Chapter 19


1 FUSA Rpt, Vol. I, p. 67.

2 Although no copy of Hodges' order as contained in FUSA Ltr of Instrs, 19 Nov 44, can be found, the essence is discernible from V Corps Ltr of Instrs, 2230, 19 Nov 44, as reproduced in V Corps Operations in the ETO, p. 310. See also FUSA Rpt, Vol. I, p. 79.

3 See 8th Div FO 16, 20 Nov, 8th Div AAR, Nov 44. Unless otherwise noted, the story of this action is taken from official records of the 8th Division and CCR, 5th Armored Division, and from extensive combat interviews with officers and men of both units. Having entered combat with the First Army on 6 July 1944, the 8th (Pathfinder) Division subsequently had moved to Brest to fight under the Ninth Army until capture of Brest on 19 September. Since that time the division had been holding defensive positions with the VIII Corps in the Ardennes.

4 Sylvan Diary, entry of 20 Nov 44; see also Combat Interv with Colonel Jeter.

5 MSS # A-891 (Gersdorff), B-810 (Schmidt), and ETHINT-57 (Gersdorff).

6 V Corps Operations in the ETO, p. 316; V Corps Arty Per Unit Rpt 164, 21-22 Nov, V Corps G-3 file, 21-23 Nov 44.

7 FUSA Rpt, Vol. I, p. 79, and V Corps Operations in the ETO, p. 316.

8 The men of this company could attribute much of this success to a squad leader, S. Sgt. John W. Minick. Having picked his way through a mine field crisscrossed with barbed wire, Sergeant Minick personally dispatched a force of German defenders by killing twenty and capturing, as many more. Later he knocked out a machine gun. As he tried to find a path through a second mine field, he stepped on a mine and was killed. Sergeant Minick was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

9 Combat Interv with Maj Joseph D. Johnston, 1st Bn, 121st Inf.

10 Combat Interv with Maj R. W. Wiltsie, Exec O, 56th FA Bn.

11 Annex 3 to 8th Div AAR, Nov 44.

12 See Combat Interv with S Sgt Anthony Rizzo, Co G.

13 Sylvan Diary, entry of 23 Nov 44.

14 A vivid, moving account of the Huertgen Forest fighting may be found in Paul Boesch, Road to Huertgen: Forest in Hell (Houston: Gulf Pub Publishing Co., 1962). The author assumed command of Company G, 121st Infantry, at the height of the battle.

15 See 8th Div G-3 Jnl, 24-25 Nov, 8th Div Jul file for 23-27 Nov 44, and Combat Intervs with CCR personnel, particularly Interv with Capt Frank M. Pool, 10th Tank Bn.

16 Like the 12th Infantry's Colonel Luckett, Colonel Jeter retained his rank and was given command of a regiment in another division.

17 V Corps Operations in the ETO, p. 319.

18 The trials of the latter battalion are vividly depicted in Boesch, Road to Huertgen.

19 8th Div AAR, Nov 44; Ltr, Weaver to OCMH, 9 Apr 56, OCMH; Interv with General Cross, 23 Aug 56; Sylvan Diary, entry of 27 Nov 44. See also Maj. Gen. William G. Weaver, Yankee Doodle Went to Town (privately printed, 1959).

20 See Daily Summaries in IX TAC, Unit History, Nov 44.

21 CCR, 5th Armd Div, AAR, Nov 44.

22 Combat Interv with Colonel Anderson.

23 CCR: approximately 210 casualties of all types; 121st Infantry: 63 killed, 899 others; 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry: approximately 75 of all types. The last figure is an estimate based on figures for the entire 13th Infantry.

24 V Corps Ltrs of Instrs, 28 and 29 Nov 44, V Corps Operations in ETO, p. 320; FUSA Ltr of Instrs, 28 Nov 44. Although no copy of the FUSA order has been found, FUSA Rpt, Vol I, p. 83, containing an adequate summary.

25 V Corps Ltrs of Instrs, 28 and 29 Nov 44. See also 8th Div Fragmentary Orders, 29 Nov and 1 Dec, 8th Div AARs, Nov and Dec 44.

26 FUSA Ltr of Instrs, 28 Nov 44.

27 CCR, 5th Armd Div, S-3 Jnl, 2 Dec 44.

28 121st Inf AAR, Dec 44.

29 For direct quotations, see CCR, 5th Armd Div, S-3 Jnl, 3 Dec 44. The 366th Group erroneously reported its attack against Bergstein rather than Brandenberg. See IX TAC, Unit History, Dec 44.

30 CCR, 5th Armd Div, S-3 Jnl, 3 Dec 44.

31 V Corps Operations in the ETO, p. 322; 8th Div AAR, Dec 44; IX TAC, Unit History, Dec 44.

32 The 9th Division's 60th Infantry. See V Corps Directive, 30 Nov 44, V Corps Operations in the ETO, p. 320.

33 Combat Interv with M Sgt Willard Bryan, 121st Inf.

34 Ibid

35 Remarks of the 121st Inf S-3 as taken down by S Sgt Carlton R. Brown and recorded in Combat Interv with Brown. See also Personal Diary of Maj Gen Thomas J. Cross, pp. 154-56, loaned to OCMH by General Cross.

36 MS # A-892 (Gersdorff).

37 Air and ground headquarters had different code names for the same units. The ground force code came for the 8th Division, for example, was GRANITE.

38 CCR, 5th Armd Div, S-3 Air Jnl, 5 Dec, S-3 Jnl file, Dec 44.

39 Ibid.

40 Ibid.

41 See CCR, 5th Armd Div, S-3 Jul. 6 Dec 44, and Combat Interv with Anderson. An earlier indication of this attitude may be found in CCR and 5th Armored Division journals for the Wallendorf fight. See Ch. III, above.

42 MS # A-891 (Gersdorff).

43 Ibid. See also Charles V. P. von Luttichau, The Ardennes Offensive, Progressive Build-up and Operations, MS in OCMH; MSS # B-602, Generalleutnant Max Bork, Die 47. Volksgrenadierdivision (V.G.D.) im Westen; B-171, Generalmajor Eugen Koenig, Kaempfe im Rheinland. (This latter MS covers the battles of the 344th Volks Grenadier Division, formerly the 91st Air Landing Division. General Koenig later commanded the 272d Volks Grenadier Division.)

44 Combat Interv with Maj W. M. Daniel, Exec O, 10th Tank Bn.

45 Combat Interv with Lts Lewis, Stutsman, and Goldman, 47th Armd Inf Bn.

46 See "Pointe du Hoe," in Small Unit Actions, AMERICAN FORCES IN ACTION (Washington, 1946).

47 Even as the Rangers prepared to move to Bergstein, their original commander, Lt. Col. James E. Rudder, was relieved to assume command of a regiment in the 28th Division. The story of the 2d Ranger Bn in this action is from the unit AAR, Dec 44, and from a Combat Interv with Williams.

48 Combat Interv with Lewis, Stutsman, and Goldman.

49 Combat Interv with Johnston.

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