGE asslSrrbly areas.

General PATTON in his oook, "WiI.R AS I KNEW 1TII,

makes his first mention cf the 10th Armorcrl Divisi:m

on the 9th (If November (p. 167). The General was SOIrewhat

rliso~)uraged by the progress of XX C·)rps attacks and the

usual snafus of a river crossing. But, as he states:

On the other hand, I ran into G::.mbat Com::an'i B of the


10th ArmJreci. Divisbn, Brigar':ier General E. W. P1BUIl.N,
near ~J'HS-Li.-TOUn., the scene of the great cavalry
battle of 1870, an' they were looking fine anr moving
right int() actiun, with beautiful iiscipline.

The Di vi siGn closed into it s forward assembly

area behind the 90th Divisicn ani awaited orders to

begin its push. The infantry was making progress, but

the order to move G1lt must wait until the briC,ges across

the i loaded EOSELLE were ready. Let us briefly fallcw

the 90th Division as it builr.s up the brLigehead.

On the 8th of November the le&ding elerrBnts of

the 90th Divisi:m began their assault acrcss the LOSELiE

in the CATTEN01:-EALLING area to establish a bri(~gehead

as a springboard for the launching Df attacks by the

10th Armorec. Division, the 83ri'1 Division~~ anr: the Jri

/- -:l-See page 5

16

Cavalry Group. The 90th Division, ';:)nce tr,is initial

miss:bn was COIr.pleted, was to swing soutr,east, outflank

the r.~AGINar LinE: and link up with the 5th Division,

east of LETZ.

HDwever, the fall and early winter rains had

greatly swollen tt>e LOSELLE am it becan:e a far greater

obstacle than hart been expected when the early plannip.g

was completed. J-lS a result, tbe crossing of the sup­

porting eleIr.ents of the 90th DivisLm was seriously

slc.:weri, thereby delaying the DivisLm l s ability to

maintain resupply ani b enlarge the bri.,igeheed. The

enemy, after a hesitant reacticm to the initial lan:irg s,

han begun limit counterattacks from his positions

in the ]I::AGINOT Line. But the real thorn in the side

of General VAN F'LEET, Commanding General of the 90th

Divi siun, was th3 raging torrent of the Y\iOSELLE.

By early morning of the 11th of }!ovel1"bor all

three infantry regiments of the 90th Division were

across, together with 00 me anti-tank anrl light support

weapon s. Still no bridges had been completed. Nonethe­

less, General V;,N FLEET decided not to wait, since the

close couDat forces were across, anrl resumErl his attack

to the southeast to exparrl the bridgehead anct complete

hi s missL.m.

.- Just as the FhLLING brir!ge was completed on the

17

afternoon of the 11th, and as the artillery was crossing,

the Germans lau.11chen a counterattack to push t:J the bridge

site ani destroy it. The German force, starti'ng from

KEltLING consi stetj of ten tanks anrl about twel Vf3, a ssaul t

guns v f the 22th Panzer Grenadier Division. Tb,i s force

was initially successful due to the inability of the

Americans to bring much in the way of anti-t~k weapons

to bear. The attack was still rolling strong £:s the

infantry rushed. two tank destr.)yers across the bricl,ge

to plug the hele. Their &rrival, although at the

eleventh hour, was in ti:r.6, and before the Germ"ms

coul,-! extricate themselves, they had lost 400 near! and

150 prisvners to the infantry I anri four tanks and five

nssault guns to the tw;.) tank destroyers. 2

vl,1ith the bri(~ge saved, the inf2ntry ru shed all

pOSSible reinforcem<;;nts across tr:o river to continue

the attack. On, tbe 13th of November tte bridge at

CJ;TTENO!~~" was completed am the first junction with

troops from the 95th DivisLm t::> thE.: sooth had been
!nade.

By the 14th ~ll the fighting elements, organic

* Thi 8 bridge had been E stabli sllerl by D bptt2lion of


the 95th Division on order of Gener8l Wi.LKEfi two
d&ys previ ously when inabili ty to complete the
1'.ALLIN'G bric.ge.: was three1tening the success C)f the
Gntire operatLn.
-

18

and ;:l.ttachcd, of tbe 90th Division h71d erosscd intu

thtJ bridgehe:-td and the w:]"y was clE::['r for the 10th

I,rnored Division.

Thus, bte on the afternoon of the 14th, CCB

bcg'"'n its r1uV(,; out of the 9.ssembly aren rnd across the

;'OSELLE nt C \TTl:NOI: whih: CCh I:1ovt:;d over the HALLL"JG

bridgu.

-----------------------
NO'rJ2:S FOR CH.'.PTER III

l/,ftcr fiction rtDport, 10th Armored Division, entry for


2 lJov 44.

20p • Cit. Dr. H. L. Cole, ch;.p VIII, p. 28.'

19

CHAPTER·IV

eGA - NOVEABER 14th to DEOE; .BEa. 16th

P1<ms for the Ecployrr:ent of CCA

By nightfall of Noverr.ber 14th all e1ement~ of

CCA had crossed over the Lc\sELLE Hi ver at !;..ALLING from

their position behind CieTTENOh FDrest. The asserrhly

area for the 10th ArI!lored Division in the KOENIGSfJ,.CHER

bridgehead had been prepared and out posted by elements

of the 90th Division and was ready for occupation.

In the XX Ccr ps plans for the employment of

armor in the Triangle, it was cecided that CCh should

be given the initial ~~5sion of seizing the 10th l~mored

Division's objective of BOUZONVILLE and the high ground


l
around it.

The XX Corps cOlTln'.?nder in formulating his plans,

realized that an ee.r1y seizure of this vital terrain was

of the utmost importance in isolating the fortified area

of :&..ETZ from the east and northeast and thus preventing

its reinforcement by mobile enell\Y elements fr::lll east of

the Sh.;..R River. In addition, this terrain was the most

lobica1 location for a point of pivot for further operations

to the north. With this L'1. mind, CCr. was given the further

tentati va mission of being prepared to thrust north after

reaching BOUZONVILLE, in order to secure a northern crossing

20

2
of the ~R. fliver.
The seizure and consolidation of the BOUZONVILLE
area was to be accompli shed in conjunct ion wi. th the 90th
Division, .advancing on the right flank of CCli. There­
after, it was planned that CCA should turn north, pierce
the fortification in the vicinity of OOSCHOLZ, e.nd con­
tinue its drive to SJ.ARBURG, in order to secuI'f; a crossing

over the SAAR River. It was contemp-,+ated that the 90th

Division, after completing the encirclement of LETZ by


jOining forces with the 5th Division'in the vicinity of
BOULAY, would then continue its advance east to the SAAR
River to clear that area of remaining ene~ forces.
although very little intelligence was available
at that time as to the tJ'ue extent of the defenses in
the northern sector of the Triangle, it was believed
that the Switch Line of fortifications, anchored at
BESCH on the HOSELLE, would be strongly held by determined
enemy el~~nts corr~itted to hold at all costs.
These fortifications guarded the important com­
municatio~ center of TRIER, located in the center of the
Western German defense system. From the standpoint of
XX Corps, the destruction and penetration of the ORSCHOLZ
Switch Line offered three valuable prizes. These were:
(1) the capture of TRIER, (2) northern crosaing of the
SfJ..R River, and (3) the elimination of a potential enerny

21

threat against the Co~pSI left flank.

In implementing the plan for the employment of

C~. toward BOUZONVILLE and thertee to the north, initial

cons:ideration was given the mO!3t expedient means of

launching CCh from the congested area of the bridgehead

in coordination with tbe general drive to t he east

across the b<:se of the Triangle.

hlthough it was recognized tr~t available enemy

strength was not sufficient to undertake a successful

counter-offensive against the well-consolidated positions

within the bridgehead area, it was, however, realized

that the enemy would exert a determined resistance in

order to contain any attempted breakthrough of armor.

Such a breakthrough would, of necessity, have a devastat­

ing effect upon his entire defense organization in the

li.:ETZ area, end wculd sumrf.erily doom his resistance

therein to failure.

The elements comprising the organization of

CGA for its forthcoming operation included tanks, armored

infantry, mechanized cavalry, combat engineers, and tank

destroyers (SP), (See chart opposite page 13 for organiza­

tion of CGA, 10th Armored Division during this pericxi).

The plan finally evolved by Brigadier Gene raJ.


KENNETH G. hLTH.i,US, commanding 'CClI, for the tactical

employment of the Combat Corrm~nd called for the apportion­

22

ing of cle.Gients into two henvily wGighted t;-;:.sk forces

and a less powerful reserve task force. This division

of forces was dictated by the necessit? of advancing on

twv sCp?o rFttc routes.

Task Force CH."rBERL/,Itr, corrunpnded b;r Lieuten&nt

Colonel THOr 'lS G. CHA:mERL',IN., was 'ssigned the south(.rn

rout(; to be follt1wed closely by the R8serve T2,sk Force,

Task F(Jrc~ D~OBRY, cOli;Jil''.I1ded by Lieuten(lnt Colonel

D:~0BRY. It "':0.3 determined thDt T~'sk Force CHAl:iIBB~.IN

should ;;eke the De.in effo:::t. In addition, Task Ft)rc0

CH :iB:;:RL:!n~ was given th", !"'dded responsibility of main­

taining cont2.ct with the 90th DivisLm "dvancing south­

00.st to BOUL\Y on its southern flank. Task Force

S'.!:' \VDISH, conmanded by Lieuten::nt Colonel ST:NDISH, was

ordered to 8dvA.nce on 11 northern routl~ pe.rCillaling that

cf '!'f\sk Force CH ',;iBERL.Hn in order to protect tht; northern

fl,~nk of XX Corps, with rnrticll1ar attention to any at­

teI1.t'lted enem'J thrust fro.Gi the flanking fortifications

of the ORSCHOLZ Switch Line.

The f.ttack en BOUZONVILLE

On the morning of tho 16th of lJovember CC', jumped

off in the att'lck to plow its way free of thE> cungested

area of the bridgehead. Once th<:.: p':.Onotratiun uf the

initi?l onem:' defenses hC'.d be~n nnde, Tr~sk Force CHiJtBERlu1IN,

23

OL _
c -t .IN.,

CCA -16 NOV 'TO '6 DEC

~ ....,
I .13-'2~

followed by Task Force DESOBRY, struck east toward the

town of LAUIv.ES}ELD. As the point advanced on HAUTE­

SIEHCK, an undefended minefield was encountered, ex­

tending to considerable breadth on ei. tner side of the

road and with mine s exposed in its ceqter. Hi th little

delay the attached engineers were brought forward and

employed in removing these rr~nes. Shortly thereafter

the column was able to continue its advance.

J...s the column approached HAUTE-SIERCK, machine

gun and rifle fire was received from the enemy occupyirig

the houses on the western limits of the village. The

Reconnaissance Platoon, which had been preceding the

colwnn, had taken cover wi thin th e outskirts of the

village, and having been pinned down by the enemy

machine gun and Ii fle fire ~ was hopefully awaiting re­

lief by the heavier \'o/eapons of the main body. Their

presence greatly limited the utilization of the fire

of the 75mm tank guns attempting to blow the enemy out

of the houses. However, by infiltrating dismounted

infantry forward and carefully placing fire of the 75s

in the winiows of the occupied houses, the attackers

overpowered the enemy and the town was cleared of

all enemy eleLlents.

From this minor action, undoubtedly a valuable


-
--- lesson can be drawn in the employment of light recon­

24

ncissance elements operating directly in edvr.nce of

a fast-moving mechanized column. It is apparent that

these light ele.l'l1ents will inevitably be pinned down

when surprised by fire from well-emplaced automatic

weapons, and their presence will naturally result in

limiting the employment of effective fragmentation fire

from the heavy weapons of the column. As a result of

these assumptions, it should, therefore, become established

doctrine that light elements will habitually be employed

on the forward flanks of a fast-rr~ving column, rather

than in advance of tho direct line of rrzrch.

At the conclusion of this !lction at ID.UTE-SIERGK,

the column continuGd its advance on Li-i.m:.ESF'ELD. hS

IAlfllESFELD carre wi trin observation of the forward ele­

ments, & prepara.tion of mortar, artillery, and assault

gun fire was ple.ced on the town and the high ground

to the north of the railroad, where resistance was be­

lieved to be centered.

This preparation, as intended, drew fire from

a ba.ttery of artillery and four 88rrun guns errplaced on

the high grcund flanking the town. Tank.....i nfantry teams

were hastily organized and a double envelopment of the

enemy positions was executed under the cover of heavy

artiller;y concentrations. Stubborn resistance threw

,,-..... back these enveloping attacks, resulting in the loss

25
of three tanks ann inflicting approximately a dozen

casu2.lti es., The enemy gun positions and pockets of

resistance were, nonetheless, by now, well pinpointed.


I

A coordinated infantry-heavy attack was quickly organized

and launched under cover of all available massed artil­

lory fire, supplerr.ented by mortars and assault guns, and

sted by an air strike of P-47s eIrploying nepalm.

This attack was so violent in its execution that the

positions were practically annihilated. Those few of

the enemy who were f()rtunate enough t:J escape destructLm

by the assault quickly surrendered. The town 1;05 then

occupied with only a tbken resistance which ended in

surrender of the remaining elements.

During this interval, Task Force STANDISH had

been pushing steadily east on its parallel northern

axis, encountering little serious resistance although

light enemy elements were met atterrpting to infiltrate

from the northern flank. They were decisively repulsed

and forced to witlrlraw vdthin the protecti.Jl1 of the

Switch Line. The two leading Task Forces were at this

stage approxime.tely abreast and easy cOIrmunicati~n was

being t!'Bintained as the cd vancE. c c.ntinued.

Task Force CHM..BERI.UN on the morning of Novemrer

17th cittacked BECKERHOLZ on orders from Generel l,LTHAUS •.3

,~ Although sorre enerrw resistance was expected, it was not

26

enc ountered and t he town was occupier! va thout incident.

As a result of this unexpecterl.. lack of resistance,

p12ns were i~mediately pegun for the assault on BOUZON­

VILLE, the Division objective. As BOUZONVILLE was also

an important center of corrununicaticnsior the area,

and therefore could be considered of vi tal importance

to the enemy defenses as a delaying position in the

event of his forced withdrawal from liETZ, it was con­

templated that every effort would be made by the enemy

to defend it against attack.

In the planning, tank-heavy assault teams were

consti tutet1 to be employed in a strong cJorctinated

-. assault ctesigned to take the 'town by storm. Artillery

was placed on call and preparea to register. It was

at this stage in the preparations that an officer

arri ven from CGA Headquarters with worc1 that orders

hari been raceived frem Divisi[Jn that the attack on

BOUZONVILLE would be cancelled and the town by-passed.

Needless to say, this was a considerable disappointment

to Colonel Cll'II.BERLi.IN, who was quite confident that

BOUZONVILLE could have been taken, thus affording his

Task Force the first real test of its abilities.

As a result of thi s action by Division, plans

were changed and i t VlaS decided that Task Force CHAMBER­

--, LAIN should attempt iJ. crossing of the NIED River sOI1l3wha t

27

to the northwest of BOUZONVILLE. Information was ob ....

tained that the bridge at FILSTROFF which r.ad been

thought completely destroyed by the Germans in the:ir

withdrawal, was still partially intact, sufficiently

SD, at least, to cross dismounted infantry. Infantry

was therefore imnediately dispatched to seCure a bridge­

head am engineers were then ordered to proceed to

FILSTROFF without delay to repair the bridge for the

passage of vehicles.

At this time Task Force DESOBRY was ordered

attached to Task Force CHA~EERLAIN for further operations

east of the NIED and was instructed to join Task Force

CHAi:.::BERLAIN immediately from its location at COU-EN.

This, Task Force DESOERY attempted on the evening of

the 18th of November, but found the road between COL~EN

and FILSTROFF impassable, due to craters and mines, and

was forces to withdraw to COU:EN to await morning in

order to find a suitable route south.

During the morning of the 19th of November the


FILSTROFF bridgehead became a I fai t accompli t and A

and B Troops (reinforced) of the 90th Cavalry Recon­

mHss ance Squadron (.rr.echani zed), under the command

of A:ajor LEYTON, passed through the bridgehead ar..d

struck south toward BOUZONVILLE. Tanks and infantry

were now being passed thrcugh the bridgehead and were

26
beginning to thrust south to exploit the success of

the cavalry.

It was at this point that an order arrived

from CCA that Was not entirely unexpected. The order

read: "Cease all opera tio ns ea st oCthe NIED River. ,,4

An amplification of this order gave instructions for

the wittrlrawal of all elements east of the NIED and the

destruc tion of the FILSTROFF bridge'.

Following orders, Task Force CHJ,XBEFl.I..hIN began

the withdrawal of its forces from across the NIED.

When this was acco~plisherl, the bridge was destroyed

and the Task Force proceeoed to further withdraw to

the vicinity of LAUlESFELD where all elements of CCA

were assembling, thus marking the close of the first

phase of Combat Command A I S operation within the SAhR­

:MOSELLE Triangle.

Before continuing to the second and more im­

portant phase of this historical narrative, let us

pause to consider briefly the significance of sorr.e

of the tactical principles, illustrated above, especially

those that have gained recognition for merit in the

present doctrine of armored err~loyment.

The employment of CGA to penetrate a well­

defended area such as the eneIP.y defenses containing

the KOENIGS1':ACHEH. bridgehead, and the· further mission

29

of seizir~ BvJZONVILLE, a vital objective deep in his

rear, coupled with t.he attendant rHsruption of his rear

installations and the resulting shock to his will to

resi st, has demonstrated once again the potency of

armor when properly employed ~s a decisive arm in modern

warfare. This secondary mission of securing the XX Corps

northern flank, in conjunction with the execution of its

primary mission, demonstrates quite adequately the in­

herent flexibility attributed to armor as a contingency

force, embodying the versatility of a unit of horse

cavalry.

CGA Hits the switch Line

Note: See map opposite page 24.

On the night of 19th-20th of November, on orders

from Corps, CCt. began its n:ove north from its assembly

area in the vicinity of LAUEESFELD, in order to relieve

the 3rd Cavalry Group along a line east and west from

BESCH to HALLENDORF. On the night of November 20th

eCA arrived behind the 3rd Cavalry Group prepared to

take over it s posi tions and attack to the north in an

effort to penetrate the strong enemy resistance.

The formidable dragon's teeth of the Switch Line


fortifications, heavily covered by fire from multiple

weapons of varying caliber, had permitted the 3rd

___ Cavalry Group but limited success in this area. After

30

successive attempts, only a small gap had been cleared

in the dragon's teeth and a shallow salient of le ss

than a thousand yards had been penetrateg. The 3rd

Cavalry Group hac been tenaciously holding this small

gain to the north of the village of BORG while awaiting

the arrival of CCA With its heavier tanks.

As has been previously mentioned, little was known

by our intelligence of the e~act outline or strength of

the ORSCHOLZ Line or the disposition of its fortifications.

It was, however, realize~ that the Cavalry had been

stopped by a formidable line of field forti fica tions in

the NENNIG-TETTINGEN-oBERLEUKEN sector. One thing had

- been quite definitely determined, and this was that a

force other than the 3rd Cavalry Group with its thin­

skinned vehicles would be needed before the strong enenw

position wquld be overcome.

Since the axis for the continuation of the Third

Ar~'s offensive now lay in a northeasterly direction

aimed. at the seizure of the RHINE crossing between

WORMS and MAINZ, General PATTON wished to establish a

bridgehead across the SAAR as far to the north as possi ble

in order to be able to continue his advance to the RHINE

with his left flank resting secure on the MOSELIE River.

Confronted with this necessity, General WALKER

,-.. hact ordered eCA, Vii. th its heavier armor, north to pass

31

- - -..... ~----
through the 3rd Cavalry Group nnd secure a crDssing

over the ShAR Hiver at SkARBURG.

On the mornbg or November 21st CClt : tt.acked

the Switch Line through the 3rd Cavalry Group, allowing

this unit to disengage. The attack was launched on a

six-mile front with Task Force CEA1.BErtLAIN advancing in

its habitual pas! tien on the right. It was General

ALTHh.US' plan to send Task Force CHAYBERUIN through

the gap made by the Cavalry to the north of BORG.

Coordinated with this, Tas!{ Force ST.i1.NDISH on the left,

was to envelope around BESCH and strike at TETTIi':GEN.

Initially, Task Force CH/lA.BERLh.IN's advance was able to

overcome the light resistance. The right team, Team

EISBERG, moving at an angle toward ORSCHOLZ was sud­

denly brought to a halt by exceedingly accurate mortar

and artillery fire that caused tr.e vet-icles to disperse

and seek cover.

The left column of the Task Force was advancing

along the road leading toward KIRF when it encountered

a large crater flanked by dragon IS teeth that barred tt:e

further advance of its vehicles. Infantry was dis­

mcunted and, braving the beavy fire from automatic

weapons which cO"ered the area, was successful in

making a small perletration behind the barrier, only

to 'be stopped by concentrations of well-placed artillery


.-­
fire.

32
It was n;)t until the afternoon of the 22nd of

Novewber that these two colwrns were able to brea}: free

of the ORSCHOLZ Vioods which had afforded them cover

during the attack of the previous dp.y. Jnce having

broken free they were able to aflvance about 800 yards

into the enemy's defenses. In view of the enemy's

appare nt strength and the di sposition in depth 0 f hi s

excellent defense fortifications, this penetration

could, at best, be considered only negligible.

On the left of Task Force CHA1J3Er1LA.IN Task Force

STANDISH, attacking with two teams abreast, had met with

little more success. The left attack W.')s able to pene­

trate only fj short distance beyond the line of departure

when it was confronted by a deep anti-ta.'1.k ditch, re­

inforced by pillboxes and rlragon I s teeth. Ti1roughout

the day this Team, eIr',ploying engineers, a::.tempted to

bridge the ditch under extremely heovy enemy fire. On

tr~ morning of the 22nd of November, having renev~d

the attack in a well-planned effort, it finally suc­

ceeded in reaching NENNIG. The attack had been de­

signed to flank tt,e ORSCHOLZ position. -.Yn arriving

at NENNIG it Vias found that the line ran north arrl

south behin1 the town ani from the present position

was unassailable from the flank.

,_ In the late afternoon the Germans counterattacked in

33
considerable strength, and were succ<:ssful in inflicting

the loss of six tanks and causing fifty-five casualties.

The right Team was somewtat more successful. This

Tear:;, riesigna ted Team EARDLY, had penetr,ated the dragon's'

teeth ani had entered the village of TETTINGEN. A

strong attack by the enew~, nevertheles~, soon drove it

back tD its original position, inflicting heavy casual­

ties 8nrJ tank losses.

It was by now ruite evident that the attack

of eGA har.! seriously bogged down Gnd h,?d Ii ttle hope

of success without strong assistance from infantry.

It was further believed that the Germans were siphoning

reserves into the area with e vay intention of holding

the line at all costs. Intelligence had still been

unable to penetrate the 2.cti ve counterreconnaissance

screen of the enemy to ctetermine the true cr.aracter

of the fortifications anrJ the strengtr, of the forces

defending the line. It was known that the GerrrBn

416th Infantry was the main element in position. It

was believed, although without verification, that

certain units of the renowned 21st Pcnz~r Grenodi5r

Di vi sion harl but recently been moved into the area

when the threat became acute.

On the morning of the 23rd of Noveffiber, General

IWHJi:IS, cOHunanrling the Division, decided to cancel the

34.

renewal of CCA's schenula1 attack, as a result of its

failure to make headway the previous ctay.

It was ctecidect to COlJl.mit the 358th Infantry

RCT of the 90th Division which had been attachect to

eGA on the 21st of November and har.i followed it north"

This regiment had been greatly weakened in the fight


"

for the KOENIGStl.GHER bringehearl ane! had not as yet

receiverl replaccI!'.ents; It was presently 'only at 37%

strength. 5

The 358th was to be con1'llitted to lrJ.?ke the

initial penetration, thus opening the way for the GGA to

drive through to SAJ,RBURG. The infantry was given

the objective of SINZ and l'UNZINGEN, three ani four

thousanrt yards respectively behind tre center of the

Switch Line. The direction of attack lay along Cl rioge

learling north in the direction of SAF.liBUHG. It was

hoped that once the infantry was firmly astride the

ridge tbe way would be clear for the armor to roll


----
north. Through some 1i vergence in planning, GC£, and ~
the a.rtillery, wro were ordered to closely support

tt.e attack, were not sufficiently briefer! in their

support wissions. hS the infantry passed the line

of departQre and moved into the attack to gain tr-e

crest of the ridge, the tanks of GGA fr'om their flanking

position let loose a murrieroU6 fire from their 758 on

35

the infc1 ntry of the 358th passing through tbe wooded

area leading to the crest. The artillery, mistaking

the loc~tion of the infantry advanc e, opened up simu­


6
taneously \'\ith the massed fire of its bat,terles. The

result was pandemonium. Caught unexpectedly by fire

from the flank ,mn rear, many of the infantry wae

killed. Control for the ti me being was completely

lost. When it was realized that they had been fired

on by their own forces, feeling ran high. Only by

the grec.test effort was the infantry reorgani zed am


the attack resumed.

It ap;Jears worthy of mention, in reference to

this inCident, that when the 358th Infantry and cel.


were later in the rest area, feeling WaS still intense

and resulted in numerous fights aITDng personnel of the


two unit s. Fights also broke out in the hospi tals

where casualties were unrlergoing medical threatment. 7

To continue, the 2nrl Battalion vihich han been

harrlest hit, was unable to resume the attack until that

afternoon. The 3rd Battalion, on the other hand, which

had suffered much less damage, quickly reassembled ani

executed a flanKing movement into the CAMPHOLZ Woods.

It was successful in spanning the anti-tank ditch with

ladders an~ the woods was eventually cleare~ of the

-
.
eneIll8' •
On the morning of the 24th of NDVEiuber, the

358th Infantry continued the attack. As the 2n~ Bat­

talion swept forward, it was forced to halt by a hail

of machine gun fire from the huge bunker at the edge

of the village of OBERLiWKEN.

Colonel CLXCiKE, Regimental Comnnnder, seeing

the battalion pinned do\\n, corrmitted the re serve, the

1st Batta1ion, to attack OB&iLEUKEN. Thi s Battalion

was successful in gaining entrance to the limit of

t.he village, but the fight for its possession continued

far int') the night.

During this interval, the Germans counterattacked

the 3rrl Battalion in the GAl, PHOLZ Woods wi th ilaree

throwers. This threat was, howev5r, eventually beaten

off; but as a result, the battalion failer! to a~vance

out of the woorts until the early afte.rnoon. When the

attack finally got unner way, Company K succeeded in

reaching BUTZDORF, having knockc,-l out sixteen pillboxes

in the line of its advance. AS


.'
darkness closer! in, the

Genr.:;.ns attempte r : to eject Company K from the houses it

had occupie~. The bdttle raged throughout the night.

CHptain CcHOLLAND, the company COI1llll!;nd5r, was killed

and all officers were soon casualties. The uni t, none­

thelesa, Was able to hold out until morning, when relief

..-- finally arrivec: from the 3ril Battalion, wr.ich had been

37

_ )i....
', _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .~~_"._.
__*''''. . .
Btriving desper8.tely to take TE'ITINGEN.

TETTlhGEN was finally taken after practically

every house in the village had sufferer'! a terrific

shelling by the 344th FA Battalion.

In the meantime, other arms had been brought

into play. Fighter bombers from the Tacticd .Air COffilI'.and

supporting the XII Army Group had successfully interdicted

the movement of German reserves in the area by dropping

nepalm and fragmentation bombs on SINZ and f!UNZINGEN.

CCh had, by now, bridged the anti-tank ditch

south of TEI'TIhGEN and han sent a.platoon of tanks into

the fight. These tanks assisted greatly in the taking

of BUTZDORF. A number of' German prisoners were te,ken

here. This force was, however, not strong enough to

hol(1 the exposed posi tion of this village. BUTZDORF

was therefore evacuated, When our forces had withdrawn,

the artillery blasted it and the tanks and mortars in

TE'ITINGEN showered it with white phosphorus in order

to make it untenable for further enerrur occupation •

. On the right the battle for the possession of

OBERLBUKEN was still in progress. The 1st Battalion

continued its house to house fighting after beating

off a foray of Gerrnan tanks anrl infantry.

The 3rd Battalion malie some progress oe spi te

a withering fire frcm its front, and finally succeeded

38

in taking Hill 388, 500 yards northwest of OBERLEUKEN.

This advance, to say the least, was c~stly. By the


end of the day the strength of the 3rd Battalion numbered

less than a hundred rr:en in the line.


The three-day battle to penetrnte the ORSCHOLZ
Line had drastically reduced the combat efficiency of

the 358th Infantry_ The exposure to the cold, the murl

ann rain, with only such shelter as could be found in

captured pillboxes, had brought a mounting toll of

trench foot casualties. On the evening of the 25th

of Noverrber, General }COiihIS and Colonel CLAHKE agreed

that the 358th was in no condition to continue the

attack. General WALKER readily concurred in this

deci sion, and on th e 26th of November the infantry

was relieved by units of the 10th Armored Division

in a highly successful dayligr~ withdrawal. The 358th

then reverted to the control of its parent unit, the

90th Division, and entered the rest area of VICKERI~U

Barracks, north of DALSTEIN..


Although it could be seen that the fight at

tho Switch Line was dravling to a close, it was, as

yet, not quite ended. On the 27th of Noverrber, the

Germans, acting ~ith the tenacity characteristic of


their defense of the area, began slowly filtering

back into TETTINGEN. Having consolidated this position,

39

they then drove on to attack BORG, which had been in


American hands since the beginning of the operations.
This final attempt to seal off the salient
originally rr:.ade by the 3rd Cavalry Group was success­
fully repelled, and the Germans were driven back and
forc6d to evacuate TETTINGEN.
At this.point, ~merican operations against the
Switch Line were halted. OBERLEUKEN and NENNIG, two
of the thr6e key posi tions in this sector," still re­
mained in German hands. The operation to secure a bridge­
head at SAArtBURG was reluctantly abandoned.
The Jrd Cavalry Group was now ordered to relieve
.,­
CGA in its positions along the ORSCHOLZ Line, to main­
tain contact with the enemy, and to protect the Corpsl
north flank. CCh was ordered to withdraw and join
the lOth Armored Division to pssist in clearing the
enemy west of the SAAR in the lOth Armored Division
zone.

NorES FOR CHAPTER IV


12£. Cit. Dr. H. L. Cole, Chap. VIII, p.J8
20 p • ~. The Reduction of Fortress ~TZ, p.28~29
3Gp. ~. The Reduction of Fortress l~Z, P.28
42£. Cit. Dr. H. L. Cole, Chap. VIII, p.41
5Qe. Cit. The Reduction of Fortress METZ,_ p.42

6Interview, t,:,qj. C. N. Vaughan (formerly 3d Cav Gp), Srx/TAS


7Ibid •
40
.. ",
'- '\

o • 1"" • • '1

o
I .Voi/­ ,..~~

,V~· /NTt> '$

/ 'PAll'£-",4'OII ..R..r~"'/N"/N.
I,jl:­ .
CHAPTER V

CCE THRUSTS EAST

Northeast of the KOENIGStACHER bridgehead,

CCE of the 10th Armored Division, began thrusting

across the German border in an attempt tb reach its

objective at dawn on November 15th. .CCB :had a

straight-l.ine di stance of only eleven rtliles to travel

before it could fulfill its mi~sion of seizing a bridge

intact over the SftAR River at MERZIG.

The Combat Corrmand was organized into two Task

Fo rc e s , Ta sk Force CHERRY and Ta s k Forc e \rIJE INER • ( For

composition, see chart opposite page 13.)

Early on Noverrb er 15th, CHERRY am WEINER drove

towards KEP..LING. The muddy terrain forced the teams

to stay on the roads, and numerous roadblocks and heavy

enemy artillery concentrations made this method of

advance a slow process. However, by dark, CCE had

gained control of the wooded high ground just three

wiles east of the town.

The next morning CCE was unable to advance

since the Germans had blown the brirjges over the stream

at the foot of the high ridge they had taken the night

before. Intense artillery interiiction fire prevented

the engineers from making any progress whatsoever during

41

the entire day of November 16th. While the engineers


were assembling equipment to bridge the swollen stream,
General PI BURN was making plan s to continue the at tack.
Task Force CHERRY woul~
split into two columns to attack
l
LAUNSTROFF and REUELING. At the same time Task Force
VlliINER would strike southeast with the town of HALSTROFF
as its objective.
The treadway bridge over the stream in front
of Task Force CHER.t\.y was completed during the night of
16th-17th of November. At 0600 a Team rr~ved out headed
north toward RITZI~G with LAUNSTROFF as the objective.
Going was extremely slow and the numerous roadblocks
kept the armored column fron attaining the enormous

momentwn pc'ssessed by armor when it gets rolling. Losses


were inversely proportional to the speed of the attack.
Nonetheless, by-passing the strong point of RITZING,
Colonel CHERRY was able to push this team on to UUN­
STROFF by nightfall.
The other Team of CHERRY's Task Force struck
east and after fighting trree delaying engagerr.ents
with the Germans, reached a pcsition just south of
RE~1lJ.,ING. At the same time Task Force WEINEli had
driven southeast against stubborn ':!nemy resi stance
until it reached a blown bridge only about a hundred

yards from its objective, the town of HALSTROFF.


As Task Force 'lJIJEINER WaS pushing into the town

of SCHWERDOHFF, Colonel ~iElNER was severly wounded by


enemy fire. 2 Lieutenant Colonel HUSTEAD,' the armored
infantry battalion commander, took over command of the
team and it was redesignated Task Force HUSTEAD.
By the 20th of November all three columns of
CCB had crossed the Gerl'I'.an border. Some minor streams,
tributaries of the NIED, cut across the American front,
and, with their bridges destroyed, were potential sources
of delay and it was necessa~ for some elements of the
Combat Command to assume defensive positions.
On November 21st the nortt colurrn of CCB receiverl

a heavy counterattack just west of BUDINGEN but it was


repulsed with heavy loss to tho enemy. The 22nd and
23rd of November were spent in patrolling to the front

for the purpose of determining exact location of enemy


positions.
On the 26th of November CCB cleared the woods

east of WALDWISSE arLd then entered the town of BETHINGEN.


Although the town was taken by surprise, heavy enemy
artillery concentrations soon necessitated a withdrawal.
General PIBUR.N now had three columns within four
l1'..iles of his object.i ve, the bridge of r.::[RZIG. The head
of the northern column was just east of BUDINGEN with

-- a gOOQ road leading into the ci ty of LERZIG. The center

43
C olurrn in ViALDYITSSE had an equ.ally good road paralleling

the northern column and just two. miles south. The

southern colwnn east of H.i-~LSTROFF did not have an ade­

quate road net but was favorably situated.

The Germans had realized the importance of the

city of ~iNtZIG, tr,e key to the SAAR Valley, and had


taken extreme care to block all avenues of approach.

The terrain along with the soft su~soil afforded the


.'
defenrler an excellent positi on. The roads, the only

avenues of approach for armor, were 'covered with numerous

roadblocks which mode going extremely slow. However, both

the northern and the center columns of eGB pushed to

the built-up area of HILBRINGEN, only one mile west

of the bridge, on the afternoon of the 29th of November.

On the morning of November 30th, as the elements

of CCB were preparing to complete their mission of seizing

the bridge intact over tre SAhR Hi ver at MERZIG, a ter­

rific explosion shook the erea. The Germans had blown

the brirlge just as the engineers reached it. 3

The next day GeB cleared HILB~INGEN, just west

of ~.:nRZIG, and ccmtinued to straighten its lines.

The Division GOITM~nding General, on the 2nd

of Decen:ber, ordered eeA to relieve eGE. 4

eGE assembled in an area north of nEkELING

and the weary tankers began the move to an assembly

44

area in the vicini ty of :::ONTENACH, ten miles northeast

of TEIO!-:VILLE. In two an,"! a half weeks of incessant combat

they h<1d reached their objective only to find their mission

the capture of a bridge across the SAAR in the vicinity of

1,~.ZIG - incapable of accomplishment. Units, however, had

reccl. ved their bapti sm of fire and had ironed out many kinks

in operating technique. These and other lessons learned

proved invaluable in time to come.

{NOTE: CGA continued to occupy positions overlooking


the SAki. until just prior to th e Division

move to LUXEtBOUHG on the l7t h ()f Decell",~)er.

It engaged in no serious co~bat, and w~s used

primarily to "beef up" the depleted forces of

the 90th Di vision who were primarily responsible

for the zone. CeE remained in the ~.iONTEN.ACH

area during the entire period.)

NOTES FOR CHAPTER V

~. ill. The Reduction o,f Fortress LETZ, .0.41


2Interview, ke.j. J. L. Balthis (formerly lath !~rmd Di v), SOC/TAS

3Ibid.

4After Action Report, CCA 10th Armorerl Di vi sion,en try for


1 Dec 44.

45

CHAPl'ER VI

SUMN.ARY OF FIRST PHASE

As we have seen, the loth Armored Division

engaged in six major operations during its initial

campaign in the tETZ encirclement and the SAAR-MOSELlE

Triangle. To mention them again~

(a) Battle Indoctrination west of l'ETZ.

(b) Movement north to assembly area behind


the i,iOSELIE Bridgehead.

(c) Breakout of bridgehead through the 90th


Di vision.

(d) Divergent colurr~s racing for objective.

(e) Turnabout of CCA and attack against


strongly fortified position.

(f) I:overr.ent to rear assembly areas for r-e­


organi. zation and rehabilitation.

The battle indoctrination period was beneficial

to too Division for two primary reasons - it gave troops

experience unde r fire in a relatively quiet sector, and

it gave the Division and Combat COF.mand staffs a splendid

opportunity to iron out kinks in their organization and

opera tional practices wi thout the danger of costly

mistakes which could result in seriolls losses. For

example, the Division f:und itself double banking columns

lmnediately in rear of the battle position where these

columns becane entangled with each other 3nd with other

46

vehicles of front line divisions using the route for a


main supply route. 1 ,,;,lthough this kind of tie-up is
normal in training and may freouently be encountered
in cloudy combat situations, in this ~nstance the situ­
ation was as clear as may ever be anticipated. The
mixup can only be laid to poor staff planning at Division
level, and failure to establish priority on roads through
coordination with the Corps G-3 and Prov::>st tarshal.
Had the enemy been willing or capable of taking offensive
action, the 10th Armored Division might well hove ended
its combat career on the first night i t came within
range of enemw artillery.
(Comment: Those who are entering combat for
the first time are considerably in awe of combat
experienced personnel, regardless of their respective
rank and positi::>n. Accordingly, failure to coordinate
at Corps level may well have been due to this ;?sycho­
logical factor, and even though the members of the 10th
~rmored Division staff were aware that elements of the
Division might encounter difficulties on the inadequate
roads, they may not have clarified the situation because
of the feeling that men who have seen combat cannot make
a mistake in combat.)
The mov~~ent north to the area of CATTENOM
Forest behind the bridgehead was well planned and took

47

place with minimum confusion and maximum secrecy.

German intelligence failed to locate the lOth Armored


Division prior to its breakout of the brid,gehead, al­
though it was aware that an armored division was
present in the sector. 2 This type of lateral
., movement
in the face of an entrenched. enemy is extremely diffi­
cult to bring to a successful conclusion even though
the route is covered by friendly troops. The ability
to perform this movement without disclosure indicated
that previous mistakes and the action necessary to
correct the mistakes had been absorbed by the Division
staff and put into practice when the 10th Ar~Dred Division
moved north on the 8th of November.
In the initiDl attempt at a breakout of the
infantry-held bridgehead, both combat commands followed
a concept that was a hangover from peacetime training,
and the tacti:;al principles of World War r and earlier
wars. This was to have cavalry reconnaissance elerr£nts
lead the columns out of the friendly lines and into the
enemy position to develop it, to locate its flanks, and
to determine the extent of enemy defensive positions.)
The use of this cavalry reconnaissance against a well-
defended positi:m resulted in tLe attack of the 10th
Armored Division bogging down before it had actually
,..-., left the protection of the infantry position. This
formation was changed irrmediately and as soon as the

heavier armored tank and infantry battalions had been

passed through the cavalry, the attack began to roll.

It is interesting to note that present-day tactical

dcctrine and teaching at The Armored Sch)ol has

abandoned the old-time conce?t and now qssigns cavalry

reconnaissance elements the pri~Bry mission of security.4

Although still classified as combat tro:Jps, reconnais­

sance units will seldom lead an attack in order to

find the enerr~, but will maintain flank nnd rear security

or contact between heavier fighting units. ThGir name

could well be changed from cavalry reconnaissance troops

to Cavalry "Security" units.

After clearing the bridgehead area, the two

leading combat commands separated on different missions

and within two days were well beyond 13. point where they

could be considered mutually self-supporting. Their

respective objectives -- BCUZONVILLE for CCA, and lCERZIG

for CCB - were actually about fourteen airline miles

apart. Over the exceedingly poor road net this distance


was almost doubled.

As the reader learned, the Combat Commands,

after passing through the initial resistance beyond

the bridgehead, fanned out into small armored colUmns

to present an imposing breadth to enemy resistance,

.49

but this formation lacked the force urn violence ;)f

armored combat because of its shallow depth and the

consequent ina~ility of commanders to react to enemy

movements and resistance. As was stated by the Com­

Mmding General of the German First Army, the advance

from the LOSELIE to the ShAR should have been much

swifter and shculd have resulted in more disorganiza­

ti~n of the GerIT~n forces in the area than it did. 5


The operation from the 8th of November to the 24th

'-if NovembE:r was trronsition from intense resistance

to exploitation, and h~d it developed properly, the

result to the Germ.::n First Army could have been

catastrophic. However, the relative strength of the

comb'at corrur.ands in this operntion was such that they

found it necessary to fi ght, and fight hard for every

foot of ground they gained, because they were not

fi€",hting in formations which allowed full exploitation

of their offensive capabilities and could not react

to enemy resistance as it was encountered. It is

pointed ~ut that there were two reasons for the forma­

tLm adopted: (1) The tactical prinei pIes of armor

at this time dictated the formation aQopted, and (2)

the road net available was extremely poor for offensive

operations. The poor road net, it is believe~, did not

,-, preclurle the use of <'Irmor in' c:)lumn formation.

When eGA reached th6 OaSCHOLZ Swi tch Line 8m

50
attempted to penetrate this heavily fortified end well-defended

---' urea, its forIll2.tion was wit h task forces abreast and t'AO teams

per task force abreast. This permitted t~e Combat Coromand to

launch its attack on an extremely broad front, but such weak­

ness resulted from its lack of depth that no appreciable penetra~·

tion was made over a several-day period~ even though the tankers

took over a small gap in the line almost 1,000 yards deep. The

attack, characterized by violent initial force, dwindled quickly,

and never succeeded in bringing off a successful penetration

because it was unable to maintain the necessary momentum. As

its force died, th", Germans reacted with counter2ttacks and

heavy fire, and in each case, made things so hot for the attack­

ers that they were forced to withdraw to their original posi tions

or at least give ground and tii g in when the counterattack ceased.

Had these attacks been launched under present day principles,

using the combat command massed insteactJf piecemeal~ with the

violence concentrated, and a reserve of some size and great

mobility retained, it is believed that the initial success

could have been exploiterl., and the pressure continued so that

the initiative would heve been retained and a breakthrough

accompli shed •

• NOTES FOR CHhFTER VI


lAfter Action Report, 10th f~nnored Dtvision, 1 Nov - 1 Dec 44,
Fha se II, "Lessons Learned".

22£. ill. Dr. H. L. Cole, Chap. VIII, p.31

3~., p.40

4I.echanizeri Cavalr;v, sturly #49 (Report of the General Board,


European rrheater) Lay, 1946.

52£. Ci t. Dr. H. L. Cole, Chap. XI, p.26

51
CHAPTER VU
DECEHBER 16th TO FEBRU;,RY 9th

On the afte.rnoon of the 16th of December, 1944,

all units of the Division were alerted for movement

north with the mission of counterattacking a major

German drive. Little more th<>.ll this was known at

Division Headquarters in the little town of "PiICH on

the HOSELLE River just south of PERL. :'it 0330 the

next day, orders wer.; received qttaching the Division

to VIII Corps of First Arrnyland directing the Division

to f:mrch tOW'l.rd LtJXI]mOlTRG CITY imncdiately. By 0630

the Ifl.st unit of th€: Division cle:'red the IP "'tnd the

colurm recrossed the HOSELLL at T'dIONVILLE. Along

tho route to LUXE:!'BaJRG CITY th0 situation bGcame some­

what clarified and the DivisiGn was split into two

major units to perform entirBly 'sep;>.r9tt::. missions.

While ceB moved to the vicinity of B:.5TOGNE to reinforce

the troops in that area, CC\ t>.nd the rest of th.;; Division

continued A.lmost due :qorth from WXEMBOURG cr TY to pro­

t~ct tho town from the threat of being overrun by the

enemy. Evel'1Jone began to realize thAt the IIUajor

German Drive/! W'l.S a seriuus .qffair indeed (incid.;ntally,

the 10th ;\nnored Division was the first US unit to be

~ diverted
from <mother mission to reinforce troops in
the Bulge). 2

52
eGA - Brigadier GE!neral PIBUR!:!

GGA completed a seventy-fi ve mile march to an

area some twenty miles northeast of LUXEMBOURG CITY

in the early morning of the 18th and went into action

at once. Their mission - to protect the city. Their

plan to carry out this defense -- attack. This attack

stopped German advances in LUX~~OURG. The 12th RCT

of the 4th Division, already in the area, teamed up



with CCA in this action, and when enemy advances in
the zone were completely stopped, CC~ turned the area

over to the 12th. On the morning of the 24th, CCh was

ordererl. to move to the vicinity of STEGEN with the

mission of attacking east to clear that part of LUXEM­

BOURG south of the SAUER River of the enemy. This

they did in twenty-four hours and on Christmas day

they were relieved by the l09th RCT of the 28th

Division. On the 26th they returned to the kETZ area,

arriving late in the afternoon. From this date until

the 8th of February, CCA' had the primary mission of

acting as Corps Reserve for tr.e thinly-held front


on the SAAR. During the period they were successively

attached to XX, XXI (Seventh Army), and XV (also

Seventh Arrrw) Corps and made several short moves,

all in the performance of the mission assigned. No

major combat to~k place, and the majority of the time

53

was ei ven over initially to rest, reht bilitation, :tnd

re-equipping, and Ipter to small-unit training, Fre­

quent corrtrj.c:md inspections werE. held, and nW:lerous

IIhousekeeping II deta.ils were a cC0mplished. For GGE

it was an entirely different stor;)'_

GGE -- Golunel 1.-;. L. ROELRTS

(liOTE: For -3. complett; <JIld detailed account (;f the


10th ~reored Division's CCB in the ",RDENN.c.;S,
s(;C 11.'in:~or at B.\STCGNEfI, a research roport
pI'ep~ed b~! Committee 4, Officers ',dvancc
Course;, The 'Irmored School, 1949.)

Col,mel ROBERTS led his colwm into thfJ tovm

of B ",STOGKE h.t:.., in the c:.fternoon of the 18th of Decem­

ber. TJhon he dispatched Teams DE.SOBFY, CH.8RRY c::.n:i

O'H'.R. to defensive positions north and east of the

tm'm l..n1'11ediately, F.11 h:mds rel'l.lized that the sit uation

WaS even more serious than £10st of thef.l h'ld suspected.

Tho next morning an;:! lingering doubts weN resolved.

The enemy launched his first attack on COB at dawn

and. his ass~ult continued withuut cee.se until the relief

of th <; city SOf'l8 week slat or. On the 20th CCS was

attached to tho lOlst Airborne Divisiun, and on the

21st, after th.3 Germans liad completod tht:: encircle­

ment of EiSTOG1:::." di Tt;ams W6re v.ithdrawn into the

city pr~}pcr where tlley were co[,lbined with eleGents

of thG 9th ·,morcc. Division under Colonel ROBbRTS'



54

co~nd t~ form a mobile reserve for the defense of

the area. This conglomeration was called the nF1.re

Brigade ll and was indispensible. Where the going was

hottest they were sent to put out the flames. All

supplies - but especially fuel -- were in short

supply, and c;.t tirr.e s during the Dperation, vehicles

were not fueled until after a counterattack order

had been issued naming which tanks were to be sent

out.} These tanks only would then be gassed with

enough reserve to allow them to get back into town

after cOIT~leting their mission. On the 26th of December

elements of the 4th Armored Division reacha1 the be­

- l'

sieged town after having broken through the German

southern pincer. This was undoubtedly one of the

great days of the war for Colonel ROBERTS and hi screw,

as well as for the other defenders of Bi:lSTOGNE. A

few days later a corridor was opened up between US

forces to the s!=mth and BASTOGNE itself. Despite

this, CeB remained in BhSTCGNE untU the 18th of

January, by which time the original lines in that

area had been restored ( and ouite a few of the original

CCB personnel and vehicles had been destroyed). One

month to the day after their arrival, all units of

CCB left BASTOGNE for return to the SAAH-A'iOSELlE

~" area. In recognition of their rleerls every man was

55
clecorateri - some individually, ann all wi th the

Presidential Citation. 4

Upon arrival in the t~TZ area, the command

ilrrr.ediat.ely set ab::lUt refitting itself and rehabilitat­

ing its troops. Replacements were received and inte­

grated into units, fresh clothing and equiprrent were

issued, troops were given only minim~~ duties to per­

form. By the first week in Feoruary they were ready

to fight again.

On the 8th :Jf February, Di visbn :1eac1quarters

publi shed Field Order No 29 orderin~ the Di vi sbn to

assemble in th6 1,:ETZ area prepared to continue movereent

to the north or to counterattack any enemy penetration

in XX Corils zone, which was again a1-,proximately what

it har} been prior to the 17th of December. Some re­

distributi:..Jn ;,f tr:)ups was ordered.

Rumors began t:) circulate - "We're going

back into the Triangle III

NarES FOn CPJl.PTEii. VII

12£ • .QU. Third Army Ah.R, entry on 17 Dec 44

2Robert E. Merriam, Dark December (Ziff-Davis Publi shing


Co, 1947) p. 114

3eol SIA l.:arshall, BastoEne (Wash: The Infantry Journal


Press, 1946) p. 72

4GO# 17, Yia,r Dei)t, .13 HRr 45

56
CHAPTER VIII

fiN .',TTA::::K IS PL'INNED

narE: For p represer:tcction of this


entire operation see ~1ap B, [mnex II

Conference Between CG XX G~rps and


CG 94th !)ivision 7 februn Pi; 8, 1945.

On the 8th of Febru.:> ry, 194~, the CO;:1lllanding Gene ral of

xx Corps, Lieuten::::.nt General (then :"t,jor General) \i/ILTO~J H. hfALKER

held n conference with his staff [nd the Commanding General of the

94th Division. They decided to launch f'c full-scale dtnck with

th·.;, 94th to secure the cor:llTl.!;nding ground in t!1e vicinity uf MUNZIN..


l
GEU. The attack, if successful, would result in the effective
.'-­
reduction of that section of the Swit ch line still in enemy hands

C'nd would lay open the entire SJ~ ",R-HUSEL.LE Triangle. The Triangle

was still a potential mnrshalling [-.rea for Gorman nttacks southward,

and h;:'.d served well ?,s a protective scrL.t)n while vmr liUNDST::;DT

funnelled supplies aJ.'1d troups through TRI.JI1 during his December

offensive.

Intellig~nce Data

NOTE: See j't'l.p opposite p.:>g0 59

Interrogc,tion of prisoners of war revealed that the Gc:rman

256th Volksgrenb.dier Division w.qs in thto process of relieving tho

b~dl'r bnttered 11th Panzer Division, and that the enem~' hn-d commit­

ted the reservG eleI!lents IJf the seriously weakened 416th Infantry

,,-- Division. Thl) .<56t h Volksgren;:dier Divisiun w~s disposed with its

57

right fl,:lnk on tr.c LOSELLE rli ver, at THO:m, emf extclideri east to

CALPHOLZ WOOr1s. The 416th Infant ry Di vision held the sector from

CA~::PHOLZ kJod s east to OHSCHOLZ, and the SAhR River. These two

units were reinfcrcen by the usual assortment o'f fortress ~attalions

whose personnel were capable of little more than manning pillboxes.

The ene~¥ had n0 known local reserves except the 11th Panzer Divis­

~, which might be recoITndtted at any time. However, this unit

was incapA.ble of functioning as a division wi thout considerable rest

and refitting. No other reserves were close enough to intervene

effectively. 2

The bulk of the enerqy strength was disposed along the base

of the Triangle. Visual arid photo reconnaissance flown over the

area showed ttat the ene~ positions were in considerable strength,

but were lacking in depth. No secondary or a.lternate line existed

to which the enc.rry might fall back under pressure. Nothing the

enemy possessed could halt an explcitc.tbn accomplisred with speed

?nd violenoe. With these facts in mind, General VlALKER decider: to

comrui t the 10th Arr.lOred Division through the gap he hoped the 94th

Di vision would create.

A Near Hitch in Plans

The; 10th Armored Division, althouj":h attaC{led to XX Corps,

was currently in SHi.EF reserve at lIETZ, and could not be tactically

employed with::lut authority from SPJ,EF. General ;'J;,LKER sought

-.
permission of Third Army to employ the Division, but this recmest

was denied by SHj'ZF. General PJ,TTON, Thirrj Arrr.y Comman::1er, inter­

58

Yl!ned pers~nally in General WALKER's behalf; ar.d ;)btained the use

of the lOth Armored,- provided a clear breakthrough was achieved

by the 94th Division. 3 Upon learning this situation, General ACORHIS

immediately directed his staff to make a terrain study, plan the

attack, and prepare to move the D:i,vision from 1,£!'Z, so as to be

in immediate reserve when the 94th Division launched its attack.

The CorES Plan

Geocral 1fiALKEf.' s plan envisioned a concerted attack of all

regimental combat teams of the 94th Division to breach the Switch

Line fortifications. Two Combat comnands of the 10th .Armored

Division would pass through the breach a11d, by moving along parallel

roads which flanke~ the crest of the dominant north-south ridge,

would drive quickly to the north. It was anticipated that by the

t~E the combat commend on the left attained the high ground at

the tip of the Triangle overlooking THIER, and brought the city

under fire, enemy resistance in tre Triangle would have collapsed.

The c:::>mbat corr.mand on the right, profiting by this confu­

sion wculd then he able to slip to the east and seize two bridges

over the SAAR Ri ver ~t KANZEM and WILTINGEN Which were knom to be

intact. To enhance the chances of success a subsidiary operation

was cevised whereby a Task Force of XII Corps would move across the

1:0SELLE Hi. ver and sei ze the town of WINCHEHINGEN. Ttis diversionary

attack was tv jump nff simultaneously wi. th the commitment Qf the

loth Arnnr6d Division. The dispositbn :.)f :)ur forces 8nd the fr~t

lines of opposing f:)rces on the 19th of Fetruary are shewn on the

opposi te page.

59
A mass.ive artillery preparaticn was to preceQe the attack

of the 94th'Division. Four battalions of Corps light artillery,

plus one battery of medium artillery, all under 5th Field Artillery

Group, were to provide ir~tial support for the divisional artillery

fires. All fires were to be controllerl by a carefully ~~rked-out

plan devised jointly by the Corps and the 94th Division Artillery.

Artillery Fire Plan4

The 94th Division issued its Field Order outlining the ini­

tia.l st,~ges of the operation two days prior to the attack, thus

insuring am.ple opportunity f:::>r target analysis, study of intelli...

gence data, and preparation of detaile~ plans. Expert prisoner of

war interrogation hAn clarified the en~y order of battle to the


--- , last netail. In 8ddition to invaluable ground reconnaissance,

captured maps pinpointeo not only individual fortificatbns am

obstacles of the Switch Line, but also the defensive p,')sitions of

the entire Triangle. These 'factors, together with complete cooper­

ation anr! co')rdination beh/een Corps Artillery and the 94th

Division Artillery staffs, greatly facilitated the preparation,of"

a con~r~hensive and accurate plan of artillery support. The plan,

as formulated, was as follows:

An arbitrary line, approx~Btely 5,000 yards ahead of the

front lines was'designated. Corps Artillery was to engage all

targets beyond this line, and Divisional Artillery was to engage

all targets short of it. To gain maximum surprise, there was to

60

be no firing prior to H-Hour. Commencing at H-Hour mF~ continuing

Wltil H plus fifteen minutes, fires would be directed at all known

enemy Corrman1 p')sts, then switched to engage all known artillery

batteries for thirty minutes wi. th maxi~um volume of fire. There­

aft-er, neutralization of enemY batteries was to be rnainta.ined for

a :,Jeriod of one hour. Main routes of ap)roach would be neutrali­

zed for a further period of ten hours. Each of these phases was

to be sufficiently flexible to provide for on-call fire at targets

of opportunity.

The la st rhase of the artillery plan bears noteworthy

stUdy as it contemplated isolation of tho bnttlefield. As the

attnck was to be delivered into a corridor slightly Ie ss than ten

miles wide between the SAt.R and u.OSELLE Rivers, it seemed practi­

cal to place interdiction fires on every ro&d leading into the

enemy's main battle position. The bulk of tb\3se fires was to be

delivered upon towns at main road int~rsections so as to obtain

the added advantage of destroying or harassing eneIlW bivouacs,

command posts, rear echelons, .(md supply installations located

therein.

The plan further provided for the integration of all

art.illery means wi thin the 94th D1vision. Infentry cannon com­

paries were bttached to the light artillery battalions in direct

SU,i;port:;f the rr,ain eifcJrt. Organic infantry anti-tank guns were

to ce empl-.)yed initially as fidd artillery•. The 77l~th Tank

Destr0yer Brcttaliyn (towed), attacherl to the Division, was placed

61

in an &rtillery general support role. FDr the first thirty IJ'Iinutes

after H-Hour these units were to fire at rraximum sustained rates

on enemy front line positions, assembly areas, routes of a~proach,

mortar and machine gun locations. Continued neutralization of

the mere critical of these targets was provided subject to inter­

ruption in favor of on-call fire .missions requested by forward

observers or from grounrl and air observation posts. All phases

of the artillerJ plan called. for fire on targets actuC'.lly located

in previous limi ted cbjecti ve attacks or through verified intelli­

gence channels.

NarES FOH CHrtPTEh VIII

,.­ of Saar·+ose11e Trian 1e gn~ Tl-UER XX Q::lrp~ Operational


15 Dec 44-12 l:ar 45 p. 7

2~. p. 8

3Gen George S Patton, Jr, War As I Knew It (NY: Houghton t!:ufflin


Co, 1947) p. 244

42Q. Q!1. TRIER, appen~ix No. 1

62

OR NIZ~TI '0 COMBAT


let FEB - 2 MAR 5

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• : Co AIUA~ T" OU RIN(r TM\ S 0 p~ ~T'ON .


CHAPTER IX

ATTACK OF TPE SWITCH LINE


10th hI'I:'.ored Division -- Febr,uary
4 a ; :1-19,
: . -1945

During the period frcm the l~t to the 19th of February,

the 10th Armored Division was in XV C'.Jrps (Seventh Army) reserve

and was located in the general vicinity of FAULQUEMm~T. An active

prograr... of training together with the maintenance of a counter­

reconnai ssance screen Vlest of the SAAR River kept the Division

occupied during this period.

J:f Corps alerted the Division on February 8th for movement

on short notice. The order to move wns received the evening of the

9th of February and the Division started moving the rr~xt morning

to en assembly 5re~ in the vicinity of ri£TZ for attachment to XX

Corps (Third jlrr,1Y). The Division was assembled completely in the

new area by late ~f~ernoon of the 11th, and an intensive training

program was initiated, stressing discipline, leadership, teamwork,

physica],. fitness, morale, initiative, technical and tactical profi­

ciency. This ~rogram continued until the 17th of February when

the Division was notified of the 94th Division's impending attack

and the contemplated employment of the armor t:) exp18it the il'1fan­

try's gar in the German defenses along the Switch Line. General

rORRIS was ordered to move his division to a ne~~ assembly area

near PEHL and BESCH, and H-Hour was tentatively set for its attack

,--- at 0700 on the- 20th of Fetruary.

63
A detailed rec.mnai ssance .)1' the road net and asserr.bly area

was irrmediately r.~de. The Division c~~menced the move ~t noon on

the 19th and closed by 0500 the next r.,orniot:;. It was n.Jw in an

advance pusi ti::m ready for employment at toe crucial moment to crush

the last remaining enerrw defenses in the entire Si,,,R-tOSELLE

Triflngle.

Tbe Infantt'Y Attack Febru8til 19. 19!t5

The ettack of th€ 94th Division got under way as scheduled

bef:Jre dawn on the 19th, supported bv sixteen tc'. eighteen batt~lions

of artillery. Advancing on a narrsw frrmt, the leuding ele.rr..ents

of the 376th Infantry ri.egiment reached the woods north of SINZ.. just

as it was getting faintly light. fi light drizzle of rain was

falling. Surprisingly light enemy resistanco was rr.et and by 0815

the long-c~ntested woods north of SINZ were at l£st in American

hands.

The advance cC'.intinued egainst scattered enemy resistance

and by mid-morning the north half ~'f :.1JNZINGEN ridge was secured.

ADENHOLZ and GEISEUSCH were cleared by 1130. At 1800 the 37bth RCT

was attached to the lOth Arm')red Di'Vision offiCially indicating

that an opening had been made through the Switch Line. l

The one reKEining strong 00int in this sect~r was tne road

net around THOmi and KREUZ~LLER. The 94th Division's Reconnaissance

Trcnp was ;.:.rderer! t') reduce this objective. The defenders at THOttN

put up only a token sh~w of resistance ann the town was captured in

- less than 8.fl hour. KREUZ".'EILER., on the other hand, proved a more

64

difficult pr.')positL'n. It was necessary t:> em:lby the 2nd B;;ttelion

of the 376th Infantry Regiment to reduce the enemy in this well-de­

fended p.rea. A first hand account of the attack is given by Captain

FREDERICK ST1.l'-.'1ISH, Company COrrll"ander of Company F.

The LD was the edge of a deep d~aw tc the south of town,


just east of the THORN-SINZ road. The attack, with Companies
F and G leading, jumped off at 200600 and led across an open
field towards the woods immediately south of the town. Follo­
wing an artillery barrage on the edge of the WJOOS, which lit
up the field vd th a cold white light in flashes, the troops
advanced. at e. s1.ow run. They were protected :.n both flanks
by the heavy machine guns of H Company. Just inside tt.e edge
uf the w:)ods, the men in the two advance companies' wro were
new to combat, some 120 in all, momentarily froze. The plan
of attack called for marching fire tJ carve a swath through
the woods, and ~robably the intense hedlam of noise caused
the men fear. !1owever, this was but a m:_·mentary reaction,
mrl again the column swept forward, literelly tearing the
trees and undergrowth to shreds by a continual hail of fire.
It was im;x)ssHle during the advance L) give orders,
signal or do anything but shout and run forward. Almost be­
fore anyone knew it, the f!'l.r erige of thG wJoas was reached am
then it oecarre <'ppr.:rcnt that it w')ulr! be quite a task to
actually find the town Jf KREUZWEILEd. Fog anrt smoke had
obUt-erated any trf.Ce of ci viUzation.
Captain ;)ODSON (Commanrling Officer of Company G) and I

agree" that thl.3 c:Jlumn had swung to:) far b the west to be

clirectly the town, and b:Jth Companies F anr! G had

to m~ve t? the right in ord er to get a straight shot at the

village.

As soon as the fog und smoke clt.;)areci, the companies


entered the to\'Jl1 and cleared it, but 6ven bef0I'e the last
houses had been searched, a task force :)f the 10th Armored
Division rol' ed through the town; tanks, half-tracks, two
and a halfs, and even jeeps. Strangdly enDugh, While snipers
were still sr::»ting down the streets I there ll}lpeared the
Arm:)red TJi visi,m COJfJl'1c'3nrier in his jeep, followed by the
C0rps Commander in his, and followerl by another General in
his. Surely n"w, the Siegfried Line hai b€ 6 rt cracked and the
whale XX Corps wauld pour through. 2

Exploitation by the 10th hrmure(! Division

- To be snre, CnJ,ltain STANl:IS1 had predicted what was to

65

h<::ppen. So let us now look nt the role :Jlayed by the 10th Ar:!lOrei

Di vision in the days to follow the infantryls breakthrough.

The Divisicn plan of attack was along two axes: CCA on

the right, Reserve Co~man~ on the left, ann CCB in Reserve.

CeA launched its attack at 0500 on the 20th in a two-prong

tr.rust with Task Force liICHARSSON on the right &nd Task Force CHAI:B...;

E.RtAIN on the left. Task Force RICHJi;iDSQN attackine generally north­

east, mane contact with the enemy just before roaching KlrcF. A

minefield stopper! the columns, but att,ached engineers blew a path

through the field, all.:)wing the vehicles to prcceed. Sh:.>rtly after,

the colwrn was hit by assault guns anrl machine gun fire from the

ar'pr!)8ches to KIRF. The attackers ('uickly overcame the resistance

and moved into tile tOW!l.

Team BILLETT, of Task Force RICHb.Ri')SOl\:, was ordered cross­

country b the left of KIFiF to attack MEUiiICK from t he west. Near

1.EURICK, the Tea:n met anti-tank fire and was unable to continue for

appruxima tely thirty minutes until the mortars of Headquarters Com­

pany were brought tJ fire on thB ene~.y positions. !'EURICK then fell

wi thout furl her resis tanCe.

'1'l:e remainrier of Task Force RICHi\R1)SON m:wed toward s KELSEN

where it c'lpt'lre':'I the c::'dlmanri post .:Jf the German 4~6th Infantry

RelZiment" 256th Volkgrenadier Divis:i.on, and some ninety prisoners.

i\:eanwhile, Task Force CHl,l.BEr1L11.!i~, on the left of eGA 's

attack had cl'')se1 in its attack positLm between ~;:ERSCHWEILErr and

EFT by 0100 on the 20th, where Team Corr.rr.an<iers were issued final

66

instructions for the coming nttBck. The Task Force wos t:=:· attack

the rOD·:1 fr:>m TETTmGEI~ to SINZ an1 seize the high ground between

BILZINGEN :::.ni KOhliIG. From there it. wc.\llri dtack north along the

axis FISCH0NS:-JORF-FELLEHICK to seize the high ground in the vicinity

of Tf,;WEI,N in the north tip :)f the Triangle. The Teams were to move

to the LD in colurnn with Team SHADDEhU leading, followed by Teams

O'GhAJY ancl HOIEHOUSE. The two leariing Teams would contain the

bulk :)f the to.nks and were t-J be prepared to attack from the pre­

scribed Itarch c olrunn after crossing the LJ. Team HOLEHOUSE, con­

tainin~ the bulk of the infantry, would remain initielly at SINZ.

The assault teams left tbe attack positIon t!t 0600 but

were rielayed by e traffic jam nn~ inAbility t8 obtain exact informa­

ti:m of thc fr::mt lines of the 376th RCT. It was especially diffi­

cult to ascertain the location Jf an American-lain rr~nebelt known

to be in the area. This lack ~f information resulted in the loss

of the lGhr! tank as i t neareli the LD.3 The LD was crossen, finally,

at 0855 with Teefl', SHAflDEAU in the lead. Team 0' mu.DY, however, was

ordered tc.l remain in SINZ. Heavy enelP3 minefields and numerous

anti-tank emplacements along the road forced Team SHhGDEAU to proceed

cross-country w:i_th Team O'GRJ.1DY overwatching from its position on

the outskirts 0:
In thi s foshion Team SHADG,C;AU moved for'Waro, flushing

twenty enemy out ;)f foxholes on the eGge of a small woor:ls to its

left, ani thirty-five IrDT'e frum the wocr:l s n,:.rtheast of BUREN. An

enemy artillery [.-ositi::.;n of five 75rrm guns 2,nd three half-tracks

67

W2S rc strayed in the S2Ilie locIIti:m. OccClsi::m:!l sme.ll arms, mortar

anrl artillery fire met the advance. However, the dominating terrain

overlooking the town :Jf r:ITTLINGEN was reached at 1400 withaut

difficulty_

TeuI'" 0' GR;'DY wa s ordered forward to take over from Team

SHiDDEAU, whi ch had suffere-i four tank casualties. Team HOLEHOUSE

mover} from SINZ in order to mop up .'llong the route clearen 'by the

tal".Ks and to freG the road network fc·r passa,,;e of the Task Force

supply trains.

Team otGR:'.!JY f[;oved out on the road wi. th Team SHi,DuEAU owr­

watching from en Dpen field position. Near SOST contact was made

witb elements ()f the 2nd Cavalry Gr,)up, who, according t:) the Corps

;Jlan, hE;d :nade a diversionary attack across the 1.10SELLE River in the

vicinity <:d WINC1IERIt-:GEN.

Team O'GRADY'S prvgI'ess wa s slowed due to enerT\Y interdictory

artillery fire, hilly ter!'ain, nurr:erc.:us craters, and roadblocks.

However, both Tear:, O'GlU['Y an<i Team SHWJEAU reached and occupied

the D1 visbn' s initial objective J the high grounrl in the vicinity

of TAWERN, by 1700 hours.

'l"eara HOJ.EHOUSE hat:l m~)Ved up the road by SINZ and cleared

DITTLINGE:J in [\. t,vic-hour scr~p whict· netted forty-five priscmers,

then swept ncrtC'.;)ast anti cleared IERSKIRCHEN 1:.y 1830, taking an

adr:litional thirty pris:)f;ers. The SUlJ::lly trains, attacherl tank c!e­

str:>yers, and the sup~,ortinh; FA battl?lions closed on r::.ITTLn~GEN

at 1915.

68
i.ls:) on t~le 20t h CCR, on the left axi s the Di visL.m

attack, rewed out along the road paralfel to the MOSELIE River,

meeting light enemy resistance. The cclumn advanced to viLt.JCHER.IN­

G1'N by 0200 hours v.h ere it coiled for ,the niiSht. The c:.t tack

was continued at CflOO the next mornini. ·age.inst crumbling resistance.

cca reached the Division final objective nJrth of TA"!!\EhN that

night without incident.

Thus, in two days the l.Jnr-ccmtesterl Triangle proper

fell to our forces. TRIER, however, still lay across the SAAR
River from the ;;ivision. And TRIER was the vitn1 point in the

zone of XX CJrps' adv3nce.

NOTr:S FOR CHl~PTER IX

lHistory of the J76th :;:nfantry Regiment (Car! lJeddigen ­


~u5pertal, Ger:rk:,nY-::-194,J p. 1'2

21l?1.d. p. 132
32.2_ ill. TRIEfi., ap;~endi.x No. 2

69

li.{ap showing l,ttack on February 21st to 26th •


CHAPTEx X

DETAILED ~OVEl~ENTS OF THE 10TH AHHRED DIVISICN FROt


THE CJ-l.PTURE OF THE DIVISION OBJEcTIVE 1,T TJ"V',ERN
TO INCLUDE THE SAAR ~VEB CaOSSING

Plans an~ PrePf:rationt

Following the rapi~ success jf the 10th Armored Divisi0n


I
in capturing its initial :)bjective, TAYIEliN, a new Fielr1 Order NQ. 17

(see Annex IV) was issued by XX Corps 'on the afternoon of the 21st

of February, 1945, orriering the lOth Arrr.orerl. Divisicm, with 376th

aCT attached, to attack east across the SnAii iii ver in the vicinity

of OCKFEN, ! • .)rth of SA;~RBuH.G. The 376th RCT would establish the

bridgehead &t CCKFEN for the a.rmor to cross in order to strike

northeast of the SMd,- hi ver to capture TRIEi{. The 376th RCT would

then follow the tankers on to TRIEH.

Simultc-i!1.eously, the 94th Division, less the 376th l,-CT,

would make a riiversion.<lry Clssault crossLng of the SAAR River south

of Si.AH.BlL-lG in the vicinity of SEl1RIG and TABEN. The 94th Division

COUld then eX;)2n~1 its own bririgehearl to include the 10th Armored

;ivisi.)n's bridgehead at OCKFEN. The bririgeheac1 expansion would

be continued by the infantry while the 10th Armored drove on to

TH.IER.

The r3<'ult of this operati::m WQ,.ud make available ore

large briribeheai stretching from ThB&"J to T'rUErt which would pro-

vine ample space for future operations. From this bridgehead an

attack could be launched with the mi ssion of linking XX Corps I

70

original bridt;ehcad at S;"AHLAUTERW to the T.,:',BEN-TRIER bridgehead,

thereby providin~ a means for clearing the entire SAhR Basin.


l

General ',';J.!.U;EFt supplemented the new order to call for the

err,ployment of th0 5th Hanger Battalion, com.rnanded by Lieutenant

Colonel RICHbJiD P. SULliVAN... The R8nger s were, at tha t time,

attache tl Co the 94th J1 vision. Trey would cross behind the in­

fantry, pass thr;)ugh the 302nd Il"\fantry Regiment of the 94th

;)1 visi.')n, anrJ. infiltrate through the enemy lines wl_ th the mi saion

af seiztnc' the hiid1 gr~)unc1 around ZERF. If the Hangers could succeed

they would be able ta ~ominate the road network ann ~eny the enemy
I

use of the ZEbF-SJ.AnBu.l.W roac1. The possession of this critical

sup~.:;ly route would ~)revent the enemy from bringing up reinforcements

from the s.JUth WilicD, =-n the early states, would be the most wl­

nerable corner ,)f the bric'lge""€;ad f'Jr an enemy cwun+-,erattack.

A sturJ:y 'Jf the terrain will sh..)w at a glance that rr.any

difficulties waul,' be encountereG in the proposed crossings. (see

l:ap C, Ann("'x II). The western ap},roaches to the StiAR Rivet: gave

corr.manding observation to the enoo\y located on the high ridges

which f'Jrrred the eastern bank. At almust all p;)ints tl.is dominating

terrain was reinf~rced by the f,-;rtifications of the SIEGFR.IEP Line.

Like the Switch ~ine at the base of the Triangle, the concrete

pillboxes -were positi;:;ned to insure llil.ltual su.pport am to cover the

likely avenues of a)rr)ach to the western lank. The Germans had

carefully considered tilese no. tural nvenues before c onstruc ting

their defenai ve installations. Where the river and the ridge to­

71

,,;ether were n~)t considered t:) be Jf sufficient strength &r!rti tional

concrete o.efensi ve works har! been added. 60KFE~ was an example, fJr

there the ~efenses were approximetely three kilometers in ne?th,

forming a forIr~df 1::1e obstacle to any atterrt;Jted crJssings.

However, in the vicinity of T.£;.BEN rmd 5f!;RRIG, where the

eastern banks of the SAi.R River forrr.ed an almost ;)erpenrlicular

cliff, the Germans believed additbnal field f'Jrtificati ons un­

necessary. The river was from 120 to 150 feet wide in the vicinity

of both crossinb sites. 2 The steep eastern banks made fording

impossible. German pillb:;xes were able to cover the Ii ver by

direct small arms and llJ8chbe gun fire, and observed artillery fire.

Along the western b8.nk the terrain was o;)en with some scattered

wooned are£.s whit h di ~ not provide sufficient concealment to

:;revent enemy o>~,ervation. In a,;,Ution, there was consirlerable

IMrshy ground which w.)ulrl confine all vehicular movement to the

roans.

'~:he 10th hrmored anrt tbe 94th Divisions iH:lrt little time

for detailert plannint: of the attack or for reconnaissance of the

terrain surroun0inf the crossing sltes, as h~d been the ease in the

initial penetration and breakthrough.

/. stuc:y :Jf :,1:e situation confr::n:ting the 10th ArII'.Ored

Division at CX::K!ll.J n.!_: set the picture for its proposed crossin.:!_

The German rjefenses ai:. this point were mannen by three fortress

battalions in additi~n to the remains of twc ~ivisions which had

been badly battered in the Triangle 0ut had been able to make their

72

way back a.cross the SARR River in small :;roups. There were also

many hastily improvised formations of service and supporting tr~ops,

along with the SAhRBURG Volkstrum. AlthoUgh they were not first­

class troops, their primary mission -- sitting in pillboxes 6n0

kee;Jing machine guns trained on the rivev; -- di<i not reQuire highly

trained personnel. It Vies apiJarent that speed would be the essential

element of the propos ed crossing in order to deny the Germans time

to man an~ possibly to reinforce the al~eady well-fortified S~R

fd vel' line.,

Plans for the Crossin;2:

The XX Corps orner was received by tho 10th firmored ~ivision

at noon on the 20th. It callen for the attack 2crOS5 the SAAR River

to be mare durin,; tho ,1ightJf the 21st of Februe.ry. .k briefing was

heU for all com,:anr1ers in the Divisbn at 1900 and verbal orders

were issued which were later confirmeri by Di 'Ii st on Field Orr:3er No.

32.
~s~eral fuOhRIS ordere1 the 376th RCT to make a typical

infantry river crossing, employing engineer assault boats. This

cros sing woulcl. be supported by tank destroyer ann all available

automatic weapC)fl.·' fire t:) insure that the mi ssbn of sel zing a

bridgehearl in t:,,::..: ir.'.ity of OCKFEN wou:d be successful. In the

meanwhile t.he C~),l,r.J:' c:Jltr.k"lnds ... ere to continue their attacks to

the SAl.Ii. from their pruRent positions. U?on arrival, they weI'''!

all ,;ti yen aclditi::lnal !F~::;sions t:) rel'form. CeB was to support the

376th RCT's river cros3ing Viith tank rlestroyer fire, ani be prepared

73

to pass through the bringehead on Divisi.:::m ortier. CCA, in arldition

to supporting the crossing of the 376th FWT by tank destroyer fire,

was given the all-important mission of seizing the brirl.ses at KANZE~1

and WILTHJGEN, as had been originally planned by General WALKER,

ani then was to be prepared to follow CCB through the bridgehean.

The Heserve COII1lMn'i was b be prepared to pass through the bridgehead

on Division order.

The 90th Cav~lry Reconnaissance Squ~dron (mechanized) han

been reUe ved from attachment to the )rd Cavalry Group at 0800 tbat

day (the 20th). bgain under 10th Armoroo ;)i vision contrC)l, it was

given tte missions ~)f forming a cuunter-rec ormaissance screen, am


of maintainine; pc: troIs, observati on and c.:mtect with friendly forces
-
along the line S/..",RBTJ::'~-·I,ERTERT between the SJ.J..'rc and 1:0SELlE Rivers.

':'he First Attempt

AS hEd teen stated, the lath Arm:Jred Division crossing,

initiated by the 376th hCT, was ::'riginally scheduled to be rrade on

the night 'Jf 2l-22nd of February. When the ori....,inal SAAR-MOSEL IE

Tricmgle OiJE'rdt.icJn was planned, h'jwever, nJ engineer rrepara ti ons

hed been ;nBde for an assault crossinlS of the SAAR. This lack of

planni~ proved to be a critical error, for nc assault boa ts on which

to cross the ini'"l't...y could be founn. Had th€ assault boats been

available tr.at ILl r"'.·_J·RIEh might hd.\ie been c2.ptured days earlier.

To II12,ke InS t ter S ''10'" Sl: th) se engine er b:)Q ts whi ch hed been scraped

up ct the lest minute {0r the crossing failed t) arri v€ on schedule

at ::'he CCKFEN crOSSing site.) Trere was no <11 ternati ve but to postpone

74

the crossing until the f allowing morning, February 22nd. This

costly delay provided the enemy with the necessary time for tbe re­

organization and manning of his prepared fortifications. An

additional disadvantage was the fact that any daylight crossing would

have to be made under a smoke screen and preceded by an artillery

preparation, thereby losing the valuable element of surprise.

The Second; Attempt

The second plan of attack, as outlined by the 376th ReT,

was for the 3rd Battalion to cross directly east of AYL, having for

its initial 0bjective the steep bluffs rising ahove the river just

n'.}rth ;,f OCKFEN. Smultaneously, the 1st Battalicm was to cross

the river several hun~rerl yards further south, with the mission

of securing the }L~!h . ':t'Ound south of CCKFEN. The grounri assigned

as the 1st Batta.i~n's nbjective was a gradually sloping flat-

topped hill liberal~y sprinkled with pillboxes. The Commander of

the 376U; itCT Lad reason to believe that once these two objectives

had been sec-ured, the town of OCKFEN would be outflanked and its

capture would be proportionately easier.

The 2nct Bat tali Xl wes to cross behind the 3rd at AYL, then

svnng around the '-iOll'ccern ed,:e ')f t,he bluffs (the 1st Battalion

objecti ve) and rrr·.)ve directly so uth to secure its aSSigned portion

of the Regimental ~bjective, which was a large hill 1500 yarrls

south of OCKFEN. Thi s would enable t.~e 2nrl. Battalion to ti e in

with the 1st and 3rct Battalions, 'who, in turn, WDuld move on tQ

their assigned sect.Jrs of the Regimental objective. The capture of

this hill would insure the success of the bridgehead which woulrt
75
have, [:5 i~s ;::;erimeter, the commanding ground which almost en­

circled the OCKFEN valley~

It was also planned that by this time, the engineers would

have c0flstructed a bridge across the river between AYL and OCKFEN

OVer wtd. ch the tanks am vehicle s of the 10th ilnnored Division

could cross. Once over, the tanks would fan out eastward enroute

to TRIEfi..

Companies L anrl C were to initiate the attack for the two

leading battalions. At 1630 on the 22nd as soon as the two comp~nies

moved out, the Germansopened fire with all available weapons. The

volume of this enemy fire made it extremely difficult for,the 81st

Cherrical Company, supporting the crossins, to Get to its smoke gener­

ators in order to refuel them. \\ith the failure (if the smoke screen,

the Germans cautht the oncoming c.:::lITlpanies in the open and immeriiately

pinned them ~own.

Colonel Ji.:cCLUNE, the Regimental COlIllrender, had proceeded to

the flats below AYL, where he could pers0nally observe and CO~Bnd

the river crossingM In a hail of machine bun fire he moved about on

the open flats, urging the leading elements of the attacking companies

forward. The withering' autorr.atic fire made this impossible and i t

now became clear that, until darkness, it would be useless and far too

costly to attempt any further advance. So, for the sec(~nrl time, the

crossing was postponed -- until 2300 that same evening. This again

pc>ints up the importance ::.,f the failure of the assault boats to

arrive in tirr£ for the initial crossing.

76
The Crossing

C Company again led off for the 1st Battalion and thi s

time, under the ~rotection of darkness, the going was somewhat

eosier. The G€rmans openerl up with tracer ammunition and

su?p;)rting artillery fire, and marle the crossinE.c site en impact

area ClS the infantry teams dragger! their assault boats to the

water's edde.

(It was at thi s tire that Colonel !I:.cCLUNE, again perron­

ally directing the attack, was seriously wounded in both legs;

and was evacuated. Lieutenant Colonel RAYNOR E. ANDERSON assumed

command of the Task Force.)4

Getting the boats into the water wes only the start of

their troubles. The machine ~un fire was continuous, but, fortu­

nately, the darkness of the night prohibited great accuracy.

Severel yards from the far shore, the assault bJats hung up on

partially submerged harted wire, over which even these flat­

bottomed craft could not pass. The infantrymen had no choice

but to abandon the coats, jump into the water and swim or wade

c.shore as best they could. This unexpEcted obstacle resulted in

further dis0rganization. The Companies were facer! with more

tr:.)l.lble in the stee) hill directly to their fr:mt which must be

climbed in order t·) secure the battalion objective. illl this

rendered the situation most tryin§; and c:.:mfusing.

In the wake Df the initial two-battalion 8ssaul t, the

2nd Battalion crossed, and was soon engaged in heavy fighting.

It fought un throughout the Gay and the following ni~ht, but

77

was unable to make the progress which had been ex~ected.

The 3rd Battalion I s arl.vance to the regimental objective

harj been unopposed, not because of the absence of enemy in the

vicinity, but because the ene~ had not detected the movement

and did not know it was there. Hence, the arl.vance of the 3rd

Battalion amounted to an infi+tration.

The si tun tion remained unimproved on t m 23rd of Fe bru­


ary. Enemy artillery and small-ar~r:s fire on the river rrede

1::lrirlging impossible. The 376th RCT was unable to enlarge its

small brid~ehead in the face of the fanatical German fire coming

from the SIEGFRIill fortlficatbns.

If the 1st anrl 2nrl. Battalions hd met as little resistance

as had the 3rd and had been able t:J c.Jntinue their ar!vance to tte

Regimental objective, the 376th ' s position w"uld have been more se­

cure. But it had not '~rker! out that way. The 1st Battalion had

been able to advance only southward and the 2nd Battalion had

been helq up in the vicinity of OCKFEN, which left the 3rd Battal­

ion in sole possession of the Regimental objective, and, in

arklition, virtually surrounrl.ed by Germans.

Fortunately, the Germans did not have the manpower to

counterattack enri catch the 3rd BattalL>n in this wlnerable

position of reor;oanization. j,side from the light but constant

artillery fire which continuer! to harass the troops on the hill­

t0P, their position was not cri tical, exce;Jt from the starn point

of su:--,plies. For tr.e next three days it was n,ecessary to keep

78

,.-'--.
them supplied by twenty liai son planes which the COlnbat Team

harl borrowed from the supporting artillery!

.
Actions of CCA

Task Force RICH1.RDSON, unrer CCJl., harl. just cClmpleted

the capture and ~)Utposting of TAVv'ERN, prior to the initial

attempted crossing of the 376th RCT.

Task Force CHA1fBERLJ.;.IN, to the south of TA~J!,hN, was

now the strone;est in infantry support. CCIl, f:)r this reason,

gave Task Force CHfJLBERLAIN the mission of securing the bridges

at K;,NZE1_ awl. WILTINGEN. hOed priority was given through

OriNSDORF to speed the attack. At 1220 on the 21st, Colonel

CHAtBERLAIN ordered the Task Forc e t CJ move out wi th Team HOLE­

HOUSE lear1ins J follO\'Jed by Team HhVLOWITZ. Team HOLEHOUSE had

secured DITTLINGEN and Team Hh VLOWITZ had clos ed UP on DITTLINGEN

from the south. The column was to proceeri through KilNNEBACK

to the crossroads northeast of the town. F~)m there Team HOLE­

HOUSE would strike southeast to AYL, turn northeast through

SEmEL-HAUSEN ani secure the bridge 500 yards south of W1:LTINGEN.

Team HAVLOWITZ would continue on throul!h TA\i'.Ehl\ with the mission

of securing the brirl?e at KANZEI.1, Teams O'Ghr DY ann SHAD'JEAU

were to remain on the original Division objective on the bigh

ground ovedooking TRIER.

Team HOLEHCUSE, enroute to the crossroads, met scattered

resistance in a series of small-arms enc~a;ements v-hich resulted

in the capture of ahout twenty-five Germans. Upon arrival at

the crossrC)rds at 1800 the lear! tank was fired upon by a high

79
velocity anti-tank weapon. Unable to determine the location of

the weapon, Team HOLEHOUSE turned southeast to bYL, disregarding

the fire of the gun.

No furtter resistance was encountered until the lead tanks

arrived Wi thin I.()O yarns of 1;,YL where they ran into a minefielci

emplacec ~n anrl to both sirles of the roen •. The extent of the mine~

field and the badly cratered road kept the attached engineers

busy clearing the ga;:, throughout the night .)f 2l-22nd. February.

The minefield was successfully breached at 0315 anrl tbe infantry

was just startin,: through the gap when the bridge at WILTINGEN was

blown by the Germans. 6 hlmOSt immediately thereafter the brirlge at

KANZE1. was destroyed. With both Jf these obj~'Cti ves bloVll, the

remainder of the day was occupied in patrolling along the SAAR

north of AYL.

Team HAVLO~~TZ, following Team HOLEHOUSE, en~ountered the

SaIT.e anti-tank gun at the crossroads northeast of }iANNEBACH which

had earlier troubled Captain HOLEHOUSE. This time it was necessary

to send dismounted infantry to locate and knock out the weapon.

The infantry was sucoessful. The gun a 76mm anti-tank weapon


with its crew of eight men was captured.

Task Force CHA~~BERL"'IN was invJlved in no further actions

until the 24th of February.

l:eanwhile Task Force .,7(ICHIJi'JS()N J from its outposts n0l'th

and east of TAWEllN, moved tanks up to the commanding grc:und south

of YiASSERLIESCH at the ti? :::>f the Trian~"le on the morning of th e

80

22nd of February. A heavy fog enabled the dismounted infantry to

make their way down the hill and into the town, and it was taken

without resistance.

Across the river the enemy was well emplaced in concrete

pillboxes supported by ample artillery. Outposts were set up on

the high ground overlookins the river and were manned during day­

light hours. These outposts moved down to the river banks by

ni . ; ht to observe and listen. They were rewarded by the capture

of a Germm patrol which crossed the river the ni.ght of the 22nd

of February. The outposts ambushed the Germans and succeeded in

ca~)turing or killinf the entire pa trol.

Task Force RICHARDSON, remained in its area, maintaining

observation until the 24th of February.

The Diversionary Attack

Turning to the south, the 94th DivisiDn, having vn the

morning of the 21st of February at 0630 hours clDserl up to the Sr.AR

River, continued its exploitations by making ~ surprise crOSSing in

the vicinity of TABEN. This was the rli versionary attack to be con­

ducted simultaneously with the 10th hrmored Division's crossing to

the north. Under a heavy cover of smoke, the 301st and 302nd

Infantry Regiments established a bridgehead on the far bank, and

cleared one-half the town:Jf SERB.IG by the night of the 22nd of

February.

-- The enenw opposed this crossing with everything it had, in­

clurling a Battnlbn of the 11th Panzer Division. 7

81
The actions of the 94th Division ctUrin~ the next two nays

will furnish a better understanding of the·clOt..h.Armored Division

in its river crossing to the north. The two regiments across the

SAAR River cleared SERRIG in its entirety,. and established;.) bridp,e­

head from one to one and n half miles dee;) and extending from a

point some 1500 yards north of SERRIG toa i)oint a few hundred yards

south of TABEN.

The bridgehead was large enollgh to enable the engineers to

build a floating treadway bridge in the vicinity of TABEN, and later,

on the morning of February 25th, to establish a second floating

treadway bridge at SERRIG. This permitted the tanks, tank destroyers,

and met or transport of the 94th Division, which had begun their

crossings at Tb.BEN, to speed their movement into the bridgehead,

utilizing both bridges.

Lieutenant Colonel SULliVAN, commanding the 5th Ranger

Battalion, received his orders (to deny the enemy use of the ZERF­

ShAREURG road) from the 94th Division Command Post at 1000, February

22nd. The action of the 5th Ran8er Battalion in this operation is

an historical nerrati ve in itself. The Battalion succeeded in

reaching its objective on the 23rd of February, thereby completing

the mission :;f bi sec ti ng the main east-west supply route from ZERF.

It had als0 succeeded in getting itself completely surrounded by

infiltrating Germans. It was necessary to have supplies dropped by

air. By continuous fighting and repelling innumerable counter­

attacks, the Rangers succeeded in holdin~ the ground until they

were reached by advance elements of the 10th Armored Division on

the morning of February 25th.


82
~nge in Plans

Operations of the 94th Division in establishinf' its bridge­

hearl now made it clear to the Corps Commander that he possessed a

bridgehead of major importance. As so often happens, a sec~mdary

effurt now became the main effort by reason of its continued success.

As orir-::inally ;Jlanned, the 94th Divisic:.n I s crossing was to be secon­

dary to the 10th Armored Division I s crossini; at OCKFEN. Speed now

became of the utmost importance i f the assault on THIEE was to be

successfuL To .;ain this speed, the Cor;Js COInrr1"nder rleciderl to

poss CC1\ and CCB c;f the 10th Armored 1Jivision throurh the TABEN

brirjgeheari rather than to wait for a bri'L<:e to be built at CCKFEN.

General LORRIS is carryins out the Corps order, and to speed the
.
attack, decided to corrr.it the armored infantry as a unit into the
8
bridgehead of the 376th iiCT under the commann of General PIBURN.

Effective rlate of change was announced as of 0850, February 24th.

The infantry battalbns 'wero' to ,&lSBemble at AYL 'and·'\'!r~ea the: SAiA,R

River in the vicinity of OCKFEN beginning at 1500. This operation

wculct place a(~rlitional infantry troops in the bridgehead and reinforce

the 376th HCT. CCA anr1 CCB, le ss their infantry battalions ,,"ould

~Jass through the TILBEN brin!2'ehead, wi th CCl. leading, followed by

CCB. The Reserve CorrmaDri woulr1 remain in place, awaiting orders.

The combat corrm.:mns left their armoreri infantry battalions

in the vicinity of i,YL, ann then struck south :Jf Tl'LBEN where they

arri ved in time to betlin crossing the Sill,ii. on the 25th of February.

From here they were to push nurth up the east bank of the SAAR

83
Ri ver to DiSCH where they wQuldrejoin the armorerl infantry which

should, by that time, have ~arched south from OCKFEN. Reorganization

was to t:e accoIn)lisher at IitSCH before striking east to ZERF.

Intelligence Delta 9

The enGmy op;.,osing this operatton was made up of fortress

battaliofis, rr.achine £{un: eroups and Volkatrum. Tho's 6' same: troops

had been employerl. l)y the Germans in their unsucce ssful a ttempt to

resist the oriJinal crossings.

The ~''Yl 1!.ountain ni visi:.m, which hac~ suffered severe losses

at j,LSACE, arri vcr:! in the bri~itehearl area as reinforcements. Tr,is

was disc:.>vererl m en contact was rna ,ie with an infantry battalion of

thi s rlJ. vision on Fetrul3.ry 25th. On February 26th the remainder of

the German divisi~;n arri ver: after a f::.)rced march of 150 kilometers.

True, the 2nrl Lcuntain Division was n~, lOlli!.E::r a first-class fighting

unit, but, unlike the 256th Volks;lrenadier Jivision anrl the 416th

l.nfantrY,Division, it still functionerl as a rlivision.

The arrival ;)f thi s unit marle it all the more clear to

General WALKER that tr,e speerl of the expl 'Ji b3.tion must be regainerl.

To bog down now w',)uld result in the sacrifice ',)f all Us ini tial

success. In ar1ctiti.)n, the terrain greatly fc:>vored the enemy defenses,

and to allow the Gerrr;ans additional time to stren;e;then these defenses

woulr! all but prevent the employment ')f arm:)r.

The Armored Infantry Cr)sses

Task Force TIICHHi.DSON, of eCA, was relieveri on February 24th

by the 90th C8valry ltec:-mnaissance S-,ua-iron (iecr:anized), north and

84

east of TAVjERN. Colonel RICHhRDSON then assembleo the infantry at

AYL in preparation for the crossing of the SAAR at OCKFEN. The move

was made as an armored ir.fantry battalion, dismounted. All other

elements such as tanks, half-tracks and their personnel were at that

tiIT~ awaiting the construction of a bridge at CCKFEN, over ~ich they

hoped to cross. v~hen the Corps Commam er decided not to wait for

the brid 6e at OCKFEN, these element s were moved south in order to

cross at TitBEN anrt proceed north to IRSCH.

At 1600 on the 24th, the infantry of Task Force RICHi,RDSON

began i ts crossin~: of the SAAR Hi ver in assault boats. The 8lst

Chemical Company continuert to emplQY its snoke generetors, provirling

8 smoke screen for the cre.ssing. The Germans on the eastern bank

resisted fiercely with continuous machine sun fire from their pillboxes

Heavy artillery concentratioLs falling on the crossing site forced

the infantry elements to deploy, moving singly ann in small groups,

across 800 yards of open ground.

To sustain combat following the crossini:, mortars, automatic

weapons and awmunition were han~-carried. Tanks and personnel

carriers were of little use to these tro~ps now facing a river

crossing, and they would be of no further use until they could be

rejoined at IRSCH on the eastern bank.

Although the 376tn RCT had reachect' the high bluffs over­
looking the ri vcr above OCKfEN, enemy machine guns continued to

concentrate on a iJOrtion vf the crossing site. Despite the intensity


.,,-...
of enenw firc., which harassed all crossing elements, the casualties

85
in Task Force RICHhRDSON WHe coml)arati wly light.

From CeB, Task Force O'HARA , consisting of three infantry

companies of the 54th Armored Infantry Battalion, also assembled at

AYL, where it was briefed on the crossing. It was then issue~ suffi­

cient equipment and rations for two days fightinf! without resupply. -i'

The Battalion, like the others, began its crossini in cssault

boats • Despite heavy eremy fire it suffered only twenty c85ualties. 10

The Battalion reorganized after climbin~ the hill directly opposite

its crossing site and moved down the winding roarl into CCKFEN, arri­

ving at 0230, February 25th.

hrmored Infantry and Pillboxes

NOTE: See sketch opposite pa.::;e 77

The Armored Infantry Battali)ns of the 10th hrmored Division

continued their crossing of th6 SAAR River one kilorreter north of

OCKFEN.By 1200 on the 25th the of:eratLm was completed. They re­

organizer] on the far bank and pushed on into OCKFEN, anrl by the

afterno)n of the 25th, they har. presser. an attack throu~h the lines

of the 376th ReT. Task Ferce STANDISH (61st Armored Infantry

Battalion) attacked east bwarri SCH.:.i-tFENBUhG Hill. Task Force

RILEY (20th Armorerl Infantry Battalion) attacked SQuth towaMs

IfiSCH. Task Force O'HhhJ. (54th Arm:lrer1 Infpntry BattalLm) formed

the reserve. Fightinf f::>r an ar-lvantaf-e that c:.:'ulrl be maintained only

by speecl, the attack was continued into the night. ST.hN~ISH was c ble

to break through, but found himself isolated on SCHAlt.FENBlJRG Hill.

Task Force RILEY was continually held up by pillboxes to the south.

86

These pillboxes were located sDuth of CCKFEN in a stafgered

formation. There were eleven in all, of which ten were marked on

the infantry's 1:25,000 maps. Teams were reorganized before setting

out to clear the pillboxes. A detailed plan was devised v.hich

called for coordinated assault s on e~, ch ;Jillbox. This, in turn,

re(1uired a well-clefined plan of attack. It was decided that Task

Force RILEY wou10 clear the pillboxes southeast of OCKFEN~ while

Task Force 0' Hhh.A muld move east, initin:~ly follo ....iI1f t he path

which had been taken by rask Force STl1NDISH in its move to SCHf,HFEN­

BURG Hill. Task Force O'HAn~ woul~ then turn south ann, fighting

ahreast of Tnsk Forct ,-lILEY, clear the ;Jillboxes in its zone along

the rOnd leaiing- ,bwn t:) IRSCH. The attack WflS trJ te¢.n at dusk.

The clear-cut plan of cttack called for the dismounted

infantry to reduce ee.cr. L,rtification met\; ~dically. Two machine

gun sectiJns would be set u9 in rartirtl defilade on the flanks of

the pillboxe s, and !::y fir:tn;!, on the embrasures wculd force th e occu­

pe.nts to close them. Bazooka tearr.s w:Julrl then move forward anrl blow

off the ports. Followin; that, the en~in5er teams would crawl up

",nr:} place their satchel cb.arces. In the meantime J the artillery

on the west sirle of the SrtAR wouln be on c8ll to place fire on the

rem2inin~ rillboxes in order to keep them occupied. An almost

inentical m. tua tion hael been rehear sect by the infantry while they

were trainin[~ in the I.~TZ area, and this proved extrerr.ely helpfuL

The 54th Armored Infantry Battalion was assifned the

follc'win::: missions: The first two pillbQxes were to be taken by

87

A Company, the next four by C Company, an~ the last two a~ain by

A Company. At approximately 1830 A Company meJVed out towarcl the

first two pillboxes. Very little resistance was offered after

artillery and machine gun fire had been placed on the boxes. C

Company then passed through A Company an-i roved on to take the

next two pillboxes, supported by nnchine gun and artillery fire.

The Germans put up a dog~ed resistance. and fired flares to light

up the area for spotting tar~ets. Friendly artillery fire was

increased on the pillboxes anrl two tank destroyers, which had been

ferried across the river during the clay, firc:.i direct fire on the

fortificatbns. This was sifficient tJ force the GerJrbns to

surremer.

However, tbenext tw.) pillboxes assigned to C COffipany were

far m~re difficuit to reduce. As t,he assault team moved up, the

Germans brought adriitional rrachine ~uns onto ,the slope to the east

and open fire to deny the approach. In spite of this increased

automatic fire, the aSSf'ult teams reacherl the pillt.oxes and plE-ced

their satchel Charges. But even after the charges were detonatei,

the Germans continued fighting. It was necessary for the company

t::;; wi thdraw so tha t frienr.ly artillery and tank destroyer fire

could be placed on the boxes. After two hours of this fire the

Germans surreniered.

The tank C'1estroyers then further assisted h. Company in .

the renucti:m of the remaining pillboxes, which, fortunately, f'uickly

surrender ed •

88
This ::;:>erati::m had taken most ;)f the nLs:ht anrl resulterl ir

twenty enemy killed ann fifty-fJur pris:mers :)f war taken.

suffered only four casualties. It had rlefinitely been proved that

pillboxes 00 not form insurmountable Dbst,8cles to armored infantry

if the attacks have been carefully planneri anri carried out with

speed anri teamwork.

Armor Eust Have Bridg~s

Li eutenant Colonel RILEY, of CCB, like: RICHARDSON 7 r ec e1 ved

orders to move his tan~:s anrl half-tr;:,cks to FriliU:)ENWRG in order to

cross on tre TAEEN brirl[e. Althouph the brid~e l'J1'!.S unrier heavy

artillery fire, the Task Force crossed with !, Com~jany, 21st Tank

Battalion (reinf::;rced with a lisht tank platoon)f 1") Company) leading,

followec! by Headquarters Company and the empty half-tracks of the

infantry.

SK'tiiIG, by thi s time, was in our hancts, am it was rere

that ~iILEY receiveo orrers from CCl, t;; attack through the 94th 'Jivision

brirjgehead an(~ push on to IRSCH. There he woult4 pick u~) the 6lat

Armorer, Infantry Battali:::m :)f Task Force STANJISH snr'! move east to

relieve the 5th Ranger Battalion, and seize the high ground west

of ZErlF.

While in SERRICi, illLEY met Lieutenant G".kBOSO of the 5th

Ranger Battali');'1 *'8 had with him twenty-four men and two officers.

These troops were loaned into the half-tracks f~llowing behinct A

ComiJsny. RILEY, with his S-3, Captain R. V. EAHKLEY, moved forward

t~ the head of the column where the 94th Division was still engaged

89

in heavy fighting against enemy small arms, morters, and machine

E;uns at the lind ts of the bridgehead near BEURIG·. In order not w


become involved in this ..action, the annor was forced to take sec')n­

dary roads mi ch were irr.;assable except for. medium tanks. The light

tanks, therefore, were attached by cables to the I 4 t s and the


ll
colurrn continued intact.

With the delay causen. by this expecUent, it was not until

late in the afternoon of Febrllary 24th that the C olum closed upon

the town of IRSCH from the west, with the 1st Platoon of A Company

learl.ing. Lieutenant Colonel RILEY believed at that time that Task

Force STANDISH h.;).d cleareri the town with his 6lst r.rrnored Infantry

Battalion. This pr.'Jvcd a costly mistake since Task Force STt.N,)ISH

was still fightin,z t.) reach lliSCH frOID its SCHMiFENBUliG Hill

position.

Lieutenant HANOVEIt, conmanding the 1st Platoon of A Company,

moved into the center of town. To his immedi~te front he observed

a roadblock across a fork in the road. The two lead tanks fired at

the block with 76rnm fire. They then by-passed the rca::block to the

west am continued on thr:::ugh town.

However, they fallen. to observe that U,e roadblock was

coverei from either side by tw~ GerffiBn baz~oka teams, one ground

mount 88mm gun, and a Tiger tank. When the thir~ tank in Lieuten­

ant HANOVER I s column attempteri to pass the r:klriblock, it was fired

on by the 8&nrn fun and set afire, blockin::; the r8ad. The fourth

tank was hit by the baz:)oka team on the rL;ht. The fifth tank was

90

hit by the other baZe)Ok:::. team, but di:i not l::.urst into flames. biean­

while, the Tiger tank covering the roadblock, opened up and hit twa

litht tanks of the second platoon further back in the column.

Captain &\RDLEY, commanding A Company, i~medi;tely contacted

the men of the Ranger Battalion, anrl organized them as an infantry

team in order to clear the obstacle. The Ran,:;~ers came forwnrrl a~,

upon arrival at the roadhlock, they flushed the enemy crews into

flight. The aangers then proceeded on to contact the two tanks which

had succeeded in gettin~: beyond the roadblock. They reached the tanks,

and formal a flank guarri to .;Jrevent further bazooka fire from knock­

ing them out while being escQrted back to the main column. 12

At 2030 B Company of Task Force RILEY (20th Armored Infantry

.- Battalion) came into IRSCH from the northwest. It" immediately began

tc) clear the town, taking 290 pris,mers of war from the 416th
. ­
VolksF,relladier ;)i vision. The actic)fi up t-J Uis time had cost five

tanks ann. apr)roxima tely five kille"! and twenty wounded.

Capt"in HOLEHOU5E, cOIl1I'rIanrlin.'~ h. Company, 20tt> I\rmoren

Inf:mtry Battalion, arrived fro!, XKFEN at 2240 and assisted in

clearing out the town, takin5 250 prisoners of war. When a TL!er

Tank to th6 south of the town o~enerl up, the prisoners of war started

to scatter. One of Company A I S half-tracks covered the prisoners

of war, an~ when the fracas was over, fifteen of them wer~ rlead. 13

C Company, 20th hrmoreo Infantry Battalion, arrived almost on the

heels of CGptain HOLEHOUSE.

The three Armored Infantry Battalions of the 10th Armored

Di vision hart succeeded in reaching IhSCH wit h the assistance of the

91
376th liGT. The 376th RCT pusherl :In south to make contact with the

302n(1 Infantry which was dri ving north from SERHIG. BEURIG was

envelope~ in this maneuver an~ was captured 0n February 26th.

Now it was possible to begin the construction of a heavy

penton bridge at SAhRBUF..G, which was just across the river from

BEURIG. The bringe was completer] anti elements of the lOth Armored

Division be(~an crossing on the morning of February 27th. A con­

tinuous bri~gehean had been estab1isherl from a point just north

of CCKFEN to a point just south of TAEEN.

NOTES FOR CP.APT&i, X

12£. ~. TRIEh, p.12


2I\..·~
~. p. 12

3Il2.!.2.• p .13
4.Ql?.Qll. History of the 376th Infantry hed., p. lla
51.1:&.1. p. 148

60 .:>. ill. Ti:tLS'1., p. 25

-
7Ibid. p. 14

8Qe. Cit. J-./'v, lOth lirmd ")iv, entry f'Jr 24 Feb 45

9~. Cit. TRIER, ? 15

lOInterview with taj W. B. Haskell at Trier, 13 : ar 45

llInterview with Lt. Col. J. n. hiley at Tritr, 12-13 kar 45


12Ibid.

13Interview with Lt. Lonchar (21st Tk En) at Trier, 13 ~ or 45

92

CHAPTER XI
THE FALL OF TRIER

Team 'A' T¥kes ZERF


Elements of the 10th Armored Division in IRSCH were

hastily reorganized into a ten~orary Team A in order to cQmplete


the nssi~ned ~ission of relieving the 5th Ranger oattalion located

west of ZERF.
Team A moved out upon reorganization. As the leading
vehicles approached the eastern of IRSCH, they were fired upon
by a Tiger Tank, which knocked out the two 168.1 tanks anc~ the three
following half-tracks. This stopped th6 armored column. The
dismounted troops of the 20th Armored Infantry Battalion, Band
C Companies, were sent out from IRSCH to clear the IaSCH-ZERF road
tel a point a mile and a half beyonri the town. This maneuver was
accomplished to ;i ve the armor an opportunity to begin moving.
Company B cleared the left of th6 road and C Company the risht.
By 0930 on the 26th the task had been completed and the
armored colurr~ be~an ITDving again. ?~o~ress was slow due to
exceptionally heavy enemy artillery fire. Tr~ee hours were taken in
reaching BIEDCHEN, a small cluster of hous6s a;:'out half-way between
IRSCH and ZERF. At BIEDCHEN the colurr~ came under point-blank
fire aimed <iown the road from a point west of ZEHF. The tanks,
however J continued on the rO,3rl while the dismounted elements
-- maneuvered to a draw ?,enerally parallelin.€ the rOed at atout one

93
hundred yards and offering considercble protection from the artillery

fire. ,It was at this time that initial contact was !rEade wi th th e

erstwhile cut-off 5th Rangers ¥ho were in a woorls:,alonglheroad


1
being travelled by the tanks. While the armored column was moving

along, a messen,;;;er from the Rangers appeared and asked for vehicles

to evacuate their wounded, stating that this was their only need

at the time. Colonel RICHl.R:)SON supplied them with five half-tracks

for this purpose.

The artillery interdiction of the road by the enemy continuer,

as did the point-blank fire, estimated as 75mm. However, a fog which

carr.e up shortly after midday reduced visiLility to approximate~ fifty

-
y&ros and rrJ2de the a(~vance much less difficult. Just west of ZERF

:3 Company of the 20th Armored Infantry Battalion hooked southeast

to attack OBEH-ZEdF, and C Company went northeast to take NIEnER-ZEnF.

OBER-ZERF Was captured at 1700 hours with little resistance, but

the force ettHckin.; NIELER-ZERF si~'bted six Tiger tanks dnd wiUdrew.

While these two actions were taking place, the remainder of

Task Force RILEY1s vehicles -- half-tracks of the 54th Armored Infantry

B&ttc:;.licn, the tanks and crew of the 21st Tank B2ttalion and two

platoons of B Con:.pany, 609th Tank Destroyer Battalion -- began collec­

ting on the hi~h ground west of ZEnF. Lieutenant Colonel RICHARDSON

assUlr.ed contrDl of all these elerr.ents, ,JrgClnized them into teams,

and hurriedly sent th em out on mi ssions • One team was to move out

and take the high ~round on either side af OEER-ZEhF; another was to

push up and capture NIEDER-ZERF and the hi gh ground around it; t,b e

tr,irc team W,'1S to go into ZERF and seize the hit;h ground east of the
town.
94
The attack on ZEEF jumped off at 18CO but rninefielcs in

front of the town stopped the attack. While these were being cleared

a rlatoon of took destroyers moved to comman~in6 ground t£J0 yards,

from ZEHF anrl fired 76rrm high explosive shells directly on targets

in the town for a period of ten Ininutes. Hhen the: fire was lifted,

:}ismounted infantry rr.oved in on ZERF. A Tiger tank was sighted on

the outskirts of the town. The bazooka teaw$ fired at it, hitting,

but not cti sablin~ it. The tank withdrew ani ZE!1.F was cleared by

0100 on the 27th.

Task fJrces were reorganize'l ann. Team it was "isr:-anded at

ZERF; missions were assigned for the drive to the nurth to seize

TltIEh.

ceB ~oyes North

Task F:)rce RICHAiiDSCN was f:i ven the nrl. ssivn of blocking

against any possible counterattack at ZEiLF'. The remaim6r of

Combat Cow.mand. A moved out of ZERF toward TRIER with Task Force

CHhLBERLt.IN leading. The Task Force moverl in column wi tt. the

infantry from Company A, 21st Armored J:nfantry Battalion, in

front of and on the flanks of Teams O'GRhJY ani SHiillDEAU •

.iit 0200 on the 27th of February, d~.rect fire was received

from the woods on the left flank. The woods were clearerl for a

depth of 1000 yards in a two-hour fifht and the Task Force coiled

in position until dawn. The infantry of Captain EISBEhG started

forward at 0545 and immediately ran into a SP 82mm assault gun A.nd

~-- a l.ark V tank lyin~.· in wait aroun~ a bend in the road. The infantry

95

quickly disposed of this arrrvre':\ ambush ."lnri the Task Force pro­

ceeded forward, Cross-country employment of the force was not feas­

ibie becaUse of the steep, heavily wooded hills around which the

road north paSsed. Progi"ess wa~ slow as four pillboxes enroute,

as \'&:11 as a heaiily t;lefended troop shelter at S'l'EINEACK, were

stormed and destroyed. However, as soon as the woods had been

passed. Team OIG~ihDY passed through the infantrJr of Captain EISBERG

in order to deploy and move forward across country. Beyond

STEINBP,CH the tanks ran into a lnineficl~ and two tanks were disabled.

Simultaneously, heavy c~rtillery an'; mortar fire was brought down

on the Task Force from e ridge 500 yard s to the front. The infantry

dismounted anil de f~l:)yerl to rou t the enemy tro O.i.JS frorr. the le it

flank, L: the ditches and roarl folia;:;e f.)r cover and concealment.

Any attenpt, hcwever, to advance beyonc4 the rid~;e brought heavy shellinf'

from direct fire weapons. At 1500 Lieutenant Colonel CHAt'BERLAIN

ordered forward r~s attached engineers, the 3rd Platoon of

Company A, 55th ArmJred Engineer Battalicn, to clear the minefield

and thus permit the employment of his tank teams on the flanks of

the German position. The minebelt, 300 yards in depth, was treached

by 0115 on the morning of the 28th and the tanks aeain moved forward.

Lieutenant Colonel CIiU'BEh.LAIN planned to have Te~rr. SHADDEAU stay

on the ridge Which dOmilWt the town of PELLINGEN, anrj send Team

O'GRADY aloni! another rin:f.".e 1000 yards to the ri2;ht where its guns

could furthel.~ assist from the right flank the infantry attack along
,
~. the road nortb into PELLn~GEN. The attack j\l.ffijJer! off fit 0500 as

9-6
..
planned and the infantry worked its w;;y int~) PELLHiGEN after the

tanks had softened it up with cannon fire. The enenw withdrew, to

take Ul ) positions along the high ground 750 yarc.s northwest of

PELLINGEN. They were routed from this p:)sition by 1015.

By 1130 Team EISBEHG har! driven the enenw from the hifh

ground along which it was advancin,".. At this point the mi. ssion of

Task Force CHh-l:.BEltLilIN was changed - i t was now tu clear KONZ­

KJ.J.1THAUS and protect the left flank of the 10th Armored Division I

dri ve into TRIER2. Task Force NGI..rtIS, the reserve of CGA, passed

through CHtJ.:BEt1LdN at 1500 and drcve north on Tl1IEi'i..

CCB Starts to Drive on ThIER

In the rr.eantime, Tn.sk Force 0' HAl'1A followed Task Force

CHAi.:EEii.LA IN on the rno ve to ZER.F from DiSCH on t he morning of the

27th of February, and was subjected to the SP.JIle type of shelling as

was CGA.

The columns were turnin~ north on the road at the corner

west of ZERF when they were fired upon by an 88rrffi gun which the

enemy had zeroed in on the corner. Having direct observation on

this corner, the 88rrm gun was very effective. Here the vehicle

car:-ying Lieutenant Colonel O'RhRA was hit and the Colonel killed}

The mission of CCB was to attack TRIEF., using the main road

which ran along a ridge line_

Task Force CHi~~:B&1LAIN, wt-ich preceded O'HAliA, took the

main route. O'HhRh's first ~ssion Was to clock on the right by

seizing PASCHJ.L and Hill 508, then to attack TfaEH. on the ridge

road to the right of the zone of anvanc8.

97
Team DE'I;EP.EJ.UZ, of Task Force O'PJJi..'l, di smountee along the

roa~ at approximat~ly 1630 an~ moven into PASCHkL without opoosition.

Then Team DEVFiLEAUZ attacken Hill 508 am seized it after a short

fire fight from a crew mannin&> a battery of direct fire weapons.

158 prisoners were taken on the two ob~ectives und along the roans

le,;.:iing to t herr;.

CCB ordered 1~ajor WARREN B. HASKELL, Executive Officer of

the 54th Armored Infantry BattaliGI1, t:) assume comtr2nd of the Task

Force that nLgt,t. 4 At 1100 Eajor HASKELL sent Team KAFKALAS to attack

OBEFtSEHR. The town was attacked from the high ground to the south

while a platoon of tanks inched up along the road from the southwest.

The enemy put up a defense with a battery of 80mm mortars and machine

gun positions errplaceri in the houses. Team KAFKALJ.S closed in on

the town under cover of artillery and tank fire, capturing the town.

Eighty German soldiers surrendered themselves without much fight.

Imnediately after the town was taken at about 1330, the enemy laid

down a barra of artillery and l05mm mortar fire on it from the

northeast and east.

It 'lIas thought that OBEH.5EH;{ was the besinning of a switch

line that the Germans were trying to builr1. up as a defense bf TRIER.

KAFKAUS pushed out reconnaissance from OBEfiSEHR ann fsurd

a defense tel t of mines covered by observed artillery am machine

gun fire. This Lelt ran from just s;)uth of PELUNGEN to OLLHITH,

over the high grounr! north of NEIlERSEHn. Ki.FLLAS dispose1 his

--- infantry under cvver ~nrl went out with his en,.::ineer platoon to clear

a way thrcugh the minefield alon;:.: the roadway. The enemy promptly

98
laid do'Wn .? heavy fire from machine ~uns a~ registered artillery

with air bursts. H:lwever, the platoon cleareci 8. pc:th through the

minefield, but in S:J doing, KAFKi.LhS and the enzineer platoon leader

were wounded, as was 4($ of the platoon. Lieutenant COOK then

took corrmand of the team ann pushed throu~~h to make a bridgehead

acrr)ss the mi.nebelt. While ching tbis, Lieutenant COOK 'Was wounded.

The rdnebelt was finally breached late in the afterno::m. 5

Wi th t:1is 0 tstacle cleared, the mi ssi. on of Task Force Hj\SKELL

was to m0V8 on to TiiIER. Team Lj~NG passed through the minefield and

led what remained 8f the Task Force along the roa~. This route was

under observation and subject t::) enemy artillery fire from both

the east and the west. The comrr~nders csreed that t~us terrain

confr~nted the armor with one of the most 0ifficult tactical problems.

There was not sufficient infantry to push out t;:, the flanks of

the road or to secure the comrranding hill positions. The enemy was

fighting with s.rr.C1l1 rear guards manning batteries of anti..tank

weapons arr!. mortars which were well situated to take advantage of

the comrr.anding terrain. It was necessary to push straight on, keep­

ing on the alert for the enemy artillery to disclose its positions

so that fire could be brought down on them.

The column IIl0ved out along the ridbe line rJ.urine the late

afternoon and early eveninF ,)f the 27th. Just south of Hill 433

the he&(l ·)f the column received heavy ""rtillery fire from ti:.e cast

--
which kn8,cked out 0ne of the tanks an~ several of the half-tracks.

Jespite this interruption it continued, anrl reached positions

99
opposite Hill 427 at about 2200, where it coiled for the night.

This position near Hill 427 was within a hundred yar1s of

a Gernan battery position which had not disclosed itself while

the colwr.n was moving in,6 The battery was in defilade on too

reverse slops of the hill to the east. At 0300 the eneITif opened

fire on the bivouac, but from their defilade positions the guns could

n~)t be depressed enough to bring effective fire on the vehicles.

ftealizing this, the enemy artillerymen set their fuses for air

bursts and these cause0 approximately fi fteen casualties. While

the Task F:-rce held its fire trying to locate specific targets, the

enemy opened up with two machine guns firtng down the road and

launched an infantry attack on the Task Force from the east. I.~

rifle fire dispersed the infantry, anrl two half-tracks trained their

50 caliber fire on the enerey machine gun positi::ms. Tl".is broke up

the att~ck. Tl'.e two leading half-tracks, h~jwever, did not change

pc.sitL1ns after the ccunterattack and had apparently been observed

from enemy positicns on the bigh grounc-1 t:-J the northeast. As soon

as there was visibility the following morninE2 the Germens opened

fire with 88mms on these half-trecks, 'iestroyim: both. 7

HASKELL then maneuvered to attack tl-,is enemy battery on

Hill 427. B Company, 54th Armored Infantry Dattelion, circlerj to

the right to get behinrl the hill while two tank destroyers maneuvered

to take the battery from its south flank. The enerr.y guns were

spotted as ttey continued shooting to the west anrl the tank rlestroyers

- brought fire on them.

100
The position so::m surrendered nnn f::ur 8&n'll anti-tank?uns,

twelve automatic guns 8nrl approximately thirty prisoners were taken.

During the night HASKELL was orr1ered by CCB to continue on


8
tc TRIEH as scon as possi ble. At naybreak on the 28th tr.e Task Furce,

with Team LANG lead in;;, prepared to move out. The plan called for

the ma:i.n1xYiy t;) p alcmg the ridge r:)a:i while teams peeled off to

the ri8ht int '.: FILSCH ann TJ.RFORST. These towns were located on

the east slDpe away froIl: the r:')ac. and coulr:l. threaten the flank of the

colurrn by fire or counterattack if not blocked. Just as the column

began to m~)ve fr,)m its niE;ht positiun, it came under direct fire

from 'the nJrthy.;est. The enemy gun positic.ns were not definitely lo­

cated, but were assumerl to be on the high f'~rounrl just east of TRIEh.

This fire frOIll a l'attery)f 105rnm guns kn~)cked ,~ut five hclf-trc:cks

and an armored car within five minutes. The colWIU1 moved out as 600n

as the fire ease·j up and early em tbe morning of the 28th the

leading tanks were in FILSCH, where a srrall enemy rear guard ~ut

up a short figtt and t h€n surrendered. Although the column was

still under artillery fire, B Company, 54th ArmJred Infantry Battalion

deployed ani mpved out to TARFC.J.ST. While the enemy continued

placing heavy flrtillery fire on the attack, there was little oppo­

siti~.m on the grJunrl. b COIT:)any captured five 88mm glillS anr:! took

forty pris.)ners on the slopes of the high groiilln east Cif TARFORST

at abcut 1630. ;)urint" this attack Captain 8EVEREAUX and Lieutenant

- G;',LE, his executive officer, were wvunrlErl. by prtillery fire,

Task Force HhSKELL had four tanks and five half-tracks in

101
-- operation after this action. The infantry losses had been he~vy

and the mission to capture TRIEn was not yet accomplisr£d. HASKELL

used his wiremen, extra men from the assault gun platoon, and men

froIT'. the Headquarters Corr.pany to act as infantrymen. Remnants:Jf

C Company, B Company, and the Heanquarters Detachment formen as

infantry su;,.;port under the command of Captain LANG.

l:eanwhile the tanks and vehicles of CCR had crossed at

SAFR3URG on the 27th of Febr~'ry, and Task Force CHERRY was sent

f'Jrward on the rif.~ht flank of the zone ')f advance during the night

of February 28th ~ )!arch 1st, t:) clear to the RUVVER Hiver an" cover

the flank. 9

While this action was taking place around TRIER, Task Fjrce

RICHnRDSON (of CCA) which ha1 been blocking abainst possible enemy

counterattacks at ZERF, was relieve~ fro~ that mission by the 1st

Battalion, 301st Infantry. Thereup~n, Lieutenant Colonel RICHARDSON

received orders t:; move (,n to TRIER, using the valley road through
10
OLEWIG betWeen Task Force HASI\ELL ani NOR~-US. The column moved

from ZERF on thE afternoon of the 1st of 1:arch to a crossroar'! west

of Li\liP.ADEN, where it was halted while orders were obtained at the

COlT,mand Post of CCB at OBEHSEHR. Here RICHAiiDSON was ir..forrned that

the rest of the lOth Armored Division was attacking TRIER that night

and the l!'ission of Task Force hICHARJjSON was tc get int0 TRIER am
to seize intact, if possi ble, the twc· brirlges over the KOSELIE River
11
in t\":e ci ty. Jump-off time was 2200, ~'arch 1st.

102

-- TRIER is Entered

On the eveniI~ of the 28th of February, Team LANG of Task

Force HASKELL (CCE) ha~ move~ out to TRIER. Its tanks arlvanced

rDpicly to seize the hill east of the city. T~e barracks there were

filled with Allied prisoners and a nwnber of im~:ressed laborers.

This area was cleared by 1900 and an arrununition dump in the vici-··

nity was set afire. Li-.NG decided to move on into THIEH in a night

attack with the tanks lea·iing clown the hill in ::;rder to strike at the

town from the northeast. There was little op.;.;osition until the

cC.llumn hit a roa·-lblock just at the e.j'~~e :)f tr.e town. This was

dismantled by hand unier c;:,ver of the infantry, which was moved

up f:::r. the purp)se. In order to maintain surprise demolitions

were not used.

At 0400 the colurrn movej ::;n int.") TRIER proper. The north­

east section was entirely deserteC1, and hy 0830 a third of the

northern ~art of the city had been cleared.

To turn back to CGA -- at 0800 ::;n the morning of l'arch 1st,

the tanks of Teams 0'GRk1Y anr! SHADDEAU of Task Force CHMfBmLAIN

positioned thems61ves '..)n the twin ileaics that overlooked KONZ-KARTHAUS'

and the eastern banks 'Jf the L:8SELIE River after its junct.1:il"e with

the Sfu...R. After an hour's b::mlbardment of the town, the infantry

of Tear!! EISBEfiG entered and cleared the t:::>"Wl1. of KONZ-KAitTHAUS. The

Task FJrce thereafter protected the left flank without inci0ent.

Task Force NJrlRIS, meanwhile, advanced on TRIE~ from the vicinity

of NEIDERtENNIG. It reached the outskirts -:Jf the city durinf' the

; T
"
~'.
103
...•
-- afterno"n of Farch 1st, and halted in place. On the 2nd it moved

into TRIER in order to assist rtICHliftDSON in clearing the area.

Now let us consider Task Force lUCHAH:,)SON, which moved out

from the cro' ssroo.ds west of LAEPAD1N in column at 2200 on the last

of karch. Team BILLET was in the lead, followect by Team RILEY

anr\ Headquarters Company. The night was clear, with & full moon

and excellent visibility. The column shot UjJ to the village of

IhSCH, where a ri.la~~:;lock consisting of three ullJ'18nned German 88nun

.::uns were encountered. The lead tank fired two 75rrm rounds at the

rcadblock, and the German garrison in the village immedia tely sur­

rendered. The prisoners were used to remove the r'Jadblock and the

colurrn continued thre:u6h OLEWIG an" on into the city limits of TRIER.

A fifteen minute halt GCcurred at the railrJad crossing within the

city limi ts, mile a company cf surprise,i German infantry am four

anti-tank guns were captured wi. thad a round being fired f Evidently

the krnericans haC: not been ex;;ected in that part of the city so

soon. One of tre prisoners taken at tLe railroad crossing had beEn

detailed to notify an enemy demolition party on the far si:le of

the bridge of the Arnerican' s arrival as soon as they ap:Jeared at


12
the railroad crossing. His mission remained unaccocplished.

Feelinr that if he attacked tho nearer sDuth bri~ge directly,

it WGuld in all like:lihocc' be il!'mediately blown, Lieutenant Colonel

RICHARDSON decided to attack the n.)rthern brictge first. Captain

.­ LILLET's team was sent to take that bridge and Lieutenant RILEY's team

was to follow, read.y t:"; cut through thE city and seize the remaining

104

(south) bridge. At 0200, BILLET reported his brioge already de­

molishert. Lieutenant Colonel RICHARDSON then sent Team RILEY to

take the south bridge. The team tock the avenue along the MOSELLE

River and shortly afterward Lieutenant filLEY reported by radio

to Lieutenant Colonel RICHARDSON: "Have reacher: the bridge. Bridge

intact. Arr. recei vin~ small arms fire .,,13 Lieutenant Colonel RICHAl-tD­

SON mowd hurriedly to the bri<ige and directed its seizure frDm

there. Lieutenant nILEY I s !ten were defenriints a;;:ainst srr.all arms fire

and had dOne nothing about r:lovint.; to the western side ::if the bria:!.e.

50 cnli"Ler machine gun fire from the Colonel's tank was directed onto

the western a;Jproaches of the span, while a platoon of tanks ard

a ;'V'lbon of c!ismcunteo infantry under Lieutenant FLETCHER crossed

the ~rirt?e, e:;cpectinr to haVe i t disa~)pear from under them at any

morrent. They crossed the bri~ge just in time to seize a German ~ajDr

and five enliste·i men rushinz t:)war~ the lJridce with ctet:mating caps

and an exploder. The Germ~n lr.aj:)r was tirunk.

A detail of men 'cut all the wires lear'iini..'; to the bridge am


the remaining men and tanks whi. c h had cr:)ssed f'"rmeC! a s11'8l1 trid ge­

head at its appro8ches. The German major, worri6d &bnut the fact

that he had failed in his duty, and wishing to conceal that fact from

higher Gerlnan arnw cOll'.P.1o.nders, inforrr,ed his captors toot seventeen

other Gerrrnn ~fficers were havin~ a party down the street. The seven­

te€ln were in tra3 house reporte.J, abcut 200 yards from the western

entrnnce t;l the bridge, and were captured without incinent.

105

CENTRAL EUROP£.
/: sao, 000
ocw __...
I
~
iii

Ml/ • ..

/os- /0"

By 1000 on the 2n<.i of Larch, Task Forcn RICHARDSON, clearing

from the If.JSELLE River through the city, had 800 prisoners on hand

wbo had emerged from houses, dumbfounded to find American troops

already in the city. The Command Post was establisheri in the ear::..y
hours of the morning in the center of the city. At the srure tirr.e a

jJRrty of Germans emerged fr'Jffi a house across the street, prepared

to aid in the defense of TRIER, and were captured.

Task Force RICHARDSON held the EOSELLE River line wi. thin the

city limits aOO the bridge it had seized am together with HASKELL

and NORRIS, cleared the town in 8, house to house search. The re­

maining elements of the Division were assembled in and around the

city. The last r6sistance in TRIER ceased on the 2nd of March.

NOTES FOR CI-~PTK{ XI

1Interview with Lt Ce1 J J hlch2.rds,;n at Trier, 13 l.. ar 45

21nterview with :aj C a King (~iv Historian) at Trier, 10 Mar 45

3Interview with k.nj VJ B Haskell at Trier, 13 Mar 45

4n~i(i •

5~.

6J.l:i.g.
71",0,",
~.

9.:::!f:. Cit. Maj C il. King


l01'h·
u1",d •

11£E.. ill. TruER, p. 17

12llid" h 30

13Ibi'i, p. 30

106
-

CHAPTER XII

SU);lWtY OF SEC OND PHASE

h battle-hardened Division capable of great offensive action

has been described in the chapters of this last phase. The 10th

Armc;red Division, fresh from a rest and rehabilitation period, was

corrmitted through the gap created by the 94th ~i visi on ano through

a deliberately prep&red enerr~ defensive ~osition. It was success­

ful in gaining its initial :)bjective at TA\~ERN in a relatively short

peri::>d of time.

Frein that initial objective, it fannen aut in team columns

- towards the SJ-wR and !:LuSELLE Ri vers in an attempt to secure

crossings tef0re they CQuld be blown by the enemy_


brid~e

This we know,

it failed to do, and confrontef: with a natur~l otstacle to armor in

the SAAR Ri ver, the s,eed of its exj;loitation came to a sunnen

helt. Her'3 it w:dted for the establishment of a bridgehead which

was necessary for the movement of the heavy tanks and vehicles of the

Di visi;)n.

The armored infantry battalions were r'livorced from the

arm'Jr and crossed over the SAJ.R et a different point. The infantry

and vehicles quickly reorgani zed at IRSCH ane pushed on towards ZERF.

The capture of TR.IE...tt followed close on the heels of the capture

of ZERF, an~ with the fall of this vital stronghol~, the ene~

released all holds c;n the SAAR-~~OSELtE Triangle ..


-
The cOf_trritment :)f the 10th Arrr,')red Division through the

gap created by the 94th iJivision provided the most favorable type of

107


operation for the err.ployment of armDr in the offensive. For such

~ction to be successful, it rrust be executed with speed and violence

anrl in sufficient depth to lIlBintain the momentwr, of the attack,

This was most successfully accomplished as exemplifierl t~ the actions

of ecl. in its nash to the Division ohjective. This operation took

only one day even though the objective was in the nortrern tip of

tha Triangle. ~fter renetrating the initial enemy positions, the

lOth Arrr,ored Division lost no time in exploiting its success by

exerting constA.nt ~)ressure l)n the retreating enemy.

Close co':'rdinati:.;n by arm~)r ann infantry is essential. This

is pointed up wherE: lnck in coordinati:.m resulte·l in rlelay, confusion,

anrl unnecessary c'l.sualties in Task F:)rce HICB.l.:r::.'.lSON on the morning

it launcherl its initie13ttB.ck.

Once an armvrer: divisiDn has brol.cn through the main enemy

defense it must ~~intain the momenturrL of attack in order to exploit

successfully. We saw h,Wl it is possibh'l t,) Ir.3intain this momentum

by havin~ the leading elerr.ents skirt enemy t)oints'Jf resistance,

leaving these defGnse islanrls to be taken care of by the follow-up

infantry troops. Suer. an action was execllted by Teams SHI.DDEhU

and HJLEH0USE in their eff:)rts to completely break through the

enemy defenses north of SINZ.

A Wide latitude in freedom of actiJn sh0uld be allowed an

armored division. One mcthv'1 vf insuring such latitude with the

resulting flexibility of plans, is the assi~nment of mission type


- orders. Hi 6 her headquarters visualizeO. the ultimate capture :)f

108
TRIEtt from the very beginning of the second offensive in Ue Triangle,

aOO thi s objective was kept foremost in its planning throughout the

operation. Therefo~e, when the 10th Armored Division failed to gain

its bridgehead at OCKFEN, the tanks and vehicles were dispatched

south to cross via the 94th Division bridgehearl, while the armored

infantry battalious executed a typical infantry river crossing in

the vicinity of CCKFEN. This freedom of action within the C0rps zone

enableti the arreor to continue forwarrl Jr.;)vement when faced with an

unfordable obstacle on its original axis of cdvance. Freedom of

action and flexibility pxe prerequisites for successful armored action ••

An annored ,-1i vision is n::.>t well suiter: for forcing river

cr)ssings. Bridging rr.ust be constructed to transport tanks, carriers

and supply vehicles. When Team HOLEHOUSE failed to secure the bridges

at j(.J~NZEE anti WILTINGEN, the armer came t::-! a.::riniing halt. We have

seen that thi s resulte-4 in a complete chan6G of plans. The liroi tati:ms

of Armor in river cr8ssings have IJng been recJ~nized, and are

mentioned afain here f:)r emphasis.

Reconn~issance units are vital to an armored division for


,
screemIli;!, , ~ "
m,:l1n"Clnlng ; t ac t and~ pr:)Vl'd'In§; an econoII\Y force.
con The

90th Cavalry Recnunaissance Squadr'm formed and maintained an effect-

i ve c ounter-rec :JLnais sence Sl-reen between SJJ.RBURG and riERTERT. The

screen also ,Jrovided contact between the three combat commands.

When the 90th Cevalry 3.econnai ssance Squariron relieved elements of

CCA at TAWERN, the initial Division obje~t..ive, it provi,~ed economy


- of force by releasing the armor f;)r another IrissLm.

109
Det&iled planning is a most essential element of any opera­

tion. The failure of the engineer assault boats to arrive at the

OCKFEN crossing site in time for the initial river crossing may

h&ve ~elayed the capture of TRIER ~y days. The delay gave the enerey

valuable tim~ to shift his forces in order to man nefensive

pc!siti.Jns for meeting the crossing. Plans must be made in advance

which Will provide tor continuous support.

Combat teal:'s shjul~ be organized within the division,

?;enerally in batt&licn sized un.i..ts, to provide a balanced fighting

force. Tanks, infantry ann engineers shoulrl f.)rm the core of these

tea~s. When Tea~m HOLEHOUSE of CCA encountered the minefield just

east of AYL, the engineers who clearer! tbe rQa" were an essential

element of the team. Again the enrineers were necessary in breaching

the concrete l)illt .)xes which the arrr,ored infcmtry battalions en­

countered while r::ovin,~ s.Juth from CCKFEN to IaSCH. Tanks ani

infantry c:mtinu,~l.1.y ,-J.;.rr:onstrated their aLUity to perfurm as a team

in ')vercomin/ o;~'st%~·~,'3 w} ich might have sbl~pe(: either an all-tank

or all....infl".ntry ferce,

Flexi 1:.;::' ' j..~y elf plans must be kept forem::..>st in the minds of

comr.&nders of all 8(;h"-}ons. The cham,e of the status of the attack

of the 10th Armor3cl Di-;;i sion at CCKFiN from a main t:J a secondary

attack is an excellent example.. At the moment this became apparent,

all efforts were c..)ncentratcd in the 94th ~ivisi':m area to secure

a bridgehead across the SAAR, Comlr.3nrlers ,nust be ready an~ able to


- change their plclDs as well as tbe dispositLm :Jf tactical troops

under their command in order to take immediate advantage of any enemy

weakneea as soon as that weakneww becomes ap)arent.


110
The reduction of fortified areas requires detailed plans

and close cooperation between all oambatarms. If at all possible,

a rehearsal of such an attack should be held on terrain similar

to the actual position. The training for an attack of a fortified

area by the 10th Armored Division while in the vicinity of llETZ

proved extremely helpful to the armor~ infantry battalions when

faced with the reduction of eleven pillboxes between OCKFEN and

IRSCH. The success of this operation can be ~irectly attributed

to the previous training which prescribed team formations, detailed

attack plans, an~ cooperation and coordinati~n between all commanders

and their units.

stress r.llst continue to be made on the prompt and timely

reporting of all information of an intelligence nature. The armored

infantry battalions knew the exact location of ten out of the eleven

pillboxes between C(~~~FEN and IRSCH. This information proved to be

of the utmost impo:~~.",r.~e oin the successful reduction of these

fortifications.

The Sl.<CCSSS of the capture of ZERF by elements of the 10th

Armored Division C~~11 te 8.ttributed to coordination and control

exercised through th2. J\'.;'.lt:'ple means of communication available

to an arr.lored di,ri slc n, Here agrJ.in coordination ann teamwork were

displayed betwt:len infGntry and arrr,or. Due to the limitation of

the tanks and the characteristics of the terrain, it was necessary

to employ tb.eir fire ef~e"'·t,i 'rely.



The ca~ture ')f tactical objectives requires detailed planning,

III
-- initiative, and aggressiveness :m the part of leaders of all

echelons. This was demonstrated in the majority of actions of

the 10th Armored Division. However, a laxity of these character­

istics was noted during certain phases of the operation on the

part of sorre subordinate leaders. This was true in the capture

of tho south bridge over the LOSELLE River in the City of TRIER.

If it had n:Jt been for the timely arrival at the south bridge of

Lieutenant Colonel lUCHIlliDSON, it is entirtl1y possible that the

bridge w:;uld have been blown, which might have resulted in a

delay of days in the re.iucti0n of T.tUErt and waul., hnve consequently

resulted in additional casualties and loss of equipment to our

forces. This exer"p1ifies the fact that the comnander of a force

must be well furwarri ana must render personal su~:ervision at

critiasl points during combat •


.

112

CHAPrER XIII
CONCLUSI(l.l
The actions of the 10th Armored Di vision described and

analyzed in this report were typical of armored employment in the

European Theater during World War II. Some mistakes, of course,

were made. In large part, however, those mistakes which were of

a tactical nature can be attributed to faulty tank doctrine as it

existed before and during the early years ;:)1' the War. Other

mistakes caused by command decisLms ann orders Vl6re primarily

due, it is believerl, to the so-calleri t fog of war', 'Which is in­

--
finitely more apparent on the battlefield than in the classroom.

On the whole the Division was well-employed under the

existing circumstances. It f,:)Ught well. Viith the advantage

of hindsigbtit becomes quite clear that the Division fought

better and was outstandingly more successful when it was

employed in accordance with present day principles of armored

warfare.

Foremost among these now-accepted principles is that of

attacking in column of battalion teams when the enemy is still in

a position to resist in strength. Had this :)rinciple been applied

in the November-{)ecember operation, had the Division been given


the one objective of taking 11ETZIG rather than the two widely sepa­

rated objectives which it was assigned, it is quite within the

~- realm of possibility that the SAAR could have been crossed in late

Novem.l;er. Thi s, in turn, nd.ght have allowed the capture of TRIER

113
-- at that time. And the capture of TRIER woulri certainly have made

the German ARDENNES campaign almost impossi bl e to mount.

Other principles, as they are presently stated, were or

were not adhered to by the Division during this campaign with

resultant success or failure as discussed in the summaries

following both phases of this report.

Since both operations involved river crossings, it is

worth while to note that armor is best employed in such a si tuation

when it is committed after the bridgehead has been established an:!

secured by infantry elements. Nhen this procedure is followed,

the armored unit wastes none of its momentum on fighting to reach

a 90sition from where it can launch a decisive attack on objectives

deep in the enemy rear.

It cannot be too highly emphasized, or often enough repeated

that commanders and their units ~ remain flexible in all respects.

Commanders ~ be able to change t)revious :)lans as conditions

change and fresh op?ortunities ~re gained or lost.


-
Units must

be capable of reorganization to meet changiniS situations of the

en~, terrain and weather, and troops available. The characteri­

stic of the combat command in this respect is admirable. The

10th Annored Division retained its flexibility to a high degree

and much of its success can be attributed to this factor.

Lastly, it is vital to all cOIl".manders and staff officers,

but especially to those of armored units where time and space cal­

~ cUlations are fore-shortened. that operations be carefully planned,

114

then violently executecl. Artnor is 11 ttle r..etter than infantry if

its attack is launched in a haphazard manner, or if it moves in

a hesitant fashion. To achieve the maximum from its inherent

characteristics it must seem virtually to explode on the enemy

when the opportunity tG do so exists. This ty,)e action is an

imp'ossihility if it has not been most carefully planned in all

respects. The attack of our ~ivisiun which started its

February operation is a prime exal11tJle. In a sin€.~le day it pene­

trated to the extrerr.e north portion of the Triangle proper.

This cOIDrr!ttee, as a result of its research, ia unanimous

in holding the following beliefs:

1. That the principles of armored employment as they ~


-- are set forth in ~ 17-100 are sound.

2. That there is nnw, and will continue to be in

the foreseeable future, a ~efinite need for the armored division

in the U. S. Arrr.y.

3. That the current organization of the annored

di vi sion is basically suitable for present-day warfare.

115

--"~T-~~==~~~--~-------'"
,) 1 J. CANTEY, M~jor FA
Chairman

.. t

. c.
J. R. PEYTON, kaJor CaY.

C. C. EDM~DSON, i~.ajor Cav.

- J. C. NOEL, Jr., t aj or Inf.

h.. E. DR.E,WS, tajor Cav.

H. J. CiiOUCH, capt Inf.

J. B. STOCKTON, C2pt Cav

116

APPEN"DICES

I - MJ.,PS

II - TErut~IN :.NALYSIS

III - ORDER OF BATTLE

IV - OPERA nONS ORDERS

V - PERSON:.u nEB
VI - BIBLICGR;~:)HY


- A

TEllliP IN l!}U<LYS
~ PEN D I X II

rs IjIr TFE S}\~ R.MOSF,LtE TRTAN(}LE

(Se~ M~ps C pnd D)

The SJ\.AH-~OOELLE Trif>ngle is the npme whioh, for uurnoses

of military expedlenoy, ~s bep.n given t~ the strip of Germpny

lying betwpen the S}\~R ~nd MOSFLLE Rivers. The poex is thp oon­

fluenoe of th..- twn ri.vers" "bo\lt thrall' mile8 southwest ''If the oity

of TRIER. The western leg is the MOSFoLLE, end the epstern leg is

the, SMR. The bf'se is formed by the sOt'thern flAnk of e mountpin­

aus ridge running etlst from SIERCK on the MOSFoLLE to MERZIG on the

SAAR.
Geologioplly, the arae oomprise. the northern extremity of
.­ ~ LOHRr.n.TE Plr-te9u, e.lthouyh its tprrl"lin more neprly resembles

Ghe rugged oountry of the EIFEL end thE'! l111NSHUCK tl') the north end

northetlst.

The Triftngle is approximat~ly nineteen miles lon~ from bpse

to apex, end ten miles wide et its ~se.

The terrt'in is dominated by p lnng ridgf'l whi.oh runs north

,.nd south tlnd biseot. thp. Trbngle. THs rtdge repohes i.ts hi.ghest

el"'Vf'tion (436 mpter.) ,.t K.ARR~N, p point ,.bout hpl:rw,.y Along lts

length.

The fl,.nks of thi.e domi.nl'ti.ng rtdp;e rise grl"du"lly fr.OJn the

two rivers, wtth shoulders i.niti,.lly rl')ur-h t'nd wooded, but bp-oomi.ng

relnti.vely open ~nd smooth ps the orest is poprOPched.

iii
The ridge is deeply cut by llUIUerous short streams.
,
Two excellent roads run the length of the Triangle,parallel

to and nanking the crest of the ridge. In ganef-aI, however, the

road network within the Triangle is restricted by difficult terrain~

The area is dotted by numerous small, well-kept farms and

forest area s.

The terrain east of the SMH lliver, from MERZIG to TRIER is

also dominated by a long ridge which runs north and south parallel.

to the river at about five miles distance.

'ilie ridge reaches its highest point (510 meters) at Hill 508

one mile west of LtJA?hDEN, a point about halfway along its length.

One excellent road runs the length of the ridge and follows its

crest. In general, however, the road network in the area is also

stricted.

This strip of terrain is practically a reproduction of that

just discussed within the Triangle, but on a larger scale. The ridge
is higher by approximately 100 meters. 'Ihe streams are longer and

more numerous and the wooded areas are larger in size and density.

'ilie primary roads are excellent two-lane macadam highways,

while the secondary roads are not so wide and are of gravel con­

struction. All were in need of repair during the winter of 1944-4.5.


'!he wooded areas are not serious obstacles to armor as they

are usually small enough to b() skirted FlP.d by-passed.

During rainy weather the two rivers and small stroams rise

rapidly and the sandy loam of the top soil becomes soft and spongy,

iv
p,. ttI{Jj~ilA t1 111 .Jie lowll'nds ,..nd IttElT'm hads.· Fowe"lf3r. the ~ ren in

gener,..l will support rrmor eXde~~ in ~ fe~ smhll ~rp~s during very

wet w~ther.

The two rivers "re not for~ble "ndtheir b"'nks pre stef3p;

with thp comm~ndtng ground ~lwpys on the e~stt or cnpmy side of

both stre".ms.

The SAJ'R ,..ve~ges ,..bout o~e hundred find twenty meters wide,

whi.1e the MOOELLE is rpproxiMl'tply twice this width. Curr"nts of

Nl'tur~ o~rved the SP.AR_M0SFLLE Tri.f>npo:lp. ,.nd thp "'rAP ,;oini.ng

it to the e1'st hrto ,. n,.tu~l !')bst"'o!f' to "'ff~nsivf! mllit"ry of)pr"­

ns. The E'nemy oompl('t-f'd thr- job (')£ df'vploping this ,.roo into '"

lpnd fortrE'ss by building ,. er,nt1nuous line of fortificr-tions, ,"cross

the brse, rnd "long th~ G"'~n side of the two ri.vers.

v

SAA ~ - NfJS11.1. 6
7J1fIAN L~ _ vi)
7'kRRAINSruDY
S c..... " E - / : IO~OO"
I 0 I l II wAS$ERIlIL
M IL E

w ORM eLO, NGE

JcJV,
A -Alt)
n IAN

I


JlPI'ENOrX III - P.
z../
Y

TEE "WEST WPLL" JlND "SWITCH LINE" FORTIFICATIONS

Hitler set the Third Reich to building I'n "impregnpble"

wnl1 p10ng the western border of Germ~ny in 1936. At thrt time

only the fortifiC1'tions repchlng fr'1m the MOOELLE south ".nd epst

to the ruHNE were cl'lled the "VVelit WRll", but in 1938, tho nnme

w~s extended to include the entire system of fortific".tions ".nd

boctlme known AS the ItS IEGFRIED Line". The wpll st,.rted ".t ,..

point n9f'r MUENCHEN-CLA DID CF "t the s outhPf' st cornf'r of the

Np.therV'nds, 1'nd ext~nded south through th~P,jI CPEN snctor where

J;.l:te defoonses warp doubled tt') block "ny .,dv"nce ; ntt') th" COLOGNE

100pPd to th~ erst b"ok of the SflPR wh i oh t t followed to r poi.nt

north(!~st ot FORB;'CH. It then turrlFld gr"du,.lly ",.st unti.l it rprched

the RHINE in the vicinity of KJlRLSRUlIE. From herp. i.t followed

o.1ong the Gel'Wln b!'nk of the HII"':NE to BASEL rt the Swiss frontier.

A serios of extensions werp p1!'nned in 1939 !'nd 1910, but

none were construoted exce1?t the "Switch Line" !'cross thp bf>se of

the SAAR-MOSELLE TriAngle,

Due to the ~ptd ~11 of Fr,..nce, the Gprm~n def~nsp.s were

moved west to the chrnne1 ,.nd the West 1':£111 w~s neglF'cted until

August, 1944. At this time, Al"lericrn I'IrInor W"8 r"'cing ,.cross

Fr1'nce tOWJ'rd the Germl'ln bordf'r, so on August 20, 1944, Fit1er

vi
. .""
issued. a decree tor a levy of "people' sn labor to put th e tort,..

itications in repair. Con(;retej It~e1j niahhinErY and manpower

were all in short supply but by December the '~vest Wall" and

"Switch Line" had been strengthened in those areas where the

lJ.lies had not already made a penetration.'

'lh. et.rategic imp.:>rtance attributed by the Germans to

the SAAH-UOSW"E Triangle can be '.een by the fact tha t, in 1939

and 1940, when the SIIDFnIED line was c<npleted, they saw fit to

build, across the base of the Triangle, a switch line to the main

5AM1. River fortifications, hoping thereby to bar access to the

high gr0und overlo,~king TRIER. This switch line was buUt in

,.-. 'lccorciance with the same tactical cbctrine v.hich had eli. ctated

the construction of the SrEnOOED Une proper'l The Germans wanted

a continuvus line of obstacles, constructed in such depth t..\-}at the

enany who succeeded in breaking through w(luld have so exhausted

himself in the attempt that mobile counter-attacking forces, held

c:mstantly in reserve behind the fortified line, would be able to

make short W'vrk of him.

'lhe Switoh Line, approximately two kil;:metors in depth,


was composed of pillboxes, dragon's teeth, ana anti-tank ditches
and was Erected along the first natural barrier inside the German

border. Its construction was based :m the sound mill tary prin­

ciple of increasing the defensive potential of the terrain; where

__ t he natural barrier was weakest, there the pillbox concentration

was strongest. :Ju.tuRlly supporting clusters of two or three

vii
pillboxes linked by conmunite.t,.i.on ttenches 'were placed wherever

the terrain indicated a ~tt'~ble use of machine guns or anti­

tank wea{X,)ns. Interlocking fire botween cluste~s was "ought so

that a cont:;j.nuous line of fire might be achieved. The individual

concrete installations were similiar in construction to the pill­

boxes of the main SIEGFH.IED Line. As a rule, their horizontal

dimensions were 20 to 30 feet by 40 to 50 feet, and their overall

height, only hal! of W'lich protruded above ground, was from 20 to

25 feet. '!he walls were from four to six feet thick. Fields of

fire from individual gun ports were limited, never exceeding a

5O-degrce arc. From the beginning, however, it was intended that

,-the installations should be defended from the outside. Consequent­

.Ly, while each shelter contained living quarters for personnel,

the actual defense was conducted from the field fortifications

built at a distance of from 10 to 20 yards in front of the shelter

and only as a last resort from the firing ports of tOO builc1i.ng

itself.

Camouflage, originally good, had been so improved by four

years' accumulation of turf and undergrowth that only with the

greatest difficulty was it possiblo to detect the presence of

many of the pillboxes. Every intelligence agency, and particularly

photo recormaissancc, had to be exploited to the fullest in order

to provide a complete and accurate picture :)f these defenses.

It will be seen, then, that, although its builders were

..nable to anticipate and provide aga.inst the vastly increased

viii
effeotfvFness th~t fi~'yp,~rs of ~r h,d brought to the wep.pons
of 8 modern amy. the S~itoh Line guerding the SAAR....1\,WSELLE

Triangle W$s~ like the main STEGF~IED Line •• defensive berrier

of the most fonnideble sort~ ~nd one whi.ch t"xp.d the strength
end ingenuity of the etteoker to the utmost.

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ATTACHED".
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Co. C ,BlsT eM/.. MIIT'1f }3N .(IO-Z1 NtJt"H)
APPENDIX lV

1. :xx Corps FO #i2j 3 ~o\r 44

2. XX Corps Opns Instns /133, 141130 Nov 44

3. XI Corps FO #13, 220400 Nov 44

4. XX Corps FO #16, 191000 Feb 45

5. XX Corps FO ill?, 211?00 Fe~ 45

x
---
FIELD DnnER NUMBER TWELVE

flO XX CORPS
3 Nov 44
APO 340, US flRMY

FO 12

MAPS: 1/100,000 Ml'lp I)f FRANCE

1. Q. Annex 1 -- Int.

b. (1) Third tTS Army resumes offensive on D-~y ~t H-Hour


to seize the DARM8TADT-FHANKFURT eree.

( 2) (9) XII Corps etks on the right (S) f1 of XX Corps


to seize thpt portion of Army obj within its
Z, pnd to essist XX Corps to iso1"te And destroy
the METZ gprrison.

- (b) 60 Inf Di~ (XII Corps) Atks to cross SEnlE RAnd


seile FftULOUEMONT (FPLKENBERG) (Q170496).

(0) -6 Prmd Oiv (XII Corps) p~sses through brhd of 80


Inf Oi v to "tk FPULOUEMONT.

(3) III Corps conopntrptes vic ETA IN.

(4) XIX TflC sup~orts "tk of XX Corps (See Annex 3 -Air


SUD"lOrt).

2. XX Corps ~tks I)n D-Dry. to enoirole ~nd dpstroy thr g~rrison of

METZ fortified "rep, "nd to seit!" brhd over th!' S}.fIR R vic SA.AR­

BURG. To reconnoiter ln fl)rc p to seize crossings over tho SAAR H

intpot. Prp~r~d to resume the ~tk to the NE.

Trs: Annex 2, Tr List.

D-Dny: To be tlnnounced.

FOrtnF1tion, bdries, pnd obj' Opns Over1t1y.

LO: Existing Line of con.

• o. 5 Inf Di v (Reinf --Annox 2) •

(1) On Corps 0 ntk to seize high ground (overlAY), making


mAin effort on right (8) f1 (overl~y).

xi
(2) In coordination with 90 lnf Div make vigorous demon­
stration of cro ssing Mo.s:m.LE R vic UCK1NGE, commencing
at 1500 hours on D-Day md continuing for a ~\In
of fifteEn hours. Trs will cr.:>ss the MOSELLE R during
this demonstration. Demonstration will build up, and
not be permitted to taper off,. until time of cessation.
I

(3) In c.:>njunction with demonstration vic UCKANGE; reduce


en pocket E of M:J:ZIEliES to the ilOSELLE R; both efforts
to be coordinated as to create the iAd:lcati~n of a
major atk. '

(4) Vigorously contain en within Z. Maintain constant


pressure on en, and rapidly follow-up any en lrl.th­
drawal..

(5) On (!)rps 0 atk and seize the city of METZ.


(6) Be prepared on Corps 0 to assist 5 Inf Div in pro­
tection of brs over IDSELLE R with one In! Bn, Mtz
from 95 lnf Div transp'Jrtation.

c. 90 Inf Di v (reinf - Annex 2).

(1) Under cover of darkness, nt of D/D/-l, pass trough TF


POLK and cross MOSELLE R in vic' of KOENIGSli:1.CHID (over­
lay), c(wrdinating with 95 Inf Div demonstration vic
UCIU.NGE.

(2) Seize high ground (overlay), making main effort on


left, (E) fi.

(3) On Corps 0 pass 10 Armd Div, 83 Inf Div ( - 1 Rcr),


and 3 Cay Gr (reinf)" (:ill 0 listed) ttJrough brhd
over MOSElLE R.

(4) Within Z prevent en withdrawal from ~~Z area, and in


conjunction with 10 ;;rmd Div, prevent en roinf of the
MEl'Z garrison.

(5) Establish and maintain con with 5 Inf Div, 10 :.rmd Div
and 83 Inf ,Div.

d. 10 Armd 01"; (rein! -- Annex 2) (initially less Div Arty).


(1) ,Upon r~lief in Z c;:.;ntaining en brhd, by 95 10£ Div,
move tP initial assembly area vic of I"f.mS-la-TOUfi.
(overla'y). Displace to forward. assembly area (to be
designated}) 1)ll C'orps O.
(2) On ()jrps 0 at k through 90 Inf Di v Brhd to seize high
gfound (overlay), making main effort on :lett (B) fl.

(3) (a) Upon passage through 90 In! Div Brhd, reconnoiter


to SA.:.R R with one C Comf'
to seize intact, cross­
ing over R, fram MERZIGvQ20593S) (Incl) to the S.

Priori ties of Reconnaissance:

l MiRZIG area

2 P{'~CHTEN (vQ24584S) -- DILLIGm (vQ2758)8)


area

3 S1JUf.Ll~UTmN (vQ285800) area

(b) f.ny brs seized intact wil.l be protected and held


at all <Dsts.

(4) Prevent en rein! of METZ garrison from the E or NE,


and in conj1lIlction with 90 Inf Di v, prevent en with­
drawl from METZ area.

(5) Establish and maintain ron with 90 Inf Div, 83 In! Div
and elms 0 f XII Cor ps.
(6) Protect E fl of Crops.

e. 83 Inf Div.

(1) With 1 ROT c.Jntinue protect LUXF,tUQURG and contain en


in N of Z. Div (-1 nCT) initially remain }:resent
positions, oomentrating with maximum secrecy in areas
to be designated, on Corps O.

(2) TF POLK (3 Cav Or reinf~, atchd 83 In! Div, on Qnrps


0, t:.) relieve 330 Inf hegt containing Vi bank of MOSELLE
R.
(3) On (}sups 0, pass elr.ls of Crops thNUgh SAARBUI'!.G brhd,
ss directed. .

f. XX w.lr'Ps Arty (J.nnex 2 - TrList).

(1) (a) 5 FJ. Gp.

- Gon support Z 90 Inf :Ji v initially.


flemf 10 ;.rmd Div when Div crosses MOSELLE H.

nil
(b) 40 FA Gp.
Reint 90 Int D:I:v'.

(0) 195 FA Goo.


GE'!n BUt'l'Oort Z 90 Int D1.v .. nd 10 .hmd Div..

( d) 193 F;' Gp.


Rpint 95 Inf'. Di v.

(e) III Cor~s Arty B~&.

(1) 203 FJ. G-p.


Gen Support Z 5 Int Di v.

(2) 204 FA Gp.


Reint 5 Int. Div.

(t) lOth Armd Div Arty.


Gen supnort Z 90 Int Div under Corps oontrol
initiplly.
Revert to 10 Armd Div prior to Div crossing
MOOELLE R.

(g) 4 TD Gp (Annex 2 -Tr List).


Gen 8Up'O(\rt Z 90 Int Div.

(h) Arty fire p1~n8 will be plpnned ..nd ooordin~t~d


with Div Arty Comdrs by Cor",s Arty Comdr.

(2) Annex 4 - FA.

g. XX Cor",s Engrs (Annex 2 - Tr List).


(1) (,,) 1139 Engr 0 G",: Dir~ot SUOT)ort R croSli.ngs pnd
ess~ult o~n8 90 Int Div, 10 Armd Div "nd 8S Inf
Div.

(b) 1103 Engr 0 Gn: Dir~et BUt'I'Oort 5 Inf Div.

(2) Annex 5 - Engrs.

h. 3 Cay Gp (TF POLK) (Annex 2 - T~ List).

(1) Contnin en in Z spcuri,ng LD ot 90 Int Div.

(2) Upon f!ss"ult crossing of 90 Int Div, f'ssem.b1e vic

-. EVRANGE (vP8S501S). Atchd to 83 Inf Div on Cor-ps O.

xiv­
-

x.. (1) Primary mission of all trs is the destruction or cap­


ture ot the METZ garrison, without the investitu~e of
siege ot the l4El'Z Forts., All leaders are responsible
for maint of aggressive, mb1 attitude within their
comds.

lift er rea ching their objs" all units XX Corps to be


prepared f or oftensive action tig the NE or E.

Attc:t' i'eaching their objs, all in! divs (except 83 Inf'


Div) to be prepared to furnish one mtz nCT tor atcbnt
to the 10 :.rmd Div I on Corp& 0 ..

Utmost secrecy will be lOterted prior to resumption of


ems to prevent en knowledge of change in Crops dis­
position or intentions.

Local bomb line to be fumished by units requesting •


close air support.,

(6) Upon con with GerlMn ciVilians, non-fraternization


policy to be rigidly enforced. ~ civUians will be
~ peJDlitted to interfere with military ppns. Passage of
lines will be strictly prohibited to all civilians.

(7) In! Divs to thoroughly mop up areas through which they


pass

4. Adm 0 No 10.

5. Sig Com.

a. CUrrent SOl.
b. Ax Sig Com.

xx Corps: -Jf.BNY (vU650635) ..... i.tfi.Y!EI'Z (vU700925)


- MONVILLE (vU860055) -SA.U1.J3URG (wlJ.4013Q).
95 In! Div: -MOnDVRE GrUNDE (vU770737) - to be reported.

90 Inf Div: - ZOUFF'IDm (vU838970) -- BOCKJ.NGE (vqQ45720).

5 Int Div: -- VILLms-sous-pnENY (vU730398) - LOUVIGNY


(vU865415) •

-- 10 "rmd Div:
(wC87765).
- .MARS-1a-'lOOO (vU6501tO) - Fr1..l:[STROFF
:83 Inr ni'" ..- OONNEVOIE (vP850111) -- WiilBUHG (wL140130).

c. CPs.

xx Corps: -- JhRNY (vU650635). ,

95Inf Div: -- WYEJVRE GRANDE (vU77CJ737).

90 In! Div: -- ZOUFF'roaJ (vU838970).

5 Inf Di v: - VILLER5-SOUS-PRENY (vU730398).

10 J,rmd Div: - },{;\R5-1a-TOUR (vU650570).

83 In! Div: -- BONNEVOIE (vP850111).

d. Rad Transmissions.

(1) A;.,,; Units: Vi of'i4OSElLE transmit only when opnl


necessity exists.

(2) 5-In! Div and 95 In! Div: Normal

(3) 90 In! Div: Rad silence W vf MOSELLE; transmissions


E of MOSELLE hald to necessary minimum.'
, ,

(4) 10 hrmd Div: ':lh~n relieved by 95 In! Div, rad silence


VI of MOSEU.E: transmissions E of MOSELLE held to
necessary mininlum.

(5) 83 Inf Div:. Rad silence tor unitsW of MOSELLE not in


con; lift silenceE of R on en con or Curps O.

(6) Corps trs: Had silence, except CaY and Arty units
remaining in old positions. Lift silence on en con
or Crops O.

(7) No Adm traffic to interfere with tactical net opn.

e. Special Attention to Sig Security.

WALKER
CG

COLLIm
cis
OPEri.ATIONS INSTRUCTIONS NlntBFll THIRTY-'IHRB

HQ XX Lnc.PS

APO 340 - US :J1.UY

141130 Nov 44
TO: CG 5 Inf Div
CG10 l.rmd Di v
CG 90 Int Div
CG 95 Int O iv
00 3 Oav Gp
CO 1139 Fllgr 0 Gp
~onfirming Oral and FraBJD,entary Orders)

1. BOUNDJ.RY: New bd between 90 and 95 Inf Div, per Opns Instr


No. 32, HQ XX Corps, 13 Nov 44, is effective at time 10 l.rmd
Div initiates crossing over the 'llUONVIlLE br.

2. 95 Inf Div.

~_ a. Within new bd, atk S in oonjunction with 90 Inf Div" to


clear the E bank of the MOSELLE fi..

b. J Maintain con with 90 Int Div on left (E) flank.

3. 90 Int Div.
a. Pa.ss 3 Oav Gp (reint), and 10 .Armd Div thru brhd as soon as
practicable.

(1) 3 OaV Gp (reinf) via 01.. TTENOM br.


(2) 10 kmd Di v via THIONVILLE br.
b. Priority of movement in 1:rhd:

(1) one Sq of 3 Cav Gp (reinf)


(2) 10 Annd Div

(3) Balance of 3 Cav Gp (reinf)

(4) it 10 ':'rmd Div is delayed in crossing 'lHIONVIU...E br,


additional elms ~f 3 Cav Gp may be passed over .
CNrI'ENOW br until such time as continuation of Cav
movement might 1,O.terfere with movement of 10 :.rmd Div.
~ .

c. In atk to Div obj, maintain con with 95 Inf Div on r.i.ght
flank.

4. 10 Armd Div.
a. Cross MOSELLE R via THIOOVlU.E as soob as br is open.

b. Bltocute:ro 12.

5. 3 CaY Gp (reinf).

a. Cross one sq via CAJTENOY br as soon as possible and re­


lieve elms of 90 Int Di v ..In left (S) flank of brhd.

b. Balance of force .tr epared to <rOss MOSELLE R as soon as


pr~cticable (see par 3b, above).

c. Up:m completion cro-ssing, execute mission per Opn Instr


No. 32, HQ XX Corps, 13 Nov: 44.

6. !'I:HIOWIIa br.
a. Initially under XX Corps control until passage of 10 l.rmd
Div.

b. After passage of 10 Armd Di v, on C0rps OJ control passes


to 90 Inf Div.

c. Elms of 95 Inf Div E of MOSELLE H will be supplied over


'»lIONVILLE Br.

7. Troop i.ssignm.ents.

Unit Relieved From. Attchd to


241 FA Bn 90 Inf Div 3 CaY Gp
135 Engr C Bn 1139 Engr C Gp 3 Cay Gp
614 10 Bn (Estiml'lted ;~rrival 19 Nov) 95 Inf Div

WJ.LKEn
CG

OFFICIIl.. OOILIER
SDIJl!R cis
G-3

FIELD OUDgt WAInER THlRTEllN

HCl XX CORPS

.~PO 340 - US ARMY

PO 13 220400 Nov 44

Mapsl 1/100,000 Map of FF~CE


Opns Overlay

1. a. IInnex 1 - Int.
b. (1) XII Curps (Third US :'llny) continues atk to the NE.

(2) VIII Corps (First US f.rmyl remains in present position.

(3) nx TAC supports atk of the XX Corps and cO':)rdinates


preplanned med bomb support wi th 9th Air Force.

2. XX Corps atks on CJ.rps 0 to destroy en within Z W of the SA:.R R


and cross the Sit.J..R R, preparec~ to exploit penetrl'ltions of Z,
and resune the atk to the NE.

ForWttion: Divs abreast (overlay).

LD: Eldsting fr,.mt lines.

Bds: Overlay.

Trs: knnex 2, Tr List.

3. a. 95 Int Div
(1) ;.tk NE in Z lD£I.ld.ng main effort on left (N) tlank to
destroy en within Z and seize crossings ot the SJ..AR R
between SM.RLAUTERN (wQ285800) and PM1ITEN (wQ256850)
(both incl).

(2) Establish brhd in crossing 8.rea and expand brhd to the


N uncovering REHLINGEN (wQ.240874) to tacilitate bridging
opns 90 Inf Iii.v.

(3) Maintain c..: mtact with m Coxps on the S.

90 Inf Div. (-ReT 358).

-- (1) 1.tk NE in Z making main effort on right (S) flank to


destr.. ,y en Vi ::m the SAIJt R..

!d.x,:
(2) hssist crussing oIns of the s:."~ R by the 95 In! Div
with maximum. fire support.

(3) On Corps 0, br SJ.hR R within Z in brhd estaQl.iahed by


95 Inf Div.
c. 10 i.rmd Di v (ROT 358 atChd~
(1) Continue atk NE to seize cr·.)ssing of the SA/\R. R vic
of SAARBURG and MERZIG, destroying en VI of SAAR R
m~ . .
(2) Protecting brhd over SAAR R with minimum necessary
force, atk SE (on Crops 0) to seize area PRIMSTAL
(wL450050) -- BUEElLER (wL.4l5075) - WADmN (lI{L390050)
- NUNKIRCHEN (wQ350988) ..- NIEDERHOFEN (wQ430000).

(3) PrepartuL to exploit between SAAR R and div obj on


Corps O.

d. 5 Inf Div

(1) Contain isolated en installations in ~Z area with


not to eXceet one RCT (remf).

(2) 5 Inf Div (-1 RCT) prepare plans to:

(a) Atk in any portion of Corps Z on six hrs notice.

(b) Destroy en in Z W of SAAR R and maintain con with


XII Corps on th e S.

(0) Br SAl.R R within Z to contmue attack to NE


e. 3 Cav Gp.

(1) Protect N flank of Chrne...

(2) Maintain con with VIII CoIpS on N.

f. IX,Corps Arty: supports the Corps ~tk.

(1) Btry A, 7 FA Obsn Bn: Support Z 10 Armd Di v.

(2) 5 FJ. Gp: Reinf 10 Armd Div.

(3) 40 FA Gp: Reinf 90 Inf Div •


(4) 195 FA Gp: Gen Support Z 10 J..rmd Div.
:( '5) III Corps Arty'
.(a) 7 Fii Obsn Brl ( ...!t Btry)
. A Btry 286 FA Obsn Ell
Support Z 90 and 95 In! !>ivs\
, (b) 193 'FA Gp' Rein! 95 Inf Div
,'

(c) 203 FA Gp: Gen support 90 and 95 In! Divs

(d) 204' FA Gp: Gen support. 90 and 95 Inf Divs

(6) 5 Inf Div Arty (.... )t Gen support 95 Inf Div.

(7) en XX Corps Arty will coordinate fire plans and posn


areas of arty with the corps.

g. XX Corps Engr'.
(l) 1103 Engr G Gp: Driect support R:i ver Crossing Opos
of 95 In! Div, including Cons two (2) class 40 brs
over S1t..&.R R in vic SJ.J.RLiiUTERN (Q2S;B05) - ENSOORF
«(305790).
(2) 11:39 Fngr G Gp: Direct support Opos 90 Inf Div and
10 ·.Armd Div, including cons of M-2 Tdwy Br over SAAR R
in Z of 10 Armd Div.

h. 4 TD Gp& Gen sUP.lXlrt 95 Inf Div.

i. 112 AAA Go:


(1) Protect orossings over defiles.

(2) Protect CJrpa hrty.

(3) Be prepared, on Corps 0, to furnish direct fire on


Siegfried Line SnplacemEnts, with elms of 119 A1>A G Bn.

j. (1) Units requesting close air support furnish local at


with request for mission.

'(2) Upon completion of mission, all units prepared for


further offensive action to the E or NE.
(3) Non-fraternization policy and strict control of civ­
ilians to prevent interference with military opns,
will be rigidly enforced.
I.j.. See Adm 0 No. 10 with Changes 1 and 2..

5. Sig COlUS.

a. CUrTent $01"

b. Ax Sig b.
XX Corps: . - .THOINVILLE (vU850865) ...... DILLINGEN (~70840).

90 In! Div: -- VECKFUNG (wQ01l830) -'OBERESCH (wO~'2B93h

95 In! Div: ' - roRNY (vQ8<18578) - ' OOtJUY-MOSELLE (wQ09865S)

- BRETTNAai (wQl49739) - SAARL,",UTllRN (wQ285800).

10' Armd Div: - kPACH (wQ012965) - SAARFlJRG (wIU40130)

- N'lTNlURQiEN (wQ370995).

c.. CP's.
XX Corps - 'IHIONVILLE (vU860865).

90 In! Div: - VECKRING (wQOll830).

95 In! Div: - roRNY (vU898578).

10 Armd Div: --APt,CH (vQ012965).

5 In! Di v: -- to be reported.

,,-- d. Radio Security NOl'fDal.

WALIcm
CG

OFFICIAL COIJ..IER
SNYDffi cis
G-3
FIELD ORDm NUMBER SIxrEEN

HQ XX CORPS
APO 340 -- US h~

191000 Feb 45

FO 16

Maps: 1/100,000 Map of FRJ,NCE


OP1s Overlay

1. a. See current G-2 Periodic Rpts and Publications.

b. (1) 'nlird US Army continues aggressive defense, maintaining


pressure generally twoard the E over entire front.

(2) XII Co;r-ps, Third US hrmy, continues atk to the N and


E to secure PRUM R line and prepared to seize BITBURG.

(3) XV Corps, Seventh US Jrrmy, continues aggressive de­


fense generally along SAAR R line.

(4) XIX TAC provides air cooperation for atk of XX Corps.

2. n: OORPS.

a. AtkB 19 Feb to clear SAAR~OSELLE triangle, seize .intact


crossirig~ ~\1er
SAAR. R atWILTINGm~ (wL17l8) and KANZEM
(wL16l9), prepared to eontinue atk NE on ArmyO.

b. Continues to defend along SAAR Rand SAARLAUTERN Brhd.

c. Protects right flank of 'nlird US Army.

d. Formation, Bds, LD, Objs -- (see overlay)


Trs -Annex 1, Tr List.

3. a. 94th Inf Div (Reinf).

(1) Continue present atk bO seize inition Obj (see overlay)


and clear OORG-MUNZINGEN Hwy.

(2) After Seizing initial Obj, atk without delay to seize


final Obj (see overlay).

(3) Pass 10 I,rf!ld Div through Trs presently in 10 Armd Div


Z on Corps O.
(4) Maintain Con with "3 CaY Gp to right (,9') flank and 10
hrmd Div to 1 eft (ml) flan14

(5) Be prepared to atch one R6T and one Co 81 Qnl liiort


Bn to 10 Armd Div.

b. 26 Inf Di v (Reinf) •

(1) :lggressive1y defend ShAR R in Z and SAAHLAUTJ:i1>.N Brhd.

(2) Maintain Con with XV Corps to the right ( S) flank


and 3 Cay Gp to the lett (N) flank.

(3) 3 Bn 101 Regt (Mtz) designated as Co rps Res.

c. 10 llrmd Div (Reinf).

(1) Pass through 94 Inf Div on Corps 0 and atk NE to seize


initial and final Objs.

(2) .Make every effort to seize intact, Bra at WILTENGEN


(wL17l8) and KANZEM (wLl619), and established Brhd to
,_ protect same.

(3) Be prepared to employ one RCT of the 94 In! Div.

d. 3 {'a v Gp (Reia:').

(1) j,ggressively defend SAhli R in Z.

(2) Maintain Con with 2b Inf Div to the zight (S) flank
and 94 Inf Div to the left (N) flank.

e. Corps Rea.

(1) 3 Bn 101 (Jllftz) rEllIlE!.in in present position.

(2)' Be prepared for comniimcnt in any portion of Col?PS Z.

f. XX Corps Arty: Support Atk to the N and defense along


SAiJi R.

(1) 7 FA Obsn Bn: Gen support.

(2) 5 FA Gp: Reinf 94 Inf Di v. Be prepared to Atch 689


Fl, Bn and one Btry 558 Fh Bn to 10 Armd Div on Corps o.
(3) 195 Fi. Gp: Gen support Z 94 In! Div, 10 i.rmd Div and
3Cav Gp.

xxiv
204 FA Gp: ReW 26 In! Di v.

Corps Arty Comdr ,d.i1 cGordlrlate position areas and


tire plans Arty with the Corps.

g. XX Corps Engr.

(1) 1139 Ehgr ~ Gp:

(a) Sup.fX)rt.s directly Opos 10 hrmd Div, 94 Inf Div,


and J Cay Gp.

(b) Executes all Engr work in Gp Z pf responsibility.

(2) 1152 Engr C Gp:

(a) Supports directly 6pns 26 Inf Div.

(b) Executes all Engr work in Gp Z of responsibility.

h. 4 TIl Gp.
__ (1) Attchd to XX Corps Arty.

i. 112 UA Gp.

(1) Furnish Ai, protection Corps Z.

(2) Priority of protection:

(af Crossings of SAAR and JltfOS.ELLE Rivers.

(b) Corps. Arty.

(c) Corps supply installations.

x. (1) EEr.

(a) Nature of Fll reaction to our J.tk, both in and


outside the SJ.AR-MOSEU..E triangle; to include
time, plan, strength and direction of commit­
ment of local reserves against the main effort,
or of other forces on the Corps front in spoiling
or diversionary ~tks.

(b) Location, strength and movements of Fll Armd forces


in, into or toward the SAAR-MOS.EL"(.E triangle, with
p?rticular references to 11 pz Div, or any subor­
~ dinate Elms, or any Assua1t G units.
(c) Indentification, strength, location and G effi~
iency of En forces moving toward the Corps Zj or
reinforcing units already identified on the Corps
front.

(d) Ground conditions in the SAAR-MOSELLE triangle,


including guaging of flood stages, and status of
Brs over th e ShAR R.

(e) Any lividence of a general withdrawal by the Ell


towards the RHINE.

(2) XIX TAG provides air cooperation. Targets to be assigned


by Air Corps ground controllers. Units be prepared to
mark targets with smoke on call. Units requesting pre­
planned missions will furni~ local BL with requests.

(3) Non-fraternization p:>licy and strict control of civil­


ians will be forcefully carried out.

(4) Bds & Tr lists in effect as of 191900 Feb. Vfuere re­


quired, D:i.V$ may continue to use areas outside new Bds.

(5) Absolute Rd priority to 10 hrmd Div in its Z when it


is committed.

(6) All Armd units will take maximum steps to protect exist­
ing nre Coms by burying ground lines at crossing and
by being especially watchful. for overhead lines.

4. Adm 0 No 13 with change No 1.


5. a. Current SOl.

b. Axis Sig Com.

XX Corps, To be announced.

Divs: fo be Rptd.

c. CPs.

XX Cor ps : THIONVILLE.

94 Inf Di Vi SIERCK

26 Inf Div: BOUUY

10 Armd Di. v; i.PACH

d. Rad Security .... Hatmal. 10 Annd Div Rad silence until iImled­
iately prioz. to its J.tk.

WAI..KBt
CG

°FFicr:J..: COLLIEn.
SNYDER cIs
G-3
l.nnax No. 1 - Tr List

Opns Overlay.

:xxvii
FIEID ORDm NUIJBER SEVENTEEN

HQ :xx CORPS

APd.3!rO - US ,ffiMY

211700 Feb 4;
FO 17

Maps: 1/100,000 Map ot mANCE


OIns Over lay

1. a. See CUrrent G-2 Periodic Rpts and pUblications.

b. (1) Third US Army exploits XX Corps breakthrough.. Atking


geoerill7. toward the .8 over ent1r e front.

(2) XII Corps, 'lhird US Amy, Atka to NE and protects


XX Corps N flank.

(j) XV Corps, Seventh US Army, continues aggressive de­


fense genera~ along SAAR R line.

(4) XIX Tt.Cprovides air cooperation for l.tk of XX Corps..

2. XX Corps.

a. Atks 22 Feb to e:xploit breakthrough, seize TRIER, and ex­


pand Brhd to line PFALZEL to HAJ;D.{ (both EKcl) as shown on
overlay, prepared to continue the Atk to the NE or N on
1frmy O.

b. Protects right (S) flank of 'lhii'd US Army.

o. Fonnation, Bds, Ooja -- (See Overlay).

Trs: Annex No.1 - Tr List.

3. a. 10 Armd Di v (R,ein!)

(1); Atk NE to seize TRIER.

(2) EKpand Brhd in Z to line shown on overlay.

(3) Be prepared to continue the Atk to the NE or N on


Corps O.

b. 94 Inf Oi v (Rein!).

xxviii
(1) Atk across the &AR R betw,en SAARBURG (wlJ.413) and
HAlO4 (wlJ..8)8) rlight 21-22 Feb.
I

(2) Establish line GEINIDiN~ (Incl) (wL2620) S to R


bend at HAMl4 (hel) (~lao8>, prepared to contin\1e
the Adv to the NE;:on Corps O.

(3) Maintain Con with 3 CaY Gp on right (S) flank and


10 z'\rmd Div on lett (N) llank.

(4) S Ranger Bn Reld from Atehmt and Atchd to :3 CaY Gp.


effective 212400 Feb 45.

c. 26 Inf Div (Reinf).


(1) Aggessively defend SAAR R in Z and SltARL!.UTERN Brhd.

(2) Maintain Con with XV Corps to the right (5) flank and
3 Cay Gp to the left (N) flank.

d. :3 Cav Gp (Reinl).

(1) Aggressively defend Srlf~ R in Z.

(2) llaintain with 26 In! Div to the right (5) flank Con
and 94 In! Div to the left (N) flank.

(3) 5 Ranger Bn Atched effective 212400 Feb 45.

e. XX Corps J.rty: Supports Atk to the NE and defense along


SAl.R R.

(1) 7 FA Obsn Bn: Gen Support.

(2) 5 Fh Gp: Rein! 94 Inf Div.


(3) 195 FI. Gps Gen Support Z 94 In! Div, 10 Armel Div
and 3 Cay Op.

(4) 204 FA.Gp: Reinf 26 In! Div

(5) Corps hrty Comdr will coordinate position areas and


fire plans Arty with the Corps.

f. XX Corps Ehgr.

Supports htk, per PO 16.

g. ll2 AM Gp.

xxix
(1) ~dteet crossings and defiles.

(2) Protect Corps Arty.

x •. (1)
W.

(a) Indenti:f'ication, strength, location and C effi­


ciency of 1lh forces in occu~ti.on of the SIJ.!DiI­
FltZED UNE almg the conmanding ground S of the
SAUER and SAAR Rivers in the sector between
TRIER and MERZIG (both Incl); specifically to
include the garrison of TRUR.

(b) Natlr e of En reaction to our 1.tk, including t:ime,


direction and strength of reserves committed
against our main effort, or of other fer ces on
the Corps front in spoiling or diversionary Atks.

(c) I.entification, strength and location of Eh forces,


including tactical reserves, moving toward the
ColpS Z, or moving to Rein! units already conmitted;
movements of Armd units are of particular impor­
tance.

(d) Any evidence of a Gen withdrawal by the Eh towards


the RHINE.

(e) Location, nature and strength of defensive 'VtOrks


not shown on. current defense overprints; location
and nature of terrain features not shown on ex­
isting maps with particular reference to natural
and artificial obstacles and demolitions.

(f) GroWld and Rd conditions in the Carps Z, including


status of Brs and waterways.

(2) XlX TAe, provides air cooperation, Targets to· be~


assigned by Air Olrps ground oontrollers. Units
be prepared to mark targets with smoke on call,
Units requesting preplanned missions will :furnish
local m. wi th requests.

(3) Non-fraternization policy and strict control of civ­


ilians will be forcefully carried out..
4. Adm 0 No. 13 with Change No.1.'

)•. a. Current 001.,


b. Axis Sig Com.
XX Corps: to bp t\nn~oed.
Diva: To be Rptd.,

c. CPS.
XX Coma: THIONVILI.E
Diva: To be reptd.

d. R,.d Seouri.ty --Nonnfll.

WALKER
CG

OFFICIAL:
SNYIER COLLIER
G-3 cis

xxxi
-

AP1':E:NDIX V
PERS ONAL IT ttg

1. Mejor Gener~l W. H. H. MORRIS~ JR.


2. Brigftdier Gen~~l K. G. J.LTIIAUS
3. Brigp.dier Genc~l E. W. PIBURN
4. BrigAdier Genero1 W. L. ROBERTS

5. Colonel W. C. GATCHELL

6. LieutellPnt Colonel T. C. CP'.AMBERLA IN

7. Lieuten"nt Colonel H. T. CHERRY


8. Li eutell" nt Colonel W. R. DESOBRY
9. Lif')utp.n~nt Colonel W. B. F.ASKELL
10. Lieutenp.nt Colonel N. T. NORRIS
11. L1RUt~n"nt Colonel J. O'HARA
12. LIE'ut p n"nt Co1ond J. J. RICHPRIEON (decM-s"'d)
13. Li!'utnn"nt Colonel J. ll. RILEY
14. L1ru't"'nrnt Colonel M. f.. STftNDISH ( decprspd)
15. M"~or C. L. IIDSTEPD

xxxii
MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM H. H.. ~mRRIS.· JR.

Major General MORRIS WAS bom in Oce1'n Grove on the const

of New Jersey on 22 Maroh. 1890. Following· hts gr~du~tion from the

United S~tes Militr>ry ACl'demy. he wr.s "ppotnted Second Lieutenl'nt

of Infrontry. GeneI"'!l MORRIS SflW service in World War I I'nd rose

to the tcmnorrry grrde of Lieutp.n~nt Colonel.

m.s first duty. ,.ftl"r rr-op.i.v1.ng hi.s commisston W1'S with the

19th Inf"ntry I't ~mp Jos~n. Philippine Islpnds. He then sPiled

to Chi.n~ for duty rt Tientsin with the 15th Inf~ntry until October.

1914. when he ~s rpturned to the United StT-tes for duty "t LAredo.

Texas with the 9th Inff'lntry. After finishing. ~ tour of duty I'S

--·ofessor of' Militf'lry Science rnd Ttlctics pt the Text's Agricultural

~nd Meoh~niQnl College. he wns trrnsferred to Leon Springs. Texns

AS on instructor ~t the Offioers' Treining Cemp.

In June. 1918. General MORRIS sailed for Frrnce in comm"nd

of n Bntt",lion of the 360th InfAntry. 90th Division. pnd with his

Bntttll1on. took pnrt in the MEDSE-ARGOID"E opert>tion. FollOWing the

Armistice. he served in the Occunrtion.

Gene~l MORRIS wn·s returned to the United Sti,.,tes in June.

1919. ond served "'s Professor of Militl'ry Sci~nce pnd T~ctics ~t

Bucknell Uni.vprsity. Lewisburg. Pennsylvrni~. In MArch. 1920. he

was trnnsferrpd to To~s Agrioulturrl rnd Mpchl'ntcpl College in the

snme c~p~city. Aft~r grrdurting from the Commtlnd rni GenerAl S~ff

School. Fort Lef'vcmrorth, Kflnsps. he WflS rssi.gned to H~d"'unrters.


,....-..
bhth Corps Area. Fort Sam Houston. Texf'S. He grn.dUflted from the

xxxiii
-

army War College in June 1930 and was then assigned as an instruc­

tor there.

During the interval between :1..930 and the ou.tbreak ot World

War II, he was a member of the InfantrY' Boarti at Fbrt Benning,

Georgia; att&nded the. F.1.eldArtillery School at Fbrt Sili, Oklahoma

and served 6.8 Chief ot the Planning Branch ot the Personhe1 Divi....
sion, War Depattm€l'lt, General Staff~ After :turther dutJ with troop.
in MaY,1942, he was appointed Commanding General of the 6th l~:rmored

Division, ca.mp <l1ai'fee, Arkansas •.


J

After participating in th e Louisiana and Desert Maneuvers,

he was designated Commanding General, SeCond ArlOOred Corps, San Jose,

~lifornia in May, 194.3. In September,1943 he was Ground Forces

.server at the Battle of Balarm, Italy. In October 1943 he be­

came Cam.m.ander of the 18th Corps at Camp Bowie, TeXaS. In July 1944

he assumed coamand of the lOth Armored D::l.vision and sailed with it

to France.

He commanded the 10th Armored Division in the redu.ction of

the Baar4doselle Triangle; the Battle of the fulge; the breakthrough

to the Rhine; and the capture of Heidelburg and Ulm.

Throughout the operations of the 10th Armored Division in

Europe, General MORR.ts commanded the unit during a series of brU­

liant maneuvers., He quickly took advantage of every situation

which offered an opportWlity of success and pressed the offensive


action relentlessly.
,..-.... ,
His professional ability, as exhibited while

manding the 10th l.rmored Division, reflected his broad ex:per..j.ence

.xxxiv
and military eduoation and toa high degree, the finest tradition

of our ar.med forces.

J.mong the various decorations received b7 General ~ORRIS

throughout his oareer are the Distinguished Service Cross, Dis­

tinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Silver' Star and the

Bronze Star Medal. In addition to these dea.orations he has re­


ceived the following foreign decorations: The Frenoh Legion of

Honor with Croix de Guerre, with Palm; the Belgium Croix de Guerre,

and the Brazilian order of Military Merit with Grade of Commander.

He is presently assigned. as Senit)I' Ground Member of the

Joint· Brazil-United States Military Commission ~h Station in

~o De Janeiro, Brazil.

lIUGADIER GENl!Rt.L K:Emm'IH G. /J.'lHhUS

General J.)'T1J).US was born in Ohio 13 June 1893 and upon

graduation from the University of <l1io, joined the National Guard

in the State of Ohio and waS commissioned Second Lieutenant of

Infantry in 1916. He is a graduate of the Company Officers' Course

ot the Infantry School and graduated frem the Conmand and General
Staff School in the Blass of 1932.

Brigadier General AL'fIIAUS commanded Ccmbat Colllllandlll~1I of

the loth I.rmored Division during the initial operation of the Div­

ision in the Sa.ar-Moselle Triange. He has been awarded the Bronze


,..-... l.r Medal in recognition of his services as Commander of Combat
CollllMnd flAil during this operation, General ALTHAUS is retired and

living in Marion City, Florida·.

IRIGADIER GENERAL EDWIN W. PIBURN

Brigadier General P'IEURN was gaduated from Lamont High

School, Grant County, Oklahoma. and later attended the University

of Iowa, Iowa City. His tirst association with the military ser­

vice waS when he joined the Oklahoma National lllard in 1916. He

attended the First Officer's Training Camp at Fort Snelling and

was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Infantry 15 August 1917.

-- General PlBURN has had a distinguished career in the army.

record of service pri·~r to World War II includes service with

the 1st Infantry Division and the 12th Infantry Division wring

Vl.Jrld War I, and subsequent duty with the Occupation Forces in

Germany until 1922. He was then assi6ned to the Infantry School



at Fort Benning and later to the Tary:k Sch·)ol at Fort Meade, Mary­

land. These, along with numerous other interesting assignments,

aft~rded him the valuable experien~e and background that enabled

him to become a distinguished commander during World War II.

j~t the beginning of the War he served with the 2nd l.rm..:>red

Division until Febru~ry 1941. Ne waS then assigned as observer


with the British Eighth j,rmy iri Egypt with additional duty as De-
tense Iud Representative and Lend-Lease Mministrator to the Jl:i.ddle­
.,­
t Countries. He was then:· assigned in !.pril1942 to the G-2

xxxvi
Seetd.on of the War bepa:H:m.ertt Geri.efal staff. UPon the activation
I . I

of the lOth Armoi-ed Ill'Vision he was given CQlIll'Mnd of its 3rd Tank

Regiment. He was later assigned to the 14th Armored "Division.,

From this assigrment he was transferred to the 9th Armored Division

and then to the 10th .~rmored Division in Nove:mber 1944. .

General PlBURN was later assigned cOlll!1ander of Combat

Command "Bn, which assignmont he retained until the conclusion

of the First .Phase of the Saar-Moselle Triangle operations. There­

after he commanded Combat Command "Aft..

General PlEURNte present assignment is Assistan\ Division

Commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Japan.

~ Gena:-al PIBD'RH has received many awards and decorations

.1roughout his years of distinguished services. These include the

Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple

Heart with Cluster, European-Afri.C&n.Middle E;l.stern Campaign Ribbon

with four battle stars, the Order of the British Empire, the North

Star Medal, the French Legion of Honor, and the croix de Guerre

with Palms. '

mIGrlDI]§t GENERAL WILLIJ.M L. ROBERTS

.It.mong the General Officers who served with the lOth Armored

Division in the Saar-MoseJ.le 'lriangle operations was Brigadier

General 110BERTS. In the second. phase of the Oporation he canmanded


",-,
,mbat Command "Btt with distinction and ability.
Born in Ohio 17 September 1890, he itlaa g:raduated trom the

Uu;tted States 1lilitary Academy in 1913 and was ccmmissioned in the

Infantry. In 1925 he graduated from the Infantry J.dvanced Course


at Fort Benning, Georgia and the following year graduated from the

Command and General Staff S.chool. During 1Jbrld War I he attained

the rank of Lieutenant Coll)ne1. Throughout his military career,

General ROBERTS has had a broad and varied experiEnce. In 1941

he was prcmoted to :the rank of colonel. He was eventually assigned

to the 10th Annored Division. .At the beginning of the second phase

of the Triangle operation he was given command of Combat Command

"B" relieving Brigadier General PlBORll. He was promoted to Brig­

~ier General on 1 August 1945.

General ROBERTS has been awarded the Legion of Merit, the

Silver Star tne the Bronze Star Medal.

His present station a nd assignment is Advisor to Director

Internal Security, United States lfilitary Government in Korea.

OOlDNEL WADE C. Gi~ TClIElL

Col,mel GATCHELL was born at Saxtons River, Verm::>nt, in

the year 1895. He attended high school at Cranston, Rhode Island,

and at Portland, Maine. He later attended Norwich University. On

3 May 1917 he entered the First Training Camp at Plattsburg, New


York, and was graduated therefrom on 14 .i.ugust 1917, as Second
~
'9utmant of Cavalry. He Was assigned as an R. O. T. C. instructor

xxxviii
in the Olicago High Schools. From this assignment he was trans­

fer'1led to dlty with the Civilian Conservation Corps in the State

of Kentucky..
In 1940 he was assigned to the ArJOOred Force Replacement

Center at Fort Knox, Kentucky. In January 1942, he joined the

5\11 J.l1l1Ored Division where he became Trains Commander,. F.rom this

assigrmcnt he was transferred to the 13th Armored Division with

duties as J.cting Qlief of Staff. In September 1944 he assumed

the duties of Elcecutive Officer of Combat Command "S"" 10th J.r,.,

mored Division. Colonel GATClIELL was then assigned as Reserve

Comma.nder of the DiviSion, which command he retained until he was

.-retired from the service in October 1946 on a permanent disability.

<! holds the "following awards and decorations: Legion of .MeritJ

the Bronze Star .Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster; the Croix de

Guerre with palm. ,

C:)lone1 G.A1'CHEU. is at present living in San Diego, Calif­


ornia.

UED'!'E:NJ.NT cxn.om THO"WIS C. CHAMBERLAIN

Without doubt one of the most outstanding subordinate

commanders of the 10th 1.rmored Division during the units oper­

ations in the Saar-Moselle Triangle was Lieutenant Colonel CIW&­

DERLAIN, who c:>mmanded the 11th Tank Battalion.. This Battalion

"'-~.th attachments was designated Task Force Crr..AMBERLAIN and re­

~ained this designation throughout the operation.


This Task Force of O:>mbat Command "I.n spearheac',ed the drive

to the east and the Slbsequent drive north ta Trier~ Throughout

the entire operation Lieutenant C.)lonel QBAMBERLAIlfdEmortStrated

at all times a cCdIlpetent grasp of the situation a nd exercised a

shrewd ability ip. maneuvering his Task Force which contributed

greatly to the success of the Division.

Lieutenant C:JLmel CHAMBERLAIN was born in lIUssouri in

1917 and was graduated fram the Un:i,ted States Military Academy in

1940. He is also a graduate of the Command and General Staff School

in the Class of 1943. He has been awarded the Legion of Merit, the

Silver Star, and .the Bronze Star Medal.

r-- He is presently assigned to the Logistical Division of the

...\3neral Staff of the Department of the J.:rrny in the Pentag0n Build­

ing, Washington 25, D. C.

LIEIJTENf.NT COLONEL HENRY T. ClfERRY

Lieutenant C.:;lonel Henry T. OBERRY was born in Macon,

Georgia in 1912. He was grac.uated from the Lanier High School of

Macon in 1939. He entered the United States Military Academy at

\iest Point the foll'Jwing year. Upon graduation in 1935, he was

commissioned Second Lieutenant of Cavalry and was assigned to the

1st Cavalry Division. In 1933 he attended the Regular Course of


the Cavalry School. at Fort Riley, Kansas and upon graduation was

tained there as an instructor. Upon its a.ctivation in July ~9,42,

xl
............. was assigned to t he 10th Armored Division as Commanding Officer

~ ... ' a Tank Battalion. At this time, he held the rank of Major. In

December of 1942, h.e Was promoted to the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.

in this roorganization of the Di. vision, Lieutenant Colonel CIIERRT

Was assigned as commander of one of the authorized tank battalions.

Be was given c;)mmand of the 3rcl Tank Battalion, Ybich command he

held until the deactivation of the 10th :,z'mored Division in July

1945. ht present Lieutenant Colonel CHERRY commands the :'.rmored

Section, United States Military ,\cademy, West Point, New York.

Lieutenant Colonel C~RRY h'Jlcls the following decorations: the

Distinguished Service CrOSs; the Silver Star with Two Oak Leaf

Clusters; Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star Kedal and the Purple

--.
Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster.

LIIDTENf.NT COLON:&. Vv'ILLIi.M R. DESQBRY

Lieutenant Colonel DES013RY· was born in the Philippine

Islands at Manila in Septanber 1918. He attended Punshov i.cademy

in Manila and was graduated in 1936. In 1937 he arrived in the

United States and entered Georget'Mn University in Hashington, D. C.,

from which he was graduated in 1941. Upon graduation, he recoived

a commission of Second Lieutenant of Infantry in the Regular .\rmy

as honor graduate from the R. O. T. C. unit of the University.

His first assignment was as Platoon Leader, 29th Infantry Regiment,

Fort Benning, Gevrgia. In November 1942 he was assigned as a

xli·
Reconnaissance Platoon Leader in tile newly-fvImed lOth 1.Im::>red

Division. He was . later made company Commander and was given

successive assignments in the Division as Battalion 3-3,. Combat

Conunand S-4 and finally Bat tallon Commander J rising in rank to

ld.eutenarl.t Col::mel tro~ t~ p:l""'des OOi'llM1'ins~f.A.te~Wi tn: thl9· Vf"rious

a~signments held..

In February 1945 he was c~~ed during the final phase of

the Saar-Moselle 'Iriangle operation, while commanding the 20th

hr.mored Infantry Battalion.

He has received the follOwing decorations: the Silver

Star; the Bronze star Medal; the French Cruix de Guerre (with two

~~ronze Stars and one Silver Star); the Belgian Croix de Guerre with

a1m and the Purple Heart.

Lieutenant Colonel DESODRY' is presently assigned as bssist­

ant Personnel and 1.dmin:istration Officer at the Headquarters of

United States F)rces in ..' .ustria.

LUlTTENbNT COIDNEL W.i.RREll B. H;.SKl!LL

Lieutenant Colonel' HASKELL was b,:>rn in Minneap.)lis, mnn­


esota in 1917. He attended the Lee J.cademy,. Lee, Maine, graduating

in 1936. Shortly after graduation he enlisted in the Army and in

S:$ptember 1941 he Wl!!s co.am1ssioned a Second Lieutenant of Cavalry

upon graduation from the Officer's Candidate School at Fort Knox,

During the following year he served as a company officer


/).n. the 4th Armored Division at .Pine Camp, New York. In June 1942

nas transferred to the 10th Armored Division as Regimental 5-4

of the 54th Armored Infantry Regiment •.

In September 1943 when the Division reorganized, he was

assigned to }he 54th hrmored Infantry Battalion as Executive

Officer, where he remained. until February 1945 when he was ap­

pointed Battalion Commander. He remained in Command of the Bat­

tallion until the Division was deactivated in July 1945. At pres­

ent Lieutenant Colonel HASKEIL is l.ssist-3nt G-4, TIle Infantry

Center, Fort Benning, Georgia. He has received the following

awards and decorations: the Silver Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster;

the Purple Heart; and the French Croix de Guerre

UIDTENhNT OOL<lJEL NED T. NORRIS

Born in Ohio 7 July 1912, I..i-eutewmt Colonel 'HORRIS attended

the University of Michigan. He en~ered the United States Military

Academy in 1932 and graduated in 1936, as Second Lieutenant of Cav­


.~

alry. He graduated from the Cav~lry School in 1940 and from the

Command and General Staff Schoo~ in 1943.

He was then assigned as EKecutive Officer of Combat Command

"All of the lOth Armored Di vis:l,on in vhicll capacity he c.ontinued to

serve during the operations of this unit in the Ellropean Theater.

Lieutenant Colonel lfOilRts has been a\'!arded the Silver Star and the

Bronze Star Medal.

. xliii
Lieutenant Colonel ~ta is presentl1 assignee} to the

Intelligence Division of th~' Department of the :\.rmYi General Staff,

Pentagon Building, Washington 25, D. C.

UEVTENJ.NT COLONEL J:MES O'HAR,A

Lieutenant Colonel Jrunes 0' ~RA was born in New York City

9 August 19l~. ;;Uron graduation from the United States Military

Academy in 1934, he was commissioned in the Infantry_ In 1938 he

graduated fram. the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia.

Upon the activation of the 10th hImOred Di. vision, he was

-
assigned to it and given command of the 54th Armored Infantry

~alion. During the Saa~oselle Triangle operation he conmanded

his Battalion with noteworthy ability.

Lieutenant Colonel O'HARA has been awarded the following

decorations for meri torious service: the Silver Star and the

Bronze Star.

His present station is 25th Constabulary Squadron, 1.. P. 0.

305, In Care of Postmaster, New York City, New York.

UElJTENANT OOLONEL JACK J. RIC}i.~RDSON

One of the outstanding conunanders of the loth .Armored Divi­

sion during its operations in the Saar-iwioselle Triangle was Lieu­

,tenant Colonel AICHARts6N. This Officer commanded his Battalion

Jh exceptio~~ ability and distinction deserving of the highest

xliv
~nmend.ation8 .. J.iter the termin,ation of the Saar-Moselle Tri­
angle operations by the lOth Arm9red Division, Lieutenant Colonel

RICHAJiIBOH we-e lQ.llod in action in SUQsequent operations near

Crailsheim. 101'
, his "Mlieet. service he was awarded
, the Silver

Star with TWO Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal, and the

Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster.

In Further recognition, of his services, one of the build­

10gs of the 1.cadanic Group of the Armored School has been named

Richardson H~.

LIEUTENANT COLONEl. JOHN R. RILEY

Lieutenant Colonel RILEY was born in Danville, Virginia

.~.pril 1909. After graduating fram the Danville High School

J.n 1926 he entered the Bank of Virginia in Roanoke, Virginia.

He Qecame a manber of tile National G~al"d in the City of Roanoke,

and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the National Gu<'.rd in

1935. He was called to a cti ve duty with the hrmy of the United
States 3 February 1941, and a'\i, this
. time, holding the rank of
Captain, was given command. of Col}tpany D, 19lst 'rank Battalion•.

His subsoquent assignments were first, 5-2 and later 8-3, 1st

,
I

Be.ttalion, 37th :.rmored RegimEflt,

On'l July 1942 Lieut~nt Colonel ,RILEY waS transferred


J
to the 10th :,Iftlored IlivlisioX} 1Wd...a.e~gned as Con!manding Officer-o'f

tqe 3rd Batta1.~~n ot the .3rd Armored Regiment. Upon the reorgan­

~9.tion of the Division he waS as.s1gned as .Commanding Officer of

xlv
-
the 21st Tank Battalion in which assigrment he served with rbility

il the close of the ~.

Lieutehah\Qolone1 .RILi.Y has been awarded the Silver Star,

the Legion of Merit, the aronze Star wi1ah Oak Lear mUst.er, the

Croix de Guerre of lwtembow:-g, and the French Croix de Geurre.

LIMERANT ..COLONEL J£ILES Le STANl)ISH


Lieutenant Colonel S"l'A.NDIS.a served with distinction as

Canmanding Officer of the 6lst hrmored Infantry Battalion of the

lOt.h itrmored Division. During the operations in the Saar-Mo­

selle Triangle this Battalion, with its attachments, was desig­

nated Task Force Standish of Combat Q)nmand IIA" of the Division.

/-
During the Triangle operation, Lieutenant Colonel STAN­

olE was killed in Ockfen, Gezmany, on the 25th of February,

1945.
In recagnition of his splendid record, and outstanding

leadership, a building of the Academic Group of the Jirmored

School at Fort Knox, has been recently named in honor of this

distinguished officer.

Lieutenant Colonel STANDISH was awarded the Silver star

with one Oak-Leaf Cluster J the Bronze Star Medal with Dile Oak

Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster.

xlvi
....
,~.
MAJOR CHARLES L. HUSTEj'J), -JR.

Major BOSTIAD Commanded the 20th Armored Infantry Bat-


f
tallon ot the loth Armored Division. -He was ~m in Nebraska
,
29 November 1913, and attended the Universit1 of Nebraska. H1J

received a commission as Second Lieutenant,lnfantry Reserve in

1940 and rose to the grade of :Major. HG co4unanded his Battalion


with exceptional ability during the operatj.ons ot the 10th l~rmored

Division in Europe.

Major HUSTEAD was integrated into the Regular J..rmy sub­

sequent to the War with the permanent ra'nk of First Lieutenant.

He has received the Silver Star and Bronze Medal for meritorious

~rvice.

His present assignment is 7890 Headquarters Group, ElJOOM,

New York Ci ty, New York.

xl.vii
---------------
-. APPENDIX VI

13IBLIOORhPH1

Third US "rmy, 1 l-iug 44 - 9 May 45, Volume I, "'!he Operations"

10th Armored Division, 1 - 30 Nov 44

10th rirmored Division, 1 Jan - 8 liay 45

COA, 10th ~~ored Division, Nov 44 - May 45

CCE, 10th hrmored Division, Nov 44

20th ~~ored Infantry Battalion 10th Armored Division, Oct 44 - Feb 45

54th ;.z.mred Infantry Battalion, 10th j\rmored Division, Dec 44 - May 45

61st hrmored Infantry" Battalion, 10th Armored Division, Nov 44 .. May 45

90th Cav Recon. SqdD. (~ecz'd), 10th Armored Division, Nov 44

W~TION:.L REPORTS:

12th J.rmy Group G-3 Reports for Nov 44, Dec 44, Jan 45, Feb 45

xx Corps, 1 Sep - 6 Dec 44: "The Reduction of Fortress 14ctz"

xx Corps, 15 Dec 44 - 12 Mar 45: lfCapture of Saar-Moselle Triangle

& Trier "


I

OFFICIAL PUBLICl;TIONS:

Dr HM Cole, untitled draft manuscript on history of Third i;r.my,

chapters VIII, X, XI, XIII (Historical Di vi sion, DjA)

Gen E Feucht~ger, Report or Combat Oper~tions of the 21st Panzer

Division Against American Troops in France and Germany (MID,

D/A)

~en Wietersheim, Repptt of th2 11th Panzer Division (MS B-417,MID, DjA)

xlviii
.1.ot Gen Zimmerman et.. al., OBWe.st",A"S,tudyin remand (Hist Div,DIA)

Terrify;,.ind Destrp.x (story of 10th Arma Div in ETO)


;

, . iq ; I

hlttidaL,jrltlt Registatj 1 Jan 46 (US Gov't Printil'lg otfi.ce,~jash DC)

Order"o£ Battle of the. German j.mY (MID, bl A)

'Ihe Invasion of West.ern-Mope (Dept of Mil ]il't & Ehg, USrL~, 1946)

The Invesion of Western Europe

VOLUMES:
Col RS :J.len,

Col SL~~ Marshall, Bgstogne (Inf:mtry Journal Press, 1946).

RE Merriam, Dark December (Ziff-Davis Pub1 Co, 1947)

Gen GS Patton, Jr Was 1.3 I Knav It (Houghton Mifflin, 1947)

~en BG Wallace, Patton SQd His 'lhird JrmY (llfil Svc Publ Co, 1946)

·1 HG Wru.ker, Pgtton's 'Ihird /rm..y

Hlstorl of the 94th Infantry Div!sioll

History ,of th£? 376th WWn.BlfdmeBt trga l.m \9 1945

Hi,tgn:; g! :xx Q2rps j\rtillerY

xlix
APPENDIX VI

BIBLIOORAPHY

I,FTIi1t AG:gON .RRIjlRTS:


'Ihird US Jrmy, 1 Aug 44 - 9 MAY 4'~ ~'alum.e I, liThe Operations"
loth !.rmored Division, 1 - ,30 Nov 44
loth Armored Division, 1 Jan - S May 45
CC,,\, loth :.rmored Division, Nov 44 - May 45
CCB, loth Armored Division, Nov 44
20th Armored Infantry Battalion, 10th Armored Division, Oct 44 - Feb 45
54th l.rmored Infantry Battalion, 10th !.I1D.ored Division, Dec 44 - May 45
6lst :.rmored Infantry Battalion, lOth Armored Division, Nov 44 - May 45
90tt Cav RecoD. Sqdn.. (Mecz'd), lOth i.rmored Division, Nov 44

OPERATIONiL REPORTS:
12th J):rmy Group G-,3 Reports for Nov 44, Dec 44, Jan 45, Feb 45

XX Corps, 1 Sep ... 6 Dec 44: "The Reduction of Fortreas METZ"

Xl. Corps, 15 Dec 44 - 12 .Mar 45: "Capture of Saar-Moselle 'lriangle

.-- & '!RIm"

Dr .Hili Cole, untitled draft manuscript on history of 'lbird l:rmy,


Cl1apters VIII, X, XI, lin (Historical DiviSion, D/A)
Goo E Feuchtinger, R of bat 0 tio h s P
Division A inst f.rnerican Troo s in France and German MID, D/;.)
Gao Wiatersheiln, Reeort of the 11th Panzor Division MS B-4l7, MID,
DI;.)
Lt Gan Zimmerman et. al., OB JiMh A Study in Commfd (Hist Div,D/A)

Terrify and Destroy (story of 10th .'U'md Di v in .ErO

0«i9ial Am.:r Reseter, 1 Jan 46 (us Gov't Printing Office, Wash DC)

Order ot Battle of t8Ef Germ~ .r'.rPlv (4ID, DI A)

The Invap.Qn OJ Western km (Dept of Mil Art &: &lg, USMJ.., 1946)

VOLUMESs

Col RS l.1len, Lucky Forward (Vanguard Press, 1947)

ChI SLI. Marshall, Bastogne (Infantry Journal Press, 1946)

RE .Merriam, De.rk D~canber (Ziff-Davis Publ Co, 1947)

Gen GS Patton, Jr ~i~.r 1.s I KneW; It (Houghton mfflin, 1947 J

Gen BG vi'allace" Patton and His 'lhird hrml (Uil Sve Publ Ch, 1946)

Col HG Halker, Patton t s Third l.rm.y

.,..-.....

xlviii
r - ltorl ot the 94th Intantry Division
-.stott 2t the '76th Int antrx Regiment trom 1921 to 1942
H~i'Wrl ot XX Corps ArtillerY

.-­
xlix