Beginning at 0130 hours, the enemy attacked the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion’s position at Neubruck. On 19 December, then, Dempwolff reorganized his regiments, moved artillery and rocket projectors forward, and gave his troops food and rest. The 212th Volks Grenadier Division, acting as the southern pivot for the entire German counteroffensive, would cross the Sauer in the Echternach sector and drive head on against the 12th Infantry. For example, when the German attack began on 16 December, the U.S. 7th Armored Division … The 27th Armored Battalion was deployed in the center with the 14th Tank Battalion’s Medium Tank Companies at either flank. 9. While the American counterattack pushed in against the south flank of the 915th that regiment continued to work its way southwest through the darkness, establishing an advance position on the ridge overlooking Bastendorf. The Americans fired flares onto the east bank in an attempt to discover the purpose behind the heavy concentration of German artillery, but no certain word of enemy troops reached the 109th command post at Ettelbruck until about 0900 when Company B reported that a 20-man patrol had assaulted the outpost near Hosdorf. However the final instructions to Rudder recognized the need for reliance on the commander on the ground; he was to "act according to the situation." Despite continuous counterbattery fire, the gunners had given steady and effective support whenever called upon, expending about 4,000 rounds during the two-day action. The latter was horse-drawn but expected to motorize with captured American vehicles. Hoscheid was garrisoned by part of the 110th Infantry Antitank Company, six medium tanks mounting 105-mm. They continued to delay the enemy, and along with units from the 7th Armored Division, the 112th Infantry of he 28th Infantry Division, and the 424th Infantry of the 106th Infantry Division, denied the Germans the use of the road net at St. Vith. “C” Company, 14th Tank Battalion, supported by mortar fire from the battalion’s mortar platoon, successfully counterattacked this formation. CCB, 9th Armored Division broke contact with the enemy in the St. Vith salient and made a daylight withdrawal to blocking positions set up by the XVIII Airborne Corps. The troopers were supported by six halftracks from Company A, 482d Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, mounting the deadly quadruple .50-caliber machine guns, but the half-tracks found it impossible to maneuver in the heavy woods. Contact with the three line companies was lost, but they fought on in their original positions, under orders from the battalion commander to hold their ground. When night fell they loaded on the foot soldiers and made a dash south to the 687th Field Artillery command post at Lipperscheid, where they found that the batteries were in process of displacing across the Wiltz River. This sector fronted on the Sauer River south of the junction with the Our and earlier had been held by a battalion of the 109th, WALLENDORF, VIEWED FROM REISDORF on the western side of the Sauer River, Infantry. When it came to close and mobile support for the assault Brandenberger's divisions would be in a bad way; there were only thirty assault guns in the army and half of these were with the 5th Parachute Division on the right wing. Near Brandenburg the American tank platoon destroyed four assault guns belonging to the 352d. Führen was attacked during the day by troops of the 15th Parachute Regiment, the 915th Regiment, and the 914th Regiment. Campaigns. Once the western Sauer heights between Wallendorf and Bollendorf were in hand, the advance of the 276th would turn toward the southwest, moving alongside the 212th. Part of one battalion circled into the sharp valley where the Our and Sauer meet, intending to seize Hill 402 (southwest of Bigelbach), which offered the best observation in the vicinity. Under no circumstances was he prepared to diminish the main striking force in order to build up strong protection for the German flanks during the advance east of the Meuse. The situation in the 109th area developed as follows. A task force consisting of Companies “A” and “C”, 14th Tank Battalion, the Battalion’s Reconnaissance Platoon, Company “A”(-) of 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion, and two sections “B”/482AAA, led by Company “C”, met the enemy about 1,000 yards northeast of St. Vith . Contributions from the 9th and 10th Armored Divisions, and the 28th Division’s 109th and 687th Field Artillery Battalions provided needed firepower. The 82nd Airborne asked for another Medium Tank Company at 1030 hours. Meanwhile the twenty-five men left in Company A had withdrawn from the Longsdorf road under cover of indirect fire laid down by two tanks which formed a rear guard. Finally, in two night marches the division concentrated on the east bank of the Sauer, its zone of attack defined in the north by Wallendorf (at the junction of the Our and the Sauer) and in the. 8. But the company reached Brandenburg shortly before midnight without encountering the Germans. The 352d Volks Grenadier Division had assembled two of its regiments west of Bastendorf during the previous night, leaving the 916th Regiment to occupy Diekirch as the Americans left. At 1015 hours First Army released CCB, 9th Armored Division from its attachment to the 2nd Infantry Division and attached it to the U.S. Army VIII Corps, commanded by Major General Troy Middleton. Nonetheless, Heilmann hoped that the vehicles of the 15th Parachute Regiment and the self-propelled 75-mm. On this road the 1st Battalion (Lt. Col. H. R. Williams) lay in reserve at Diekirch, with two field artillery battalions, the 107th and 108th, emplaced close to that town. Remnants of the 9th Armored CCR including the 73rd Armored Field Artillery retreated into the town. 10. Moehring's division had been reconstituted during the autumn following almost complete destruction in Normandy and the retreat across France. One was crippled by enemy fire, its driver and loader wounded by a rifle grenade when it drove squarely into the files of German infantry on the road, guns blazing; but the other fought its way north to the beleaguered batteries. Lacking sufficient infantry to clear the woods or defend the tanks, the Americans had been unable to profit by their superiority in heavy weapons. Author Unknow This is a day by day narrative of the action of Combat Command "B", 9th Armored Division, in the St Vith, Belgium, sector during the period, 16 through 23 December 1944. After two moves, it closed into an assembly area north of Werbomont at 0530 hours on the 25th of December 1944. During the two nights prior to 16 December the 5th Parachute Division moved its regiments into these east bank fortifications and the extensive woods which lay just to the rear. By midafternoon the 2d Battalion of the 915th Regiment, which had bypassed Bastendorf earlier, was pressing in on that battery and Battery A, 108th Field Artillery, emplaced nearby. mortars and four sections of heavy machine guns were left; the antitank company had no pieces; the tank company badly needed fuel and maintenance. Both Jodl and Model resisted this idea, but when the counteroffensive began there were still rather vague plans afoot for employing the Seventh Army in a push west and south to form a position based on Luxembourg City, Arlon, and Neufchâteau. Combat Command "B", 9th Armored Division diverted to the Winterspelt area on the night of the 16th December, arrived in St Vith before dawn on the 17th, and received its final orders. Photo: Brigadier William M. Hoge, Commander, CCB, 9th Armd Division. Bigelbach. Colonel Rudder, still under orders to fight for time and space, was enjoined by General Cota on the morning of 19 December "not to recoil any further than the Sure [Sauer] River." World War Two Historians, Teatchers, Students and Researchers Ressources Center Two motor carriages mounting quadruple .50-caliber machine guns (the M16) from the 447th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion were put on the Diekirch-Hoscheid road. Although the enemy troops around Assenois had been broken and scattered by the lightning thrust on the 26th, the III Corps' attack on the following day met some opposition. A part of its infantry and nearly all supporting heavy weapons remained on the east bank waiting for a bridge to be completed at Wallendorf, where American shells had smashed much equipment and killed many engineers. Its opponent, the 3d Battalion, was deployed on what for this sector was a narrow front, well dug in on the heights overlooking the Our and with its right flank protected by the Sauer. Starting at daylight, units of CCB, 9th Armored Division came under constant artillery fire and probing attacks along portions of its front. It originated during the Battle of the Bulge, when the 9th Armored Division seemed, like a phantom, to be everywhere along the front. Bofors where the Tandel and Longsdorf roads met. The planned attack against the 9th Armored right flank was therefore postponed until the guns could reach the 988th Regiment, which had been assigned the main role. See also the link about the Medal of Honor to Horace M Thorne: http://www.battleofthebulgememories.be/stories26/us-army25/903-medal-of-honor-horace-m-thorne.html, Created on Tuesday, 02 November 2010 14:25, Last Updated on Friday, 02 March 2018 09:15. The boundary between the 109th and 110th ran obliquely, however, and in consequence the 5th Parachute would shortly engage troops of the latter regiment. Only a few days before the attack Heilmann warned Model that the 5th Parachute Division was only a Class IV outfit, but Model, who by now must have been surfeited with complaints on lack of equipment and insufficient training, merely replied that success would be won by the paratroopers' "usual audacity.". The 16th Armored Field Artillery provided continuous artillery support to this force. Although the penetration was checked, the dual attempt to relieve Führen made no headway. Combat Command "B" 9th Armored Division, was composed of the following units: With the river momentarily secure at its back the regiment dug in along an arc facing out from Diekirch. By midafternoon it numbered only twenty-five men and an artillery observer commander as the single officer left. The second German division assembled opposite the 109th Infantry was the 352d Volks Grenadier Division (Col. Erich Schmidt). The Germans finally had opened the western Sauer valley and driven an entering wedge between the 9th Armored Division and the 109th Infantry. After all, the goal to be reached by the night of 16 December was near the town of Wiltz some ten miles west of the Our. In any case there was considerable confusion and delay on the east bank, and few or none of the rubber assault boats landed on the American side before 0630. The 3d Battalion, last out, made its way west along the Bettendorf road, which already was under fire. South of the village of Wallendorf, where the Our flows into the Sauer, the 276th Volks Grenadier Division would push into the narrow segment of the Sauer front held by the 60th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 9th Armored Division (-), then fan out against the left flank of the 12th Infantry. Twice the American 76-mm. But the 109th had one paramount advantage in that the solid anchoring of its right flank on the natural barrier provided by the Sauer permitted some freedom to concentrate on restoring the situation to the left. The bulk of the 9th Armored Division, a unit with no prior battle experience, was held in the west as the VIII Corps reserve, but just before the German attack CCB was transferred to V Corps. This move was accomplished by 2045 hours. For two hours the fight went back and forth, 5 involving the 2d Battalion on the Diekirch-Hoscheid road and the 3d Battalion aligned on the ridge east of Diekirch. All elements of CCB, 9th Armored Division were fully committed during this period. Citation: He was the leader of a combat patrol on 21 December 1944 near Grufflingen, Belgium, with the mission of driving German forces from dug-in positions in a heavily wooded area. Handling bridge sections in the swift current and on the muddy river bottom was difficult enough without this steady fire. In fact this leading contingent of the 915th had shot its bolt and for the next couple of days would take little part in the battle. This advance detachment of the 916th Regiment had hit head on into the continuous and strongly defended right flank position of the 109th Infantry on the heights at the Sauer-Our triangle. At dawn the 916th Regiment launched the strongest assault yet leveled at the 3d Battalion position on the 109th right flank, striking hard under cover of smoke to break through at the left of the battalion northwest of Hosdorf. This offensive would be known as “The Battle of the Bulge”. In this weak portion of the line, defense was based on two strongpoints of rifle company strength, one on a ridge road about a mile and a half west of Vianden and the Our River, the other at Führen about a mile from the river. A platoon of the Troop "D", 89th Reconnaissance, was sent to defend the road out of St Vith to the east, while a company of tanks and a platoon of tank destroyers were diverted to screen the entry into the area by the 7th Armored Division. (Lt. Col. Kenneth W. Collins), supported by the 3d Armored Field Artillery Battalion at Haller. During the night of 17-18 December this force assembled in the cover of the Eselbour woods, waiting to jump off at dawn. These pieces were laid on targets deep in the 109th Infantry zone: notably Diekirch, Bastendorf, the ridge road running north from Ettelbruck across the rear of the 28th Division, and the command posts of the two artillery battalions. Victor C. Leiker, held on until 2030, by which time the German infantry controlled all the street corners, then fought its way south to Waldbillig. Strict orders had arrived from the Seventh Army headquarters, located at Ingendorf (a little village southwest of Bitburg), that the 352d must start the attack rolling once more and take possession of the vital crossings at Ettelbruck. The loss of Company E and the platoon from Company K made the 3d Battalion position precarious. “C” Company maintained this roadblock until 1800 hours on the 24th of December. (General Bradley or Maj. Gen. William H. H. Morris, Jr., the provisional corps commander, later canceled this move so as to keep the 80th together.) Company “D”, 14th Tank, patrolled south of Grufflange toward Thommen. Its closest friendly forces were those of CCA, 9th Armored Division, now south and east of the 109th across the Sauer. Division, because this division, under peremptory orders from its commander, had continued the westward advance through the night, the forward troops defiling into the Kautenbach bridgehead. The Hoscheid defenders joined the withdrawal westward and subsequently reached the town of Wiltz, there taking part in the defense of the 28th Division command post. Meanwhile the left battalion of the 14th Regiment had been ordered to take Hoscheid. Although assault parties had made successful penetrations in undefended sectors, some as deep as one and a half miles, stubbornly defended strong-points had checked any coordinated advance. The attack was launched by the 1st Platoon of “B” Company, 14th Tank Battalion, with a group of some 20 infantryman commanded by the S-2 of the Armored Infantry, and the enemy surrendered at about 1500 hours. In the fight that followed the antitank company lost all six of its remaining 57-mm. On the morning of the attack the LXXX Corps artillery broke the long quiet on the Sauer River as six battalions and a rocket projector brigade divided their fire to reinforce the divisional artillery of the 276th and 212th. One troop was taken from the cavalry and given to the 60th Armored Infantry Battalion; the armored cars moved forward and spent the night of 16-17 December outposting Beaufort and patrolling the road which ran from the town into the Schwarz Erntz gorge. Each combat command was a combined arms military organization of comparable size to a brigade or regiment and loosely patterned after the German combined arms approach to mechanized warfare. Captain Hall, the leader of this task force, was wounded but manned an assault gun and cleared the enemy from the road. The 109th Infantry, however, had been forced back fanwise away from the rest of the 28th Division. Colonel Rudder ordered a patrol sent from Tandel under cover of night to bring ammunition, but it failed to reach Führen. More 600,000 American troops, 55,000 British troops and approximately 500,000 German soldiers were involved in that battle in the heavily forested Ardennes region of eastern Bel gium and northern Luxembourg from Dec. 16, 1944 to Jan. 25, 1945. To make success certain, General Brandenberger, the Seventh Army commander, sent army artillery and rocket projectors to join the 352d artillery battalions in creating an "artillery center of gravity" at Bastendorf. At 1300 the tank platoon at the battery positions on the Hoscheid road hooked up the artillery pieces and started south. Mayer went missing in action on December 17, 1944. Company B, now missing the platoon sent with the Hoscheid task force, moved a short distance along the road between Tandel and Führen but likewise was checked. In this instance, however, the military axiom that a commander who is worried about the enemy may reflect on the worries besetting the enemy commander, was proven by the event. When day broke on 18 December the 109th Infantry was no longer in contact with its northern foe, the 5th Parachute. This rear guard stand cost Troop A 16 jeeps and 7 of its 12 armored cars as well as 43 casualties. Headquarters Company with 16 cooks, clerks and mechanics, to aid “D” Company against enemy infiltrating bazooka teams. He relied on the 15th Parachute Regiment, the 5th Parachute Engineer Battalion, and the attached 11th Assault Gun Brigade, which were well trained and motorized, to furnish the main striking force. CCA took this much needed breathing spell to prepare roadblocks and demolitions in front of its new 7-mile-long main line of resistance. The gap between Stegen and Diekirch could be closed to the enemy. One of its battalions marched unopposed through the Schwarz Erntz gorge and occupied Müllerthal, the point at which narrow, wooded defiles led out to Waldbillig and Christnach in the 9th Armored (-) zone, and to Consdorf in the 4th Division rear. The 9th Armored Division (the "Phantom Division") was an armored division of the United States Army during World War II. The deeply incised terrain had given tactical advantage, but this had been canceled by communications failures brought on by the poor performance of the German radio sets on the deep-pocketed ground. Lacking experienced fighting men and the heavy weapons requisite for close support, Heilmann instructed his line officers to avoid pitched battles for defended positions. About the same time the tanks which had been in the Hoscheid task force were ordered into the fight and rolled from the north in on the enemy. Colonel Collins ordered the headquarters of the 60th Armored Infantry Battalion back to the motor park near Savelborn and committed Troop A, 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, to fight a rear guard action in Beaufort. The 109th, fortunately, was given a few hours to rest and better its defenses before the enemy continued the advance to wipe out the Diekirch-Ettelbruck bridgehead. According to War Department General Order 114, December 7, 1945 there were approximately 2,000 units that received the Ardennes Credit, (The Battle of the Bulge). From excellent observation on the heights the 107th and 108th Field Artillery Battalions brought the howitzers positioned near Diekirch into play, pinning the German shock troops to the river bank where they remained for the rest of the day. Troy Middleton’s VIII Corps. As yet the enemy made no attempt to utilize the natural sally port, but in the 4th Division sector German infantry surrounded Berdorf, which controlled a lateral road descending into the gorge. Colonel Dempwolff, taking stock of conditions in his new command, found that losses had been high (ascribed by the unit commanders to the continued absence of assault gun support) and that spirits were low. of the 14th, the Americans therefore found no enemy. With the first sound of gunfire the assault companies pushed their rubber boats into the Our, only some fifty feet wide, and the engineers began swinging the portable infantry bridges into position over the shallow but turbulent river. The fight at Hoscheid, German prisoners later reported, had cost the assaulting battalion at least a hundred dead but, more, it had helped delay the 14th Parachute Regiment advance to the Wiltz River. The remnants of Company A joined the regimental antitank company at road junction 206, the avenue by which enemy vehicles had to move to cut the supply road to the 3d Battalion, with orders to "hold that road." The first enemy attack on the 21st was launched at 0530 hours against “D” Company, 14th Tank, the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion, Troop “D” 89th Reconnaissance Battalion, and Company “C”, 14th Tank Battalion. The Combat Command had been attached to the 2nd Infantry Division in order to participate in an attack on the Roer River Dams in the vicinity of Dreiborn, Germany. The boundary point between the latter and its northern neighbor was fixed about a half-mile south of Roth, but for some reason the precise extension of the boundary line west of the Our had not been settled. Company “A”, 14th Tank Battalion, was ordered to cover the Combat Command’s withdrawal, which started at 0630 hours. The fighting began 16 December 1944 and became the last offensive by Nazi Germany in World War II. During the day enemy attacks were repulsed and enemy armored vehicles destroyed. A rememberance pageto the Battle of the Bulge, December 16th 1944 - December 16th 1999. As yet the company of assault guns which the Seventh Army had promised was nowhere in sight. In actual fact this regiment would "lean" on the neighboring XLVII Panzer Corps, which had struck into the center of the 28th Division, and through most of the day lagged while the Panzer Corps opened the way. During the late afternoon the enemy, who earlier. About 1100, detachments from the 15th Regiment in the north turned and brought Führen under small arms fire. The assignment of four infantry divisions to cover the southern flank of the assault armies was as far as he would go, nor could the numerous pleas advanced by his field commanders for additional strength in the south alter his decision one whit. This German force, finally amounting to a battalion of infantry and two tanks, moved south during the morning until it met the 109th Antitank Company, which was dug in with a few engineers and a single 40-mm. The division now had a bridge at Bollendorf, its weapons were west of the Sauer, the division command post had been moved across to Beaufort, and the center and left regiments had made. 687Th Field artillery retreated into the town of Regne, which already was on the Skyline.! West that a new commander was needed for the 276th that its assault... Made an unexpected demand on his reserves to support the 60th Armored Infantry companies still behind the enemy Infantry an... Was prepared, as always, to expect the impossible the last by. 7-Mile-Long main line of departure for attack was to be no longer tenable 2300 the previous evening because enemy... This rear guard stand cost Troop a 16 jeeps and 7 of its remaining 57-mm CCA the! 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