Chapter 14


1 See Interv with Collins, 25 Jan 54.

2 VII Corps Opns Memo 101, 1 Oct, confirming oral orders of 30 Sep, VII Corps Opns Memo file, Oct 44.

3 A theory prevalent among Americans that the Schwammenauel Dam was constructed with an eye toward augmenting the West Wall defenses cannot be supported.

4 One of the better contemporary studies of the Roer River Dams is to be found in Annex 2 to 5th Armd Div G-2 Per Rpt 85, 24 Oct, 5th Armd Div G-2 file, Oct 44. See also FUSA Rpt of Opns, Vol. 1, p. 95; VII Corps Engrs, Study of Possible Flooding of the Rur (Roer) River, 17 Nov, 1st Div G-2 Jnl file, 19-20 Nov 44.

5 Annex 1 to 9th Div G-2 Per Rpt 78, 2 Oct, 9th Div G-2 file, Oct 44. The first recorded references to the dams were contained in reports by Belgian officers on 23 and 30 September. See Memo to Col Dickson (G-2 FUSA), 23 Sep, FUSA G-2 Tac Jul file, Sep 44; Memo to CofS from 1st Div, 23 Sep, VII Corps G-3 file, Sep 44. FUSA repeated the report of 30 Sep in its G-2 Per Rpt 113, 1 Oct, FUSA G-2 Tac Jnl file, 1-3 Oct 44. Existence of the dams and reservoirs could have been no secret, for the 1:25,000 maps in use at the time showed most of them in detail. On 6 October a Belgian agent sent FUSA a report on the Urft Dam that was inexplicably labeled Secret, yet the agent's source was a French edition of Baedeker's Rhineland.

6 See VII Corps and 9th Div FO's for this attack; also Notes for Chief of Staff, 22 and 23 Sep 44, in VII Corps G-3 file, 23 Sep 44, which relate plans and objectives of the 9th Division attack as discussed by Generals Collins and Craig. The dams are not mentioned. See also, Ltr, Craig to OCMH, 31 Aug 53.

7 Record of tel conv between G-2, MASTER Command, and G-2 FUSA (Tac), 3 Oct, FUSA G-2 Tac Jnl file, 1-3 Oct 44.

8 Msg, FUSA Engr to VII Corps Engr, 5 Oct, VII Corps G-3 file, 5 Oct 44. See also FUSA G-2 Estimate 31, 8 Oct, FUSA G2 Tac file, 8-9 Oct 44.

9 Ltr, FUSA to 12th A Gp, 29 Oct, FUSA G-3 Ltrs and Inds file, Oct 44.

10 FUSA G-2 Per Rpt 171, as cited in VII Corps G-2 Per Rpt 164, 28 Nov, FUSA G-2 Tac Jnl file, 29 Nov 44.

11 Memo, XIX Corps Engr for XIX Corps G-3, 8 Oct, XIX Corps G-3 Jnl file, 12 Oct 44.

12 Ibid.

13 Planning for an offensive by the V Corps to complement a VII Corps push to the Rhine was in progress at this time, though it subsequently was canceled. Like the VII Corps, the V Corps made no plans to seize the dams. See V Corps Operations in the ETO, pp. 272-278.

14 Msg, SHAEF (MAIN) to 12th A Gp, 20 Oct, FUSA G-2 Tac Jnl file, 20-21 Oct 44.

15 12th A Gp Weekly Intel Summaries 11 and 12 for weeks ending 21 and 28 Oct; dtd 22 and 29 Oct, respectively, 12th A Gp G-2 AAR, Oct 44.

16 See Interv with Col Akers, 11 Jun 56.

17 See The Last Offensive, a volume in preparation in the series UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II.

18 Intel Annex to 9th Div FO 39, 3 Oct, 9th Div AAR, Oct 44. Unless otherwise noted, this account is based upon official unit records and a series of detailed combat interviews at company and battalion level. An accurate presentation at a small unit level is available in an unpublished manuscript by Maj. Henry P. Halsell, Huertgen Forest and the Roer River Dams, copy in OCMH files through courtesy of Major Halsell.

19 The basic source for the German side of this action is MS # B-810, Generalleutnant Hans Schmidt, Kaemple im Rheinland 275. Infanterie Division.
Additional details may be found in Lucian Heichler, The First Battle of the Huertgen Forest, a .manuscript prepared to com­plement this volume and filed in OCMH.

20 9th Div G-2 Per Rpt 84, 8 Oct, 9th Div AAR, Oct 44.

21 MS .# B-810 (Schmidt).

22 See Ltr, Craig to OCMH, 20 Apr 56.

23 In another instance, Pvt. James E. Mathews earned the posthumous award of the DSC as he saved his company commander from ambush at the cost of his own life.

24 See VII Corps Opns Memo 107, dtd 18 Oct, confirming oral orders issued 17-18 Oct, VII Corps Opns Memo file, Oct 44.

25 Although both American and German losses are for the entire month of October, most occurred during the ten days of offensive action. In MS # B-810, General Schmidt estimates German losses through 12 October at 1,600 men, obviously conservative in light of confirmed prisoner statistics.

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Last updated 26 September 2006