AFTER ACTION REPORT
11TH ARMORED DIVISION
23 DEC 44 thru 31 JANUARY 45
HEADQUARTERS COMBAT COMMAND A
APO 261, U.S. ARMY
3 February 1945
SUBJECT: Action against the enemy for period 23 December 44 thru 31 January 45.
TO: Commanding General, 11th Armored Division
1. The following report is submitted of the action of CC A against the enemy for the period 23 December 44 thru 31 January 45, as required by AR 345-105, C3.
23 On 23 December 1944 the 11 Armd Div was still engaged in movement from BARNEVILLE on the Cherbourg Peninsula to a concentration area in the vicinity of SOISSONS. The bulk of Hq & Hq Co CC A was on the road, but the CG, accompanied by S-2, S-3 and aide, had preceded the column and arrived in RHEIMS at 1900 23 December. Division having received the mission of defense of the MEUSE RIVER line, a combat command and staff was hastily constituted from units available and placed under the command of CG CC A. So as to accomplish this mission, during the night 23-24 December a CC A staff was organized at SISSONNE, and issued FO #5 0430 24 December. The CC was composed of the following troops, divided as indicated, into two task forces:
TF BLUE (Brady)
63 AIB (-1 Rif Co) Det Hq CC A
492 AFA (-1 Firing Btry) 41 Cav Rcn Sq (-D Tr)
2 M Cos 42 Tk Bn C Btry (-) 575 AAA AW Bn
Plat A Co 56 Engrs A Co 81 Med Bn
Plat C Btry 575 AAAW BN SP
TR WHITE (Ahee)
Co 63 AIBn
Btry 492 AFA Bn
A Co (-) 56 Armd Engr Bn
Plat C Btry 575 AAA AW Bn SP
42 Tk Bn (-)
In compliance with CC A FO #5, TF BLUE moved 0730 24 December
with CC Serv Elms by way of SISSONNE-LAON-BRUNCHAMEL-AUVILLERS-ROCROI-FUMAY, to
Vic VIREUX-MALHAIN 08569 prepared for action against enemy on order. The 41 Cav Rcn Sq (Mecz) (-) preceded main
movement with the dual mission of securing liaison with British forces to the N
and establishing contact with enemy NE of the MEUSE RIVER. TF WHITE moved 1200 to area
SEDAN-CHARLEVILLE-PUSSEMANGE to secure bridges at SEDAN and CHARLEVILLE.
41 Cav Rcn Sq was ordered to restrict operations to movement W
of line BEAURAING P1042-BIEURE P0552 and CR P1042. Patrols contacted personnel of 9th Armd Div in this area. Balance of CC conducted route reconnaissance
and prepared for future action. CP CC A
moved to FUMAY O 815405 at 1800, and at 0100 26 December FO #6 was issued,
ordering movement of CC to concentration area SW FUMAY. 492 AFA Bn (-), A Co 63 Armd Inf Bn, Plat C
Btry 575 AAA AW Bn SP remained in position to secure the bridge at
The balance of the CC moved by daylight 26 December and closed
in new concentration area SW FUMAY by 1400.
Positions were improved that night.
Elms of CC left to hold bridge were relieved by units of 17 A/B Div and
returned to unit areas by nightfall.
Liaison was maintained with British at GIVET by CG and staff while units
conducted maintenance and rested.
27-28 Enemy planes were reported over Biv area night of 26-27 December but no action took place. Troops continued maintenance and training activities, and quiet period persisted until the evening of 28 December.
At 2100 28 December orders were received to move all units CC
A to vicinity CHARLEVILLE by 0500 29 December, prepared for march to an unknown
concentration area. A verbal warning
order and march order were issued at once, and the first Elm of the march
column crossed the IP at 0145 29 December.
A long forced march was made that night over roads covered with snow and
ice in the teeth of a driving snow storm.
Route: Biv 0-745555 ROCROI (06952) RIMOGNE (0-7043) CHARLEVILLE
(0-8334) sedan (0-9926) CARIGNAN FLORENVILLE SUX, HOSSEUSE
MONTPLAINCHAMPS NEUFCHATEAU (P3440) MOLINFAING (P3944) RESPELLE (P3745)
approximately 70 miles. Enroute written
orders for the move were received from Div.
Hq CC A closed in Biv at P 375455, near RESPELLE, Belgium, at 1030 29
December, and all units were closed by 1400.
31 At 0745 TF WHITE crossed LD and advanced
during the morning to vicinity Coord P 4054, S of REMAGNE, where strong enemy
AW and AT fire was encountered. TF
WHITE was pinned down in place due to strong defensive nature of the terrain
and excellent siting of enemy AT weapons.
TF BLUE was not committed on either flank. Heavy artillery fire was delivered on enemy positions and two air
strikes were made during the course of the day. At dusk both task forces dug in, in partial defilade on VOCG and
improved their positions. After dark troops
were withdrawn to full defilade to consolidate under cover of darkness. At 2300 Ln O brought verbal instructions for
immediate movement of the CC to an attack position Vic MORHET, Belgium,
(P4558). Leaving the 41 Cav Rcn Sq Mecz
(-) to contain the enemy along the ridge line S of REMAGNE until relieved in
place by the 87th Inf Div, the command started on the road at 0100 31
December. Route: VAUX-les-ROSIERES (P4442) - PTE ROSIERE
(P4543) MORHET (P4558) MAGEROTTE (P4555).
Due to heavy traffic, snow, and icy roads, column was repeatedly held up
and did not close until 1130. CP CC A
was established at MORHET HALT. At 1210
31 December verbal attack order was issued to assembled unit commanders. Mission of the command was to attack N
between CCR and CCB to capture objective vicinity TROINE P470625. TFs for the attack were constituted as
After daylight 1 January 1945, a coordinated attack was
organized together with CCR on the left and CC B on the right. Due to the relative positions of the CCs,
CC A could not attack until ate in the day since it was necessary that the
flanks of CC A be protected, and the position was considerably north of the
other two commands. The attack jumped
off at 1200 on VOCG to capture the group of small towns immediately N of
RECHRIVAL. TF BLUE led and made some
initial progress, which was shortly slowed by a heavy German counterattack from
the NE involving Inf and armor. Prompt
and well coordinated action of air support, plus artillery and tank action
stopped the counterattack with heavy losses to the enemy but necessitated
reorganization of our troops. At 1500
another coordinated attack was launched due N in the direction of HUBERMONT,
MILLOMONT, and RECHIMONT. Preparation
was afforded by artillery fire and aerial bombardment. The attack reached the edge of the town of
HUBERMONT P450590 just before dark. On
VOCG the CC withdrew from its forward positions to consolidate S of RECHRIVAL
in the positions previously held due to difficulty of night defense of the
advance area occupied.
FO #8 was issued at 0200 2 January. No change in TFs was involved.
Units were ordered to hold ground gained at daylight. Tank elements were withdrawn from forward
position to mobile reserve and infantry was employed to defend assigned sector
along CC front. CP CC A moved to MORHET. Warning Os were received to
the effect that the CC would be relieved by elements of the 17 A/B Division in
place. During the night artillery laid
down planned defensive fires.
Patrols from 63 AIB and C Tr 41 Cav maintained contact with
the enemy until relief was accomplished, 17 A/B being in position by 1500. Initially orders were received to move the
CC to a rear concentration area but they were remanded before execution and
units were held in mobile reserve immediately behind the front in the event of
At 1000 4 January telephone orders were received from Division
to move to concentration area vicinity SIBRET P4954. A verbal order was issued through liaison officers and the
forward elements moved at 1230.
Route: LAVASELLE P5656, POISSON
MOULIN P4855, SIBRET. CP CC A
established SIBRET 1530, all units being closed by 1600. Troops maintained semi-alert status prepared
to support either 17 A/B Div to N and NW, or 101 A/B to N and NE.
Entire command remained in place performing maintenance and
personal hygiene. Routes and areas for
possible future use were reconnoitered by CC staff and officers from
units. At 1715 7 January orders were
received from 11 Armd Div placing CC A on alert status, prepared to reinforce
NE sector of 17 A/B Div on 11 Div O.
Medical detachment of 42 Tk Bn performed evacuation functions for
elements 17 A/B Div after their facilities were destroyed by fire. All units of CC A were alerted and remained
on alert status during the night.
8 At 1000 B Co 602 TD Bn was attached to 42 Tk Bn which unit was ordered to dispose TDs to N edge of woods at Coord P4759-4959. 63 AIB was ordered to reinforce B Co 602 TD Bn with 2 Platoons 57 mm AT guns and 2 squads of Inf.
FO #9 was issued at 2100 placing CC on alert status prepared to support 17 A/B Div on order.
42 Tk Bn ordered to move platoon of 76 mm tanks to vicinity of
CHENOGNE. 42 Tk Bn (reinf by Plat A Co
56 Engrs) moved to vicinity VILLEROUX P508553, and closed at 1645. Purpose of move was to facilitate
counterattack if required. 41 Cav Rcn
Sq troops maintained patrols from NIVIERS DU PAPE to MONTY between 2 elements
of 17 A/B.
10-11 On 10 January engineers checked routes and trails for mines. Located minefield P509565, gapped and marked west end of field so as to facilitate passage of our troops to N and NE. All elements continued reconnaissance of routes and areas to the N. Units commenced painting vehicles white in accordance with Div O. On 11 January C Co 42 Tk Bn was moved to P506588 to be prepared for immediate movement. A Co 56 Engr Bn cleared roads vic 42 Tk Bn, reconnoitered for German arms and equipment. Liaison was established with 193, 513, and 507 Inf Regts of 17 A/B Div. Aslt gun platoon of 42 Tk Bn moved into position jointly with 490 AFA to act as additional battery in G/S. Counterattack plans were formulated and discussed with commanders.
12 At 1100 12 January order was received from Div to assemble in area S LONGCHAMPS - - to attack on O. O of march was given as 63 AIB, 490 AFA, Div Arty, CC A Hq, C Brty, 575 AAA, 42 Tk Bn, 56 Engr, 41 Cav. Route: VILLEROUZ (P5055), BASTOGNE (P5558), LONGCHAMPS (P5363). Movement was interdicted by Div Arty, which had priority on the road. All troops closed in new concentration areas by 2100. During movement, reconnaissance was conducted by CG, Ex O and subordinate commanders. Div FO #8 required relief of 101st A/B elms in place, and contact was made by unit and Co commanders with the commanders of 101st units during daylight hours, while troops were on the road. CC A CP closed ROLLE P530619, and all troops had closed in concentration area by 2100. Relief of 101 A/B Elms was completed by 2200. At 2200 CCA FO #10 was issued calling for CC A to attack N, reduce enemy salients, and capture Objs in Z. Troops were as follows:
63 Armd Inf Bn
42 Tk Bn Atchd: Co C 811 TD Bn SP, 1 Plat A Co 56 Armd Engr Bn
Btry C 575 AAA AW Bn (-)
Co C 133 Ord Maint Bn
Co A 81 Med Bn
C Tr 41 Cav Rcn Sq (Mecz) sent out patrols to ascertain enemy strength, positions and movements.
13 Arty preparation commenced 0940 and attack jumped off at 1000 with 63 AIB leading. Atk proceeded, encountering moderate resistance. At 1155 Res Comd was attached to CC A, adding the following troops:
Hq Res Comd
55 Armd Inf Bn Atchd 1st Plat Co C 56 Engr Bn
22 Tk Bn (-B Co)
3rd Plat Tr A 41 Dav Rcn Sq, (Mecz)
Co C 81 Med Bn
Res Comd had initially moved on left flank of CC A, and then moved in behind the combat elements of CC. At 1355 42 Tk Bn, having passed through 63 AIB on VOCG, reported elements on objective at BERTOGNE, and consolidating positions. CP CC A moved from ROLLE P536610 and closed LONGCHAMPS P5363 at 1600. At 1540 units reported town of BERTOGNE surrounded and CR SW of town occupied, thus accomplishing mission of cutting main road to HOUFFALIZE P6172. At dark the Elms, N, W, and E of BERTOGNE were withdrawn to N edge of the woods to the SE, in a position to dominate the Obj by fire. At 2200 D Troop of 41 Cav was attached to CC A to be utilized on call through Div CG.
14 At 0300 14 January, CCA FO #11 was issued calling for the CC to turn E in direction of high ground S of HOUFFALIZE, seizing intermediate Objs in Z. Troops in this operation were:
Hq & Hq Co CCA (Atchd Btry C(-) 575 AAA Bn and Hq Res Comd)
42 Tk Bn (Atchd 1st Plat A Co 56 Armd Engr Bn)
41 Cav Rcn Sq Mcz (-)
A Co 56 Engr Bn (-)
Co C 811 TD Bn (SP)
55 Armd Inf Bn (Atchd 1st Plat Co C 56 Engr Bn)
22 Tk Bn (- Co B)
D Tr 41 Cav Rcn Sq (Mecz) (Atchd on call)
In place (CHAMPS) and proceeded to
join command, traveling on foot. B Co
602 TD was attached vicinity LONGCHAMPS and ordered to join 42 Tk Bn as soon as
The attack advanced slowly throughout the day through heavy woods in the face of concentrated enemy small arms and mortar fire, together with some artillery. At 1500 55 AIB reported on the initial objective and 41 Cav on their right reached their objective at 1730. All elements then prepared to defend in place awaiting orders for next movement.
FO #12, issued 2300, divided the CC into two major task forces with troops as follows:
Hq & Hq Co CC A
C Btry (-) 575 AAA AW Bn SP
TASK FORCE STUBBS
193 Inf Regt (- Bn White)
41 Cav Rcn Sq Mcz (-)
55 Armd Inf Bn
Plat C Co 56 Engr Bn
Med Co 42 Tk Bn
Med Co 22 Tk Bn
Co C 811 TD Bn SP (- 1 Plat)
TASK FORCE BELL
63 Armd Inf Bn
42 Tk Bn (-)
White Bn 193 Inf Regt
B Co 602 TD Bn Sp
A Co 56 Armd Engr Bn
22 Tk Bn (- Cos B & C)
Plat Co C 811 TD Bn
Cos A & C 81 Med Bn
Co C 133 Ord Maint Bn
Plat 224 Med Co
Attack commenced 1000 15 January. TF Stubbs met little or no opposition and seized their first
close-in objective at 1100. TF Bell,
following intensive artillery and air bombardment, seized the first major
objective PIED DU MONT P5467 at 1130.
Rcn was initiated and attack reorganized at once. Driving E in a coordinated Tank-Infantry attack,
TF Bell overran COMPOGNE P5567 and RASTADT by 1500. TF Stubbs initially assisted attack of TF Bell by fire, and then
started a flanking movement on COMPOGNE from the S and SE. Attack of TF Bell was continued to VELLEROUX
P5568, but after reaching outskirts of town by dusk, enemy counterattack
consisting of tanks and infantry necessitated withdrawal to defilade west of
town. Enemy tanks after counterattack
retired to woods NE VELLEROUX.
At 0300 report from 41 Cav placed them NE of RASTADT at coord
P5571. During the night, TFs
reconnoitered crossings of VAUX RIVER in Z.
At 0820 Plat of A Tr reported 1 Km S of objective. At 0930 Plat A Tr 41 Cav Rcn Sq Mecz reached
objective on OURTHE RIVER.
During the night, 18 prisoners were taken in southern sector
of CC A zone, and patrols located enemy troops in COWAN. Morning of 17 January units maintained
positions reinforcing front line elements under control of Col. Stubbs. CCR components of CC A reverted to CCR
control and moved early to new locations to the S. Warning orders were disseminated to all units to prepare for move
to rear area. 63 AIB, Co A 56 Engrs
moved out 1400 on VOCG to billets in LONGCHAMPS.
18-19 Div FO #9 received 18 January confirmed movement of all troops. At 1000 42 Tk Bn moved to LONGCHAMPS, 22 Tk Bn to MONAVILLE (P5768). C Tr 41 Cav Sq moved under control 41 Cav Sq to Sq bivouac at VILLEROUX (P5155). CP CC A moved from COMPOGNE at 1200, closed P540621 at 1315. Commenced maintenance and refitting, continued throughout 19 January. CP moved to ROLLE P530618, closed 1615.
20-21 At 1430 20 January CC A commenced movement on Div order to concentration area vicinity NOVILLE. Route: LONGCHAMPS RECOGNE (P5763) COBRU (P5864) NOVILLE (P5864) RACHAMPS (P6067). Movement was made under very difficult road conditions, and proceeded slowly. CP established RACHAMPS P615667, and all units closed 1900. Tr C 41 Cav ordered to reinforce Tr D patrols on line WANDE-BOURCY (P6468) BOUER (P6467). A Co 56 Engr Bn plus Div Engrs cleared mines in path of Adv. Div O called for seizure of BURET (P6668), and plans were formulated for this objective. Scheme of maneuver originally set was abandoned due to patrol reports that the enemy had withdrawn from the Div front. L/D was moved to NE edge of wood opposite BOEUR, and 63 AIB left Biv area at 0730 closely followed by 42 Tk Bn and one Btry of 490 AFA Bn. TF SHEELY, composed of one Tk and one Inf Co jumped off at 0900 to take BOEUR. No resistance was encountered, and the town was occupied without incident, except the location of numerous hasty minefields enroute. Blown bridge at BOEUR retarded movement of vehicles, but during repair by A Co 56 Engr, dismounted infantry and cavalry forded the stream and proceeded toward BURET. Objective was occupied at 1200 by leading elements, and entire command closed in the town by 1800. All troops were ordered into billets for the night. Cavalry patrols from C Tr 41 Cav continued advance to the end of the Div sector, contracting Elms of 17 A/B on N and 6th Armd Div on S.
By morning of 22 January, cavalry patrols had reached the end
of the Div sector and encountered no enemy resistance. D Tr 41 Cav relieved C troop in sector, and
continued patrol action. B Co 602 TD Bn
and A Co 22 Tk Bn reverted to Bn control and moved out of CC A sector.
Troops rested, performed maintenance and conducted road
reconnaissance. Contact was maintained
with flank elements, liaison established with 17 A/B on N and command liaison
accomplished by CG with all neighboring divisions. Engineers removed mines, cleared roads and improved bridges at
HARDIGNY and TAVIGNY.
Liaison maintained with 87 Inf Div.
relieved by Div of responsibility for direct liaison with flank elements. Reconnaissance of routes continued by staff
and battalion commanders. Training
program for combined infantry-tank tactics put into effect covering removal of
minefields, Tank-Inf communications, patrolling, attack of fortified position,
tank-borne infantry, and mounted infantry attack.
W.A. Holbrook Jr.
Brig Gen USA
ADDENDA TO AFTER ACTION REPORT 23 DEC 44 31 JAN 45
During the period from 22 January to 31 January 45, the problem of reorganization of the armored infantry battalion under this command was taken up. Orders received from CG Third Army stated that 57mm AT guns organic to T/O of the armored infantry battalion should be turned in and replaced as may be suitable.
After considerable discussion, 63 Armd Inf Bn reorganized on the basis laid down by 11 Armd Div which reconstituted the tactical strength of this component of CC A as follows:
In each rifle company 57mm AT guns and sections are eliminated. The personnel formerly employed as gun crews are utilized partially as additional 60mm mortar men and partially as riflemen. The close support mortar strength of the Bn is therefore duplicated and the AT gun, which had proven impracticable in this terrain, has been eliminated.
W.A. Holbrook, Jr.
Brig Gen USA
AFTER ACTION REPORT
11TH ARMORED DIVISION
1 FEB 1945 THRU 28 FEB 1945
HEADQUARTERS COMBAT COMMAND A
APO 261, U.S. ARMY
15 March 1945
SUBJECT: Action Against the Enemy for Period 1 February 28 February 1945
TO: Commanding General, 11th Armored Division
1. The following report is submitted of the action of CC A against the enemy for the period of 1 February 28 February 1945, as required by AR 345-105, C3.
The month of February 1045 proved to be most inactive for CCA 11 Armored
Division. As the period opened CCA CP was located in BURET, Belgium, the
headquarters being closely surrounded by troops under its control. Composition
of the command was as follows:
2-3 During the last few days of January the CC had initiated training, especially of its tank and infantry elements, based on experience accumulated during combat in the preceding period. From 1 February thru 2 February this program was continued. On 3 February 63 Armd Inf Bn was detached from the Command and moved to concentration area vicinity P8876 under control of CC Reserve.
4 On 4 February during the absence of CC staff, which was engaged in P/R of front line area, CG CCA was given verbal instructions at Division Hq warning that the command was to go into Corps reserve in an area of ST VITH with the following troops:
42 Tk Bn
C Btry 575 AAA Bn (SP)
A Co 56 Armd Engr Bn
Det 133 Ord Maint Bn
A verbal order was issued to assembled unit commanders designating route of March and IP time.
5 On 5 February, orders were changed inasmuch as road clearance could not be obtained for the movement. Billeting parties were sent to the proposed concentration area vicinity SCHLIERBACH while CG performed P/R in that area and CC Staff reconnoitered routes. At noon Division issued telephone instructions to the effect that a different area had been assigned to the command in vicinity KROMBACH, Belgium, and at 1430 Division FO #11 was received confirming this new assignment.
6 On 6 February billeting party under CCA S-2 left for the new assembly area and upon receipt of telephone instructions from the Ex O at 1330 the S-3 issued orders to the command to move. The first element crossed IP in BURET at 1330 and all units closed in vicinity of KROMBACH P8185 by 1915. Route of march was BURET TAVIGNY CETTERU LIMERIE GOUVY BEHO MALDANGE BRAUNLAUF KROMBACH. Order of march: D Tr 41 Cav, A CO 56 Engr Bn, 42 Tk Bn, Hq & Hq CCA, C Btry 575 AAA Bn, A Co 81 Med Bn, A Co 133 Ord Maint Bn. 63 AIB, moving under oral instructions from Ex O CC A, rejoined the command and billeted at THOMMEN at 1630. At 2155 CW message was received from Division relieving D Tr 41 Cav from assignment to CC A and attaching them to Reserve Command at BERG REULAND 7 February. Orders were issued to effect this movement which took place at daybreak 7 February.
7-8-9 On 7-8 February troops improved billets and commenced work on roads in vicinity of the concentration area which were almost impassable due to heavy mud. At 2025 8 February orders were received from Division by telephone releasing 63 AIB from attachment to CC A and transferred them to CCR on 9 February. Warning orders were issued to 63 AIB which moved 0800 9 February by infiltration to vicinity BERG REULAND to come under CCR control.
10-22 From 10 to 22 February the command was completely inactive from a tactical standpoint, remaining in billets in the vicinity of KROMBACH, Belgium, engaged in daily training of reinforcements, maintenance of roads in the CC area and work on the Corps MSR.
23 February, G-3 alerted the command with a telephone message stating that a
probable movement to the vicinity of HERMESPAND was contemplated. Route
reconnaissance was immediately undertaken by members of CC staff and Bn staffs
and warning orders issued to the troops. On 24 February route reconnaissance
was continued and command liaison established with 87 Inf Div. At 1800 24
February letter of instruction was received from Division based on VIII Corps
FO #12. CCA was to be attached for operational control to the 87 Inf Division
for a defensive mission or to repel possible counterattack against 87 Inf
positions. A Co 705 TD Bn was to be attached. Attachment of CC A to 87 Inf Div
was confirmed as of 1300 24 February. At 0130 25 February memorandum was issued
to all units concerning details of the march to 87 Inf Div area. Under Division
letter of instruction 24 February new composition of CC A was as follows:
24-28 63 AIB, 490 AFA Bn and 41 Cav (-) moved separately from rest of command from vicinity LEIDENBORN P9173 via BLEIALF SCHONBERG Vic MANDERFELD. Balance of CC moved from concentration area Vic KROMBACH via HINDERHAUSEN SERT LES ST VITH ST VITH SCHONBERG MANDERFELD. All elements had closed west of MANDERFELD by 1900 25 February. Attachment of B Btry 174 FA Bn (155mm guns) and 161 Smoke Generating Co was confirmed 25 February and units proceeded to join the command from their previous location. Troops were assembled west of MANDERFELD on arrival in that vicinity, and under cover of darkness 25-26 February relief of elements of 347 Inf Regt was accomplished by 41 Cav Rcn Sq (-) and 63 AIB.
Relief was completed by 1200 26
February. A Co 705 TD relieved elements 607 TD Bn in 347 Inf sector in place
and completed relief 0130. CC A CP was established at MANDERFELD. On 26
February, CC A, having occupied its share of the 87 Inf Div line (from L0397 to
L0592), prepared plans to hold that position and to counterattack if necessary
while infantry elements of the 87 Inf Div cleared the pillboxes of the
Siegfried line to their direct front. At 1300 Commanders of CC A units were
assembled at CP and issued FO #15, confirmed in writing at 1600. Under
provisions of this order CC A supported by fire the attack of the 87 Inf Div,
thus diverting the attention of the enemy in its sector while the 87th attacked
the Siegfried installations from the south. Two companies of the 42 Tk Bn and B
Co 174 FA Bn were attached to 490 AFA Bn to deliver indirect H & I fires
under 490 AFA Bn control. One gun of B Btry 174 FA Bn was moved to a forward
position to fire directly at enemy pillboxes.
28 On 28 February warning orders were received from 11th Armd Div preparing CC for release from 87 Inf Div control within the following 36 hours. Liaison was re-established with 11th Armd Div pending more definite instructions. During the day reconnaissance was instituted by air and from forward Ops by CC A and Bn staffs to study the terrain in CC A sector of the 87 Div zone with a view to locating routes of access for tanks to support infantry in the attack on Siegfried defenses in zone, should it be ordered.
The month of February closed with the command having seen little action. On the final day of February troops were still under control of 87 Inf Div but were awaiting release to return to the 11th Armored Division for future employment.
OUR OWN FORCES ENEMY FORCES
Killed 1 Prisoners of War 8
Wounded 3 Killed & Wounded Undetermined
Material - None Material Could not be determined
W.A. Holbrook, Jr.
Brig Gen, USA
HEADQUARTERS COMBAT COMMAND A
APO 261, U.S. ARMY
16 April 1945
SUBJECT: Action Against the Enemy for the Period 1 March 31 March 1945
TO: Commanding General, 11th Armored Division
1. The following report is submitted of the action of CC A against the enemy for the period 1 March 31 March 1945, as required by AR 345-105, C3.
1 The month of March opened with the command still under operational control of 87th Inf Div in vicinity of MANDERFELD, Belgium. The sector occupied was directly opposite a portion of the German Siegfried Line, and plans under which CC A operated called for aid by fire to be given to elements of the 87 Inf Div then engaged in clearing that portion of the line by an enveloping movement from the south.
1-3 Routine patrolling of the zone continued actively both night and day and staff members continued front line reconnaissance. At 2230 3 March word was received from 87 Inf Div that tentative objectives of CC A had been taken by 347 Inf and that mission was now to continue defense in place until relieved by elements of the 87th.
4 11 Armd Div was immediately informed of our change in status and at 1250 4 March orders were received returning the command to Division control and requiring movement at once to a new assembly area vicinity L0584, leaving 1 medium Co 42 Tk Bn, 1 Co 63 Armd Inf Bn and 1 Tr 41 Cav Sq to hold sector until relieved by elements 87 Inf Div. 41 Cac (- A Tr) was to revert to Division control on arrival in new assembly area. All units were alerted at once and the first unit crossed IP at MANDERFELD at 1500. Order of march: 490 AFA Bn, 42 Tk Bn (-B Co), A Co 56 Armd Engr Bn, A Co 705 TD Bn, 41 Cav Sq (-A, B, C), C Btry 575 AAA Bn, Tr A 41 Cav, B Btry 174 FA Bn, Hq Co CCA, A Co 81 Med Bn, 63 Armd Inf Bn (-B Co), Det 133 Ord Maint Bn. At 1530 orders were received providing 490 AFA Bn revert to Division Arty en route and would be met along axis of advance and diverted to proper area. B Btry 174 FA Bn was contacted by Ln from 174 FA Gp and diverted while en route to another location leaving CC A control. Route of march of principal elements of column was: MANDERFELD ANDLER SCHONBERG, BLEIALF SELLERICH NIDERMELAN, thence assembly area vicinity WASCHEID. Extreme darkness and poor road conditions retarded the march but all units had closed 0015 5 March.
5 At 0100 5 March written memorandum was received from 11 Armd Div ordering movement of command to new concentration area in vicinity BUDESHEIM L1680 WALLERSHEIM L1478. Movement was to be initiated by 1200 5 March. Route reconnaissance was immediately undertaken early morning 5 March by CG and other officers. At 1200 5 March CC initiated movement to new concentration area. Order of March: 42 Tk Bn, 63 Armd Inf Bn, A Co 56 Engr, Hq Co CCA, C Btry 575 AAA Bn, Tr A 41 Cav Sq, A Co 705 TD Bn, Det 133 Ord Maint Bn, Co A 81 Med Bn. Despite unfavorable road conditions and priorities of other units on the roads, all units were closed in new area by 1830. Route followed: WASCHEID, CR 073845, RJ 088859, WILLERATH L0984 GONDELSHEIM L1282 RJ L119809 WALLERSHEIM L1378. A Co 81 Med Bn Mvd via PRUM FLERINGEN L1679 to WALLERSHEIM and was the last unit to close. The march was made without incident except that in swerving to pass a vehicle just out of WASCHEID, a medium tank of Hq Co CCA struck a mine which induced sympathetic detonation of nearby stack of mines, thus demolishing the tank and instantly killing the crew of five. During the evening of 5 March occasional artillery concentrations were received in the general area of the assembled troops but no casualties were incurred. At 2000 5 March orders were received from Division requiring reconnaissance of routes and attack positions in area of 4th Inf Div commencing daylight 6 March. In compliance, CG, Executive Officer and members of battalion staffs left on forward reconnaissance promptly at daylight.
6 At 0830 6 March Division FO #16 was received indicating possibility of movement through 90th Inf Div sector as well as the 4th Inf Div sector. Additional reconnaissance was immediately instigated in this direction. While staffs reconnoitered routes vicinity LISSINGEN L218802, reconnaissance was continued during the afternoon by cavalry elements for other crossings in area to the south. At 1700 General Ernst of the 90th Inf Div visited CCA CP and discussed the possibility of crossing KYLL River during the night of 6-7 March. At 1945 all units CC A were placed on a two-hour alert for this contingency. At 2100 a meeting of unit commanders was held to discuss plans for crossing of the KYLL River and a breakthrough to the east. At 2300 a platoon of A Tr 41 Cav was dispatched to vicinity of bridge site to ford the river and reconnoiter routes from the bridge site east until enemy contact was established.
At 0530 7 March report from this patrol stated that the road was being repaired
by friendly infantry but that enemy still held positions east of GEROLSTEIN
L2381. No demolitions of the type to impede motor movement were found. No
bypasses leading east from the bridge site were found, however, and the river
was considered to be unsuitable for fording by a column. It was therefore
necessary to wait completion of a suitable bridge. At 2400 CC A engineer
reported that the 90th Inf Div engineers were constructing a Bailey bridge
which would be completed during the morning of 7 March. The estimated time for
this completion was 0900. At 0700 7 March unit commanders were given verbal
order disposing troops in order of march as follows: Tr A 41 Cav, Task Force
AHEE, 42 Tk Bn (-1 Med Co), 2 Rif Cos 63 AI Bn, A Co 56 Engr (-), Hq CCA, C/575
(-), 490 FA Bn, Task Force BRADY, Med Co 42 Tk Bn, 63 AI Bn (-), Plat A 56
Engr, A Co 705 TD, 333 FA Gp, CC Tns.
Defense was organized and the town of KELBERG outposted. B Co 63 AI Bn was sent
forward a mile of HUNNERBACH L438883 to establish a line of departure for the
next days operations and seize the stream crossings between KELBERG and
HUNNERBACH. All crossings were captured intact. Remainder of Force AHEE
defended KELBERG night of 7-8 March making preparation for continuation of
mission, while elements in the rear set up perimeter defense in their own
sector. During the night task forces were reconstituted while A trains came
forward under most difficult circumstances to re-supply the column. H and I
fires were continued by FA Bns. New task forces were composed as follows (In
order of march):
Cos A & C 42 Tk Bn
Plat A Co 56 Engr
A Co 705 TD Bn (-1 Plat)
42 Tk Bn (-)
RIF Co 63 AI Bn
Plat A/56 Engr
Plat A/705 TD
During the night patrols were sent out to contact friendly units thought to be
operating to the north. The town of ANDERNACH directly east on the RHINE River
was still in German hands and infantry patrols were dispatched to determine the
nature of enemy resistance. During the rest of the night Comd endeavored to
refit and prepare for operations against the final objective ANDERNACH after
0600 the following day. Gasoline supply was critical. At 0930 9 March patrols
returned from the town of ANDERNACH with information that defense was
apparently not highly organized and that the town was comparatively quiet.
Civilian reports stated there were large numbers of stragglers passing through
10 At daybreak 10 March operations were resumed and resistance was still found to exist. Civilians and SS troops dressed in civilian clothes accounted for a large portion of the action. During early morning a number of enemy attempted to escape across the RHINE in barges, several of which were destroyed by direct fire from tanks resulting in several hundred enemy dead. Force BRADY was augmented by B Co 55 Armd Inf Bn and later by D Co 42 Tk Bn in order to speed reduction of the town. PWs were sent back in increasing numbers throughout the morning. Cavalry operating on the north also returned large numbers of PWs principally from the town of EICH. At 1500 D/42 Tk and B/55 AI were returned to CC reserve as resistance in ANDERNACH had been reduced to a minimum.
11 On 11 March instructions were received from Div assigning a sector to be cleared by the CC in addition to the town of ANDERNACH. While Force BRADY as originally constituted completed the mopping up of ANDERNACH, Force AHEE, organized into three small forces and a reserve, continued mopping up operations in the smaller towns and wooded areas in the CC sector.
12 By 1200 12 March the entire CC area had been cleared. CP CCA was moved from PLAIDT to KRUFT L7198 at 1430 12 March. At 2230 Division operations Memo No. 33 was received ordering CC to move to a new assembly area upon relief by 6th Cav Group. Reconnaissance was immediately undertaken in the new area. Routine patrols were maintained until instructions were received from Division to execute proposed movement to new concentration area.
13-15 63 Armd Inf Bn moved to THUR L6795 afternoon 14 March and remainder of CC completed movement morning of 15 March commencing at 0600. CP CCA cleared KRUFT 0900, closed OBERMENDIG 1000. At 1030 15 March all troops were in their new locations which were as follows: Hq CCA, C/575, A/81 OBERMENDIG L6597; A/705 TD BELL L6498; 42 Tk, A/56 ETTRINGEN L6395; A/41 Cav ST JOHANN L6194; 63 AI Bn THUR L6795.
15-16 On 15 and 16 March the command rested, performed maintenance and improved billets. Enemy aircraft was active in the area but no casualties were incurred. Division Operations Memorandum #34 provided a new troop list for CC A as follows: 42 Tk Bn, 63 Armd Inf Bn, A/41 Cav, A/56 Engr, A/705 TD, C/575 AA, C/81 Med, A/133 Ord
On 16 March CC staff was actively reconnoitering routes from OBERMENDIG to the MOSEL River line. CG 11 Armd Div visited CC A GP 1200 16 March and at that time communicated with CG VIII Corps and as a result of conversation placed Division on a 4-hour alert. CC A troops were informed of the alert and at 1330 were told to be ready to move by 1700. Brief telephone orders from Division gave destination of the command as LUTZERATH P7469. Control of the Division had been passed from VIII to III Corps. Verbal orders received by phone added A90 AFA Bn in D/8 and B Tr 41 Cav Sq to the previous list. Verbal order of march was given to assembled Ln officers with the IP at NEIDERMENDIG. Order of march: 63 AI, Hq CCA, C/575 AA, A/705 TD, 42 Tk, A/56 Engr, A/41 Cav, 490 AFA, A/133 Ord, C/81 Med, B/41 Cav. As the march was initiated 42 Tk was strafed by enemy aircraft while forming column. No casualties were suffered. The IP was crossed on time and the march proceeded.
17 By 0130 17 March all elements of the command had closed in vicinity DRIESCH L4870. CP CCA opened at DRIESCH 2105 16 March. Route of march: NEIDERMENDIG KAISERESCH DRIESCH. The march was made under extremely difficult conditions due to the poor road surface and extreme darkness. Difficulty of march was increased by the fact that vehicles coming the other way were employing lights since part of the route was behind the Corps no light line. Another incident of the march was destruction of one half track when the road gave way and the vehicle plunged 25 feet down a steep embankment. No casualties were suffered. At 0245 17 March Division Operations Memorandum #36 was received assigning routes of advance to the east including mission for CC A of advancing along a given route clearing En in Z, protecting L flank of Division and attempting to seize bridges across the RHINE River upon arrival. 33 FA Brig was to follow CC A. 355 Inf Bn also was to use this route. On the basis of these orders CC A FO #16 was issued at 0900 listing troops in order of march as follows:
TF AHEE HQ GROUP
Co/42 Tk Bn Hq CC A
Co/63 AI C/575 AAA AW Bn
Btry 490 AFA Bn Plat 705 TD Bn
42 Tk Bn (-) Hq 33 FA Brig (-)
A/56 Engr Bn B/41 Cav Sq
Plat 705 TD Bn
Co 42 Tk Bn
Btry 58 FA Bn
63 AI (-)
Plat 705 TD Bn
58 FA Bn (-)
Bal Hq 33 FA Brig
775 FA Bn
Tdwy Br Elms A/56 Engr
C/81 Med Bn
Gas & Ammo
A/133 Ord Maint Bn
Request was made to Div to have A/41 Cav cross the MOSEL as an integral part of CC B in order to establish En contact along CC A route and gain information of the route of advance. Request was granted and at 1200 movement of A/41 Cav was initiated.
At 1430 XII Corps order was relayed to CC A restricting movement east of NAHE River except for the establishment of the bridgehead. At 1440, in accordance with FO #16, forward elements of CC A comprising Force AHEE started to move. Rapidity of movement was restricted only by the crossing at BULLAY and enemy contact was not established until A/41 Cav at the head of the force approached KIRCHBERG L764164. Gp AHEE was deployed to meet and eliminate resistance which consisted of road block and enemy infantry in woods 2 Km N of KIRCHBERG. Resistance was eliminated and at nightfall security was established and patrols sent into KIRSCHBERG. KLUDENBACH on the W flank of the Clm was secured and the woods to the E were patrolled during the night. Remainder of Gp closed rapidly behind leading Elms and CP CC A was established at KAPPEL L7355 at 1930. B/41 Cav following the Clm reached KAPPEL and was sent forward to aid in patrolling vicinity KLUDENBACH at 2055.
At 0300 18 Mar message from C-3 released B/41 Cav to Sq control in place at
2200 17 Mar. Information was communicated to B/41 Cav. By VOCG A/41 Cav was
reinforced by Plat Lt tanks D Co 42 Tk Bn and moved out 0600 to protect both
flanks of road S of KIRCHBERG, which passed through a marked defile, and
endeavored to seize crossings of the NAHE River. Leading elements followed
closely behind the Cav. Resistance was first encountered on the road beyond
DICKENSCHIED L7744 where intense mortar fire was received leading elements.
19 By 0300 19 Mar the road block was cleared and treadway put in by the Engrs enabling TF to move into SIMMERN for the balance of the night. Combat patrols were sent out to secure bridge at MARTINSTEIN L8634 but were driven back by En fire. During the period that the leading elements were advancing upon SIMMERN the rear of column was closing upon DICKENSCHEID where CP CC A was established at 1930. Efforts had been made all during the day to secure bridging material to span the various blown bridges encountered by forward elements, but no Bailey bridge was available. All installations were made with treadway. In order to protect main route of advance, cavalry patrols had been used on the W flank of the column in the Vic of SCHLIERSCHEID L7942 and ROHRBACH L7743. These patrols encountered heavy resistance in the form of dug in positions and AT fire. During late afternoon of 18 March a small force was constituted from units under command of Lt Col Brady consisting of an Inf Plat and a Tk Plat and given the mission of attempting to work their way to the bank of the NAHE River by secondary roads to the W of the main route of advance. On reaching ROHRBACH L7743, heavy resistance was encountered and casualties were incurred and the advance was held up. During late afternoon and evening heavy artillery fire was brought down on SCHLIERSCHEID and ROHRBACH. In order to secure the flank of the main route of advance, additional infantry was required and a request was sent back by Ln O to Div Hq at KIRCHBERG for the attachment of some portion of the 355 Inf. At this point the command was informed that the 355 CT was attached to CC A and was available for immediate use. A Reinf Co plus Arty support was brought in position during late evening and early morning relieving the cavalry E of SCHLIERSCHEID to free them for additional Rcn missions to the S. Their mission was to secure the W flank of the road until the entire column had passed.
At night on 19 Mar leading elements resumed the advance. An attempt was made to rush the bridge at MARTINSTEIN but it was blown by the enemy as the lead Ό-ton of the Rcn Plat of 42 Tk Bn was making the crossing. A Reinf Tk Co was rushed to SOBERNHEIM L9431 but this bridge was also blown before it could be secured and intense mortar and S/A fire encountered at the crossing. SOBERNHEIM was cleared by Inf and the Engrs immediately reconnoitered for possible crossings from SIMMERN to SOBERNHEIM. A Reinf Tk Co forded the stream at MARTINSTEIN and resumed the advance under heavy mortar fire. Artillery neutralized the mortar and infantry was enabled to make the crossing mounted on tanks and continued the advance. At MEISENHEIM L9523 direct fire from AT guns and heavy S/A and AW were encountered. Tanks and infantry were deployed and the town secured allowing the continued rapid advance of the TF until leading elements contacted elements of CC B and Res Comd 1 Km N of MEISENHEIM. The location of these elements on our route was not know to the command. Meanwhile the rear elements had resumed the advance at 0700 after clearing artillery support for the Inf Co of 355 CT holding SCHLIERSCHEID. The column closed rapidly on the tail forward elements in the vicinity of SIMMERN and went into position at that location awaiting completion of bridge at MARTINSTEIN to complete the crossing. Full-track Vehs forded the stream during the afternoon and continued along the axis of advance securing the towns in the rear of the leading elements. At 2115 bridge was completed enabling the crossing of the balance of CC halftracks and general purpose vehicles, including A Trains. Crossing was continued throughout the night until all elements had cleared NAHE River with the exception of 914 FA, 775 FA and B Tns which followed early 20 March.
20 In endeavoring to close on forward elements, 490 FA Bn encountered heavy enemy mortar fire at the exit of a defile which impeded their advance. Inf elements were brought up from the 355 CT and 63 AI Bn to flank the position dismounted and permit passage of the main body. CP CC A during the night was established at MEDDERSHEIM 0200. Msg from C-3 had been received ordering continued advance via new route which was communicated to the forward elements. Leading elements advanced at 0645 20 March along the new route unimpeded until heavy enemy resistance was encountered at DANNENFELS M1514. Rear elements initiated movement at the same time endeavoring to close on the forward positions, and had succeeded in closing column by the time this resistance was encountered. AT guns, road block and Inf made up enemy defense and was neutralized by TF Arty, tank fire and infantry. While the fight was going on at DANNENFELS 355 CT coiled off road awaiting movement and engaged in a fire fight with enemy positions along the high ground above the route of advance along which armored elements had passed. This resistance was quickly reduced enabling a portion of the battalion to be brought forward to clear the towns of JAKOBSWEILER M1512 and STEINBACH M1511 and secure flanks of axis in advance. Resistance having been reduced at DANNENFELS, Fwd Elms continued until contact was made with CC B at DREISEN M1911. From this point advance was again rapidly continued to MARNHEIM and ALBISHEIM M2516 where small arms and mortar fire were encountered and rapidly reduced by tank fire. A blown bridge at HARXHEIM M2815 prevented following the assigned route and TF deployed along trail paralleling stream to MONSHEIM where another blown bridge was encountered. MONSHEIM was cleared and secured by the leading Elms, while Engrs spanned the stream enabling leading elements to clear stream by 2230. Liaison was established with 4 Armd Div and movement curtailed by VOCG inasmuch as the final objective had been secured by this unit. In the interim forces to the read of the leading Elms occupied the towns of MARNHEIM and ALBISHEIM. Local security was posted in all locations. Troops rested awaiting further orders. CC A CP was established at MARNHEIM at 2130.
21 At 0030 21 March messages was sent to Division requesting orders for the following period and all units were placed on an alert commencing 0600 21 March. Early morning 21 March enemy planes overhead were fired on by our troops. Zone of responsibility for clearance was requested from Division and alert status of all units changed to two hours. Mission was assigned to 355 Inf and 63 Inf to clear towns of enemy in their vicinity while awaiting further instructions. At 1115 Ln officer returned with Division order showing boundaries and mission. Command proceeded to clear all towns in sector. 1st Bn 355 Inf reverted to 89 Div in place at 1200. A/285 Engr Bn left CC A control 1200. 33 FA Gp acting under Corps order ceased support of CC A 1400. At 1620 CP CC A cleared MARNHEIM; opened MOLSHEIM 1715 21 March. During afternoon organic troops of the command enlarged their billets and moved CP locations.
Mission of clearing Z was continued early 22 March. A/41 Cav was assigned river
Z and 63 AI Z in the west end of the sector and operations to eliminate all
enemy personnel from the area continued. A/41 Cav set up CP in ABENHEIM M3919
dispatched platoons to patrol river bank and continue clearing the area. By
1500 22 March all towns within the assigned sector of CC A were cleared of
enemy. A critique of previous operations was held at CC Hq during the afternoon
and was attended by all unit commanders.
At daybreak 23 March Ln O was sent to 4 Armd Div to secure locations of their
installations to the N of our positions for the purpose of relief by 41 Cav, to
be assigned to the command. At 1000 23 March G-3 visited CP confirmed verbal
instructions assigning 41 Cav to CC A and advising that movement would be
initiated to a point in CC sector designated by CG as ALSHEIM from which
operations along river bank could be established.
At 2155 23 March a memorandum was issued to all units giving routes, order of
march and march times for movement 24 March to new concentration area vicinity
WINTERSHEIM M3932. During the night, in compliance with Div order, patrols
maintained contact with elements of CC B at 4-hour intervals. Contact was
maintained with both flanks during the period.
25-27 During the period from 25 March through 27 March troops rested, improved billets, and maintained normal patrol activities.
27 On 27 March CC remained in vicinity WINTERSHEIM. Pending further action, maintenance period was extended to 1200 28 March. At 1430 27 March, on Div order, Cavalry Command was released to Division control. At 2030 A Co 705 TD Bn was released to 3d Cav effective as of 2400. Division Operations Memorandum No. 45 received at 2230 reassigned troops to the CC as follows: 63 AI Bn, 42 Tk Bn, A/56 Engr, A/81 Med, C/575 AA, A/41 Cav, A 245 Engr. 490 FA DS, 193 FA Gp GS (Composed of 274 FA and 176 FA). On receipt of the memorandum all elements of the command were placed on a 1-hour alert status as of noon 28 March.
28 Commanders were assembled at 0845 March and issued verbal order for movement, later confirmed by FO #17. An urgent telephone message from G-3 moved the alert time to 1100 and provided that the CC would cross the center bridge at OPPENHEIM in XII Corps zone. The 261 Regtl (- 1 Inf Bn) CT was to support operations of CC A and move behind the command as available. On crossing the RHINE CC A would move north to cross the MAIN River and continue the attack. At 1130 A Tr 41 Cav initiated movement as the first element of the CC. At 1215 Commander of the 261 CT visited the CP and arrangements were made to coordinate communications and utilize his force when it became available. At 1230 first elements of Force AHEE moved out and all units followed by liaison. FO #17 governing the movement divided the troops on the following basis:
A 41 Cav
CO AHEE CO BRADY
Co 42 Tk Co 42 Tk
Co 63 AI Co 63 AI
Btry 490 FA Btry 274 FA
A/56 Engr (-1 Plat) 63 AI (-)
Plat C/245 Engr Plat A/56 (-)
42 Tk Bn (-) A/245 (-1 Plat)
Plat A/705 TD Plat A/705 TD
490 AFA (-) 274 FA (-)
Btry 176 FA Bal 193 FA Hq
Hq CCA A Trns
C/575 (-) B Trns
Plat 705 TD
Hq 193 FA Gp (-)
CP CC A cleared WINTERSHEIM at 1305. En route at 1330 orders were received for trains to remain between the RHINE and MAIN crossings for the night. Immediately thereafter at 1345 further information received to the effect that the bridge north of BISCHOFSHEIM was not ready for use and that the column should be coiled off the road South of that point. At 1455 orders were received to proceed as far north of the MAIN River as possible as soon as the bridge became available and that the entire division would follow on that route. At 1600 column began to coil. Elements of A/41 Cav were ferried across the MAIN River to reconnoiter projected route.
At 1720 Division messenger informed CG CC A that XX Corps had ordered command to remain in place awaiting instructions. All units were closed in vicinity and CP CCA was established at RJ M486514. At 2020 message from G-3 stated that 261 CT, which had not left is original bivouac, reverted to 65 Inf Div and that the entire 11 Armd Div was assigned to XII Corps. Warning order was issued to all units to be prepared to move at 0530 29 March or earlier. Command was alerted for early movement. At 2205 message was received from CG stating that CC should be prepared to march on HANAU immediately and closely following receipt of message, G-3 arrived in the CP with a route sketch. G-3 informed Command that 193 FA Gp reverted to XX Corps and that support would be established by 183 FA Gp which would join CC A column on the road prior to morning. All units were alerted immediately and at 0015 29 March Force AHEE was moving.
elements of the command followed closely behind marching by blackout and
closing 0500 vicinity CR M821640.
0800 March A Co 42 Tk Bn was moved to vicinity ROTHENBERGEN to support Force
BRADY. Attack has been resumed by BRADY in that town at 0615 utilizing
dismounted infantry. Attachments of additional infantry had been requested from
Division. A Co of 63 AI attached to Force AHEE was placed under BRADY control
and A Co 42 Tk had been alerted for possible movement to support BRADY.
Resistance was encountered immediately both in ROTHENBERGEN and to the south by
Cavalry elements. ROTHENBERGEN was cleared of enemy by 0810 and advance
confirmed to LIEBLOS against little resistance. At 1120 notification was
received that 55 Inf would be attached to the command for the operation. At
1135 CO 55 AI Bn visited GP and was ordered forward to operate in conjunction
0530 31 March cavalry moved out on the new axis followed one hour later by
leading elements of Force AHEE. Route followed initially was the axis covered
previously by the 41 Cav Sq (-). The Comd proceeded rapidly passing through
friendly elements at BREITENBORN until at 0730 road blocks and small arms fire
were met at WITTENGENBORN. The road block was cleared and resistance
neutralized by 0820. Advance was continued at once through SPIELBERG and
STREITBURG until moderate resistance was met in the form of AT, mortar, AW and
SA fire at HELLSTEIN at 1015. By 1115 the town had been cleared and the advance
renewed through UDENHAIN. At 1145 AT and mortar fire were met at
KATHOLESCHWILLENROTH. The town was cleared by 1230 and the advance again
continued through ECKARDAROTH, ROMSTHAL, KERBERSDORF and SARROD. Next
resistance was met at ULMBACH at 1400 and reduced by 1445. The advance again
continued through KRESSENBACH and BREITENBACH. En route leading tanks quickly took
under fire and destroyed an enemy tank and SP gun at 1510. AT, mortar, SA fire
and two enemy tanks were encountered at WALLROTH and MULDORF. Numerous enemy
infantry in town and sniper fire from woods necessitated street and
house-to-house fighting. With the aid of direct support and artillery fire the
towns were cleared by 1600. At 1615 a force was detached from TF AHEE and sent
to HINTERSTEINAU for NW flank protection. Meanwhile the balance of the CC
closed rapidly behind Force AHEE concentrating at BREITENBACH 245983 where CP
CC A was opened at 1850. Plans were made for the continuance of the advance on
the following day.
OUR OWN FORCES ENEMY FORCES
KIA 53 PWs 3158
WIA 137 Killed & Wounded 982
10 Med Tks 11 Tks, 3 Mk VI
2 Lt Tks 27 AT Guns
10 Half Trucks 1 SP Gun
2 Ό T 8 Nebelwerfers
7 Tks 9 Arty Pieces
1 105 How 120 Horses
1 Ammo Dump
1 105 How Horse drawn
Numerous cars, wagons, trucks, motorcycles, small arms, automatic weapons
W.A. HOLBROOK JR
Brig Gen USA
HEADQUARTERS COMBAT COMMAND A
APO 261, U.S. ARMY
16 May 1945
SUBJECT: Action Against the Enemy for Period 1 April 8 May 1945
TO: Commanding General, 11th Armored Division
1. The following report is submitted of the action of CC A against the enemy for the period of 1 April 8 May 45, as required by AR 345-105, C3.
1 On 1 April 1945 CC A was located in the vicinity of BREITENBACH, Germany. Mission of the command was to continue the advance to the east as an integral part of the XII Corps attack towards ARNSTADT. The seizure of ARNSTADT itself was assigned to this command. Composition of CC A was as follows:
A & B Cos 42 Tk Bn
A & B Cos 63 AI
Btry 490 FA Bn
A/56 Engr (-1 Plat)
Plat A/133 Engr
42 Tk Bn (-)
Plat A/705 TD Bn
490 AFA Bn (-)
Hq Gp (Hq CCA, C/575 (-) AA Bn
58 FA Bn
63 AI Bn (-)
Plat A/56 Engr
A/133 Engr (-)
Movement of the command commenced at 0815 1 April when A/41 Cav cleared its bivouac. The balance of the command followed at 0915. In accordance with Division Operations Memo 31 March, initial movement was made behind Reserve Command. The greater part of the day there was no enemy contact inasmuch as both CC B and CC R were preceding the head of CC A column. At 1237 service elements were attacked by infantry in the vicinity of WALLROTH Coord 250010. Troops from 41 Cav Rcn Sq following were dispatched to their assistance and the enemy attack neutralized.
At 1747 advance elements reached HILDERS 603215 at which point the route diverged from that of CC B and CC R. From this point on the advance continued rapidly against light and scattered resistance through eight towns, until darkness. By 2130 all troops were assembled in the towns of REICHENHAUSEN, ERBENHAUSEN and FRANKENHEIM with CC A CP in FRANKENHEIM. During the day total distance traveled was 64 miles, the last 14 of which were made against scattered resistance. Troops were informed that the advance would continue the following morning with all compositions unchanged.
2 At 0745 a message was received from CG 11 Armd Div restraining advance east of vertical grid line 86 and assigning the mission of seizing and holding high ground west of the WERRA River. The advance continued through the towns of SCHAFHAUSEN, GERTHAUSEN, HELM RSHAUSEN, WOHLMUTHAUSEN, BETTENHAUSEN, GIELMERSHAUSEN and RITSCHENHAUSEN against very light resistance. At OBERMASSFELD scattered enemy infantry, AW, and small arms fire were met. Bridges across the WERRA River were secured and the high ground seized, completing the assigned mission at 1115. UNTERMASSFELD was cleared and organized by 1330. Both UNTERMASSFELD and OBERMASSFELD received heavy interdictory nebelwerfer fire throughout the afternoon. In these two towns, two Allied PW camps were found and approximately 700 Allied PWs were liberated. At 1535 message was received from Division ordering the continuation of CC advance to SUHL immediately. Reorganization for movement was commenced but at 1708 change of orders was received calling for continuance of advance early 3 April. Troops were relieved from alert for movement and a reinforced infantry company was sent to VACHDORF with the mission of seizing and holding the bridge at that location to insure the success of the following days operation. This mission was completed successfully at 2015. 21 miles were gained during the day. At 2000 FO #18 was issued covering the attack and seizure of SUHL.
3 At 0600 the cavalry moved forward followed an hour later by the advance task force. The towns of BELRIETH, VACHDORF, MARISFELS, OBSTADT, GRUB, EICHENBERG, BISCHOFRED, BUHLER neundorf were all cleared of enemy by 0920. Emerging from the heavy woods south of SUHL, the attack on the town itself consisted of three coordinated columns which had to be funneled into only two axes due to the limited road net and the unfavorable terrain. Initial resistance was heavy but progressed from moderate to light by late afternoon. Originally the leading elements were attacked with some AT and considerable artillery, bazooka, AW and small arms fire. The enemy opposition was more enthusiastic than well organized since the force consisted largely of Volksturm augmented by a few regular army personnel mostly on leave or convalescent. The town proved considerably larger than map reconnaissance had indicated and some house-to-house fighting was required all through the town. By 1630 the southern half of the town had been cleared and organized so that the entire command could move by the heavy woods and enter the town for the night. Forces were reorganized to give control of the street fighting to the infantry commander the following day by the reassignment of A and C Cos of 42 Tk Bn and A and C Cos of 63 Armd Inf Bn to Task Force BRADY. The attack on SUHL was noteworthy for the first extensive contact of the command with the Volksturm and the discovery of numerous small arm factories. CP CC A closed in the city by 1930 and the entire command was assembled by 2130.
4 During the night extensive local security was maintained and at 0600 4 April clearing of the town was continued and maintained throughout the balance of the day. A total of 9 small arms factories were located in and around SUHL and guards set up on the installations. At 1000 a small task force consisting of Co B 63 AI Bn, Co B 42 Tk Bn, 1 Plat 41 Cav Rcn Sq under command of Major SHEALY was sent forward to clear route from SUHL to ELGERSBERG. Enemy was encountered 1 Km SE of LAUTER consisting of SA, AW, snipers and dug-in infantry. Flanking action was initiated and the resistance eliminated by 1500. By 1700 mission was completed and the task force recalled. During the day CG CC A flew to Division Hq to confer with CG 11 Armd Div regarding disposition of civilian population in SUHL and continuation of further operations to the east. As a result of this conference and Division Operations Memo No. 50, CC A was assigned a new mission of seizing and securing STUTZERBACH, patrolling to the east after clearing enemy in zone and protecting south flank of the division. Oral orders were issued at 2050 establishing two small forces under the commands of Major Pickett and Major Shealy and a reserve force under the command of Lt Col Brady. Major Picketts force was given the mission of taking SCHMIEDERFELD and Major Shealys STUTZERBACH while the balance of the command continued the organization and guarding of installations in SUHL. Due to the limited road net, it was necessary for both forces to proceed initially on same route.
5 At 0700 5 April Task Force PICKETT leading moved out through LAUTER and GOLD LAUTER until contact was established at a roadblock 1 Km E of GOLDLAUTER. Roadblock was heavily defended by dug-in infantry, mortars, nebelwerfer and small arms fire. Task Force SHEALY was forced by terrain to halt in position behind TF PICKETT. Resistance proved extremely well organized and it was necessary to coordinate the element of both task forces which could be dismounted in order to outflank the enemy defenses. Action proceeded slowly against a succession of roadblocks and well held machine gun positions all under a steady rain of nebelwerfer fire. By VOCG a small containing force was left opposing the enemy in zone and the bulk of both task forces returned to SUHL.
During the 4th, 5th, and 6th April the Cavalry Command, under control of
CC A, had been active on the mission of securing the Divisions south flank.
Operating south of the heavy woods in the vicinity of SUHL, a line had been
established from the outskirts of THEMAR through BISCHOFRED to SCHLEUSINGEN
which was occupied at 1810 6 April by a Rcn Tr, A Tk Plat, and a TD Plat.
A/63 AI Bn
Plat A/56 Engr
Support Wpns Hq 42 Tk Bn
A Btry 490 FA Bn
B/42 Tk Bn
B/63 AI Bn
Plat A/41 Cav
Plat A/56 Engr
Support Wpns Hq 63 AI Bn
Plat 41 Cav
C/63 AI Bn
C/42 Tk Bn
Plat 56 Engr Bn
Plat 705 TD Bn
490 FA Bn (-)
The remainder of the artillery was directly under 183 Gp control. Plan of operations was for the three forces to operate on separate routes, TF AHEE to proceed initially to capture THEMAR on the right flank, TF SHEALY to capture SCHLEUSINGEN on the left flank, and TF BRADY to use a central route of advance followed by all other elements of the command in a direct attack on HILDBURGHAUSEN.
7 Guards on installations in SUHL were relieved by elements of 26 Inf Div prior to initiating movement. Cavalry elements moved out at 0700 7 April followed 30 minutes later by the balance of the command on the separate routes assigned. At 0715 information was received from CO 41 Cav Rcn Sq to the effect that an entire platoon of B Troop Cav was ambushed and captured during the night while guarding bridge at SCHLEUSINGEN. Information was relayed to TF SHEALY so that every effort could be made to recapture personnel. By 0930 TF AHEE on the right had reached and was attacking THEMAR, TF SHEALY on the left was attacking SCHLEUSINGEN and the central force under BRADY was within 4 miles of HILDBURGHAUSEN. All forces were opposed. Opposition in THEMAR and SCHLEUSINGEN consisted principally of S/A and bazooka fire from infantry in the cellars and houses of the town. On the route to HILDBURGHAUSEN some AT fire, considerable artillery fire and various types of booby traps and mines were encountered. The bridge at EBENHARDS had been destroyed by the enemy and necessitated installation of treadway which was completed by 1630. Fighter bomber support was used extensively throughout the day, especially on the approaches to the main objective of HILDBURGHAUSEN.
SCHLEUSINGEN having been cleared by 1630, TF SHEALY was ordered to move west to the central route utilized by the task force in the attack on HILDBURGHAUSEN and assisted this attack. Resistance in THEMAR proved more stubborn and TF AHEE was therefore ordered to complete clearing of the town and outpost it for the night in preparation for the arrival of Division Hq the following day. HILDBURGHAUSEN itself was entered at 1700 and clearing of the town proceeded rapidly. Operations continued beyond the usual hour for daylight but were facilitated by illumination afforded by the brightly burning buildings in the western part of the town. By 2200 all units of the command had closed and the CP of CC A was set up in HILDBURGHAUSEN. Force AHEE remained in THEMAR and B Tr 41 Cav protected the south flank at TETHIES. During the day the command succeeded in clearing THEMAR, KIAST VESSRA, EHRENBURG, SIEGRITZ, EBENHARDS, MASSELRICH, HILDBURGHAUSEN and SCHLEUSINGEN. TF SHEALY in its attack on SCHLEUSINGEN had recaptured all personnel of Plat of B/41 Cav which had been taken the previous day by the enemy.
8 On 8 April a systematic clearance of the balance of HILDBURGHAUSEN was renewed and the elements of the command located in THEMAR were moved to HILDBURGHAUSEN. At 1201 orders were received from C-3 to establish contact with elements of 26 Inf Div at RAPPELSDORF and a few minutes later additional orders were received to occupy the town of GERHARDTS GEREUTH. A force was constituted consisting of C/42 Tk, C/63 AI, 1st Plat A/56 Engr, 1st Plat B/41 Cav under command of Major Pickett which moved out on its mission at 1400. No enemy resistance was encountered and the mission of occupying GERHARDTS GEREUTH was completed at 1800 and contact established with 101 Regt 26 Inf Div on the north at RAPPELSDORF by 1940. Patrols were established to Reserve Command position west of CC A CP and contact established with CC B on the south.
9 On 9 April patrols were continued, maintenance initiated and guards maintained on important installations in HILDBURGHAUSEN. Warning orders were received from Division covering a continuation of the advance to the E and SE on order with troops reconstituted so that 22 Tk Bn and 55 AI Bn would be assigned to CC A command. At 1900 previous instructions for continuation of maintenance were cancelled and all units prepared for movement early 10 April. At 2100 assembled unit commanders were issued FO #19. Due to the rapid change in instructions from higher headquarters, constitution of the CC as regards major elements was left unchanged. Composition of troops under provisions of FO #19 were as follows:
A/41 Cav 490 FA Bn (-)
Plat A/56 Engrs
183 FA Gp
Plat D/42 945 FA Bn
A & B Cos 42 Tk Bn
63 AI Bn (-C Co) D/42 Tk (-)
A/56 (-1 Plat)
Btry 276 AFA Bn Hq Co CCA
Plat A/705 TD Bn
C/575 AA Bn (-)
276 FA (-)
Plat A/705 TD Bn
42 Tk Bn (-)
C/63 AI A Tns
Btry 490 FA
Plat A/705 TD Bn
Hq Gp CCA
At 0605 10 April A/41 Cav Reinf moved out as scheduled followed an hour later by Force BRADY. No opposition was met until advance elements encountered dug-in infantry approximately 1 Km E of OBERLAUTER. At VELLSDORF a bridge had collapsed from being overloaded but the column proceeded without delay over a by-pass. An undefended roadblock had been removed in OBERLAUTER. Rcn elements were relieved by Force BRADY at 1100 and the advance continued. At WOHLSBACH A/41 reinf bypassed a blown bridge and found an extensive abates and a defended roadblock. Further reconnaissance uncovered dug-in infantry to the south and southeast and force AHEE was brought forward to engage the enemy. A/41 reinf continued its advance and by 1330 had cleared three small settlements in the area east of WOHLSBACH. In order to accomplish CC A mission of establishing a block across main road at 365944, A/41 had been reinforced by 1 Plat A/705 TD and 1 Plat of D/42 Tk. Engineer elements were left at site of blown bridge at WOHLSBACH and had completed installation of a treadway by 1445. By 1550 two elements of A/41 Reinf completed roadblocks as ordered. At 1730 Force AHEE was given mission of seizing and occupying UNTERLAUTER. By 1800 the town was occupied, cleared and outposted for defense. One Plat C/42 Tk and 1 Plat C/63 were left at OBERLAUTER to secure and protect positions of 490 FA Bn. All units had closed in vicinity WOHLBACH, OBERLAUTER, and UNTERLATUER by 2015 with CP CC A at OBERLAUTER. Defensive positions were organized and roadblocks were maintained.
10 The command had marched approximately 19 miles during the day. Planes were utilized whenever suitable targets were available, strikes being made at UNTERLAUTER, NEUSTADT, and COBURG. At 2100 10 April emissaries from COBURG Castle arrived with a request to evacuate 300 women and children refugees said to be resident there. The incident was reported to Division and permission granted to permit the evacuation on the morning and permission granted to permit the evacuation on the morning of 11 April.
At 0900 11 April the surrender of COBURG and COBURG Castle was proffered by two
emissaries. Fire of both combat commands was immediately ordered to cease and
planes were withdrawn from attack pending final arrangements. By 1030 the town
and castle had surrendered and civilians were proceeding to remove roadblocks.
A/41 Cav 22 Tk Bn (-) D/22 Tk (-)
Plat A/56 Engr Rif Co 55 AI Bn
Plat D/22 Tk Bn Adv Btry 490 FA Bn Hq Co CCA (-)
Plat A/705 TD Bn C/575 AA Bn (-)
HEARN Hq Gp CCA Plat A/705 TD
2 Med Cos 22 Tk
55 AI Bn (-1 Rif Co) 490 FA (-) A Tns
A/56 Engr (-1 Plat)
Adv Btry 276 FA Bn 183 FA Gp C/133 Engr
Plat A/705 TD Bn
945 FA Bn As available in support)
276 FA (-)
At 0615 12 April Force WEINAND moved out followed an hour later by Force
HEARN. Resistance was light, consisting of scattered enemy infantry and one
enemy tank destroyed at 433886. At 1300 Force WEINAND was reducing a defended
roadblock at the north entrance to KUPS, part of CC A objective for the day,
while Force HEARN cleared woods 3 Km to north and Force WINGARD cleared towns
and woods along the route of advance behind the leading force.
13 Force WEINAND and HEARN moved out as scheduled 13 April. Resistance was light and scattered by progress was impeded by occasional undefended roadblocks and a weak road net. Advance elements of Force HEARN had reached KULMBACH by 1140 and were later assisted by B Troop 41 Cav in clearing the town. Meanwhile Force WEINAND was reconnoitering routes north and northeast of UNTER STEINACH while Force WINGARD cleared STADTSTEINACH. Two platoons of A/56 Engr, part of Force HEARN at KULMBACH, were sent to UNTER STEINACH to reinforce WEINAND. CP CC A was opened at 1607 at STADTSTEINACH. During the day enemy air shot down artillery observation plane of 183 FA Gp killing two men. Plans were made to continue the attack 14 April but at 2230 a message was received from division ordering command to remain in place and concentrate on maintenance. All units were informed and maintenance activity commenced early 14 April.
14-17 During the period of 14-17 April command performed maintenance and guarded captured military installations in the area. As of 0800 17 April 490 FA Bn was relieved from DS CC A and reverted to control of Reserve Command. B/41 Cav reverted to parent unit in place 0700 17 April. New orders were received from Division and a memorandum was issued units giving order of march to concentration area vicinity NEUDROSSENFELD as follows: A/41 Cav, A/56 Engr, 22 Tk Force (WINGARD), A/705 TD (-), C/575 AA (-), 183 FA Gp, 945 FA Bn, A/81 Med Bn, A Tns (-), 55 AI Force (HEARN), 276 FA.
18 Movement was to take place early 18 April but initiation of movement was delayed because of road priorities to other units moving in the same general direction. Notification was received from G-3 that movement of the command was also contingent upon relief of guard being maintained in STADTSTEINACH, UNTER STEIMACH, and KULMBACH.
At 1015 18 April Division Operations Memorandum 55 was received which gave CC A mission of advancing along Axis A as soon as after daylight 19 April as practicable to seize objectives in zone. This memorandum also attached 41 Cav (- Tr D) in place as of 0600 19 April with mission of protecting the north flank of the division and maintaining contact with 26 Inf Division. At 1300 CO of 27 AA Bn arrived in CC A CP at STADTSTEINACH to discuss details concerning relief of guards on various installations in the area for which the command had been responsible. Relief at STADTSTEINACH was completed at 1500 and at KULMBACH by 1800. Movement of the command to the new concentration area in vicinity ALTDROSSENFELD started at 1300. During the movement a message was received from Division ordering the command to use what had been designated as Red Axis A to seize GRAFENWOHR 19 April. CP CC A opened at ALTDROSSENFELD and at 1800 assembled commanders were issued FO #21 which organized forces in order of march as follows:
A/41 Cav 55 AI
Plat A/56 Engr A/22 Tk
Plat A/705 TD Plat A/705 TD
Hq Gp CCA
Adv Btry 276 FA
41 Cav (-A, B Trs) 276 FA (-) Bn
22 Tk Bn (-A Co) 183 FA Gp
B, C 55 AI Bn
A/56 Engr (-1 Plat) 945 FA Bn
Adv Btry 490 FA
D/22 Tk (-)
490 AFA Bn (-) Hq Co CCA
C/575 AA (-) Plat A/705 TD
41 Cav (-) was to protect N flank and rear of the command and maintain contact with 26 Inf Div.
At 0600 A/41 Reinf (WEINAND) moved out of its bivouac area. Progress was rapid until a blown bridge was encountered at NEUNKIRCHEN. A suitable bypass was found over another bridge 1 mile West of SEULBITE and the advance continued meeting only light resistance at IRRESAU 9052 and at KIRCHENLAIBACH where Force WINGARD closed behind Force WEINAND. At 1200 advance elements of Force WINGARD were entering and rapidly clearing the town. During this period 41 Cav (-) was moving along the north flank of the command and at 1200 established contact with elements of 26 Inf Div 2 Kms E of DEPS 7962. Beyond KIRCHENLAIBACH little opposition was encountered by Force WINGARD and at 1550 Advance elements were entering GRAFENWOHR against little SA fire.
19 Contact was immediately made with the former police chief to induce the entire town to surrender. Light resistance continued and mopping up operations were coordinated with CC B. While this operation was in progress Force HEARN worked in the rear areas and completed clearing of PRESSATH. 41 Cav (-) worked its way toward PRESSATH where a CP was established. CP CC A closed at GRAFENWOHR and all units were closed in PRESSATH or GRAFENWOHR by 2040. At 2238 a message was received from Division ordering command to consolidate positions and not to continue advance until 20 April.
20 Early 20 April 2 Inf Cos from Force HEARN cleared woods between PRESSATH and GRAFENWOHR while elements of Force WINGARD rechecked houses at GRAFENWOHR. A/41 Cav was given mission of reconnoitering routes to the south, and 41 Cav (-) was given mission to reconnoiter area to the N and E of CC A proposed route. Routine reconnaissance and maintenance occupied the command the remainder of the day and early 21 April.
21 At 1100 21 April orders were received for command to clear an area 5 Km north and east and 5 Kms north and west of GRAFENWOHR. Elements of the 55 AI Bn were dispatched on this mission at 1300. Instructions also were received regarding continuation of attack on 22 April. In order to secure favorable positions for early movement the following day, 41 Cav (-) with 276 FA attached was ordered to move out by 1500 to seize PARKSTEIN, and to reconnoiter and mark routes from PRESSATH to PARKSTEIN. By 1640 forward elements of 41 Cav (-) had passed PARKSTEIN, where friendly troops had been reported, and were moving on toward NEUSTADT. No resistance was met and by 1940 NEUSTADT was occupied. The road from PARKSTEIN to NEUSTADT was reported as being suitable for elements of the command. FO #22 was issued covering operations 22 April. Composition of forces remained unchanged. Mission of the command was to attack east and then south early 22 April to seize successfully NEUSTADT, WEIDEN, and NABBURG, the first named objective having been taken by 41 Cav (-).
22 Force WINGARD was moving toward IP at GRAFENWOHR at 0630 22 April while 41 (-) moved from its bivouac area at NEUSTADT. From NEUSTADT to LUHE. A/41 reinf and 41 Cav (-) marched on parallel routes. Force WEINAND (A/41 Cav reinf) reduced two road blocks at 183325 and one at 187339. 41 Cav (-), protecting left flank of the command, reduced two road blocks at WEIDEN and by 0830 was moving into the town, at which time Force WINGARD passed through cavalry screen. Resistance at WEIDEN was light although a major problem was encountered in the handling of over 1600 liberated Allied PWs. Force WINGARD reduced another roadblock at the S edge of WEIDEN at 0940. During the advance 41 Cav (-) contacted elements of the 90 Inf Div 2 Kms west of NEUSTADT. At 1005 A/41 Cav reinf, reconnoitering main axis of advance, encountered a defended road block at the center of ROTHEN TADT P1273 and an air OP reported another road block at the south edge of town. By 1125 the town was cleared. While A/41 reinf was reconnoitering the main route of advance Force WINGARD and HEARN cleared resistance in WEIDEN. Orders were received from Division at 1240 to continue mission immediately and disregard situation in WEIDEN; that elements of the 26 Inf Div would effect relief as rapidly as possible. A token force consisting of 1 Platoon of tanks and 1 Platoon of infantry remained at WEIDEN until relief was completed. A/41 Cav Reinf seized bridges intact at LUHE where Force WINGARD bypassed cavalry elements and continued south, passing through WERNBERG by 1510. Force HEARN mopped up behind Force WINGARD. Resistance consisted of scattered SA and sniper fire. Advance elements of Force WINGARD were at PFREIMD at 1630. Abutments to the bridge at PFREIMD were blown and weakened so that only light loads could be carried and arrangements were made to install a Bailey. At 1745 an emissary from NABBURG advanced toward our leading elements south of PFREIMD bearing a white flag. The town surrendered. CC A CP closed for the night at PFREIMD. Troops were organized for the night in vicinity NABBURG and PFREIMD, all units being closed by 0150 23 April. The command had marched approximately 36 miles, seizing assigned objectives. At 2345 22 April a message was received from Division ordering continuation of the advance to the fourth objective, CHAM, as soon after daylight as practicable 23 April. There was no change in organization of forces.
Force WEINAND moved out along axis of advance at 0615 and by 0645 was at
WILHOF having captured 154 PWs. No resistance was met. Reconnaissance disclosed
that the proposed route east of PERTOLZHOFEN was unsuitable for following elements
and a new route was reconnoitered to the north and east through NIEDER MURACH
and then back to the original route. Progress was hindered by the necessity for
controlling the large number of Allied PWs liberated in the area NIEDER MURACH
WINKLARN HAAG. At 1210 A/41 Cav reinf met slight resistance from a small
fleeing column at U4796, at which point Force WINGARD passed through the
cavalry screen. In the meaintime 41 Cav (-) was covering the left flank of the
command and at 1400 was two Kms NE of WINKLARN. At the same time A/41 Cav reinf
was 2 Km NW of PEMPLING, again leading Force WINGARD. By 1450 Force WEINAND was
reducing a defended roadblock at the north edge of CHAM, CC A joint objective
for the day. At 1658 an order was received from G-3 to attempt seizure of the
bridge at MILTACH U6674 with cavalry elements. Force WEINAND was dispatched on
this mission immediately but found that a main road marked on the map did not
exist on the ground. A route S of CHAM was then reconnoitered and the mission completed
by 2330. A route south of CHAM was then reconnoitered and the mission completed
24 At 0800 24 April commanders were assembled in the CP and given verbal order covering march and designating areas to be cleared. At 1225 order was received from Division to disregard clearing mission and move out at once, but because of bad roads and length of proceeding columns, movement of CC A was delayed until 1300. In addition, CCB traffic had broken up the designated route so badly that a new route had to be reconnoitered from CHAM to MILTACH. Because the command was at the tail of an entire CC plus Division troops, progress was extremely slow, advance elements being at VIECHTACH by 1500. CCB discovered the bridge at REGEN to be blown and as a result 41 Cav Sq was sent out to reconnoiter an alternate route from PATERSDORF NW to BODENMAIS. All elements less the cavalry closed at VIECHTACH for the night. At 2020 41 Cav discovered an extensive roadblock 1 mile west of BODENMAIS. Three hours later the block had been removed and troops entered the town. No resistance was encountered and a bridge in the vicinity was captured intact. Plans were made for continuation of the attack on 25 April.
25 Advance cavalry elements moved out at 0600 25 April and at 0700 wre at LANGDORF meeting slight resistance. Remainder of the command stayed in VIECHTACH until condition of roads had been accurately determined. One Km west of ZWIESEL the road was discovered to be impassable because of extensive bomb craters. No bypasses were available and it was necessary to retrace movement to PATERSDORF and follow CCB main route of advance beyond REGEN. Movement of the main body was resumed and at 1245 Force WINGARD had reached PATERSDORF. Beyond REGEN progress was again rapid after the tail of CCB column had cleared and CC A continued its advance toward the north and east. At SCHWARZACH Q1150 advance elements of A/41 Cav reinf ran into an enemy column which was immediately taken under fire. Approximately 80 enemy were killed, 40 PWs taken and an undetermined number of vehicles destroyed. By 1640 A/41 Cav had cleared GRAFENAU Q1444 and was clearing NEUDORF 2 ½ Kms SE. Progress was unimpeded except for a succession of road blocks and A/41 had secured bridge across the RESCH River and was in position for the night in vicinity KREUZBERG by 2000. All other troops were in defensive positions around GRAFENAU being closed by 0430 26 Apr. Advance was to be continued 26 April with no change in forces except that cavalry elements were to remain in place at KREUZBERG.
At 0110 a message was received from Division ordering continuation of
advance 26 April and at 0800 elements of Force WINGARD started moving. Progress
was rapid until a bridge was found destroyed at FREYUNG. A bypass suitable for
tracked vehicles was immediately reconnoitered and installation of a treadway
bridge begun. After Force WINGARD and supporting artillery had crossed, the
bypass broke down and the column was delayed several hours until a suitable
bridge could be installed for wheeled vehicles. Except for the blown bridge at
FREYUNG progress was rapid. By 1250 Force WINGARD had reached UNTERGRAINET and
a reinforced patrol had pushed 2 Km east. The patrol met no resistance until it
reached LACKERSHAUSEN where a force of Hitler Jugen was encountered. This was
considered a diversion and the patrol pushed on toward the Austrian border. A
token force was sent across the bridge 1 mile east of LACKERSHAUSEN and touched
Austrian soil at 1810. Mission was completed and the reinforced patrol rejoined
the main force at UNTERGRAINET.
27 During 27 April Force HEARN sent a patrol consisting of 1 Plat Inf, 1 Plat Tks to reconnoiter routes south and east. No suitable routes were found. C/41 Cav crossed the Czech border near BISCHOFSREUT 3946. No resistance was met and no suitable routes were found. Remainder of the command performed maintenance and rested.
At 0700 28 April Division Operations Memo #61 was received showing
tentative routes and objectives toward SE. Patrols were immediately sent out to
reconnoiter routes as follows: At 0800 1 Inf Plat, 1 Tk Plat from Force WINGARD
reconnoitered routes from FREYUNG NE along main road as far as Q3749; 1 Inf
Plat, 1 Tk Plat, and 1 Plat TDs from Force HEARN was to reconnoiter routes to
WALDKIRCHEN Q3031 then east as far as BREITENBERG Q4529; I & R Plat was to
move to positions Q302376 and Q288375 to establish temporary Ops and observe to
the southwest. By 1100 WINGARD patrol reached the outskirts of KENSVART,
Austria Q3751 having met no resistance on route. Enemy were observed in this
vicinity but our troops did not enter the town. HEARN patrol reported light
resistance from woods WEIBREITEMBERG Q4529. 40 PWs were taken. Three members of
the patrol were wounded and 1 TD was hit.
C/41 Cav Reinf with 1 Plat TD moved out to reconnoiter NE, and two
WINGARD patrols (composition 1 Plat Inf, 1 Plat Tks) reconnoitered routes to
the southeast. A message was received from Division that SS troops with tanks
were threatening an attack from vicinity KREUZBERG. G-3 relayed orders that
command was to alert at least 1 Co Tks and 1 Co Inf for immediate movement to
FREYUNG to meet the threat. This force, augmented by 1 Btry 276 FA, under the
command of Major BLALOCK, left at 1300. At 1605 TF BLALOCK was at KREUZBERG
having met no resistance. Force CRABHILL (1 Co 55 AI, 1 Co 22 Tk, Plat A/56
Engrs, Plat A/705 FB and 276 FA Bn plus Btry 945 FA (155mm) moved to
concentration area vicinity WOLDABERG followed by C/41 Cav reinf on return from
reconnaissance mission to the NE.
C/41 Cav Reinf moved out from its bivouac area vicinity at WOLLABERG as
scheduled and by 0920 Adv Elms were 2 Kms north of WEGSCHEID Q4518 meeting
sniper fire and dug-in infantry. Force HEARN moved in with dismounted infantry
supported by tanks to clear woods NE of town. On probing the flanks resistance
was found to be extensive and well organized supported by strategically placed
AT guns and light artillery. Five of our tanks were knocked out. Artillery was
immediately brought forward to cover the ridges and woods and to overcome
resistance in the town. Because of the ruggedness of the terrain, tanks could
not be used effectively and resistance had to be overcome chiefly by infantry
and artillery. Weather conditions were such that air support was unavailable
during the day. Attack of Force HEARN was successful and the town was completely
cleared at 2130. CP CC A closed for the night at KASBURG Q4420. At 2030 an FM
message had been relayed from CG 11 Armored Division stating that higher Hq was
very desirous of continuing attack as far as possible toward final objective,
LINZ, on 1 May. Commanders were issued the following order for next days
At 0630 Force HEARN jumped off and by 0740 advance elements were at
Q496190 where C/41 Cav reinf passed through. A road block was removed at
KOLLERSCHLAG Q4849 and by 1000 advance elements were approaching BELLSTEIN from
which six personnel carriers and approximately 200 enemy were observed
withdrawing. Road blocks and narrow streets in the town proper prevented heavy
vehicles from passing through. Three 500-lb bombs were removed from the bridge
which had been secured intact. As soon as the obstacles had been removed the
attack continued and by 1425 advance elements were meeting stiff resistance in
woods 2 ½ Km southeast of town consisting of AT and SA fire. Resistance was
reduced and by 1630 infantry elements from Force HEARN were clearing DIENDORF.
Progress was slowed by a defended road block on the east edge of town and by
two 88mm dual purpose guns that were destroyed but by 1740 the town had been
cleared and the attack continued toward GEPPING. CG 11 Armored Division had
ordered that the main road 1 Km E of town be cut in preparation for operations
the following day. After a 3-battalion artillery preparation the town offered
no resistance and by 1830 the main N-S road 1 Km E had been out, completing
mission. CP CC A closed at PEILSTEIN for the night.
At 020600 C/41 Cav move on prescribed route. Force HEARN move at 0730. In case cavalry meets resistance, Force HEARN to pass through picking up one platoon to join HEARN advance guard. 255 FA Bn replaced 276 AFA Bn and coiled for the nig ht in vicinity Q5022.
2 By 0740 C/41 Cav Reinf was encountering resistance approximately 1 mile north of ROHRBACH Q6016. Several 100-lb and 500-lb bombs were found in the road in this vicinity which delayed progress while being removed but by 0850 troops were entering the town. From there on progress was rapid until blown bridges were encountered on proposed route 2 Kms north of NEHFELDEN, and down the river at the town. A task force from Force WINGARD was sent NE to HESSLACH Q6417 at once to secure a possible crossing but without success. Numerous roadblocks were encountered, some defended, and four men were wounded. A ford at NEUFELDEN was prepared and tracked elements of Force HEARN were started across. The approaches required a large amount of engineer work that interfered with traffic. CP CC A opened at NEURDLING Q2113 where plans were made for enlarging the bridgehead during the night and effecting crossing of the remainder of the command early 3 May. The S-3 visited Division CP and returned with plans for a coordinated attack to be made on objectives in the vicinity of LINZ the following day. CCAs intermediate objective was to secure artillery positions in the vicinity of GRAMASTETTIN to be used to support an attack on URFAHR LINZ. CCA was to coordinate the crossing of Division artillery. Order of crossing CCA elements was to be as follows: During the night Force HEARN; starting at 0530 490 FA Bn, then, in order, C/41 Cav reinf, Force WINGARD, 945 FA Bn, Hq CCA, C/575 AA (-), Plat A/705 TD, Hq 183 Gp, Tns. Force HEARN was to enlarge bridgehead starting 0630 until C/41 Cav passed through to reconnoiter routes along main axis of advance.
During the night the MUHL River rose 18 inches making the ford almost
unusable for half-trucks and wheeled vehicles. Whether this was a result of
night rains or of an upper dam being opened was not determined. The water
receded rapidly and by 0830 all 490 FA Bn vehicles were across. At 0755 liaison
officer brought Division Operations Memo #63 confirming plans given to S-3 the
night before. By 0955 advance elements of Force HEARN, which had moved without
waiting for C/41 Cav, were at DUNZENDORF (Q6501) on the main axis of attack. On
the main road near ST MARTIN V6599 sniper fire and a road block slowed progress
but by 1230 the road block had been cleared and the cavalry was bypassing Force
HEARN. A bridge at GERLING V686971 was secured intact but the bridge on the
main road a half Km south of ROTTENEGG V7394 was destroyed within 100 yards of
tanks from Force HEARN that were being rushed down to seize the crossing. The
bridge at ROTTENEGG was destroyed also. A report was received that seven 88mm
dual purpose guns were defending WALDING, NE of ROTTENEGG. This area was
brought under artillery fire. Approach roads from the ford at NEUFELDEN to the
main route at DUNZENDORF had proved to be no more than trails, in many cases
not shown on the available maps, but movement was continuous except when it was
necessary to coil supporting forces as contact elements reduced obstacles.
The attack jumped off at 0600. Force WINGARD immediately ran into flat
trajectory fire from woods east of GRAMASTETTIN while HEARN worked slowly SE
from its positions towards WALDING. At 0855 a message was relayed from CG 11
Armd Division to have fire on LINZ by 1200. Although roads to the firing
positions were almost impassable because of precipitous grades and a primitive
road net, 945 FA Bn was able to fire its first volley on LINZ by 1155.
5 At 0515 C/41 Cav moved out from its bivouac near WALDING to reconnoiter routes and by 0658 was at a point 5 Kms from GRAMASTETTIN with a report that the road was suitable for following elements of the command. Force HEARN began moving at 0700. An emissary appeared at 55 AI Bn CP to offer surrender of the town and remaining troops. Emissary reported that bridges across the DANUBE were intact although minor bridges in the areas had been blown. Progress was rapid except for traffic difficulties with CCB near REICHENAU Q8805 and the usual poor roads and by 1000 C/41 Cav, followed by advance elements of Force WINGARD, was on high ground north of LINZ overlooking the town. No opposition had been encountered. A spearhead was pushed into the center of LINZ accompanied by CG CCA and his party, who were met by emissary bearing a white flag. Negotiations were conducted in the Town Mayors office where surrender terms were presented. LINZ surrendered without resistance. Originally it had been intended to assemble the command at ST MAGDALENE but road conditions and tactical requirements dictated that the command assemble near HELLMONSODT and REICHENAU while 26 Inf Div elements took over organization of LINZ. The main route of advance had given way under heavy traffic and rain and movement almost came to a standstill. CP CCA opened in HELLMONSODT V847025. Plans were made to push patrols NE and E on 6 May to make contact with Soviet forces if possible. Patrols were to consist of 1 Plat Inf, 1 Plat Tks, 1 Plat TDs, Plat C/41 Cav, and I Engr halftrack.
On 6, 7, and 8 May 1945 daily patrols were sent out in an attempt to contact
Soviet forces. No enemy resistance was encountered and innumerable PWs were
picked up throughout the entire area, most of them anxious to avoid contact
with the Soviet forces. Contact was not made with the Soviet forces until late
10 May, a day after hostilities in Europe had officially ceased. Mission of the
command had been completed.
PERSONNEL AND VEHICULAR LOSSES 1 APRIL 9 MAY 1945
OUR OWN FORCES
Personnel April May Total
Killed in Action 18 8 26
Wounded in Action 59 37 96
Missing in Action 22 1 23
12 Medium Tanks
1 105 How
1 Ό T Peep
Killed (Estimated) 530
PWs 9976 7101 17,077
(estimated 28,000 remaining in pocket between us and Soviets not including Hungarians)
W. A. HOLBROOK, JR.
Brig Gen USA