Combat Command “B”, 9th Armored Division, continued to hold positions in the vicinity of Steinebruck. The line of departure for attack was to be the high ground south of Steinebruck. But the company reached Brandenburg shortly before midnight without encountering the Germans. During the day enemy attacks were repulsed and enemy armored vehicles destroyed. The regiment could expect little aid, for most of the slim reserves of the 28th Division would go to the hardpressed 110th Infantry in the center. 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. The 14th Regiment, composing the right of the 5th Parachute Division advance, was moving along the boundary between the 110th and the 109th without much opposition. As soon as the Allies had broken out of the Normandy Beachhead, they pushed the Germans back rapidly until they had reached the German Frontier in November and December. General Cota ordered the 109th commander to get a platoon of tanks, mount an infantry platoon on them, and "help out up north where things are getting hot." A platoon of tank destroyers was sent east to Schoenberg to relieve the forward command post of the 106th Infantry Division. Shortly after noon Task Force Philbeck passed through Hall's position, only to lose more tanks. On the whole the Seventh Army command was far from pleased by the day's performance, pressing General Moehring to continue the attack through the night. But the German march to the west continued. of the 14th, the Americans therefore found no enemy. Two companies ("A" and "C") of the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion advanced to clear the hills flanking Elcherath while "B" Company moved along the main road. The 276th, however, could not count on accompanying gun support for its infantry since no assault guns had been supplied. Having failed to take the heights by frontal assault, the 916th Regiment started a flanking attack along the south bank of the Sauer, moving for this purpose into the zone of the 276th Volks Grenadier Division, which thus far had been held in check around Reisdorf and. Elements of the 9th Armored Division Battle at the Sauer 16-20 December. Company E, which had served to deflect some pressure from the 3d Battalion by its stubborn defense at Führen, was no longer in the fight. The 916th Regiment found the going much more difficult than its northern sister regiment. Each attempt to relay a telephone wire or carry forward an ammunition case became a major tactical effort. These strongpoints were nearly two miles apart; behind them the third rifle company was located in reserve at Brandenburg with one howitzer battery to give support. But at dark Germans seeped into the town from assembly points in the woods, only some fifteen hundred yards distant, and ambushed an 81-mm. (new) Combat Command Bof the 9th Armored Division at St Vith. The 9th Armored Traded Blood For Time In a Heroic Battle Against Nazi Forces. Combat Command RCCR of the U.S. 9th Armored Division sacrificed heroically to win precious time at … Rumors of the American withdrawal on the 19th brought the people of Diekirch out of their cellars and into the streets. At 1000 hours, during the ensuing fire fight, the antitank guns were destroyed but two of Company “A’s” tanks were lost. This mission in Dempwolff's judgment required a continuation of the attack southwestward toward Waldbillig and Christnach where American reinforcements already had arrived to help the 4th Infantry Division. Finally, about 1530, the Hoscheid garrison received orders to fight its way out and join the relief force. The 16th Armored Field Artillery provided continuous artillery support to this force. 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. In honor of their World War II service, the 9th was officially nicknamed the "Phantom Division." Hitler likewise attempted to intervene in the initial assault plans of the Seventh Army by directing that the attack would start as a pincers move in which one prong shot west out of Trier and the other penetrated northwest of Echternach. Fortunately for the Seventh Army drivers, gunners, and pontoneers, the skies remained overcast and the columns moved freely along the roads. For some reason the Germans did not push on and Company C, holding the hills and crests south of Bigelbach, engaged them in a desultory, long-range fire fight for the rest of the day. Captain Hall, the leader of this task force, was wounded but manned an assault gun and cleared the enemy from the road. The 14th Tank Battalion would assemble west of the Our River and be prepared to attack as the situation developed. Replacement was made by the 9th Armored's Combat Command R, which assembled at Trois Vierges--some twenty road miles south of St. Vith--in position to reinforce the 106th if need should arise. After dark CCA reorganized on a line running roughly northwest from Waldbillig to Ermsdorf, thence west to the high ground around Stegen, the latter about two and a half miles south of Diekirch where the 109th Infantry was in the process of assembly. At 1635 hours, enemy infantry began an assault against “D”, 14th Tank Battalion's position. 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. Radio communication with the menaced company was lost three hours later, but direct assault failed to dislodge the Americans. Brandenberger sent word to OB WEST that a new commander was needed for the 276th Division. 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. At dusk, however, a second German battalion had arrived at Walsdorf and was committed to the southwest in a drive toward Brandenburg, slipping through a wooded depression between Companies F and G. Colonel Rudder dispatched Company C from the reserve battalion at Diekirch to check this penetration. These orders came too late, for an hour and a half earlier this task force had been ordered to the aid of a battery of the 107th Field Artillery north of Diekirch. Jodl and Model again acted as a team in killing this idea, pointing out that the Seventh Army had neither the troops nor the guns to support two separate attacks. The 9th Armored Division could report on the night of the 19th that the situation on its right flank was satisfactory, and on the left flank too as far as Stegen; beyond Stegen the situation was "obscure." “C” Company, 14th Tank Battalion, supported by mortar fire from the battalion’s mortar platoon, successfully counterattacked this formation. There were nearly three hundred tubes and projectors in the LXXXV Corps groupment which opened fire at 0530 on 16 December. Hoscheid was garrisoned by part of the 110th Infantry Antitank Company, six medium tanks mounting 105-mm. This fire, combined with that of “A” an “C” Companies of the 27th Armored Infantry, caused very heavy casualties, and toward dark the enemy withdrew. When night came the fight flared up once more, small groups of the enemy probing for weak points while artillery fire and searchlights were employed to guide the attack and distract the defenders. Troops of the 914th Regiment had arrived in the bridgehead late in the day with orders to form a link between the 915th and 916th, now widely separated, and to mop up the pockets of American resistance wherever found. The 276th Volks Grenadier Division, which with the 212th Volks Grenadier Division constituted this corps, had no distant objective such as those assigned the Fifth Panzer Army formations on its right. “A” Company, 14th Tank, was the reserve. During the late. As yet the company of assault guns which the Seventh Army had promised was nowhere in sight. The cavalry unit, led by Capt. The unseen enemy, firing behind the cover of huge boulders and trees, had the upper hand; at dark a platoon of cavalry assault guns laid down a protective barrage and the American task force withdrew to the hills flanking the exit from the Waldbillig-Müllerthal defile. The 9th Armored Division's CCA was relieved that same afternoon by CCA of Maj. Gen. Robert W. Grow's 6th Armored Division. At 1330 hours Company “B”, 14th Tank, repelled a strong enemy attack. The Battle of the Bulge was the largest land battle in US military history, fought in Luxembourg and Belgium during the winter of 1944-1945. 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. 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. These orders were passed on to the 109th. Attached to 9th Armored Division. German efforts to achieve a real penetration on the left flank were less successful than on the right. A wooden support bridge was finished at Gentingen late on 17 December, but the transfer of artillery and motor vehicles would be very slow and only a portion of the division's heavy weapons were west of the river by the next morning. In the 109th sector proper the battle during 17 December turned on attempts to relieve Company E (Capt. As with any large Army organization in extended combat, forces and their assignments shifted over the course of the battle. The 109th commander, under orders from General Cota that "nobody comes back," now had to restore contact between his companies and get his regiment in position to meet the next enemy move. Contributions from the 9th and 10th Armored Divisions, and the 28th Division’s 109th and 687th Field Artillery Battalions provided needed firepower. This move was accomplished by 2045 hours. They were particularly apprehensive because members of the local gendarmerie had fought alongside the Americans and taken a score of German prisoners who now were housed in the local jail. Most of his infantry and two divisional artillery battalions were well forward, which would make any withdrawal extremely difficult at best because only a single road led south from Wahlerscheid. During this period, they lost four M4A -3 medium tanks to enemy action. 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. Its artillery regiment contained four battalions, but was mostly horse-drawn and woefully short of radio equipment. 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. The enemy was still denied access to St. Vith from the south and southeast. One infantry officer, 1st Lt. E. L. Peer, Company L, adjusted the fire of the supporting howitzers "so effectively that an estimated enemy infantry battalion was destroyed." The 109th Infantry, however, had been forced back fanwise away from the rest of the 28th Division. The shortage of bridging equipment continued to plague the Seventh Army, but Brandenberger's staff scraped together an impromptu bridge train and started it. Furthermore, the 276th lacked the artillery so necessary for close infantry support in this type of terrain and had been forced to parcel its two howitzer battalions in small sections along the east bank. The situation on the flanks in the CCA sector also was unfavorable to the Americans. Place and date: Near Grufflingen, Belgium, 21 December 1944. 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. Regiment took advantage of the wide gap between the two strongpoints manned by Companies E and F of the 109th, its leading battalion marching without a fight to Walsdorf, an unoccupied village about two miles from the river. Books published 12. The Germans ahead laid down mortar fire; the cavalry were hard hit and could not maneuver, the half-tracks could not close with the German mortar crews, and the attack was abandoned.8 In fact the American force was too slight to hold the original position on the high ground north of Haller, and it withdrew to the new defensive position being formed by CCA as an aftermath to the reverses suffered during the day. Here Company A was deployed in the woods above the Sauer with observation on the river but with insufficient strength to block the numerous ravines running up the wooded heights. 7. Colonel Collins committed Company B, in reserve at Beaufort, to attack through Company A in an effort to restore the position and drive the Germans back over the Sauer. By midnight a platoon of engineers and some tank destroyers were moving up to reinforce the attack through Longsdorf to relieve the company at Führen. Early in the afternoon German guns opened up on the Diekirch positions (the artillery regiment of the 352d had just come into position west of the Our), and those elements of the 915th and 916th Regiments which the 352d commander could personally gather were thrown into a series of piecemeal assaults. Therefore the 5th Parachute Division plan called for a quick and unopposed crossing at the Our; a bridge to be in at Roth by midafternoon of the first day; a rapid advance past the villages where the weak American forces were located; and a lightning stroke to force the crossing sites near Wiltz. The 5th Parachute Division had its full complement of officers and men, but lacked its antitank battalion (which had lost much equipment to air attack en route from Holland) and its mortar battalion. Lt. Col. James C. Rosborough, commanding officer of the 107th Field Artillery, meanwhile gathered a scratch force and with it fought through to the howitzer positions. After the Battle of the Bulge, the 9th Armored Division re-organized and then returned to active operations in February 1945. Headquarters Company with 16 cooks, clerks and mechanics, to aid “D” Company against enemy infiltrating bazooka teams. Late in the day Company E radioed for ammunition and rations. During the next three days volunteers led back nearly 60 percent of the armored infantry but the three-day fight had cost the 60th an estimated 231 casualties. THORNE, Horace M. [posthumously] Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Troop D, 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Armored Division. General Cota agreed that a further withdrawal could be made but instructed Rudder to stay in his own zone of action, that is, to make a withdrawal to the west. All its reserves were committed, and the larger part of the attached company from the 630th Tank Destroyer Battalion had been called away to defend the 28th Division command post at Wiltz. Company B again started up the Tandel-Führen road, but the Germans swept the road with bazooka and burp gun fire from the ridges on either side forcing the company to withdraw to Tandel and ask for more infantry. guns of the 11th Assault Gun Brigade would be across the Our River before the close of the first day, for he counted on these two units to lead the advance to the division objective south of Bastogne. The 14th Parachute Regiment, badly disorganized in the series of village fights at Hoscheid and elsewhere, was pulled together and sent marching to the Clerf River. Here, during daylight hours, the attackers had literally been "blown all over" (as American observers reported) by the howitzers firing from Savelborn and the guns on three headquarters tanks. Handling bridge sections in the swift current and on the muddy river bottom was difficult enough without this steady fire. At Bollendorf his engineers finally completed a bridge over the 40-yard-wide river, lessening somewhat the pinch on the 276th. The only definite mission given the 276th was to gain the high ground across the Sauer, dislocate the American artillery positions around Haller, and form the western extension of the blocking line which the LXXX Corps was to present to any American thrust aimed at the southern pivot of the great counteroffensive. The all important bridge at Steinebruck which had been left standing because of possible use was blown at 1200 hours by a platoon of Company “B”, 9th Armored Engineer Battalion. The reserve company ran up against units of the 988th which had penetrated between the two forward companies but moved fast and reached a position abreast of A and C. All this while the batteries around Haller had been shelling the enemy crossing points; the cost to the Germans must have been high, but they kept coming. This force was relieved by infantry and armored units from the 7th Armored Division at 1700 hours. 9. tank destroyers and supporting batteries of the 3d Field Artillery Battalion drove off the Germans. The initial concentration in the 9th Armored Division (-) sector, estimated by the Americans at about a thousand rounds, was aimed principally at Beaufort, the largest town in this area, and the batteries around Haller. The northern limit of the Seventh Army attack coincided with the north boundary of the 109th Infantry Regiment (28th Infantry Division) near Stolzembourg; its southern limit was roughly the same as the southern boundary of the 12th Infantry Regiment (4th Infantry Division) near the confluence of the Sauer and Moselle Rivers. Meanwhile the left battalion of the 14th Regiment had been ordered to take Hoscheid. Across the lines the psychological lift which might have been given by the appearance of the new commander, Col. Hugo Dempwolff, and the successful attack against the 109th Infantry by the 352d Volks Grenadier Division, which had finally shaken the 276th north flank loose, was offset by General Moehring's death and the failure to provide a bridge in the division bridgehead. All units were withdrawn without incident except Company “A”, 14th Tank, which encountered four enemy antitank guns covering the Grufflange - Maldingen road. In the Seventh Army plan this division formed the right wing of the LXXX Corps. “A” Company 14th Tank, covered the Infantry’s withdrawal toward Grufflange. When the 109th Infantry sent a large combat patrol across at Vianden on the morning. 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. Others, closer to the crossing sites, were assaulted by small detachments. Führen was attacked during the day by troops of the 15th Parachute Regiment, the 915th Regiment, and the 914th Regiment. The 14th Parachute Regiment had orders to cross the Our in the north near Stolzembourg, drive past Putscheid and seize a crossing point on the Wiltz someplace west of Hoscheid. howitzers (which the 707th Tank Battalion had organized as an assault gun platoon) and three regular mediums. General Robertson had by then lost his division reserve to the 99th as well as a combat command of the 9th Armored Division, on loan to him to use when the Wahlerscheid breakthrough was completed. The 107th and 108th Field Artillery Battalions, emplaced near Bissen, answered the enemy guns and gave what protection they could to the marching infantry. Moehring had collected a battalion of the 986th Regiment and an antitank company armed with fifty-four Panzerfausts for an attack across the Savelborn-Ermsdorf road to seize Medernach. Beyer's troops, in this final plan, had the mission. No work could be done to fill the crater until the attack actually began on 16 December. General Hoge conferred with General Jones (Commanding General, 106th Division) and they decided to withdraw from the river to the northwest on slightly higher ground. Elements of the 9th Armored Division Battle at the Sauer
General Middleton had just finished speaking to Maj. Gen. John W. Leonard, the 9th Armored commander, and had promised a battalion from the incoming 80th Infantry Division to fill the gap between Leonard and Rudder. CCR, 9th Armored Division, the armored reserve of the VIII Corps, had been stationed at Trois Vierges on 13 December in position to support the corps left and center. This division, the 352d Volks Grenadier, also had met obstacles at the Our River. Bigelbach. The route of withdrawal was Maldingen – Beho – Salmchateau – Lierneux – Manhay –Malempre. only by roadblocks and roving patrols, but the Germans failed to follow up their advantage on the night of 18-19 December. Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division is cited for extraordinary heroism in combat in the vicinity of Saint-Vith, Belgium from December 17 to December 23, 1944. When day broke on 18 December the 109th Infantry was no longer in contact with its northern foe, the 5th Parachute. Lindel Pinson, a friend from his unit, on March 3, 1944. Infiltration tactics began to bear fruit as day came on 17 December. 10. His position at Neubruck had been shelled by medium artillery. In total, then, two German divisions and the metal of the LXXXV Corps' artillery were to be thrown against the 109th Infantry and neighboring troops of the 110th Infantry in the first hours of the great counteroffensive. The latter was horse-drawn but expected to motorize with captured American vehicles. If this plan were successful the 5th Parachute Engineer Battalion would ferry the assault companies across the Our, then join the advance and reach the Wiltz sector with ferrying equipment by the end of the first day. Bridging equipment promised by the Seventh Army had arrived late and inexperienced engineers had further delayed the construction. Remembering and Honoring a Young Soldier - Pfc Solomon D. Mosner, St Vith and the 106th Division In the Bulge, My Battle of the Bulge – Before and Beyond, Loss and Redemption at St. Vith: The 7th Armored Division in the Battle of the Bulge (Book), Foxholes and Christmas of long ago Remembered…, Breakfast in the Beautiful Snowy Ardennes Forest, The 318th Inf Regt in the Bastogne Saliant, German Officer Vindicates 106th Recc Troop. These units vary in size from a small number of people up to and including an Army Group. But as the day wore on German infantry and assault guns-poured into the Our bridgehead and across the open flanks of the two companies. The situation in the 109th area developed as follows. 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." Moehring's division had been reconstituted during the autumn following almost complete destruction in Normandy and the retreat across France. 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