|Killed In Action||10||58||68|
|Seriously Wounded In Action||1||53||54|
|Lightly Wounded In Action||17||158||175|
|Seriously Injured In Action||1||2||3|
|Lightly Injured In Action||1||27||28|
|Missing In Action||0||8*||8|
(Four (4) of this number returned to duty the first few days in May)
|Type||Destroyed or Abandoned||Evacuated|
|Car, Armored, Light, M8||2|| ||Carrier, Pers, H/T||6||2|
|Tank, Med., w/75MM gun||7||8|
|Tank, Med., M4A1, w/76MM gun||6||6|
|Exploder, Mine, (Crab)|| ||1||Trailer, Ammunition, M10||1||2|
|Truck, 1/4 ton, 4x4||10||22|
|Truck, 2 1/2-ton, 6x6, Cargo||5||1|
|Trailer, 1 Ton, Two wheel, Cargo||2||2|
|Vehicle, Tank, Recovery, M32 Series|| ||1|
|Gun, 57mm, M1, w/Carr., M1A3|| ||1|
3. AMMUNITION EXPENDITURES AND LOSSES:
|Type||Expended||Loss Due to Enemy Action|
|Carbine, Cal, .30||32,000|| |
|Cal, 45||61,306|| |
|76mm Gun||1,776||406||90mm Gun||607|| |
|105mm Howitzer||21,994|| ||105mm Gun||2,032|| |
|Signal, Assorted||120|| |
|Rockets, AT||110|| |
5th Armored Division - commanded by MAJ GEN LUNSFORD E OLIVER, 03536,USA
Combat Command "A", 5th Armd Div - BRIG GEN EUGENE A REGNIER, 08295, USA
Hq & HQ CO, CC "A", 5th Armd Div - 1st Lt R. B. WHITAKER, 0517645, INF
Combat Command "B", 5th Armd Div - COL JOHN T COLE, 05256, CAV
Hq & HQ CO, CC "B", 5th Armd Div - CAPT JOE W PERRY, 01012397, FA
Div Arty, 5th Armd Div - COL DOUGLAS J PACE, 04495, FA
Hq & HQ Btry, Div Arty, - CAPT NORMAN W CUSICK, 0466787, FA
Reserve Command, 5th Armd Div - COL GLEN W ANDERSON, 38672, INF
Hq Co, 5th Armd Div - CAPT LARRY H GREENWOOD, 01283065, INF
Hq 5th Armd Div Tns - LT COL KARL L SCHERER, 018784, CAV
Hq Co 5th Armd Div Tns- CAPT JAMES BAGWELL, 01011081 CAV
MP Platoon, 5th Armd Div - MAJ ALEXANDER T NELSEN, 0335298 CAV
145th Sig Co - CAPT GLENN B WELDE, 04534467 SG
85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz; - MAJ GEORGE C BENJAMIN, 023422 CAV
10th Tank Bn - LT COL WILLIAM A HAMBERG, 0242156, INF
34th Tank Bn - LT COL RICHARD H JONES, 0238409, (15-28 Feb 45)
81st Tank Bn - LT COL LE ROY H ANDERSON, 0239452, INF
15th Armd Inf Bn - LT COL GLEN G DICKENSON, 0197385, CAV (1-17 APR 45)
NBI 18 APR 45 succeeded by MAJ EMERSON F HURLER, 0318926, INF
46th Armd Inf Bn - MAJ WILLIAM H BURTON, 0366028, INF
47th Armd Inf Bn - LT COL HOWARD E BOYER, 0218680, INF
47th Armd FA Bn - LT COL JOHN B ROSENZWEIG, 0246291, FA
71st Armd FA Bn- LT COL ISRAEL B WASHBURN, 0235367, FA
95th Armd FA Bn - LT COL JAMES W MC NEER, 0223703, FA
22d Armd Engr Bn - LT COL FRED E RESSEGIEU, 020575, CE
127th Ord Maint Bn - LT COL ROLAND S BIERSACH, 0318269, ORD
75th Med Bn, Armd - MAJ RAYMOND J. WINKLER, 0357402, MC
628th TD Bn - LT COL WILLIAM J GALLAGHER, 0384592 FA
387th AAA AW Bn (SP) -LT COL ELMER I KENNEWIG, 0265282, CAC
3907th QM Truck Co - CAPT CHARLES H DUDLFY, 01581668 QMC
3912th QM Truck Co - CAPT JOSEPH L ZIOLKOWSKI, 015739939 QMC
Det "A" Hq & Hq 3rd Armd Gp - MAJ RAY S TREAWELL, 0389764, INF
505th CIC Det, Hq European TO, U. S. Army -CAPT THOMAS A RYAN, 01017183,INF
The 5th Armored Division having started its movement to an assembly area east or the Rhine River on 31 March, concluded this phase of the assigned mission on 1 April.
CCR continued its attack to the east in pursuance of the Division mission as outlined on 30 March by the XIII Corps Letter of Instructions. A treadway bridge was constructed over the Dortmmd - Ems Canal and, upon its completion at 0830, CCR moved rapidly through RINKERODE - SENDEN - HERST - EVERSWINKEL - FRECKENHERST - DORFBAUERSCHAFT and BEELEN to the Ems River at GREFFEN. This movement had been rapid and with the exception of a small firefight at EVERSWINKEL, enemy opposition was reported as slight. The bridge over the Ems River at GREFFEN had been blown, and a small pocket of enemy resistance confronted CCR at this point. The pocket was quickly reduced and reconnaissance elements of the combat command moving east and west of GREFFEN had seized a bridge intact at a point two kilometers west of GREFFEN. One (1) married tank-company and one (1) infantry platoon, crossed the river and secured the bridge while the balance of CCR assembled in all area south of the bridge to resupply and rest for the night.
CCB, initially following CCR, crossed the canal just north of VENNE and moved into the town of ALBERSLOH. At this point the 15th Armd Inf Bn (married) proceeded northeast to EVERSWINKEL and thence to WARENDORF where the first comparatively strong enemy resistance was encountered.
The advance of the 15th Armd Inf Bn was halted and strong roadblocks were placed astride the WARENDORF - TELGTE highway. In the meantime, the 81st Tank Bn (married) went reconnaissance north from ALDERSLOH, through WOLDBECK to TELGTE. This force consisting of one (1) reconnaissance platoon, overpowered the enemy defenses and took about fifty (50) PWs.
Webmaster's Note: Based on field maps of the area, it appears the correct spellings for the towns listed should be Albersloh and Wolbeck.
The platoon commander accepted what apparently was the unconditional surrender of the town at 1900, but at 2000, about 200 German infantry, supported by several tanks entered the town from the north and the platoon withdrew a few kilometers to the south to await daybreak.
The remainder or the Division stayed in place until 1700, when the Division CP moved east following CCB. The Div Art, 22d Armd Engr Bn (plus supporting engineer units), the 557th Arty Bn, 628th TD Bn, CCA (minus 1 married company attached to Div Hq), 85th Cav Recn Sq Mecz. and Div Tn followed in that order. The advance went well until the head at the column arrived just south of VENNE, where it came on the tail of the 81st Tank Bn (married) column which had stopped for the night. This unreported stop caused momentary confusion as the terrain was difficult and the roads for all purposes impassable. All elements were ordered to assemble off the road while routes were reconnoitered.
The reconnaissance showed that all routes were open to the Division in this area were third grade dirt roads and were breaking down badly.
Throughout the day enemy resistance had not been heavy and it is believed that the determination of enemy forces in holding TELGTE was due to the necessity of protecting escape routes southeast out of MUNSTER. One hundred twenty nine (129) PWs were taken on 1 April.
On 2 April, the Division resumed its attack to the east. CCR moved swiftly from the bridgehead on the Ems River passing through HARSWINKEL - HALLE - WERTHER and on to the outskirts of HERFORD. Up to this point the combat command encountered a series or road blocks around each town.
These were defended by AT guns in some spots, but mainly, infantry armed with bazookas and small arms put up a stubborn, but vain attempt to halt the armored column. At 2000 CCR was engaged with a strong dismounted force supported by assault guns at the west edge of HERFORD. This engagement continued through 2400 and as the day closed plans were being made to by-pass the city at daylight on 3 April. The plan was to use two columns; the 10th Tank Bn (married) to go north of the city and the 47th Armd Inf Bn (married) to by-pass to the south and strike for the Autobahn at AHMSEN.
CCB attacked to the northeast from WARENDORF in two columns with the 15th Armd Inf Bn (married) pushing its way through MILTE - SASSENBERG - HESSEL and to BERGHOLZEN, and the 81st Tank Bn (married) attacking north from VENNE tbrough ALBERSLOH - ALVERSHKIRCHEN - EVERSWINKEL - MILTE -FUCHDORF - VERSMOLD and ODENDORF. The entire advance was very rapid, and though road blocks were less prevalent than in the CCR sector, tanks and AT guns were plentiful. Heavy resistance was encountered in and around every town. At 2000 the 15th Arm Inf Bn (married) was attacking through the town of BERGHOLZEN before securing for the night. The advance of CCB had carried twenty- six (26) kilometers to the northeast and placed leading elements of the combat command approximately one hundred forty three (143) kilometers northeast of the Rhine bridge at WESEL.
CCA had been given a mission of moving north on the west side of the Dortmund - Ems Canal for the purpose establishing a bridgehead across the HILTRUP to WOLBECK. The enemy's 348th Tng Bn which had moved to the vicinity of HILTRUP to defend the sector was caught by CCA's advance. Resistance was stubborn for awhile, with the enemy employing Arty, AT guns, bazookas and small arms, but at 1900 CCA reported the enemy overcome and work had been started on the bridge. During this operation CCA killed and captured six hundred forty-four enemy troops, and a good quantity of material was seized.
The Division CP, supported by a married tank-infantry company ("B", 46th Armd Inf Bn and "B", 34th Tank Bn, CCA), moving from VENNE to EVEBSWINKEL, planned to move by way of WOLBECK in an attempt to outflank the enemy facing CCA. The move started at 1430 and at 1650 the column met an enemy infantry force supported by at least six (6) tanks and SP guns north of ALBERSLOH. The married "B" companies supported initially by one (1) battery and later by the entire battalion of 155 guns, engaged this force. The attached companies were released to CCA control and the Division CP continued on to EVERSWINKEL via ALBERSLOH - SENDENHORST, arriving in the vicinity of EVERSWINKEL at 2215. In the meantime, the married "B" companies continued to probe against the enemy force in an attempt to force it back into the path of the CCA advance on WOLBECK. The 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz assisted CCA. in its operation. Div Tn was assembled in the vicinity of BULDERN awaiting completion of the bridge hence they would follow the 85th across the canal.
Enemy losses for this day were as follows:
personnel killed, one hundred fifty (150), captured, ten hundred sixty (1060),
material captured or destroyed,two (2) Mark IV tanks,eleven (11) AT guns (8 - 88mm, 2 - 75mm- - 1 caliber unknown), six (6) 40mm AA/AT guns, six (6) 105-mm guns, one (1) ammo dump, one (1) searchlight battery and an airfield with approximately sixteen (16) dummy planes.
(NOTE: Seventeen (17) German prison camps were overrun during the course of the day.) Several of to PW's taken were members of the Volksturm who were armed with small arms and bazookas.
On 3 April, CCR was to make every effort to secure the Autobahn bridge over the Weser River at VENNEBECK. It was hoped that this bridge might be seized intact. CCB likewise was to attempt seizure of intact bridges north of the Autobahn to MINDEN, inclusive.
CCB attacked at dawn with the 15th Armd Inf Bn (married) moving up the Weser valley from BERGHOLZEN and east to WERTHER. The 81st Tank Bn (married) followed the 15th Arm Inf Bn through BORGHOLZEN, then turned northeast to HOLTERDORP and proceeded through REIMSLOH to BUNDE, thence northeast to BERGKIRCHEN. Movement of both columns was extremely rapid and resistance, although stubborn, was not concentrated sufficiently to stop the armor of CCB. The advance of the 15th Armd Inf Bn (married) met several very stubborn enemy defensive positions. At a road junction just north of BERNBECK a concentration of flak guns opened up on the column and more than two hours time elapsed before this pocket was cleared. Eleven (11) 88mm. AA/AT guns were captured or destroyed at this point. The column then pushed on swiftly to overrun the town of BAHNFLOHNE, and its mass of railroad shops, cars and various other equipment, including nineteen locomotives. At 1743, the force had made contact with CCR on the right. Both CCB columns moved forward until shortly after dark, when the 81st Tank Bn stopped at BERGKIRCHEN and the 15th Armd Inf Bn at a point 2 1/2 kilometers southeast of BAD - OEYNHAUSEN, to secure for the night and resupply.
CCR had continued its attack during the day with the 10th Tank Bn (married) moving around HERFORD to the north, and the 47th Armd Inf Bn (married) going to the south, then cutting east to hit the Autobahn at AHMSEN. The 47th secured one highway bridge intact at this point, and another which was in need of minor repairs. These bridges, though of less importance than those spanning the Weser River, would nevertheless have proven a difficult and delaying obstacle had they been blown. The 47th Armd Inf Bn then moved up the Autobahn and reached the bridge location on the Weser River. This bridge was blown as were those adjacent to it.
The 10th tank Bn (married) moved up route A through HOFE and WITTEL and finally joined with the 47th column at LOHE. Minor resistance in the form of road blocks, defended by bazookas and small arms, was prevalent throughout the move for the 10th Tank Bn. Upon reaching the blown Autobahn bridge over the Weser, CCR immediately reconnoitered to the south and east for possible crossings. By this time both columns of CCR had converged into one. The combat command commenced the clearing of an enemy pocket from BAD - OEYNHAUSEN and the Autobahn to the river. Stronger resistance was met during this operation, and 88mm AT guns along with scattered armor endeavored to hold back CCR. The city of BAD OEYNHAUSEN, itself, was reached, and its unconditional surrender negotiated by the Military Government attachment of CCR. CCR then went into an assembly area for the night.
CCA completed the bridge over the Dortmuud - Ems. Canal at 0630 and advanced on WOLBECK from the west. The married "B" companies moved on the town from the south. The companies and the main column converged on the town at 1100. CCA continued east from WOLBECK on route A to an assembly area just east or HERFORD. The move was most difficult because of road priorities, which had been granted to infantry units, and also because of the numerous craters and other existing obstacles which had to be by-passed. Use of secondary roads was necessary to continue the advance. At 2400, the combat command was still on the road in the vicinity of TOLLENBECK. The 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz and Div Tn had been pulled off the road, waiting to cross the canal bridge. The Division CP moved from EVERSWINKEL at 1110, and after a march of seventy six (76) kilometers, the column closed in a new area at 1830. (The location of this area was between HOFE and WITTEL.)
Enemy losses for the day were as follows: personnel, captured, eleven hundred forty four (1144), killed, one hundred (100) (estimated); material captured or destroyed, four (4) tanks MK IV, two (2) - 150mm How, forty one (41) AT/AA guns., (88mm), six (6) 76mm AT/AA guns, one (1) 20mm AA gun, forty five (45) miscellaneous motor vehicles, (In addition to the above many military installations were overrun). (NOTE: As CCR approached BAD OEYNHHAUSEN (W7202), they were met by two of the city officials who identified themselves as emissaries, seeking a formal surrender of the city. Our Military Government and IPW accompanied the two emissaries into the city, and the formal surrender of the city and its garrison of 200 German soldiers, plus three 88mm guns, was accepted at 031515B. Telephone connections were still intact in the city, and CCR placed a call to the city officials of MINDEN, on the Weser River (B8010). Speaking to these officials, it was learned that the bridges in the vicinity of MINDEN were still intact (as or 03l521B); CCR then asked for the surrender of the city. MINDEN officials replied that they would have to call higher headquarters in HANOVER (X3722), before answering. Calling back in a short time, MINDEN officials informed us that HANOVER had ordered them not to surrender, and consequently they would have to decline our invitation. To end the phone conversation, MINDEN was again informed of the consequences of this refusal. Local and outgoing circuits were then cut.
On 4 April, the Division continued to probe the area on the Weser River in hopes that a bridge might 'be secured intact. It was known that the enemy was attempting to concentrate his forces on the east shores of the Weser.
CCB attempting to get the bridges at MINDEN, sent reconnaissance patrols northeast along the river from HAHNEN. These patrols ran into artillery and mortar fire and were unable to get through the pass at AULHAUSEN. Other patrols broke through the pass at BEGKERCHEND, and were searching the area to their front. At l430, the 81st Tank Bn (married) reported that its patrols had observed troops coming down the valley to their northwest. These were believed to be British, and at 1700 that belief was verified by a contact between CCB and British 2d Army troops at TICKHORST. The Division Commander ordered CCB to deliver an ultimatum to the garrison in MINDEN for the town's surrender, with bridges intact, by 2000. However, it was discovered that British troops had already stormed the town, and that the bridges were blown as the British force entered. British troops in the town were elements or the British 6th Airborne Division and the 3rd Armored Brigade. The 15th Armd Inf Bn (married) had established road blocks around the MINDEN area prior to its advance on the town. Tanks at the roadblocks took many prisoners and fired on barges attempting to escape from the area. A few mines were found near MINDEN and about ten (10) enemy tanks were observed by patrols of CCB.
CCR continued its operations east toward the RINTELN bridge at 0900. The 10th Tank Bn (married) was at HARKENISSEN and little enemy resistance was encountered. The combat command used the route EXTER - HOHENSEN - LANGENHOLHSN, and established a tactical CP in LANGENHOLHSN at 1030. The RINTELN Bridge had already been blown when the troops of CCR reached the vicinity.
On the right flank, CCR made contact with the 2nd Arm Div. CCA, previously experiencing a tremendous job in attempting to reach HERFORD, managed to clear the roads, and at 040850, the combat command assembled east of the city. Patrols were sent into the town, and enemy pockets were mopped up. CCA then took charge of the administration of the city until the arrival of the 84th Infantry Division. The 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz and Div Tn moved across the canal and followed the CCA route as far as the town of WERTHER, where the two units established a CP. The Division CP remained in place on 4 April.
During the late hours of 4 April, the 334th and the 335th RCT's of the 84th Inf Div closed in assembly areas in the vicinity of BAD - OEYNHAUSEN. Those two units were to be used to force a bridgehead across the Weser River. Enemy air activity became increasingly strong on this day. On three separate occasions, groups of up to four (4) planes strafed division installations. No damage or casualties resulted from these attacks, and one badly hit enemy plane was seen smoking as it left the Division area.
Enemy losses for the day were as follows: personnel, PWs - four hundred seventy (470), killed - seventy seven (77); material captured or destroyed, twenty(20) 88mm AT/AA guns, six (6) 76mm AT/AA guns, three (3) 37mm guns, twenty-six (26) 40mm guns, two (2) 20mm guns, six (6) flak guns (Cal., unknown) twenty one (21) miscellaneous vehicles, eleven barges loaded with troops (sunk in the Weser River), one (1) locomotive, twenty eight (28) railroad cars loaded with bridge equipment, twenty (20) railroad cars loaded with artillery ammo, two (2) medical dumps, one (1) ordnance dump, one (1) warehouse at motors, one (1) radar station, one (1) ammo dump, one (1) half track factory, one (1) 88mm AT/AA gun factory and a mass of miscellaneous material.
On 5 April, the Division was prepared to assist the 84th Inf Div units in establishing a bridgehead over the Weser in the MINDEN area. The 22d Armd Engr Bn was regrouped in preparation for the building of a bridge after initial crossings had been made. Companies "A" and "B", 22d Armd Engr Bn were detached from CCA and CCB, respectively, to bolster the engineer battalion. CCB was ordered to be prepared to furnish direct support to the action, protect the Corps left flank, and maintain contact with British units at MINDEN. CCR was to protect the Corps right flank and maintain contact with the 2nd Armd Div. CCR moved its CP to the vicinity of WENNER CAMP. The 47th Armd Inf Bn (CCR) was to hold the wooded area southeast of RINTELN to hold the area for a possible river crossing in that vicinity. The Division CP remained in place. The Div Tn moved to HERFORD, closing there at 1115.
One attempt to cross the river was made by the 335 RCT (84th Inf Div) in the vicinity of PORTA, but heavy concentrations of mortar and small arms fire foiled this effort. XIII Corps ordered the crossing to be made on 6 April.
British troops in MINDEN moved north so as to get back in the 2nd British Army zone.
Enemy losses to the Division for 5 April were as follows: personnel, PWs five hundred forty two (542), killed, ten (10) (this figure is exclusive of 4,662 German soldiers in hospitals overrun by the Division) material destroyed one (1) truck, two (2) staff cars.
On 6 April, the Division remained in the HERFORD - BAD - OEYNHAUSEN area. CCR did some patrolling in its sector and occupied the town of STEMMEN. CCR patrols reconnoitered the ferry site to the northeast of the bridge at STEMMEN. All units maintained security road blocks and patrols. There was constant flow of stragglers and other enemy personnel to the Division PW cage. The Division CP, and the CP of the 22d Armd Engr Bn moved into the city- of BAD - OEYNHAUSEN. The 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz was employed as liaison between the Division and units on the right and left flanks of XIII Corps. During the day, enemy AT guns and medium artillery were sporadically active on the east bank of the WESER River.
Enemy losses for 6 April were as follows: personnel, PW's three hundred sixteen (316), material,many types of artillery in BAD - OEYNHAUSEN including a quantity of 340mm shells. Seven (7) railroad cars loaded with ammo were destroyed during the days activity.
On 7 April, Division activity was again held to patrolling and liaison with flanking units. CCA remained in the HERFORD area, CCB in the BAD - OEYNHAUSEN area protecting the Corps left flank, and CCR in RINTELN area protecting the Corps right flank. CCB maintained contact with the British on the north, and CCR with the 2nd Armd Div (XIX Corps) on the south.
Work was begun on a bridge over the Weser by the 22d Armd Engr Bn. The bridge was started at 1200, and at 2045 a three hundred seventy two (372) foot treadway bridge spanned the river. Construction on this bridge was slowed considerably because of the great amount of grading which was necessary to make the eastern approaches usable. Also, sporadic time fire from 88mm guns was received on the bridge site. This bridge, though built by the Division, was to be used initially by the 84th Inf Div, in order that the dominating heights on the east side of the river should be cleared of enemy artillery and troops. At 1600, the 989th Treadway Bridge Company was attached to the Division and at 1800, one (1) platoon of this company was attached to the 84th Inf Div.
Small operations during the course of the day bad netted a considerable quantity of enemy material and five hundred eighty-five (585) PW's. Listed below are the enemy material losses during the day's operations:
Four (4) 105- AT/AA. guns (mounted on RR cars)
One (1) triple 20mm AA guns
Two (2) Quadruplet 20mm guns
Two (2) range finders
Two hundred (200) smoke generators
Six (6) passenger cars
One (1) RR kitchen car
One (1) RR Ord - repair car
Two (2) locomotives
Thirteen (13) box cars (misc loads)
Nine (9) flat cars (misc loads)
Two Factories were captured intact, one an ammo (88mm shell) and ordnance equipment, and the other an underground factory for production of 88mn gun parts.
Early morning of 8 April found the Division generally static except for a few minor operations. Preparations for future events took precedence. CCB garrisoned and secured the town of MINDEN. The 81st Tank Bn (married) and Troop "B", 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz were used for this job. CCA remained in the HERFORD area.
At 1100, CCR was ordered on an alert status for an ultimate move across the Weser River. The move as outlined to the CCR Commander would send the combat command south into the XIX Corps zone where permission had been granted for the use of the bridge at HAMELN for a period of five (5) hours starting at 081400. The combat command would then turn north to get back into the XIII Corps zone, continue east, attempt seizure of a crossing on the LEINE River and cut communications to the south of HANNOVER. CCR began its movement to the HAMELN bridge at 1230. The 95th FA Bn, 695th FA Bn (l05mm SP) and the 557th FA Bn (155mm SP) were placed under Division Artillery control and the latter moved with CCR to act in direct support of the combat command. The route of march was to be as follows: KUKENBRUCH - BOSINGFELD -GRUPENHAGEN - MUTLEN -ALTENHAGEN - SPRINGE - VOLKSEN - GESTORF - RUTHE with possible river crossings at RUTHE, GRASDOPF or RETHEN. The 47th Armd Inf Bn (married) led the advance, and progress astoundingly swift for the first few hours. However, at 1600, an enemy road block defended by artillery was encountered at the main road junction east of HESPERDE. This was quickly reduced, and orders sent the combat command ahead at great speed for the purpose of overruning and crushing similar defenses. Resistance at ALTENHAGEN, though set for defense, was overrun before defenders could recover from the element of surprise which the speed of the column produced. At 1700, a road block south of DAHLE again halted the column temporarily, and while this strongpoint was being pounded, air support was put on the town of SPRINGE, which bad been reported strongly deafened. Excellent results were obtained from the air, and by the time the advance elements of CCR (47th Armd Inf Bn married) had reduced the road block at DAHLE, the defenses of SPRINGE had been softened to a point where the 47th could fight through the town and drive on GESTORF. The 10th Tank Bn (married), following the 47th, mopped up in SPRINGE. Many prisoners were taken. At 2130 the entire CCR Column was back in the XIII Corps zone. At 2200 reconnaissance elements at CCR were in the vicinity of PATTENSEN. Artillery was placing harassing fire on the town itself and also interdicting Leine River crossings.
Enemy losses during the day's operations were not completely reported at the close of the day, but three hundred sixty eight (368) PW's (excluding CCR) had passed through the Division cage on this date. (NOTE: Due to the mass of miscellaneous enemy units in contact with the Division no attempt has been made to list them in this narrative. The G-2 periodic which is an inclosure to this report lists all enemy units in contact day by day.)
At 0730, on 9 April CCR resumed its attack to seize crossings over the Leine River, and less than one hour later, it was reported that its reconnaissance Troop (Troop .C., 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz) had taken two bridges intact; one at RUTHE and the other at KILDINGEN. The combat command crossed the river at once and turned northeast towards LEHRTE.
Upon approaching the vicinity or WIRRINGEN, fire from flak guns, mortars, and artillery, was received from the northwest, apparently from BEMRODE and WULFERODE. Enemy air also became active over the combat command. At this point CCR was traveling in two parallel columns a short distance apart, and because of terrain features it was almost impossible to clearly observe the situation. Artillery liaison planes could not be used because enemy flak and air were too heavy. The Division Commander visited the CO, CCR at RETHEN and issued instructions for the combat command to continue east to a line VETXE - PEINE, push reconnaissance forward to the Oker River to seize crossings over the river, and be prepared to advance to the northeast. CCR used the southern route, HARSUM - HOHENHAMELN - SCHWICHELDT - and VOHRUN. The advance east progressed well, and at 2115, the 10th Tank Bn had cut the Autobahn in the vicinity of VOHRUN. At 2200, a message was sent to CCR to be prepared to attack north, then east, in the Corps north zone on 10 April.
At 1000, 9 April, CCA was ordered to prepare to follow the CCR route over the Weser bridge at HAMELN. The 47th Armd FA Bn and the 71st Armd FA Bn (both 105mm SP) were attached to CCA for the move. The crossing was to be started at 1300, and CCA was to push on, cross the Leine River, move northeast of HANNOVER to a line CELLE - VITZ, and send reconnaissance to the Allen River to seize crossings. The combat command was then to prepare for further advance to the northeast 11 April. Movement began at 1230, and it was found that the 102nd Inf Div was using the same routes. This delayed the combat command to the extent that the bridge was not reached on time and as a consequence CCA had to shuttle its heavy vehicles over the bridge one at a time.
At 2200, a message similar to the one sent to CCR was dispatched to CCA and Division Artillery. This changed the plans, and set up CCA for an attack in the south half of the Corps zone on 10 April. Liaison officers were sent out of the Division CP at 2400, carrying additional instructions to CCA, CCR, and Division Artillery.
At 2230, CCB was ordered to send a married company (tanks and infantry) to the bridge at HAMELN for the purpose or protecting the bridge. This force was to arrive not later the 1000, 10 April, and was to maintain liaison with 30th Inf Div. CCB was further advised that the responsibility for MINDEN and bridges in that vicinity, as well as the Autobahn bridge, would be taken over by the 102nd Inf Div at 0700, 10 April. Div Tn and the 85th Cav Rcn Sq Meaz (-) remained at HERFORD. The 85th patrolled areas southeast of HERFORD which were reportedly still occupied by enemy troops. The Division CP remained at BAD - OEYNHAUSEN on this date, and prepared for movement on 10 April. CCB was ordered to attach one married tank - infantry company with assault guns to Division Headquarters. Companies "C" of the 81st Tank Bn and the 15th Armd Inf Bn closed with the Division CP. At 2215 clearance was received from XIII Corps for the use of the HAMELN Bridge starting at 1500, 10 April. Division Headquarters, 22d Arm Engr Bn, and CCB were to start the move over the bridge at the time specified above.
Enemy losses, including unreported losses for 8 April, were as follows:
personnel, PW's - six hundred thirty six (636),
material captured and destroyed
one (1) ME109 (fighter plane),
one (1) 75mm AT/AA gun,
four (4) 88mm AT/AA guns,
two (2) tanks (one (1) Tiger, one (1) Panther),
thirty eight locomotives,
three (3) trucks,
eleven (11) Shun mortars.
(The north boundary of XIII Corps ran generally CELLE - WITTENGEN -SALZWEDEL - WITTINBERGE, and the south boundary PEINE - ABBES BUTTEL MORSE - KALTENDORF - GARDELEGEN - STENDAL. The boundary for the operation between CCA and CCR was established on a line RODDENS - UETZE - SEERHAUSEN - GIFHORN - EHRA - FARDNHOBST - STEMKE - CHEINITZ - THURITZ - PACKENBUSCH - STAPEL - MESSEBERG and east to the River Elbe.)
On 10 April, the Division continued its attack into the heart of Germany.
CCR moved north from PEINE after that town had surrendered unconditionally to the combat command. Armored resistance was met by CCR at EDEMISSEN, and a fight flourished for two hours before the enemy was smashed. CCR then continued north and east, seizing a bridge over the Oker River in the vicinity of ABNSEN. The combat command then went into an assembly area for the night at ELTZE - PACE - MIENERSEN - OHOT, securing the area by blocking roads at the above places.
CCA continued east, following CCR as far as PEINE, by-passing the town to the south, then turning northeast to ESSINGHAUSEN, thence due east to MEINE. Little resistance was encountered by CCA during the afternoon, but; when the bridges were reached it was found that all but one had been blown. This one was stubbornly defended by an enemy company supported by mortars, 105- assault guns, and nebelwerfers. A stiff fire fight resulted but ended with the enemy withdrawing its battered forces.
CCA went into bivouac on the western outskirts of MEINE for the night.
CCB was relieved in the MINDEN area by the 102nd Inf Div. The Division CP followed by the 22d Armd Engr Bn and CCB, moved from BAD - OEYNHAUSEN, crossed the river at HAMELN, and continued east after getting back into the XIII Corps zone. Division Headquarters ran into some resistance in the vicinity of WATZUM at 2230. This resistance, consisting of infantry armed with bazookas was reduced and the advance continued.
Enemy losses for the day were as follows:
Personnel, killed, thirty (30) estimated,
PW's six hundred twenty (620) (includes 102 unreported for 9 April),
material captured or destroyed,
two (2) Mark VI tanks,
five (5) JAD- Panther, Mark V assault guns,
one (1) SP gun.
(NOTE: Enemy armor, though more conspicuous than on preceding days was not organized or concentrated, but instead appeared in several locations in groups of three or four).
On 11 April, CCA and CCR resumed their attacks. Orders were received from XIII Corps to the effect that one (1) task force be sent to objective 44, the town at WITTINGEN, for the purpose of blocking an enemy threat on the Corp. cavalry line. CCR split into two task forces, one married infantry - tank company to form the 10th tank Bn, and the other two married infantry - tank companies composing the force of the 47th Armd Inf Bn. The 10th Tank Bn was to move north from GIFBORN via WESENDORF - KNESEBECK and the 47th Armd Inf Bn east on a route EHRA - BOITZENHAGEN. The combat command started its move to GIFHORN at 0625, and upon arriving at the town a halt was called in order to split the 10th Tank Bn and the 47th Amrd Inf Bn for their respective routes.
The attack was resumed at 1040. The 47th Armd Inf Bn under Lt Col Howard E Boyer, first met heavy opposition at WESTERBECK. This consisted of an elaborately prepared road block supported by infantry and two (2) SP guns. The resistance was reduced after almost a two hour delay, and the 47th continued its advance to LESSIEN. At 1400, Col BOYER resumed the push toward EHRA, but his column was halted for more than an hour by an electrically controlled mine field. After the road had been cleared through the mines, the force moved north to BOITZENHAGEN, east to RADENBECK - GADDEN - STEDT - JUBAR - TUDELSEN - STOCKHEIM, and arrived at the town of ROHRBERG at 2100.
In the meantime the 10tk Tank Bn, moving north from GIFHORN, had run into a strongly defended position at WAGGDHOFF. Enemy infantry, armed with bazookas and supported by assault guns, stubbornly gave ground and it was not until 1530 that the tank battalion was able to continue its advance. Shortly thereafter the column was again heavily engaged at WESENDORF. Resistance was so great alone this route that the CCR commander stated that it would be impossible to reach the combat command's objective without employment of the entire combat command on a concentrated front. The Division Commander authorized CCR to regroup its forces on the eastern route. At 2000, the 10th Tank Bn was moving to rejoin the 47th Armd Inf Bn via the route GIFHORN - EHRA - BOITZENHAGEN and thence to OHRDORF where it secured for the night.
CCA had captured and cleared MEINE by daylight on 11 April and secured the bridge over the WESER - ELBE Canal east of the city. Reconnaissance units were then sent north from MEINE to contact CCR in the vicinity of GIFHORN. After this contact had been made at 1030, CCA jumped off and against light resistance and an advance of seventy (70) was made.
The route used by CCA was north from MEINE to EHRA, then east at BARWEDEL to BERGFELD - AHNEBECK - BOCKWITZ - GERMANAN - KUSSEY - KOLTZE - KAKERBECK - NEUENDORF - to PORITZ, arriving in the latter town at 2200 where an assembly was made. Enemy resistance was light throughout the day; road blocks or a few scattered tanks offered the main impedence to CCAs advance.
The Division CP 22d Armd Engr Bn, and CCB (Minus the 15th Armd Inf Bn, left guarding the HAMELN bridge), moved to LESSIEN and went into bivouac for the night. At 2000, Troop "B", 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecs, was relieved from attachment to CCB, attached to CCA and ordered to report to KLOT'ZE at once. At 2040, orders were received from XIII Corps for the Division to continue the attack east on 12 April and attempt to seize and secure bridges over the Elbe River in the Corps zone. If bridges were found destroyed, reconnaissance was to be made for bridge sites, and the Division was then to prepare for further advance to the east on Corps order. Clearance was received for the movement of Div Tn and the 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecs, and the move was ordered for 13 April to the vicinity of EHRA.
Enemy loses for 11 April were as follows: personnel, killed, no estimate made,
PWs, seventeen hundred twenty one (1721),
material captured or destroyed:
One (1) Mark V tank,
eight (8) vehicles miscellaneous (Part of a wagon kitchen supply train),
fifteen (15) railroad cars loaded with miscellaneous material,
one (1) flat car loaded with Mark IV tanks,
one (1) flat car loaded with half tracks,
seven (7) railroad cars loaded with 88mm and/or 75mm ammo,
one (1) flat car of 88mm guns
and more than two hundred (200) miscellaneous railroad cars overrun.
On 12 April, the plan of the day before was changed. The reason being that there existed only one bridge over the Elbe River in the XIII Corps zone at WITTENBERGE, in the CCR sector. With this in mind, it was decided that CCA should be sent south into the XIX Corps zone for the purpose of attempting to seize and secure the bridge at TANGERMUNDE on the Corps boundary.
CO'A' attacked to the east and south through BRUCHAU - WINELSTEDT - WERNSTEDT - CALBE - KARRlTZ - BISMARK - KAADEN - VINZELBERG - LUDERITZ to the outskirts of TANGERMUNDE. The combat command arrived at the point at 1225, and reports from various sources indicated that the bridge was still intact, but that strong defensive measures had been put into effect in the town itself in order that an escape route be left open to enemy units still west of the Elbe River. Even as CCA approached the town, and the subsequent fight for the town and bridge, streams of enemy columns fled across the bride. Every possible means was employed to guarantee the bridge, but to no avail. A severe fight took place for several hours, and at 1550, the bridge was blown. Town officials then began to negotiate for surrender, and at 1745 CCA went into the town. When the bridge at TANGERMUNDE was blown, CO "A" immediately sent a force north in an effort to seize the railroad bridge north of HAMERTEN. This force reported at 1923 that the bride had been blown prior to its arrival. CCA then prepared the zone for security by placing road blocks on escape routes from STENDAL to the south and east. The 34th Tank Bn (married ) blocked the main road north of HAMERTEN the 46th Armd Inf Bn (married) blocked the road at MILTERN. the CCA CP was set up just west of TANGERMUNDE, Division Artillery at ELVERSDORF, and 'B' troop, 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz, screened the south flank of the combat command from DEMKER to BOLSDORF.
CC'R' attacked east from RHORBERG through BEETZENDORF - APPENBURG - WINTERFELD - LADERATH - KALLEHNE - DESSAU - HEILIGENFELDE - LUCKSTEDT - BRITSCH - DRUSEDAU and SEEHAUSEN. From this point the 47th Amd Inf Bn (married) turned northeast toward NEUKIRCHEN and WITTENBERGE. (Stiff resistance was encountered at LEEHAUSEN prior to the split of CCR, and it was not until 1730 that the town finally surrendered.) The 47th then moved rapidly to the east arriving on the Elbe River at WERBEN at 1900, and blocked the roads to the south, thus cutting the escape routes to the ferry site. The 10th Tank Bn moving north, encountered increasing enemy resistance. Road blocks were frequent, and the enemy fought a stubborn rear guard action to allow the harassed columns on the road just ahead at the 10th Tank Bn to withdraw over the WITTENBERGE bridge.
WITTENBERGE was reached at 2030, and the bridge was found blown. The 10th Tank Bn then proceeded to move northwest to the vicinity of GARZ - HAVERLAND, after having first blocked the routes leading north and west of WITTENBERGE. (In interesting side light of the day and on which had been encountered throughout the advance from the Rhine River, was the unconditional surrender of many towns to CCA and CCR after the towns people had rounded up the German soldiers. These, they would turn over to the combat commands.)
CCB continued to follow the route of the Division CP and the 22d Arm Engr Bn. The Division CP moved from LESSIEN to BRUNAU, clearing several small resistance pockets on the advance. The CP closed in BRUNAU at 1925.
Div Tn and the 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz (-) remained in the HERFORD area. The married "C" (Infantry-Tank) companies were relieved from attachment to Division Headquarters and reverted back to CCB at 2030.
Instructions were sent out to the combat commands for the clean-up of the Division zone from phase line "D", north and south through SALZWEDEL - CHENITZ and GARDELGEN. CCR was given the northern sector with the northern boundary comprising a line SALZWEDEL - WITTENBERGE and the southern boundary a line generally WINTERFELD - DESSAU - BEHREND and RABEL; CCB the center sector, with the southern boundary KAKERBECK - VlENAD - MISSDORF - SCHONEBECK - NATTERSCHEIDE - MOCKERN and ALTENZAUN; CCA to the south or CCB to the Corps southern boundary, GARDELGEN - STENDAL and east to the Elbe River. (This phase to start on 13 April).
Enemy losses for 12 April were as follows:
personnel, PWs - two thousand (2000) killed, unreported.
Material losses were not yet reported, but it was known that one (1) ME109 had been shot down, two (2) enemy liaison planes destroyed (one (1) in an encounter with a Division liaison plane whose pilot and observer shot the enemy plane out of the sky with fire from a sub-machine gun).
Remarks for 12 April:
1. It is believed that a good deal of study might well be made on the signal equipment of an armored division with a view toward improving communications. At times contact was impossible even for short distances. Generally communications were a constant source of difficulty throughout the operation from the Rhine to the Elbe.
2. Added personnel should move with an armored division during an exploitation mission in order to properly handle PWs In many instances combat commands had to resort to the dangerous practice of leaving PWs with town Burgemeisters. This was necessary as Division personnel could not be spared for the task.
3. Displaced personnel became a constant headache to the armored columns and it was necessary to continually chase these people from the highways where they had become a menace to traffic.
On 13 April, the division started cleaning up its zone. All bridge equipment reverted to control of the Division Engineer. The 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz (-) and Div Tn moved from the HERFOBD area. The Division Rear Echelon moved to JEETZE, the 85th to THURZ, the 75th Med Bn Armd to KAKERBECK, l27th Ord Maint Bn to ZETHLINGER and Hq, Div Tn to CHEINITZ.
Notification was received from XIII Corps to the effect that two (2) battalions of Infantry, 1st Battalion, 334th Infantry (84th Inf Div) and the 1st Battalion, 406th Inf (102nd Inf Div), were attached to the Division at 1800 for operational control and that these battalions were being moved to the Division area. CCR was ordered to select bivouac areas for the Infantry battalions as it was planned that upon closing, the infantry would be attached to the combat commands.
CCA cleared its area and moved from TANGERMUNDE to STENDAL, the latter town having surrendered the night 12 - 13 April. Some very bitter fighting still was in process around the TANGERMUNDE early 13 April.
\ Enemy troops, trapped by the combat command, resisted stubbornly. Fire from flak and AT guns supported these stragglers from the east bank at the Elbe River. Enemy air was very active over the sector on 12 - 13 April. CCA was strafed several times and six (6) enemy planes were brought down. Toward late afternoon, artillery fire fell in the CCA area, apparently from guns jut opposite the combat command's positions across the river. The towns at JABCHAU - EICHSTEDT GOLDBECK and MOLLENDORF were cleared by CCA. Five hundred (500) America PW's were liberated in the fighting around TANGERMUNDE
CCB cleared its sector through OSTERBUBG - KANNENBERG to SANDAU and sent reconnaissance parties through DUSEDAU - WALSLEBEN - HINDENBURG and SCHWARZHOLZ.
CCR cleared its area KALKENBURG - LICHTERFELDE WENDE and WERBEN, and reconnoitered the river line for bridge sites from WERBEN north to SCHARPENLATTE. CCR began negotiating for the surrender at WITTENBERGE at 1630. Other elements of the combat command went north to the town to DEUTSCH, where approximately 450 to 500 American PW's were liberated.
Enemy losses for 13 April were as follows:
personnel, PW's, two thousand fifty eight (2058), killed, 30 (estimated),
material captured or destroyed:
Eighty (80) airplanes (over-run),
forty (40) carloads of V-2s,
two (2) batteries of 20mm AA guns, mounted on a train,
two (2) armored cars,
sixty (60) miscellaneous vehicles,
1 Mark IV tank,
an 88mm AT/AA. gun,
fifty (50) miscellaneous vehicles,
forty (40) horsedrawn wagons
and a great mass of miscellaneous equipment which was unreported for 12 April.
On 14 April, the Division continued to mop up its area. The infantry battalions from the 84th and 102nd Inf Divs closed with CCR at 0640.
CCA having accepted the surrender of ARNEBURG on the afternoon of 13 April, attempted to send a force into the town, but was met by extremely heavy resistance from bazooka-armed infantry. These were supported by air and artillery from the east bank of the Elbe. It was decided that the town could not be taken without heavy loss as the combat command had lost several tanks, and suffered a number of casualties on the initial attempt. The force was pulled back to reorganize. An artillery concentration was then placed on the town with excellent results, and on the next attack at 1000, the town was cleared. Four railroad guns were destroyed in the town, along with numerous flak guns. CCA reported that apparently the town at one time had housed a high enemy headquarters.
The force that smashed this town continued north, and at 1705, had cleared ALTENZABUN. Other CCA forces combed roads and villages in the sector and cleared a line EXRLEBEN - STENDAL, east to the river, and established an outpost line from the road junction 2 kilometers east of STENDAL to STAFFELD. At STAFFELD, enemy raiding parties were a constant threat; and at 2400 the Division outpost there was forced to withdraw.
The CCA CP remained at STENDAL.
CCB continued to mop up in its area and cleared the main supply route east to the river in the vicinity of SANDAU. The route cleared was generally a line OSTERBERG - SANDAU. In the northern half of its zone, CCB. cleared a line from WINTERFELD - CHEINITZ to a line BEHREND - OSTERBEBG. The 102nd Inf Div had advanced east to the line OSTERBEBG - STENDAL, thus clearing the extreme southern portion of CCB's area.
CCR resumed the mopping up of the eastern part of its zone and sent a force to clear RABEL on the river. The western part of the CCR zone was not entirely cleared; however, the 85th Inf Div was moving into that area from further west, and the 11th Cavalry Group entered and cleared SALZWEDEL.
The Division CP remained in BRUNAU and late in the evening 14 April orders were received from Corps to the effect that the Division should be prepared to establish a crossing over the Elbe River in the vicinity of SANDAU on the night 14 - 15 April, CCR was given orders to undertake this mission and plans were formulated accordingly. However, the previous order for the crossing was rescinded by Corps, and instructions were for the Division to continue preparation, but not to make an actual crossing without specific orders from Corps. The 71st Armd FA Bn reverted from support of CCA to support of CCR and an observation outpost line was established along the river across the Division zone.
Much enemy activity, including quantities or armor, was reported on the east side or the river. Some artillery fire was received in the Division zone. By night fall 14 April, the majority of the Division zone could be considered clear. However, the area just below CCA in the XIX Corps zone was a possible threat to the CCA flank.
Enemy losses for the day were as follows:
personnel, PW's, three hundred seventy two (372),
material four (4) railroad guns,
a car load or flak guns,
nine (9) 20mm guns,
four (4) 150mm guns,
many carloads of miscellaneous material,
one (1) command Headquarters train intact,
one (1) large ordnance dump,
and four (4) trucks.
On 15 April, mopping up was carried out along the Division zone, and preparations were made for a possible river crossing.
CCA sent a small force to STAFFELD where it had been reported that an enemy pocket was forming. This turned out to be a wild-goose chase.
CCB moved one (1) married tank-infantry company ("B" companies of the 81st Tank Bn and the 15th Armd Inf Bn) to the Div Tn area to act as protection for Trains. This was done to insure against enemy forces from the British VIII Corps zone cutting into the Division units. There was a repot that enemy units attempting to escape, were moving into the northern half of the XIII Corps zone.
CCR continued reconnaissance and preparation for a river crossing. Twelve (12) ME109 planes strafed the CCR area at about 1300. Little damage was done and three casualties were reported.
In general, throughout the day, the zone was comparatively quiet, besides the strafing of CCR some enemy artillery fell in the vicinity of SEEHAUEN. Several enemy patrols crossed the river in the Division zone, but these were destroyed or driven off. Enemy air was extremely active over the Elbe.
Enemy losses for the day were 2,499 prisoners and an airfield with a number of planes captured. (The majority of this total is made up of prisoners not reported previously.)
The Division continued its previous day's activity until 1200, 16 April.
A report came in that enemy forces with tanks were present in the JUBAR - MELLIN - BROME area. CCB immediately moved west to engage this force. Div Arty with the 7lst and 695th FA Bns moved with CCB as support. XIII had ordered that the 1st Bn, 335th Inf (84th Inf Div) be attached to CCB and ordered a guide to be sent to Corps Headquarters to lead the battalion to the CCB area. The battalion was to have been located at OARRENHOLZ, but it was not at that point and the guide returned to CCB.
CCB split into two columns one consisting or the 81st Tank Bn (married) and the other the 15th Armd Inf Bn (married). The 81st reached the town of IMMEKATH and contacted friendly troops who knew nothing of enemy presence in the vicinity. The 15th Armd Inf Bn reached BROME at 1712 without contacting enemy forces. Reconnaissance elements of CCB probed large wooded areas west of RADENBECK and WISWEDEL and located enemy forces of undetermined strength. No further action was taken during the night 16 - 17 April. Div Arty established its CP at KLOTZE.
Letter of Instructions No. 66, Hq XIII Corps, received at 1125; gave the Division a new area of responsibility effective 1200, 16 April. The area was west of the present Division zone with boundaries generally along the following lines "north" WILLENGEN - SCHADWOHL - DEUTCHORST - LUNGENAPOL - WISTEDT - RITZLEBEN - KASSUHN - KALLEHNE - KERKAW - BRUNAU - BUTTEBHORST - KARRITZ -KREMKAW - ALGENSTEDT - KASSIECK - JAUENITZ - KLOST NEUENDORF - ZIENAU - DAROSLEGEN - KLUDEN - STAUELLE - ALVENSLEBEN, "south" ALVENSLEBEN - ALTENHAUSEN - SCHWANEFEID - BARMKE - UHRY "west" UHRY - BISDORF - GRSISBECK - TWULPSTEDT - VELPKE - IRAFHORST - RUHEN - AHNEBECK - BOCKWITZ - ALTENDORF - BENITZ - DAENBECK - ZASENBECK - OHRDORF - SUDWITTENG - WITTINGEN. The instructions ordered that this new area be cleared of all enemy and a constant police and patrol system inaugurated.
CCB and CCR were ordered to occupy the area north of the line KALTENDORF - GARDELEGEN with the boundary between the two combat commands to be KL GEBSTEDT - KUHFELD - SEIDENLANGENBECK - BEETZENDORF - KLOTZI - WENZ - TRIPPLIGLEBEN - MIESTER - HORST. KLOTZE was to be the responsibility of XIII Corps as stated in the instruction received from the latter.
CCA was directed to occupy the southern part of the zone from the line KALTENDORF - GARDELEGEN. CCA and CCR were ordered to move at once and both combat commands began their move at 1600. CCA closed in its new area at 2315. The CP of CCA was at CALVORDE, with the 46th Armd Inf Bn (married) also at the latter town. The 47th Armd FA Bn, plus the married "A" companies of the 46th Armd Inf Bn and 34th Tank Bn located at WEGENSTEDT and the 34th Tank Bn (married) set up in ETINGEN. CCR closed at 2230 in its new area and established a CP at WINTERFELD. The 10th Tank Bn was placed in BINDE and the 47th And Inf Bn (married) and 95th Armd FA Bn at SCHWLSEAU. CCB although already in its area, could not start occupying until its mission of clearing enemy pockets on its west flank was completed.
The 22d Armd Engr Bn moved to GUSSEFEID. "A" Company, 22d Armd Engr Bn was ordered to CCA effective 0700, 17 April. The Division CP, 85th Cav Rcn Sq, and Div Tn remained in place.
Enemy losses in personnel not previously reported were as follows: PW's, seventeen hundred twelve (1712), killed one hundred (100).
Enemy forces, which had either been concealed in the woods, or flushed south by the British advance on the north, became very active against the main supply routes. Many groups, all of whom included a quantity of armor, preyed on supply columns and became an increasing menace in the rear areas.
On 17 April, orders were received from Corps for the Division to move into the wooded areas bounded by VOITZE - EHRA. - KNESEBECK - WITTINGEN - BADENBECK - KENNSEBECK - FORST. CCA. was assigned this mission; with CCB blocking on the east. The 1st Bn, 335th Inf (84th Inf Div), was relieved from CCB and attached to CCA, and the 407th RCT (102nd Inf Div), less the 1st Bn, was placed under operational control of CCA. The 1st Bn, 335th Inf was located at WAHRENHOLZ and the 407th RCT at GIFHORN. CCA less the 46th Armd Inf Bn, which was left in CALVORDE, moved from CALVORDE via GIFHORN - WESSENDORF and HANKENS BUTTEL to an assembly area in the vicinity of KNESEBECK. The attack was planned for early morning, 18 April .
CCB, with the 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz attached, placed road blocks to the east of the enemy area. "F" Troop, 85th, blocked the area in the vicinity of VOITZE - BROME and WISWEDD. The 81st Tank Bn placed road blocks at RADENBECK, the main road junction between RADENBECK and ZASENBECK, and at ZASENBECK and OHRDORF. The 15th Arm Inf Bn placed road blocks at SUDERWIITTIGEN and WITTINGEN and "B. Troop, 85th, was used as a cavalry screen on the northern boundary of CCB. The CP or CCB was moved to TANGELN.
CCR started clearing its zone with the 10th Tank Bn (married) sweeping north from a line BEETZENDORF - BRUNAU, and the 47th Armd Inf Bn (married) south and southwest from SEIPE in a circling movement toward KODTZE. The 10th Tank Bn cleared the towns of KAKERBECK - THURITZ - BABEL - BRUCHAU - NEUEDORF LOCKSTEDT - CHEINITZ - SIEDENTRAM - BANDAU - POPPAN - JEEBEN - HOHENNINGEN - KASSUHN - VISSUM - KALLDNE - PRATHE - BRUNAU - JEETZE - HECKLINGEN - BEETZENDORF - SIEDENGREIBEN - QUADENDAMBECK - STAPEN and PRETZIER. The CP of the 10th Tank Bn closed in for the night at ANDORF. The 47th Armd Inf Bn (married) cleared all towns in its assigned zone and closed for the night at ZICHTAU and SCHWIESAU. Negligible opposition was encountered during the day's operations by CCR.
At 2000, the 771st TD Bn (less 1 company ) was attached to the Division and at 2200, the 261st FA Bn (155mm guns) was attached. The Division CP moved from BRUNAU at 2200 and closed in BEETZENDORF at 0045, 18 April. The 771st TD Bn was split, with "A" company going to CCR, "C" Company to CCB, and the Battalion Headquarters to STOCKHEIM.
Enemy losses on this day were as follows:
personnel, PW's five hundred thirteen (513), killed,
ten (10) material destroyed or captured,
twenty five (25) 88mm. guns,
several trailer loads of plane engines and parts,
one (1) JU88 captured intact,
military equipment warehouse,
a large assembly of parts for planes found in several barns,
several planes complete except for assembly,
one (1) comb dump,
one (1) ammo dump,
one (1) Jagd - Panther Mark V Tank,
two (2) half tracks
and one (1) eight wheel armored car.
On 18 April, CCA opened its CP at KNESEBECK at 0635, and the attack was begun to clear enemy forces from the KNESEBECK FORST. The 1st Bn, 335th Inf, moved west toward BOITZENHAGEN, and the 407th RCT southwest toward the same town. At 1250 CCA reported the mission complete with no enemy opposition. The combat command was then moved to STEIMKE. The 47th Armd FA. Bn moved to NANUM where it went under Div Arty control. The two infantry units (1st Bn 335th Inf and the 407th RCT) reverted to Corps control at 1645. The 46th Armd Inf Bn (CCA) remained at CALVORDE, and CCB continued its blocking mission.
CCR assembled in the SALZWEDEL area with its CP at RITZE, the 10th Tank Bn at SALZWEDEL, 47th Armd Inf Bn at STAPPENBECK, 695th Armd FA Bn at KIRCHEIDORF, and the 95th Armd FA Bn at WINDMUHLENGERS. The Division CP moved from BEETZENDORF to a castle south of NEUEMHLE.
Enemy losses for 18 April, were as follows:
personnel, PW's, one hundred eighty one (181), killed, thirty five (35),
a report on losses from previous days operations which was not listed showed the destruction or capture at the following enemy equipment:
one (1) armored car,
twelve (12) 88mm AT/AA guns,
seventy eight (78) wagons,
fourteen (14) ME109 fighter planes
and five (5) gliders.
The Division remained in the same general area on 19 April with CCA at STEIMKE, CCB at TANGLN, CCR in the vicinity of SALZWEDEL, the 85th at BROME, 22d Armd Engr Bn at GR APPENBURG, Div Tn at CHEINITZ and the Div CP in the vicinity of NEUEMUHLE.
At 0530 reports started coming in from CCB stating that enemy vehicles had penetrated its area from the north and that the enemy was assembling in the woods east of LUDELSEN. Another group wall reported south of HASELHORST, and another south or LINDHOF. A later report stated that it was believed that the main body was assembling in the woods east of SCHADEWHOHL. A reconnaissance patrol from CCB surprised and captured in DIESDORF, and it was through use of that route that the enemy units had gotten into the LINDBOF - HASELHORST vicinity. Some few enemy vehicles penetrated the area, following the route LUDELSEN - ALTFERSCHAU - NEUFERSCHAU - KUSEY - WENZE to the wooded areas south or KLOTZE. By 0900, reports were coming in from both CCA and CCB of enemy vehicles moving in every direction. No large numbers were reported in any one group, the reports ranging from three (3) to twelve (12) tanks, SP guns, halftracks or other vehicles. It was not considered a great threat to the area, but immediate steps were taken to contain and destroy enemy elements wherever found. Artillery was placed on known assembly areas and fighter bombers continued a dawn to dark attack on enemy vehicles and areas. In Section III of the Comments is described a new technique in the coordination of air-ground which was used with excellent results during the destruction of infiltrating enemy units for several days beginning on 19 April.
In the action against enemy units, CCA sent its married "A" companies (46th Armd Inf Bn and 34th Tank Bn) to HANKENSBUTTEL and other forces to GERMENAU - KUNRAU and IMMEKATH. CCB closed in on the wooded area between MELLIN and LUDELSEN and the area near NASELHORST. Enemy infantry had almost surrounded the latter town, and direct fire weapons were located in the woods southeast of the town. The 7lst Armd FA. Bn's CP was forced to move west of OHRDORF for security purposes. The belief, from an operations standpoint, is that the enemy had not known that strong forces were in this vicinity and had hoped that an escape route might be open through the sector.
Enemy losses in personnel were as follows:
PWs, one hundred two (102), killed, two hundred (200).
Reports on equipment losses had not been completed at the close of the day.
On 20 April, CCA remained in position until 1300 when a move was started in preparation for the attack to the north. The CP of the combat command moved to ROHRBERG, and the 47th Armd Inf Bn (married) went into position in the same town. The 34th Tank Bn (married) went to WALLSTAWE, with a reconnaissance out to a line PAHRE - KL GERSTEDT.
CCB cleared the towns of HASELHOBST - LINHOF - WANDERKATH, and also the southern part of the FORST KLOTZE from the east - west line through WANDERKATH to the south. In this action, CCB, with artillery, air support and tank fire destroyed or captured fifty five (55) enemy vehicles in and around LINDHOF alone. The combat command then readjusted its position and that of the attached 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz so as to allow CCA to move into positions for its attack to the north. The CP of CCB moved to ZASENBECK, the 8lst Tank Bn (married) to LINDHOF and BORNSEN, the 15th Armd Inf Bn (married) to WITTIINGEN (with the exception of one small task force which located one (1) Kilometer north of WANDERKATH and maintained a reconnaissance line to OAHRE and WINKLSTEDT), and the 85th Cav in the vicinity of BROME.
CCR took no offensive action except that of directing air on the Elbe River bridges in the vicinity of DOMITZ. All three (3) bridges in this area were knocked out by the coordinated efforts or the CCR air-ground officer and the very capable execution of the mission by fighter bombers. The destruction of these bridges left only ferries by which the enemy could hope to escape to the east banks of the river. Enemy air was again active over the CCR area with six (6) planes making a strafing run over the combat command. Four (4) of these planes were knocked out of the sky by fire from CCR anti-aircraft guns.
Enemy personnel in small numbers were reported to have been observed in nearly every wooded area within the Division zone. Armor was reported in the woods to the north of BOITZENHAGEN. The only estimated strength was approximately three (3) tanks or SP guns, with a small force of infantry.
Enemy losses for 20 April were as follows:
personnel, PW's three hundred twenty seven (327), killed, fifty one (51),
material captured or destroyed,
two (2) tanks,
five (5) armored cars,
eleven (11) half-tracks,
one (1) 75mm AT gun,
two (2) SP guns,
eighty seven (87) miscellaneous vehicles (including various special purpose trucks),
two (2) FW190 planes (not a part of the four (4) reported destroyed by CCR in the air),
three (3) motorcycles.
On 21 April, the Division attacked north from a line of departure DAHRE - SALZWEDEL with CCA on the left and CCR on the right. Just prior to the attack, CCA was counter-attacked by elements of Division "Clausewitz". Artillery fire was placed on the attacking forces and they broke and dispersed into the woods to the north.
CCA attacked against a determined enemy who had set up make shift defenses in the woods along the combat command's routes of advance. An increase in the use of anti-tank mines was observed, and fire from nebelwerfers and artillery pieces slowed the advance to some extent. At 2100, the 46th Amrd Inf Bn (married) was assembling for the night in the vicinity of GADDAU. The married "C" companies (46th Armd Inf Bn and 34th Tank Bn) went into position with the CCA CP near KLENZE and the 34th Tank Bn (married) assembled in the vicinity of BERGEN .
CCR was held up in its attack until 1500. The reason for this was that the resistance in front of CCA was such that the two combat commands could not parallel each other's advance, and thus a threat existed to the flank of either, if one was held up and the other moved too rapidly forward. After CCA had cracked the resistance in its sector, CCR attacked with the 47th Armd Inf Bn (married) advancing north on the SALZWEDEL - LUCHOW road and the 10th Tank Bn (married) attacking on the left to clear the pockets in the woods near BOMBECK. The 47th met a good deal of resistance along its route, and mines were found strewn on the road with a minefield near SAASSE. Road blocks defended by AT guns, nebelwerfers, mortars, and infantry, were encountered all along the route and at 2000, heavy fire from LUCHOW, and vicinity, prompted the force to abandon its further advance that night. The battalion went into a security position near SAASSE. In the meantime, the 10th Tank Bn was attacking in the BOMBECK area. The woods in this vicinity had been reported to be a strong-point of enemy armor and infantry. The positions had been sealed off on the north and east by CCA's attack in the early part of the day. The attack was made with one married tank-infantry company moving south from SEEBEN to the railroad and holding there while the balance of the 10th attacked north from the south edge of the woods.
A quantity of enemy personnel was trapped and captured and material loss for the enemy was large. Three (3) tanks were known to have escaped the trap and these moved northwest into the CCA sector. The 10th Tank Bn secured for the night near GR GERSTEDT.
CCB, with the 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz attached, continued its clearing at the KLOTZE FORST. Many burned out enemy vehicles were found along with others which apparently had been abandoned. The combat command also maintained its road blocks on the western boundary of the sector in the WITTINGEN - ZASENBECK RADENBECK area, and kept contact with the 29th Inf Div to the north. An advance Division CP was established at SALZWEDEL and Division operations were directed from there.
(NOTE: Div Arty accomplished its usual efficient mission in a supporting role, and the disorganization and dispersal of enemy units attested to the accuracy of the artillery fire.)
Enemy losses were reported as follows:
personnel, PW's six hundred fifty (650), killed, one hundred fifty nine (159),
material captured or destroyed,
fourteen (14) tanks,
four (4) armored cars,
nine (9) half-tracks,
two (2) SP guns (1-75mm, 1-105mm),
two (2) 88mm AT/AA.guns,
four (4) 105mm guns,
two (2) 20mm flak guns,
seventy-two (72) miscellaneous cycles,
one (1) fuel-lubricant dump containing one hundred fifty (150) 50 gal drums of fuel.
On 22 April, the Division continued its attack to the north.
CCA moved north from the KLENZE - GADDAU area through MADDAU to PUDRIPP and thence to the main highway from DANNENBERG to DAHLENBUBG. The 46th Armd Inf Bn (married), leading the attack, split into two forces; one the married "A" companies and the other the married "C" companies. One force attacked east through METZINGEN - SAR - CHEM and arrived in PUSSADE at 1840. The other force turned west to GEHRDE, north to POIMMESSEL and northeast to WIETZETZE arriving at the latter point at approximately 1850. CCA made contact with British patrols in the vicinity of COLLASE at 1325. Enemy resistance was not considered heavy during the day's attack. The day's advance by CCA put the combat command within four kilometers of the Elbe River. Elements of the combat command were assembled in the vicinity of TOLLENDORF, and secured for the night.
CCR attacked at 0645 with the 10th Tank Bn (married) pushing ahead from GR GERSTEDT in an effort to get abreast of the 47th Armd Inf Bn at SASSE. The 10th split into two forces consisting of the married "A" Companies (10th Tank Bn and 47th Armd Inf Bn) and the married "C" Companies. The "A" companies moved via BRIETZ - WUSTROW, the "C". Companies via SEEBEN - LUCKAW. The forces rejoined at DOLGOW and pushed on to arrive at the outskirts of LUCHOW at 0730. The 47th Armd Inf Bn (married) moved north from SASSE to the eastern outskirts of LUCHOW, and at 0815 it was reported that the town had surrendered. The 10th Tank Bn then struck north through GRABOW and about one (1) kilometer north of the town was halted by heavy fire from nebelwerfers. The 47th Armd Inf Bn moved north through SEERAW to ZADRAU. Just short of the latter place, this column was also forced to stop as a result of exceedingly heavy fire from nebelwerfers. In order that the columns might continue the advance, artillery was resorted to, but because of difficult terrain, the job of putting the guns into firing positions was a long and tedious task. This resulted in a long delay and it was 1400 before the columns could resume their attacks. During the interim the combat command mopped up the area and cleared mines from road shoulders and a large mine field at SEERAU. At 1400, the 10th Tank Bn again moved into the attack and at 1530 had entered TRAMM. Resistance was light on this advance, but the 47th had encountered a well defended sector, with roadblocks and anti-tank traps at ZADRAU. Such was the resistance in the town, it became necessary to destroy the place with artillery before the column could move on. The 47th Armd Inf Bn moved west through HEIDE, then east to the original route, and at 1900 was in NEBENSTEDT where direct fire was received from the north and west. At this time the 10th Tank Bn was closing in on DANNENBERG from the west and the task-force came under direct fire from the town. CCR ordered both columns to secure for the night and the CP of the combat command set up at SCHAAFHAUSEN.
CCB remained in place and little action was reported for the day. One small task force was sent to BIERSTEDT to mop up some reported enemy stragglers. The Rear Division CP reported small groups or enemy stragglers in its area and these were mopped up by a defense section which had remained behind. The advance CP remained in SALZWEDEL.
Enemy losses for 22 April were as follows:
personnel, PWs, five hundred twenty seven (527) killed, one hundred (100),
estimated, material captured or destroyed,
one (1) ME109,
eight (8) 88mm AT/AA guns,
three (3) 20mm flak guns,
six (6) nebelwerfers,
nine (9) miscellaneous vehicles
and a great quantity of miscellaneous supplies and equipment.
The Division continued its action on 23 April with CCA mopping up the northern portion or its zone. Resistance was slight, and by 2100, the entire CCA area had been cleared. The combat command reported that no resistance existed in its zone west of the Elbe River.
CCR attacked the town or DANNENBERG with the 10th Tank Bn moving in from the west and the 47th Armd Inf Bn from the east. At 0830, after a small fire fight, the town surrendered. The combat command then commenced the mopping up of its area. The 10th Tank Bn cleared the towns of PRISSER - RISKAU and KARMEN along with surrounding areas. The 47th cleared the area east of DANNENBERG to a line QUICKBOHN - SUSBORN. By late evening the mission of CCR was also completed.
In general, 23 April marked the completion of destruction of the 39th Panzer Corps, with its depleted Division "Clausewitz", the 84th Division, and miscellaneous combat teams. Only a very small percentage of its original five to six thousand men, fifty tanks and four to five hundred miscellaneous vehicles is believed to have escaped the trap west of the Elbe River. For the second time in several days the 5th Armored Division fought its way to the Elbe River. The first time on 12 April, when CCA and CCR reached points less than fifty (50) miles from BERLIN and for several days remained the closest American or British units to the German Capitol.
Enemy Casualties for the past 24 hours:
PW's taken, one thousand three hundred (1300) (includes 275 from 22 April), enemy killed, none reported.
Enemy material captured or destroyed for the past 24 hours:
3 Tanks (one a Mark V),
46 motor trucks,
6 passenger cars,
1 gasoline dump,
1 optical warehouse,
1 powder plant,
6 88mm AA/AT (w/prime movers),
21 nebelwerfers (5 w/trucks),
1 SP 75mm gun,
1 SP l50mm gun,
12 Field Artillery guns,
2 flak guns,
1 40mm AA gun,
8 20mm guns,
25 machine guns
and 1 V-1 assembly plant.
On 24 April, CCA and, CCR remained in place awaiting relief by the 29th Inf Div which was to assume the responsibility for the zone. Relief began during the morning, and at 2130, both combat commands had been officially relieved. CCB remained in place in the southwestern portion of the Division zone on 23 - 24 April.
Letter of Instruction No. 75, Hq, XIII Corps, was received by Division. This letter outlined an area of occupation for the Division. The area to be bounded on the north by WITTINGER - HANKENEBUTTEL - SPRAKENSEHL - WEYHAUSENT, ROTTORF - MARIENTHAL, on the south by BARMKE - OCBSEN - DORF - ESSENHOF - WENDEBERG - WENDEZELLE - WAHLE - BATTMAR - MUNSTEDT - TELGTE - SIEVER - SHAUSEN - ARPKE, and on the west by ARPKE - RAMLINGEN - WESTERCELLE - ALTENHAGEN - GARSSEN - ESCHEDE - and WEYHAUSEN. CCB and CCR were given the northern portion with boundaries generally through HANKENSBUTTEL - WESENDORF - KASTORD, CCA the southern portion with north boundary DANNDORF - CALBERLAH - LIEFERDE - HELERSE - EDEMISSEN - AMBOSTEL.
The remainder was given to Div Tn with the 85th, Cav Rcn Sq Mecz and 22d Armd Engr Bn to assist. The entire area was to be occupied upon relief by the 29th Inf Div of the Division in present positions. Included was the protection of the MSR and guarding of various captured installations in the Division's new area. CCB was ordered to take over patrolling activities on the MSR from the 407th RCT (102nd Inf Div) This was accomplished by 2000.
The advance Division CP at SALZWEDEL moved back to the rear CP near NEUEMUHLE.
Enemy losses for 24 April were reported in one category only, that of PW's, one hundred fifty two (152).
On 25 April, CCA and CCR moved to the newly assigned areas. The CCA CP was set up at WEDELHEINE, the 46th Armd Inf Bn at GR SCHWULPER and the 34th Tank Bn at MORSE, with companies at KHMEN and HEILLIGENDORF.
The CCR CP closed at GR OSINGEN, the 10th Tank Bn at HANKENSBUTTEL, with companies at REPKE and surrounding areas, and the 46th Armd Inf Bn going to TACHENDORF.
The 22d Armd Engr Bn moved to UETZE, closing at 1630. The remainder of the Division stayed in place.
The Division's combat command began patrolling their areas on 26 April. CCB was relieved of the responsibility of patrolling the MSR east of the new Division zone. Division Artillery was assigned the west portion of the CCA zone from a line WEDTLENSTEDT - WENDEBERG - SCHWULPER running west to the Division rear boundary, exclusive of the town or PEINE. The 628th TD Bn moved into this zone with the Bn CP at ZWEIDORF, Co."A" at WOLTORF, Co. "B" at SIERSSE and Co. "C" at SCHMEDENSTEDT.
Division Trains moved from CHEINITZ to its new zone. Tn Hq set up at NEUBOKEL, 75th Med Bn Armd at WILCHE, 127th Ord Maint Bn at RIBBESBUTTEL, with Co. "A" at LEIFERDE, Co. "B" at ISENBUTTEL and Co. "C" at GAMSEN, the l45th Armd Sig Co at ETTENSBUTTEL. The Division Headquarters (Rear Echelon, Administration Center) moved into GIFHORN. Thus, with the exception of Division Artillery, which remained in position on the ELBE, and the Division CP, all units had closed in the new area.
From 27 through 30 April, the Division continued to occupy, screen civilian personnel and handle the displaced persons in its area. Division Artillery was under Corps operational control as the month ended. CCA moved its CP to the vicinity of HESSLINGEN. (NOTE: As the month of April ended reports on enemy stragglers decreased. However, civilians on several occasions are known to have attacked soldiers. This was usually accomplished at night and while the soldier was alone.)
Section I - Personnel Matters
Casualties were relatively light in view of the Division's almost constant employment this month. The officer shortage however became more acute during the month, total losses being 48 and returnees-to-duty numbering 10. An additional 3 officers were gained by battlefield appointment and 2 by nonbattlefield appointment. Enlisted casualties during the month amounted to 623 (includes battle and non-battle casualties). This loss was offset approximately by half by receipt of reinforcements and returnees-to-duty. Cavalry trained enlisted reinforcements remained unavailable during the month, and not much success was had in obtaining Infantry reinforcements suitable for conversion to Cavalry.
Decorations were awarded this month as follows:
Silver Star 13
Bronze Star 93
Air Medal 4
Prisoners of War captured during the month totaled 23,343 of whom 4,512 were captured while sick in German military and
civilian hospitals, where they were left under guard. Evacuation was extremely difficult due to limited transportation and
guard personnel and the distances involved. Because of the limitation as above, hundreds more were disarmed and left under
armed guard or with local burgomeisters enroute.
Allied Ex-Prisoners or War uncovered in German installations or freed in transit amounted to 7,207 nationalities as follows:
United States 1656 Russian 1640 British 1349 Polish 1155 French 716 Italians 457 Belgian 167 Hungarian 150 Czech 15 Norwegian 2
Evacuation of these Allied Ex-Prisoners of War was accomplished by use of Division supply trucks, plus a loan of trucks
from a regiment or the 35th Inf Div and from XIII Corps. Personnel were fed from captured German military foods stocks,
supplemented by our own rations. Medical evacuation and emergency medical treatment were not major problems.
Section II - Intelligence Matters
During the past month as the Division advanced from the Rhine to the Elbe there was a continuation in the enemy's use of his AA as &I f1at-trajectory, ground defense, weapons. Having many of these type gums situated around towns, installations, airports, etc, which were rapidly over-run by our forces, and having no means of removing the guns, the enemy concentrated this defense near these sites.
An interesting development during the period was the enemy's use of "spot" discharge's from the Army and the subsequent changing into civilian clothing. One theory on this, obtained from PW statements; was that the individual soldier after donning civilian clothes could better make his way back through our lines and once more into a fighting unit. Actually, this didn't appear to work in the majority of cases as the individual enemy once obtaining his discharge seemed more interested in remaining out of the Army. A few cases of guerrilla activity by these enemy in civilian clothing have been reported and this may well be a second reason for this action. Constant alertness on the part of our troops, and through CIC screening is the solution to this enemy activity.
Two, apparently new and highly secret weapons of the enemy were captured during the period.
At STENAL, Germany a German research technician was taken prisoner. This technician had in his possession and installed on his automobile, Infrared equipment which he was removing from the vicinity of BERLIN and the ultimate danger of capture by the Russians. This equipment was designed for installation on tanks for the purpose of night fighting. The entire equipment, plus the technician was turned over to Enemy Equipment Intelligence Service, NINTH Army. A secret report has been subsequently rendered on this equipment and a copy of the report is on file at this Headquarters.
At RIEKAU, Germany, A V-1 assembly plant was over-run, several V-1s were taken intact. Among the V-1s taken was a new "RE-IV" or Pilot type V-1. The bomb was complete with controls and a parachute was part of the individual bomb equipment, as it was contemplated that the pilot would fly the bomb to its target and then bail out. The entire plant was a lesson in perfect camouflage, built into the wooded area at the surrounding territory. Higher Headquarters was immediately notified and representatives of Target Force, SHAEF, made a subsequent inspection.
Enemy losses for the month of April were as follows:
Tanks - assault guns 46 Miscellaneous motor vehicles 459 Artillery (85mm and up) 206 Guns below 75mm and Inf Howitzers 104
Section III - Operations
"Horsefly" Planes as an Aid Air-Ground Cooperation. One of the most effective methods found for using fighter-bomber aircraft in cooperation with ground troops is by using a "Horsefly" (1-5) observation plane equipped with both WHF (SCR 522) and FM (SCR 510 or SCR 610) radios. This method has been very successfully employed by this Division and has been applauded by all echelons of ground commanders and fighter-bomber squadron commanders alike. It is particularly adaptable for use with an armored division in a constantly moving situation. The "Horsefly" having the same target perspective as that of the F/B's, can be employed to assist a flight in locating a pre-briefed target or to direct the attack on a target of opportunity. The plane is piloted by either a F/B pilot or a specially trained liaison pilot, while the observer is a ground officer from the division using the "Horsefly" and one who not only has been trained by the adjustment of artillery fire but also an officer who has had considerable training in both S-3 and S-3 Air work. With this combination of personnel operating from the "Horsefly" it affords a central control for the coordination of air, ground and artillery attack on a given target. It is important to note, however, that the "Horsefly" will supplement the existing VHF F/B ground control procedure and not replace it as the combination of the two make certain the coordination of all attacking forces. Then, too, continuous operation of the "Horsefly" is not always possible.
A minimum of two "Horsefly" should be on hand at all times, one engaged in operations and one at the Division base to alternate throughout the day. A second pilot and observer "team" is most desirable as it permits the exchange of personnel for necessary rest and orientation.
The "Horsefly" planes are distinguished from other Liaison planes operating in the area by means or a red, orange or white diagonal stripe, 10" wide, on each of the upper wings.
Procedure: The division controller directs the "Horsefly" to proceed to an area or specified location to work with a certain unit and either conduct close reconnaissance and report observations and/or await the arrival of the F/B's and then direct them to the targets. Oftentimes it may be advisable for the "Horsefly" to sit down close to the CP or the unit with which it is working and obtain the latest picture and arrange for coordinated attacks. The pilot and observer are briefed on the target and terrain from aerial photographs and maps and then directed to rendezvous with the F/B flight. When both visual and radio contact with the flight have been established, the "Horsefly" leads the flight to the target area and describes the target in detail, adding any particular instructions regarding the ground and artillery coordination. The "Horsefly" can indicate the target with considerable ease by simply hovering over or near the target and indicating the bombing or strafing run by his own action. For targets of opportunity an area is usually reconnoitered or targets by the "Horsefly". When one is discovered the "Horsefly" calls the forward controller of the combat command with which it is working. The next flight of F/B's are then directed to a certain point and to contact the "Horsefly". "Horsefly" is given the IP, call sign operating channel of the F/B's, and estimated time of their arrival.
The "Horsefly" then takes over as forward controller at the IP and directs the attack. Should targets be observed by other OP's the "Horsefly" is notified and ordered to the area to direct the attack While the pilot of the "Horsefly" operates the VHF in contact with the F/B planes, the observer keeps abreast of the ground picture by means of one FM channel in contact with all Division and Major Command S-3 Air and S-3 Sections. Another FM channel enables the observer to direct artillery fire for the marking of targets, artillery concentrations either before or after the air attack or the lifting of artillery fires prior to either air or ground attack. Every effort should be made to have the air complement artillery or the reverse. The combined effort or both support arms immediately followed by the ground attack cannot be surpassed or its importance over emphasized.
Advantages of the "Horsefly":
1. Better Vision: To be of the greatest assistance to the F/B pilot, the ground controller must be able to see the target. This has been found to be extremely difficult When with advance guard or the assault wave, fields of vision are always bad. Good positions are usually denied us by enemy fire. Even with a good OP,only a few hundred yards of front can be observed from a tank, and during movement almost nothing can be observed. Also, targets are usually not discovered until they have fired upon our troops. The advantages of an L-4 plane parallels the increased efficiency the L-4 Air OP has given to the artillery.
a. Great Assistance to F/B's in finding Targets. Due to the great speed and the altitude that F/B's must fly, it is often difficult for them to find and identity targets. The ground controllers' most difficult job is to "talk" the pilot to his target. The "Horsefly" can do this much more readily. By the flight of his plane the pilot is able to indicate the target and "talk terrain" to the F/B's since they both have the same view of the target, and by direct communications with artillery to mark the targets with smoke. Targets can be positively identified as enemy before the attack is made.
b. Ability to Continuously Find New Targets. Both Primary and Secondary.
From experience it has been found that the L-4 Artillery Observer has been able to supply the S-3 Air with his best targets. With the good view of the battlefield that the Air CP has, anything holding up our forces can be observed and hit. Even more valuable, and something that the ground controller cannot do, is to find the targets before they become a menace to our ground forces. The Air observer is able to find and have ready at all times the most profitable targets for the supporting F/B's. During exploitation he should be able to find many small targets such as road blocks and AT guns that impede the advance, and either attack them with available column and/or artillery, or report the positions to the ground commander. (All targets are cleared with the ground commander before attack is made and the ground attack coordinated.)
c. To instantly Spot and Report New Flak Positions. Not only can the "Horsefly" call for anti-flak fire on known positions but it can instantly spot and report any new positions observed during the first part of the attack. This is of great benefit to the F/8 pilots, reducing their losses due to enemy flak and increasing their efficiency.
d. Assists in Obtaining Both Friendly and Enemy Information. By use of the S-3 Air FM Net the observer is able to keep each Major Command with whom he is working informed at all times of positions of friendly forward elements and all observed enemy actions or installations.
2. Mobility. The "Horsefly" could control F/B attack on any target regardless of position, while the ground controller is limited by being (in comparison to the L-5 speed) somewhat immobile. This would be invaluable in case of a counter-attack from a flank, or to assist in covering a flank. Enemy movement can be spotted before actual contact is made. The "Horsefly" can control air attacks for any combat command, special task force or any unit of the division regardless of whether or not the force has a VHF radio.
3. Communication. The use at this plane links all S-3 Air officers of the Division in a rapid FM voice net. Fighter-Bombers can be better employed as they are easily shifted as needed between combat commands. This net can also be used for liaison between combat commands and the Division CP. The direct communications with Division Artillery assists in rapid marking at targets; firing of anti-flak and use of air cooperation and artillery in combination or succession.
Recommendation. It is recommended that two (2) "Horseflies" (L-5 aircraft) equipped with VHF (SCR 522) radio and FM (SCR 510) radio be attached or made readily available to the Armored Division. Each plane to be piloted by one F/B pilot on temporary duty or detached service with the Division. The "Horseflies" can be serviced and based at either the Corps or preferably the Division Artillery Liaison plane base. The pilot to be accompanied by an officer observer, selected from the division, who has had S-3, S-3 Air and Artillery Forward Observer training. Said officer observer should be attached. to the Division Air Liaison Section as a full time assistant to the Air Liaison Officer. The S-3 Air FM Radio Net to become a standard net within. the division, consisting of the Division Air Liaison Officer, the S-3 Air of each Combat Command, the "Horsefly" and one Division' Artillery station. One frequency of the two available with the SCR 510 to be used for the S-3 Air Net and the other, for the Division Artillery Fire Control Net linking all artillery battalions.
While the use of the "Horsefly" by this Division has to date been somewhat experimental it has proven to be far more effective than at first anticipated. It is planned that in the future whenever possible it will be employed, along with our present ground control procedure. Its use insures the accurate marking of targets and makes possible the complete coordination of the combined air, artillery and ground force attack.
Section IV - Supply and Maintenance Matters
1. The operation from the Rhine to the Elbe emphasized again the need for additional transportation When an Armored Division is committed on a pursuit or exploitation mission.
a. The two normally attached Quartermaster Truck companies were disposed as follows:
1 platoon with each combat command for CI.3 supplies;
1 platoon (-) with Division Artillery for CI 3 and 5 supplies;
1 platoon with Division Quartermaster for CI 1;
and 1 platoon (-) with Division Trains for a small Division reserve of CI 3 and 5 and for miscellaneous transportation (reinforcements, returnees from pass and furlough, PX, and so forth).
b. Priority of supply was CI 3. Fuel trains operated on such a narrow time margin that in several instances a delay of several hours in arrival at the unit service parks would have resulted in the curtailment or cessation of the rapid advance of the Division.
c. All fuel trucks were overloaded in excess or 100%.
d. Army supply points are unable to displace forward fast enough to provide adequate support to armor in pursuit. Turnaround traveled by unit fuel trucks exceeded 360 miles in several instances and was 325 miles when units were on the Elbe.
e. Extra fuel for 100 miles of operation was carried on or in all vehicles in crossing the Rhine. This insured full basic load upon being committed to action from the assembly area east of the Rhine.
2. Experience in continental operations has proven that the fuel consumption estimates given in FM's and TM's are 30% low for combat operations.
3. Replacement of destroyed vehicles was greatly simplified and accelerated by the allocation, by Army Ordnance, replacement stock of combat and general purpose vehicles which were carried in the Division Ordnance Supply Section.
4. Abnormal wear of tank and half track track was experienced, due to the great amount of cobblestone type roads traversed.
FOR THE COMMANDING GENERAL:
EDWARD G . FARRAND,
Colonel, G. S. C., Chief of Staff.