After Action December 1944

December 1944

After Action December 1944

SECRET HEADQUARTERS 5th ARMORED DIVISION APO No. 255 U. S. Army S E C R E T Auth: CG 5th 5th Armd Div: Initials: Date: 5 January 1945 319.1 CNNJG Report After Action Against Enemy - December 1944. 1. CAMPAIGN: Western Europe. 2. LOSSES IN ACTION: a, Personnel:

Personnel Officers Enlisted men Total
Killed In Action 9 158 167
Seriously Wounded In Action 4 138 142
Lightly Wounded In Action 42 632 674
Seriously Injured In Action 0 3 3
Lightly Injured In Action 1 83 64
Missing In Action 1 106 107
Total 57 1130 1177

b, Vehicular

Type Destroyed or Abandoned Evacuated
Car, Armored, Light M8 2  
Carrier, Pers, H/T, M3 w/w 9 3
Carrier, Pers, H/T, M3A1 w/w 1  
Tank, Light M5AI 5 1
Tank, Medium, w/75MM Gun 44 5
Tank, Medium, w/76MM Gun 1 1
Tank, Medium, w/105MM How 3  
Tank, Medium, w/Mine Exploder (CRAB) 2  
Trailer, Ammunition M10 1  
Truck, 1/4 Ton, 4X4 1 6
Truck, 2 1/2 ton, 6x6, Cargo w/o winch 12 6
Truck, 3/4 Ton 4X4, W/C, w/w 1  
Trailer 1 Ton, Two-Wheel, Cargo 5  
Total 74 19


Type Expended Loss Due to Enemy Action
Carbine 95164 215425
Cal, 30 395263 10073
Cal, 45 27050 10574
Cal, 50 168863  
60mm 1074  
81mm 4768  
37mm 2837 371
57mm 48 120
75mm Gun 6015 3014
75mm Howitzer 5826  
76mm Gun 544 76
90mm Gun 444  
4.2 Mortar 1679  
105mm How 58441  
155mm Gun 290  
Rockets, AT 900  
Grenade, hand 3443  
Grenade, rifle 200  
Signal, Ground 3  
Flare 115  
Total Tonnage 1977.94 50.26

4. COMMANDERS: During the month of December 1944 units of the units of the Division were commanded by the following named officers: 5th Armd Div - MAJ GEN LUNSFORD E OLIVER, 03536, USA Combat Command "A", 5th Armd Div - BRIG GEN EUGENE REGNIER, 08295, USA Hq & Hq Co, Combat Command "A" - CAPT CARL W. ROTH, 01010340, USA Combat Command "B", 5th Armd Div - COL JOHN T COLE, 05256, CAV Hq & Hq Co, Combat Command "B" - CAPT JOE A PERRY, 01012397, INF 5th Armd Div Arty - COL DOUGLAS J PAGE, 04495, FA Hq & Hq Btry, 5th Armd Div Arty - CAPT NORMAN W CUSISK, 0466787 FA Reserve Command, 5th Armd Div - COL GLEN H ANDERSON, 08632, INF Hq Co., 5th Armd Div - CAPT LARRY H GREENWOOD, 01263065, INF HQ 5th Armd Div Tn - LT COL KARL L SCHERER, 018784, CAV Hq Co, 5th Armd Div Tn - CAPT JAMES R BAGWELL, 01011081, CAV MP Platoon, 5th Armd Div - MAJ ALEXANDER T NELSEN, 0335298, CAV 145th Armd Sig Co - CAPT GLENN A WELDE, 0453447, SC 85th Cav Rcn Sq Mecz - MAJ GEORGE C BENJIMIN, 023422, CAV 10th Tank Bn - LT COL WILLIAM B HAMBERG, 0292156, INF 34th Tank Bn - LT COL WILLIAM L CABANISS, 0293176, INF (Atchd) 81st Tank Bn - LT COL LE ROY H ANDERSON, 0239452 INF 15th Armd Inf Bn - LT COL GLENN G DICKENSON, 0197385 CAV 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 CCL 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 (1-13 Dec 44) (26-31 Dec 44); MAJ ALBERT M BROWN, 3369773, CE, (13-26 Dec 44) per par 6, AR 605-20, 127th Ord Maint Bn - MAJ RONALD BERSBCH, 0318269, ORD 75th Med Bn, Armd - LT COL BENJAMIN H BADER, 0372570, MC 5. NARRATIVE: During the period from 1 December thru 1, December, the Division, less CCA and CCR, continued to train for future operations. At 1200, 1 December, the 4th Cavalry Group Headquarters (plus 1 light tank company), was attached to the Division. The Division CP moved from the vicinity of NEUDORF, BELGIUM to HAHN GERMANY, at 1300, 1 December. The Division Ammunition Office was opened at HAHN pending forward displacement of Division Trains. CCA continued to operate in attachment to the 4th Infantry Division. At 1600, 1 December the 46th Armored Infantry Battalion was relieved from attachment to the 22d Regimental Combat Team and reverted to the control of CCA. This Battalion had been attached to the 22d Regimental Combat Team for the purpose of seizing high ground Northeast of KLEINHAU. The Battalion succeeded in driving a small salient East of GROSSHAU and Northeast or KLEINHAU but suffered very heavy casualties. Vehicular casualties were generally of a temporary nature consisting of punctured radiators and tires. Losses of mortars and machine guns were comparatively heavy. CCR remained attached to the 8th Infantry Division, (V Corps) and was held in reserve pending orders for a new mission with the Infantry Division. The 15th Armored Infantry Battalion (CCB) was relieved from its mission in the LAMMERSDORF - ROTT area by a RCT of the 9th Infantry Division.

At 0730, 2 December, CCR attacked in the direction of BRANDENBERG. After gaining about 3 kilometers, the advance was completely held up by anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. At 1600, the 4th Cavalry Group Headquarters (plus 1 light tank company) was ordered back to Corps control by VII Corps. CCA reverted to Division control at the sane time and the Division Commander immediately submitted a request for the relief of the 46th Armored Infantry Battalion for the purpose of reorganization. The 46th had been attacked during the day by the 1st Battalion of the 943 Regiment (353rd Infantry Division,) Three (3) companies of this enemy battalion participated in a general attack on the 4th Infantry Division position. The 46th Armored Infantry Battalion killed 75 enemy personnel before it was forced to withdraw at 1500. However, no ground was lost as elements of the 4th Division took over. The 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was relieved by the 9th Infantry Division of its mission in general support of the 102nd Cavalry Group.

On 3 December, CCR resumed its advance, after Engineers had removed the mines during the previous night. BRANDENBERG was captured by the combat command at 1115. 276 prisoners were taken by CCR on this date. Its advance reconnaissance elements penetrated as far as BERGSTEIN and some prisoners were taken from the 189th anti-Tank Battalion, reported guarding that city.

The 46th Armored Infantry Battalion of CCA was withdrawn to the Northwest of KLEIMIAU to reorganize. The Division area was attacked about 1400 by an estimated 35 to 40 enemy planes (ME 109). There were no casualties and the Division Artillery Command reported that one of its units, the 387th anti-aircraft Battalion had destroyed a total of 14 enemy planes and had damaged 8 others, CCR remained in place on the 4th of December in BRANDENBERG and utilized its time in mopping up any remaining enemy resistance, The only other action taken against the enemy~in that area, by CCR, was the placing of mortar and artillery fire. CCB reorganized in preparation for the assembly of its units in the area or the CCA CP North of ZWEIFALL.

From 5 December thru 9 December, the Division, less CCR, continued plans and training for future operations. CCR remained attached to the 8th Infantry Division (V Corps) in the BRANDENBERG - BERGSTEIN area. At 1400, 5 December, CCR began the attack on BERGSTEIN along the West bank of the ROER RIVER and by 1530 hours, its advance elements were fighting in the streets of the village. At 1630, CCR had completed the mopping up of remaining resistance in the village and immediately formulated plans for its defense against enemy counter-attacks. Fifty (50) prisoners were taken in the operation and at the close of the day a determination of the number of enemy dead had not been completed. Extremely severe enemy resistance coupled with very difficult terrain was the cause of heavy losses sustained by CCB in both personnel and equipment. Enemy artillery and mortar fire was especially severe throughout the operation and continued during the entire period. Many enemy planes were over the Division area but no offensive action was reported, CCA moved the 46th Armored Infantry Battalion, Company "A", 22d Armored Engineer Battalion, and elements of the 34th Tank Battalion, to its assembly area in the vicinity of ZWEIFALL, and all units were closed in the area at 1450. Troop "D", 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was relieved from attachment to CCA and reverted to Squadron control.

CCR in continuing defense of BERGSTEIN, sustained 3 enemy counterattacks during the day an 6 December, The first attack was launched at 0700 by approximately 500 enemy infantry supported by 10 tanks. This attack lasted until 0930 and the strong determination of the enemy succeeded in their temporary seizure of a few houses in the southern part of the village. However, this gain was nullified and the enemy driven completely out of the village by 0930. This engagement cost the enemy 6 of their attacking tanks and five anti-tank guns which were knocked out by CCR. Again at 1130, a second counter-attack was made by a weaker force of enemy infantry, supported by 1 tank, but this attack was made by enemy infantry, quickly repulsed. at 1420, a third counter-attack was made by enemy infantry, approximately company strength. No armor was in support and the attack was beaten off by 1545. During the whole day and throughout these attacks enemy artillery and mortar fire continued to be extremely heavy.

CCR reported 41 prisoners of war taken, including one (1) officer. The enemy units participating in the attacks were identified as the 1st and 2nd Battalion of the 980th Infantry Regiment (272nd V. G. Div). Prisoners claimed that this Division moved to the BERGSTEIN area from SCMIDT during the night 3-4 December.

Throughout the night of 6-7 December, CCR received intermittent artillery and mortar fire in BERGSTEIN. The 2nd Ranger Battalion arrived during the same night to help CCR in it defense of the village, and on the morning of 7 December pushed out an GP line in a rough semi-circle of about 500 yards to the East, around the village to the Southwest. Light enemy resistance was encountered. CCR continued to hold the inner ring of defense East, South, and Southwest of the village. In the meantime elements of the 8th Infantry Division attacked the wooded area, North of the village and successfully outposted the area, This move gave some assurance that BERGSTEIN would not be endangered by counter-attacks from the North. Approximately 69 prisoners were taken in this operation and the previous move by the 2nd Ranger Battalion. Continued heavy artillery and mortar fire fell on BERGSTEIN throughout the day.

CCR was relieved during the night 7-8 December and moved to the vicinity of WALHORN on the morning of 8 December. The command remained attached to V Corps and was placed in Corps Reserve. Regitting of the CCR units was given highest priority by Division Supply agencies. Losses in tanks had been extremely heavy due to anti-tank fire and mines. Recovery operations were hampered by artillery and mortar fire, minefields and difficult terrain. Heavy traffic and long hauls over poor roads from the forward collecting points created quite a problem in vehicular evacuation.

The Division CP was moved from HAHN to ZWEIFALL at 1330, 8 December 1944. Division Artillery moved from ROETGEN to ZWEIFALL, and were joined in the Division assembly area, one (1) kilometer West of ZWEIFALL, by the 400th Field Artillery Battalion. This battalion was attached to the Division at 1600 after having been detached for a long period. The 71st Armored Field Artillery Battalion moved in the vicinity of WALHEIM.

On 9 December 1944, CCB was alerted for movement to the KLEINHAU area. During the afternoon of the 9th, the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion, (plus 3 platoons of tanks or the 81st Tank Battalion) was sent to the new assembly area, Company "B", 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion was attached to CCB in place. The 71st Armored Field Artillery Battalion was ordered to reconnoiter firing positions in the CCB assembly area and to move thereto without delay. The battalion was placed in the direct support of CCB. CCA moved to the vicinity of HAHN and set up its CP in the village. The Division prepared for action at an early date.

On 10 December, the remainder of CCB moved to its assembly area West of KLEINHAU and closed at 1600. Orders originally issued by VII Corps for CCB to attack on 10 December were cancelled and the attack was ordered for 0730, 11 December. The CCB assembly area was bombed and strafed by enemy planes at 1726. Fourteen (14) casualties were inflicted on our troops. The 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was moved to the CCB assembly area, West of KLEINHAU, and closed at 1100. The 71st Armored Field Artillery Battalion moved to the assembly area of CCB, and closed at 1600.

The 5th Armored Division, operating as a division for the first time since being attached to VII Corps, sent CCB to attack in the direction of SCHAFBERG at 0730. The 4th Cavalry Group, with the 759th Tank Battalion (light) and the 635th TD Battalion attached, became attached to the Division at the time of the attack (0730), to perform a blocking mission on the Division's South flank. The 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (less "C" Troop), was attached to the 4th Cavalry Group to aid in the performance of this mission. The attack was temporarily held up just West of the town at 0825 by reason of the Combat Command's lead tanks being knocked out. Three (3) companies of the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion (A,B,&C) went forward on foot, supported by 1 Platoon of tanks from each of the corresponding companies of the 81st Tank Battalion.

This force passed to the South of SCHAFBERG. The town previously had been reported clear, but was found to be occupied by the enemy. Elements of the 83rd Division were attempting to dislodge these enemy troops. At 1245, the CB column had occupied the nose of a hill Southeast of the town. Opposition was heavy, both from dug-in infantry and mortar and artillery fire. The latter, especially severe, caused many casualties during the operation. The remainder of CCB, under cover, West of SCHAFBERG, waited for the 83rd Division to clear the town. At 2200, CCB reported that the Infantry-Tank force from the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion and the 81st Tank Battalion was supported by tank destroyers and elements of the 759th Tank Battalion. Our casualties were reported to be one hundred sixty (160), with 30 to 40 of this number killed.Officer casualties were thirty (30) percent and it was reported that evacuation of all casualties was extremely difficult. The supply line to forward troops was over terrain that was under constant shelling and was impassable for wheeled or semi-track vehicles. It was necessary to use light tanks for all supply and evacuation of these troops. Enemy units opposing the advance of CCB, were identified as part of the 2nd Battalion, 941st Infantry Regiment organically a part of the 2nd Parachute Division, but believed to be under control of the 85th Infantry Division. Enemy losses during the period consisted or 31 prisoners of war and 30 killed.

CCB had begun movement to the East from the vicinity of HAHN at 0730 prepared to pass through elements of the 83rd Division in GEY, and to continue the attack to the East. At 0950, CCA was halted one (1) kilometer West of GROSSHAU. This halt in operations was due to the inability of the 83rd Division to clear GEY of enemy resistance and multiple mines. CCA was unable to move forward and went into an assembly area West of GROSSHAU, however, one married (Infantry-Tank) company was forced to return to HAHN in order to clear the road. At 1830, the Division Commander ordered CCA to remain in place for the night and prepare to move thru GEY for attack to the East on 13 December.

CCB was ordered to continue moping up in the vicinity of its location and be prepared to resume the attack at 1300, 12 December, provided that the 2nd Bn, 330th Infantry, 83rd Division became available for attachment to CCB. The 4th Cavalry Group was ordered to continue on it blocking mission. Company "D", 87th Chemical Battalion was attached to CCB, and was located in the vicinity of GROSSHAU. The 400th Field Artillery Battalion was moved by Division Artillery to the GROSSHAU area and closed at 1800. Heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire fell on the CCB area continuously.

The Division Trains moved from the WAIMES-FAYMONVILLE area in BELGIUM at 0740, 11 December, with Headquarters, Band, 145th Signal Company, and the Division Administration Center moving to ZWEIFALL. The 127th Ordnance Battalion (-B and C) and the 3907 Quartermaster Truck Company located at WALHEIM. Headquarters, 75th Medical Battalion and Company "C" 127th Ordnance and 3912 Quartermaster Company moved to RAEREN.

The action was continued on 12 December, CCB consolidated its positions taken the previous day and was subjected to intense artillery and mortar fire, Companies "A", "B", and "C", 15th Armored Infantry Battalion, were reported to have suffered extremely heavy casualties during the two (2) days fighting. The Commanding Officers of all three (3) companies were among the casualties. The 4th Cavalry Group took very heavy artillery and mortar fire all along the lines, and "D" Troop; 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, was hit the hardest, suffering fifty (50) per cent casualties. All units remained in place during the day. Ten (10) prisoners were taken by elements of the Division on this date. A platoon of "A" Company, 738th Tank Battalion, consisting of 2 - T1E1 mine exploders, 3 - T1E3 mine exploders, 1 tank dozer and 1 - medium tank was attached to the Division. The 2 - T1E1 mine exploders and the tank doser were moved to CCA area and were used in clearing the road in the vicinity of GEY. Terrain and road conditions precluded the use or movement of the heavier T1E3. At 1840, the Division Commander issued orders for an attack on 13 December 1944.

The attacks by CCA and CCB for 13 December were cancelled and the period was spent in preparation for attacks on 14 December: CCA to attack East through GEY at an early hour, and CCB to attack East on its initial objective from its position on the high ground Southeast of SCHAFBERG. The 15th Armored Infantry Battalion was designated to launch this attack at 0645, 14 December. The 2nd Battalion 330th Infantry (83rd Division) reinforced with Company "C", (less 1 platoon), 81st Tank Battalion, was ordered to attack to the East from STRASS simultaneously with the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion. The 4th Cavalry Group, with the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (less Troop "C") continued the security screen on the Division flank. Enemy action during this period consisted of fairly heavy concentration of artillery and mortar fire, delivered mainly on the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion's positions. This Battalion's casualties continued to mount. During the day Company "C" (-1 platoon), 81st Tank Battalion, attempted its move to STRASS to take position with the 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry. The tanks met with severe anti-tank fire and were forced to take cover, after two of their number had been knocked out. It was than decided to wait for darkness as the movement of the tanks in daylight invited a heavy concentration fire over the entire area. At dusk a patrol was sent forward under cover of darkness to reconnoiter a possible route of movement for the tank company. This patrol returned at 0200, 14 December, and reported that it was most impracticable to attempt movement of the tanks thru the existing minefields, at night. The Company was then placed in reserve just West of SCHAFBEG and was to be on instantaneous call when the 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry, needed its support.

On the morning of 14 December the Division initiated its attack as planned. CCA attacked thru GEY at 0925; its advance elements having reached the outskirts of the city at 0900. The attack was delayed for a few hours in the late morning by considerable quantities of mines which had been layed on the road leading from GEY to HORM. These fields were breached shortly before noon and the attack pushed on. Enemy artillery fire was reported to be moderate and the enemy was withdrawing to the high ground Northwest of the CCA advance. At 1500, the leading elements or CCA reached HORM and began to receive heavy artillery fire from the direction of KUPFERATH. An air mission was directed on that town and on an enemy battery located on the final objective, the high ground to the East of KUFFERATH.

The attack was then pushed toward KUFFERATH, the initial objective of the combat command, and by late afternoon, elements were deployed on the Northern and Eastern fringes of the town. The advance had been slow but steady and at the end of the period, CCA was the furthest East of all units in the First or Ninth U S Armies. Contact had been made with 331st Infantry Regiment (83rd Division) during the closing minutes of the period, This Infantry Regiment had the mission of holding the hill Southwest of BERZBUIR.

In the meantime, on the Southern front of the Division sector CCB (plus the 2nd Bn, 330th Infantry attached), attacked East at 0645 but the advance was almost negligible due to extremely heavy enemy resistance from artillery, mortar and small arms fire. "D" Troop, 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, which was in contact with Co "C", 15th Armored Infantry Battalion, reported at 1530 that approximately 200 rounds of enemy mortar fire were falling each hour during the afternoon. In spite or the severity of enemy resistance, CCB gained about one (1) Kilometer for the period. At 1655, further advance was halted by order of the Division Commander, and CCB was directed to continue on the following morning. Troops "A", "B" and one (1) platoon of "F" Company (light tank company), 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, were attached to CCB at 2130 to strengthen the attacking force. The 4th Cav GP with the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (-) attached continued the security screen on the Division's Southern flank. The 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry Regiment (83rd Division) attached to CCB, took 109 prisoners during the period. Air support for this period, consisted of twelve planes which bombed and strafed the enemy positions. Enemy losses to Division elements for the period were as follows: 100 enemy killed, 23 prisoners taken; 5 self-propelled guns, 1 anti-tank gun, destroyed.

On 15 December, the attacks of CCA and CCB were resumed with CCB stepping off at 0730 and CCB (plus 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry) at 0800. CCA launched its attack against the town of KUFFERATH with one married company (Co "A" 34th Tank Battalion and Co "A", 46th Armored Infantry Battalion). The assault carried against light resistance and the town reported clear at 0900. At the same time another married company (Company "B", 46th Armored Infantry Battalion and Company "B" 34th Tank Battalion) pressed an attack to the final objective of CCA, the high ground to the Southeast of KUFFERATH, known as hills 209, and 211. Enemy resistance was light and the bulk of that came from three or four assault guns to the East and Southeast of the objective. This mission, which was accomplished at 0820, carried the combat command's elements to within a few hundred yards of the ROER RIVER. The enemy had apparently withdrawn its infantry during the night. CCA encountered fire from artillery, mortars, anti-tank guns and SP guns, but of less intensity than that of the preceding day. Four (4) enemy tanks were observed in the near vicinity at 1200, and these maneuvered around until our fire destroyed one (1), and the balance withdrew at 1400. Companies "A" and "B", 46th Armored Infantry Battalion, were moved to the high ground just West of KREUZAU and the 34th Tank Battalion (less Co A) went into position in the vicinity of GEY. Company "A", 34th Tank Battalion, at this time was operating with the 331st Regimental Combat Team whose mission was to hold KUFFERATH. During the afternoon CCB consolidated its positions and established contact with adjacent units. Defensive positions were improved so as to repel any enemy counter-attacks during the night (15-16 December).

CCB started its attack at 0800 against much lessened enemy resistance. One spearhead plunged to the North from the East of STRASS and by 1100 had taken LANGENBROICH. In the meanwhile a second spearhead pushed South from positions East of SCHAFBERG and penetrated the woods West of BERGHEIM, reaching a point just North of UNTERMAUBACH. This attack met same fire from artillery and mortars. At 1130 the woods West of BERGHEIM had been cleared and this force, made up of the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion, Troops "A" and "B", 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, and the 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry Regiment, was on line looking down into the town of BERGHEIM. CCB was held up at this point until a coordinated attack could be made on the town. In the meantime both the Southern and Northern spearheads had converged outside of the town. At 1415, the 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry, was designated to take the town and Troops "A" and "B" 85th Cavalry Squadron, supported by 1 platoon of medium tanks from the 81st Tank Battalion, were to seize the high ground on the South of BERGHEIM at an early hour, 16 December. The 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry took the town at 1545 and by 2000 the town was outposted by one (1) company and the remainder of the battalion withdrawn to the Northeast corner of the woods in the vicinity of LANGENBROICH. Enemy resistance in the town was light and one (1) anti-tank gun was reported destroyed. A small force of enemy was routed by our preparatory artillery fire. The 4th Cavalry Group (-) with the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (-) continued to extend forward security screen of the Division's Southern flank. Several patrols had attempted to penetrate this line but were repulsed. Enemy artillery and mortar fire continued heavy in this sector. Enemy losses for the day were as follows: Personnel; killed, 127; captured, 100 (this figure includes 62 PWs taken by the 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry); material captured or destroyed; 1 tank, 5 SP guns, 3 - 88 mm anti-tank guns, 4 anti-tank guns (caliber unknown), 1 field gun and 10 mortars.

On 16 December, CCB launched an attack in its sector, with Troops "A" and "B", 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, supported by 1 platoon of medium tanks from the 81st Tank Battalion, attacking to the Southeast from BERGHEIM, to take the objective: the hill to the Southeast of BERGHEIM. The advance was rapid and at 0830, the force had taken the high ground and established positions on the objective. These positions were then consolidated and the area mopped up. Several prisoners were taken during the attack. The 15th Armored Infantry Battalion moved South from BERGHEIM in the afternoon, and seized the town of BERGHEIM, completing this action at 1720. The remainder of CCB with the attached 2nd Bn, 330th Infantry consolidated positions. One company of the Infantry Battalion continued to hold BERGHEIM and the remainder of the Battalion moved back to a covered position in the vicinity of LANGENBROIGH. The enemy, during the previous night, had continued to withdraw and extricate the majority of his supporting weapons, but isolated groups of enemy continued resistance in the remaining pockets West of the ROER RIVER near WINDEN. Considerable night movement was heard in the vicinity of BOGHEIM and WINDEN. These two places were fired on by our artillery. In turn, heavy enemy artillery fire was received in KUFFERATH but the bulk of it was believed unobserved.

CCA consolidated positions in its sector, with "A" Co, 46th Armored Infantry Battalion being relied on hill 211 by "K" Co 331st Infantry (83rd Division). At 1200, the boundary between the Division and the 83rd Division was changed on the North, returning to CCA the responsibility for the town of KUFFERATH and hill 211. Company "A" 34th Tank Battalion was in position to take over the town from Co "L", 331st Infantry, however, Co. "A", 34th Tank Battalion could not enter the town until such time as Co "L", 331st Infantry had departed; their departure was planned for an early hour 17 December. Company "A", 46th Armored Infantry Battalion, again took up positions on hill 211, relieving Co "K", 331st Infantry. Co "K" did not move from the hill this date and it was necessary for the two (2) companies to double up for the night, with A/46 digging in along side of Co "K", 331st Infantry. At 1800, CCA was disposed in its sector with the 34th Tank Battalion having an advance CP at KUFFERATH and a rear CP at GEY. Co "A" was in KUFFERATH, reinforced with one (1) platoon of Co "A", 22d Armored Engineers, one (1) platoon of Co "A", 628 Tank Destroyer Battalion and the Reconnaissance platoon of Co "A", 628 Tank Destroyer Battalion. Company "B", 34th Tank Battalion, of which only one (1) platoon remained operative, was in the vicinity of GEY. Company "C", 34th Tank Battalion, and Company "C" 46th Armored Infantry Battalion (a married company), moved to the established CP of the 46th Armored Infantry Battalion in the vicinity of LANDENBROICH. The 4th Cavalry Group and the 8th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron continued the screening mission on the Southern flank of the Division along the general line GROSSHAU of BILSTEIN. Some small arms fire was received from the vicinity of BOGHEIM to the South. CCA had received a continuous shelling throughout the day. Approximately 5 to 6 rounds of 150mm an hour, 80 rounds mortar fire, 75mm and 105mm an hour, constituted this shelling.

During the night 16-17 December an unknown number of paratroopers were dropped by the enemy over a wide area. A large enemy counter-attack was reported in progress on the V Corps and VIII Corps Sectors. Enemy air actively over the Division area was much increased and some bombs were dropped but no damage was reported. Enemy losses for the period consisted of 41 personnel killed; 50 captured, of which 21 were taken by the 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry. The enemy material captured or destroyed was four (4) SP guns (abandoned by enemy); three (3) anti-tank guns (abandoned by enemy); twelve field guns, two anti-tank guns; seven infantry mortars and 2 vehicles destroyed.

On 17 December the action of the Division was confined to consolidating positions; and elements of CCA completed the relief of 83rd Division elements in the town of KUFFERATH. Enemy planes were active over the entire Division area in the early morning hours. CCB was straffed and bombed in its positions but no casualties resulted therefrom. In general, from midnight 16-17 December to midnight 17-18, December enemy air activity was extremely heavy. VII Corps reported a number of parachutists dropped in the Corps area and during the entire period a search was conducted throughout the Division area. Counter-measures were taken in the form of additional road blocks, traffic check-points and listening-points. The first parachutist reported killed in the VII Corps sector was in the area of one of the Divisional units.

CCB continued to receive sporadic artillery and mortar fire in the town of KUFFERTH and on hill 211. Troop "D", 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, was subjected to a very heavy concentration of mortar fire at 2000, Medium artillery also fell on and in the vicinity of GEY, STRASS, and GROSSHAU. The 4th Cavalry Group (-) and the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (-) continued the defensive screen on the Division's Southern flank. "D" Company, 87th Chemical Battalion, attached to CCB, placed fire from its 4.2 mortars on suspected enemy artillery and mortar positions and fire from these positions was stilled. Enemy units in contact from North to South along the Division front were identified as follows: 353rd Engineer Battalion, 334th Alarm Company, remnants of the II Battalion, 6th Parachute Regiment.

On 18 December, the Division continued to hold defensive positions along its front. CCA held the town of KUFFERATH and positions on the high ground to the West of KREUZAU and Northwest of WINDEN. CCB held the towns of BERGHEIM and BILSTEIN, and the high ground East of BILSTEIN and South of WINDEN. The defensive screen on the Division's Southern flank continued, with the 4th Cavalry Group (-) and the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (-) maintaining a line running generally from KLEINHAU to BERGHEIM with contact with the 8th Infantry Division on the right, and the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion (CCB) in BILSTEIN. Patrolling was continued to the South and East and in the BOGHEIM area. The enemy was reported to be active in this area, both mounted and dismounted activity being observed. Our artillery fire was placed on this target with good effect. Enemy activity was also prevalent in the WINDEN area with a great deal or vehicular movement being observed. One enemy patrol attempted penetration of the CCA sector at 2145 but was repulsed. The remainder of enemy action during the day was confined to the placing or large caliber artillery fire in the areas of GEY - HORM - KUFFERATH and on the high ground to the West of WINDEN, which was held by Companies "B" and "C", 46th Armd Infantry Battalion and 1platoon of the 34th Tank Battalion. This position was subjected to sporadic harassing fire for the entire period. Some artillery fire fell along the entire front during the day. Enemy planes bombed the positions of the 71st Armored Field Artillery Battalion and 400th Field Artillery Battalion during the morning and inflicted some casualties on the former. At 1130, the 400th Field Artillery Battalion was relieved from attachment to the Division and moved by order to the V Corps zone. Parachutist counter-measures were rigidly continued and the Division area was constantly searched for enemy. Generally, the enemy continued fairly heavy air activity over the Division but limited offensive actions were reported. Intelligence reported that the enemy laid smoke screens in two places; the vicinity of DUREN and at BUIR. Artillery battery positions were being shifted by the enemy but whether the shift was to the South or North could not be determined. The enemy suffered light casualties during the period with 1 killed, and 2 prisoners reported.

On 19 December, enemy patrolling was very active and became increasingly aggressive. In at least one instance these patrols were supported by artillery and mortar fire.

In general, an increase in the volume of mortar and artillery fire was followed by considerable movement of vehicles in and behind the front line areas. Air activity was negligible in so far as the enemy was concerned. CCA and CCB regrouped their forces in preparation for an attack on 20 December. All defensive positions held for the previous periods by CCA and CCB remained the same with the exception of a change of boundaries between the two combat commands. The responsibility for the town of BERGBEIM and the high ground to the East changed to CCA. Orders were received from VII Corps to clear and occupy the UNTERMAUBACH-OBERMAUBACH areas and to clean up the pockets through BOGHEIM to ROER RIVER. CCB was designated to pursue this mission and the 4th Cavalry Group was attached to it for that purpose. The Division Commander also ordered that patrols and task forces be pushed as far forward as possible during the night 19-20 December. CCA's plans were to clear their sector preparatory to attacking WINDEN and SCHNEIDHAUSEN.Group (-), with the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (-) attached, continued the defensive screen of the Division's Southern flank. Enemy activity was reported to be observed in the area: BOGHEIM-WINDEN-UNTERMAUBACH-OBERMAUBACH. Enemy artillery and mortars continued harassing fire into the Division areas. Losses sustained by the enemy for the period were reported as three (3) killed and seven (7) PWs taken.

On 20 December, CCB launched its attack to clear the towns UNTERMAUBACH and OBERMAUBACH and pockets to the South and Southeast to the ROER River. The 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry, attached to CCB, moving to the South on UNTERMAUBACH, reached the Northeast edge of the town at 0845. Here immediate contact was made with the enemy and stubborn enemy resistance was backed by cross-fire from heavy machine guns, bazooka and anti-tank grenades. Progress for the remainder of the day was very slow and developed into a house-to-house fight after reaching the town area. The 4th Cavalry Squadron, attacked BOGHEIM and were on the objective and clearing the town at 0845. A few prisoners were taken and the town completely occupied by 0920. A force was then sent to the Southeast to clear out the wooded areas toward Hill 72. This force hit a mine field of anti-personnel mines and was forced to halt, until such time as the area could be cleared. "A" Troop, 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, established a road block on the road running along the river from WINDEN to UNTERMAUBACH. This road block was located in the loop overlooking the river just Southeast of BILSTEIN. The 759th Tank Battalion (dismounted) moved to the South and occupied the high ground West of BOGHEIM, linking up with the Cavalry on the left and the 635th Tank Destroyer Battalion (dismounted) on the right. The 635th moved down the Division right boundary.

CCB attacked at 0900 for the purpose of clearing the high ground West of WINDEN. The 15th Armored Infantry Battalion (detached from CCB on the night of 19 December and attached to CCA) was used for this mission and was on its objective at 1120 and digging in,. Enemy artillery and mortar fire was severe on that position and either tanks or SP guns fired on the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion from the Southern edge of WINDEN at 1500. The 46th Armored Infantry Battalion advanced toward the town of SCHNEID- HAUSEN at 1525. Initial progress was good but extremely heavy artillery fire from across the ROER RIVER made the town proper untenable.

Attempts to send patrols to blow the main bridge across the river were frustrated fire from the town and across the river. The town was swept by enemy small arms and grazing fire from machine guns from the East Bank of the ROER. In addition, artillery and mortar fire was very heavy. During the late afternoon enemy tanks or SP guns were reported moving into and out of WINDEN.

During the attack on UNTERMAUBACH the 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry flushed enemy vehicles and personnel from the town, and these ran into the road block established by "A" troop, 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, on the highway between UNTERMAUBACH and WINDEN. The enemy lost an undetermined number or vehicles and personnel in this encounter. The CCB sector was comparatively quiet during the first part of the night except that enemy tracked vehicles were sent down the road South from WINDEN inan attempt to break into UNTERMAUBACH from the East. This force ran into the roadblock held by the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron and an artillery concentration was laid on the column forcing it to withdraw after the loss of one or two of its vehicles. Artillery fire from East of the ROER RIVER was very intense throughout the period. Enemy losses were reported as seventy five (75) killed; 41 PWs taken; material captured or destroyed; 2 tanks, 1 half-track (ammo carrier), 2 SP guns, 6 artillery pieces and 10 mortars.

On 21 December, the Division's action continued with CCA fighting against stiff enemy resistance in an effort to get into town of SCHNEIDHAUSEN. The enemy resisted stubbornly, employing small arms, artillery and mortar fire from the East bank of the ROER. At 1800, CCA had fought its way about half way into the town. Scattered fighting continued until after dark.

CCB continued the action in its sector with the 2d Battalion, 330th Inf fighting a house-to-house action in UNTERMAUBACH. At the end or the day its forces had advanced approximately half way thru the town and were then held up by intense fire from machine guns and small arms. During this action many additional enemy troops were rushed from UNTERMAUBACH into the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron road-block and reports indicated that about 50 personnel were killed and an enemy staff car, a tank and a SP gun were destroyed. "B" Company, 81st Tank Battalion, was sent up to UNTERMAUBACH to reduce the resistance which was holding up the 2d Battalion, 330th Infantry. However, the company was unable to get into the town prior to dark because of enemy mines and therefore further advance in the town was held up for the night. The 4th Cavalry Group continued to advance in the Southern Sector towards OBERMAUBACH with the 4th Cavalry Squadron advancing to Hill 72, clearing and consolidating its positions. The 24th Cavalry Squadron advanced and took the high ground overlooking OBERMAUBACH from the West. The 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron continued to hold the road block to the Southeast of BILSTEIN and besides halting the enemy flushed from UNTERMAUBACH, prevented reinforcements from moving from the WINDEN area. In general, the enemy all along the Division front resisted, stubbornly; our efforts to clean out the pockets.

During the afternoon of 21 December, orders were received from VII Corps to relieve the 4th Cavalry Group which in turn would revert to Corps control. The Division Commander was authorized to contact the CG, 8th Infantry Division and arrange for a force to effect this relief. The 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry, was designated for this mission and at the close of the period the relief was still going on. The boundary between the Division and the 8th Infantry Division was moved to give BOGHEIM to the 8th Division and ran Southeast to the river just South of UNTERMAUBACH. The town of UNTERMAUBACH remained the responsibility of the 5th Armored Division. The 759th Tank Battalion and the 635th Tank Destroyer Battalion started to move from their area at 2100.

The enemy blew the bridge to the East of UNTERMAUBACH in the morning of 21 December. This was believed to have caused some confusion in their forces. A new force had been sent into the town to relieve the enemy parachute unit, defending. It is believed that information of the blowing of the bridge was not passed on to the relieving force and the result was that enemy flushed out of the town were forced into the 85th road block. Enemy losses in personnel and material for this period was reported as: killed, one hundred seventy five (175); captured 51; material captured and destroyed; two (2) tanks, two (2) half-tracks, one (1) SP gun, 1 command car, 2 anti-tank guns and 6 mortars.

On 22 December the Division continued its action along the ROER RIVER. CCA was relieved of its mission at SCHNEIDHAUSEN at 0745, by the 1st Battalion, 331st Infantry (83rd Division). The 15th Armored Infantry Battalion (CCB) remained attached to CCA and continued its mission of holding the high ground to the West of WINDEN. The 4th Cavalry Group on the CCB Southern flank was relieved by the 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry (8th Division) and boundaries between the Division and the 8th Infantry Division were established as planned the previous day. The 2nd Battalion 330th Infantry (83rd Division), continued its assault and mopping up of the town of UNTERMAUBACH. This battalion was supported by Company "B", 81st Tank Battalion. By 1245, the tanks of this company and reached the river in the Southern portion of the town and during this move had captured a good many prisoners. Company "G", 330th Infantry, had cleared the Northern portion of the town including a large castle reportedly used as the CP for an enemy unit. Other elements of the Infantry Battalion moved thru the remainder of the town mopping up as they advanced.

During this action, orders were received from XIX Corps for relief of the 5th Armored Division by the 83rd Infantry Division during the night of 22-23 December. The Division was to move to an area designated by V Corps and upon arrival in the new area would pass to the control of V Corps.

At 1800, CCB reported UNTERMAUBACH clear with the exception of two (2) strong-points in the Southwestern part. These points consisted or two houses which were under direct enemy observation from the East bank of the ROER RIVER. Every attempt to move on these points was balked by intense concentrations of mortar fire, and artillery fire from high velocity guns, firing direct fire from their positions on the ROER's East bank.

Enemy positions on the East side of the river also enabled them to use accurate, heavy fire from many types of small arms. Troop "A", 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron which was holding the road block to the Southeast of BILSTEIN, was relieved during the hours of darkness and was back in the 85th assembly area by 2400. The following changes mere made by the Division effective as of 2400: The 47th Armored Field Artillery Battalion was attached to CCA; the 15th Armored Infantry Battalion passed to control of CCB; the 2nd Battalion, 330th Infantry, was relieved and passed to control of the 83rd Infantry Division. At the close or the period the relief of the Division by the 83rd Infantry Division was progressing without incident. CCA was relieved by the 331st Infantry, and CCB was relieved by the 330th Infantry. Enemy losses sustained for the day were as follows: personnel; killed 85; captured, 172; material captured or destroyed, as reported, 5 mortars.

On 23 December, the Division completed its withdrawal from front line positions to assembly areas in the rear. CCA assembled in the vicinity of HAHN. CCB, with the 85th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, assembled in the wooded area to the West of GROSSHAU. All units of the Division maintained a rigid system of patrolling for the purpose of eliminating any threat from enemy parachutists. The XIX Corps had extended their front from the North to include the VII Corps front on 21December, and the Division was under XIX Corps Control from 22 December until the withdrawal to the V Corps sector was accomplished.

On 24 December, the combat elements of the Division moved to an assembly area in the vicinity of LIMBOURG, BELGIUM and the Division CP moved to EUPEN. The Division Trains remained in the ZWEIFALL area. Movement of the Division was completed without difficulty and units were closed by 1800. Upon arrival in the new area, the Division was attached to V Corps, in FIRST Army Reserve. CCR reverted to Division control. This combat command had been operating with V Corps units for the entire month and had remained attached to V Corps when the balance of the Division had gone to VII Corps Control.

The entire day of 25 December was utilized in settling the Division units in their new areas and regrouping in preparation for future operations as called for. The Division remained in Army Reserve and was placed on a 2 hour alert status. One married company of CCR ("A", 10th Tank Battalion and "A", 47th Armored Infantry Battalion) had been attached to the 9th Infantry Division. Company "A", 10th Tank Battalion was relieved from the 9th Infantry Division and closed with the 10th Tank Battalion in the CCR area. Company "A", 47th Armored Infantry Battalion, remained attached to the 9th Division. Orders were received from 21st Army Croup through FIRST Army to prepare plans to support V and XVIII Corps, FIRST Army and XIII and XIX Corps, NINTH Army.

On 26 December, the Division's action was confined to preparation for future operations and continual patrolling of the Division area for enemy airborne troops reported to have been dropped in the sector North of CCB. All patrols reported negatively. The Division Commander with G-3 and G-4 reported to Headquarters NINTH U S Army at 1430 for instructions on future operations, The Division CP was bombed at 1515 but no casualties resulted therefrom.

The Division Trains moved from the ZWEIFALL area to the vicinity of VERVIERS with the Division Administrative Center setting up in the city and Trains Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Medical Battalion and the 145th Signal Company moving into PEPINSTER: the 127th Ordnance Maintenance Battalion set up in THEUX. The 22d Armored Engineer Battalion moved to its area, just South of WALHORN. The remainder or the Division remained in place. The Division was put, on a 4 hour alert status and remained attached to V Corps in Army Reserve.

No change in unit disposition or in the status of the Division was made on 28 December. However, a very careful reconnaissance was made of possible routes from Division assembly areas for use in future operations. Plans were then drawn up for ultimate action in case of enemy attacks in either V Corps Sector or the sectors occupied by the XIII, XVIII and XIX Corps.

During the period 29 December thru 31 December, the Division continued on alert status with all elements making proper preparations for future action. Counter-enemy-paratrooper measures were maintained and Division units patrolled surrounding areas. At 0645, 31 December, enemy planes were over the Division area but heavy flak diverted this aircraft and the bombs where were did no damage to Division installations. At 1100, enemy planes were over the 46th Armored Infantry Battalion area but no offensive action was reported. Three casualties, one killed, resulted from flak during this action. Total enemy casualties for the month of December were: Enemy killed, 974 (estimated); Captured, 977 (64 of this total are carry-overs from November which were unreported for that month); Tanks, captured or destroyed, 17; motor vehicles 6; SP guns, captured and destroyed, 17; arty pieces, captured and destroyed, 39; Heavy Infantry weapons, captured or destroyed, 44.



1. a. Comments pertaining to the four preceding months remain generally applicable.

b. While serving under VII Corps some RTD's came back to the Division thru medical rather than replacement channels. While the numbers received were small, they constituted a steady daily flow and greatly reduced the time elapsed between discharge from hospital and return to duty. The method used was the medical battalion and only those wounded and sick who remained in hospitals within the army Area were so handled. These men returned with no equipment and only the clothing they were wearing. Units retain the clothing and equipment of evacuated for 20 days. Since the period of hospitalization plus time for return usually exceeds this, a problem of initial equipment is presented. The method is, however, good. Anything that speeds up the return of men to their units is highly desirable.

c. As in the preceding four months, discipline within the command has presented no problem. The total number of courts-martial cases tried during the month -- fourteen -- is considered very small. Of these, thirteen were Summary Courts and the remaining one a Special Court. As in the past, ordinary violations such as leaving vehicles unattended, etc., have been very few.


1. ENEMY TACTICS: (Fighting in HURTGEN Forest),

a. Enemy Use of Mines. The enemy having had time to prepare defensive positions, a greatly increase use of mines was encountered. Wooden Schu mines (Anti-Personnel) proved difficult to locate and were frequently connected with different booby traps which increased their effectiveness. AT mines in quantity were encountered. The absolute necessity for proper marking, recording and reporting or minefields both enemy and our own was again brought out.

b. Enemy Mortars. Mortars again proved to be one of the enemy's most effective weapons and caused a high percentage of our casualties.Extreme difficulty was experienced in locating enemy mortars. All available information on type, characteristics, etc, of enemy mortars has been collected and a summary of this information is being furnished all units. IPW teams instructed to give location of enemy mortars has been collected and a summary of this information is being furnished all units. IPW teams are given this information and are instructed to give location of enemy mortars a high priority on questioning of PWs. Interrogators are instructed to obtain as much information as possible on enemy mortar tactics. This information will be furnished all units as obtained.

c. Enemy Air. There was a great increase in number and aggressiveness of enemy air. Numerous reconnaissance planes were reported. There were frequent instances of straffing and bombing and several parachutists were dropped. Our AA proved very effective.

d. Counter-Intelligence. Many instances of the enemy operating in civilian clothes, U.S. uniforms and with U.S. equipment were reported in adjacent sectors. Our security measures were tightened and have thus far proven effective. Continuous checks are being made and all information obtainable on enemy tactics and subversive activities is disseminated. PWs captured (1st Army sector) operating in U, S, uniform with U. S. equipment report that they were given details of 5th Armored Division in order to better imitate U. S. soldiers.

e. Enemy Morale. The counter-offensive and German propaganda considerably improved the enemy's morale. Many Germans still believe they will win the war. Many others fight to the last because they see no other alternative, Their propaganda convinces them we will shoot them or send them to Russia, etc. Our propaganda seems seldom effective on their badly warped minds.


Action during the period again indicated that when armored units are employed against dug in defenses on terrain which does not permit of deployment, losses in consequence are extremely heavy. Armored Infantry and reconnaissance elements can satisfactorily perform dismounted Infantry missions but in doing so unreplaceable casualties result to the end that the armored unit's efficiency is greatly reduced for the performance of the primary missions for which it has been created and trained. It is believed the armored units should be used to perform dismounted infantry missions only in emergency and not in deliberately planned offensive operations.

Mine blowing equipment made available during this period (T1E1 and "Crab") was of great value in permitting tanks to move forward in otherwise impassable country without great loss of time. It is hoped that this equipment continues to be available in close support.


1. The tractor or the M25 tank transporter was used as a tow vehicle in evacuation of disabled tanks over roads which would not permit traffic of the complete unit carrying a tank.

2. Light tanks and armored trailers were used to carry supplies forward and evacuated personnel casualties over terrain which was impassable to 1/4 ton trucks or half-tracks.

3. Supply procedure became confused when a division unit is detached from division control. Lack of adequate communications and resultant time lag of reports causes an abnormal period to elapse in procuring replacement of major items.

4. Tank mine exploders are generally very sensitive to terrain and weather conditions. The "Crab" (chain flail) type is the most suitable, from the stand-point of mobility, as a normal attachment or assignment to an armored division. The roller type T1E1 and T1E3) presents major problems of transportation or movement to the immediate zone of action,

5. In an armored division the loss of personal equipment is not in proportion to the number of personnel casualties. When a vehicle is destroyed the personal equipment of the entire crew is generally lostwhile only a portion of the crew become personnel casualties.

For the Commanding General:
Colonel, G.S.C.,
Chief of Staff