XIX CORPS COMBAT CHRONOLOGY

 
 

DECEMBER 1944

 

1 December:
2nd Armored Division defends Roer River line on 3 miles front east of Barmen. 1st Battalion of 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division attacks toward the Roer, elements reaching west bank near Juelich against heavy artillery fire from enemy on dominating heights across the river. With relief of units of 120th Infantry Regiment by 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron all organic units of the 30th Infantry Division are withdrawn into rest areas; attached 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron assumes defense of entire division zone.

 

2 December:
29th Infantry Division starts operations to overcome tenacious resistance at the two remaining strongpoints west of the Roer opposite Juelich - the Juelich Sportplatz ( athletic field ) and nearby swimming pool and the Hasenfeld Gut ( group of buildings ) about 1,100 yards north of the Sportplatz; both are protected by enemy fire from high ground on east bank of the Roer and accessible only through flat, open terrain. Elements of 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, attack toward the Sportplatz and swimming pool from vicinity of Koslar paper mill but are halted by mines. 2nd Battalion units (116th Infantry Regiment ) start toward Hasenfeld Gut but are pinned down by heavy artillery and mortar fire; one company later moves to within 300 yards of objective before enemy fire halts it.

 

3 December:
Attempts by 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, to reduce the Sportplatz and Hasenfeld Gut strongpoints again meet with bitter resistance which prevents significant gains; 1st Battalion troops are pulled back to Koslar and two companies of 3rd Battalion committed against the Sportplatz; 2nd Battalion makes no further progress toward Hasenfeld Gut.

 

4 December:
Front line of 2nd Armored Division is taken over by 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and Reconnaissance Company, 67th Armored Regiment. Troops 116th Infantry Regiments, 29th Infantry Division, again fail in attempts to clear the Sportplatz area and Haenfeld Gut because of mines and determined enemy resistance; Company "K", assisted by artillery smoke screen and two tanks, makes progress toward Hasenfeld Gut during night.

 

5 December:
Company "K" of 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infatry Division, succeeds in reaching wall around Hasenfeld Gut early in morning, but withdraws soon afterward as no means of entrance is found. During night of 5 / 6 December, all elements of 116th Infantry Regiment are withdrawn to Koslar preparatory to launching new drives against the Sportplatz and Hasenfeld Gut.

 

6 December:
All three battalions of 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, are committed against the Sportplatz and Hasenfeld Gut strongpoints: aided by fighter bombers of XXIX TAC, chemical mortars, and artillery, 1st Battalion heads for the Sportplatz,   2nd Battalion attacks toward Hasenfeld Gut, and 3rd Battalion supports attacks of 1st and 2nd Battalions; although progress is made initially, neither objective is secured because of severe artillery, mortar, and small arms fire from the strongpoints in addition to artillery fire from across the Roer.

 

7 December:
29th Infantry Divisions 115th Infantry Regiment relieves 116th Infantry Regiment preparatory to launching new assaults on Sportplatz and Hasenfeld Gut tomorrow, and later moves to assembly areas at Shaufenberg and Bettendorf.

 

8 December:
Troops of 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, with elements of 92nd Chemical Battalion and assault guns of 747th Tank Battalion attached, attacked at 0500 hours the Sportplatz and Hasenfeld Gut. Taking the enemy by surprise, 1st Battalion quickly secures the Sportplatz. German mortar fire halts one of the two companies of the 3rd Battalion attacking for Hasenfeld Gut, but the other company protected by smoke screen, rapidly reaches and reduces objective. 

 

9 December:
29th Infantry Divisions 115th Infantry Regiment mops up the little remaining resistance west of the Roer in division zone. 30th Infantry Division is ordered to secure region in division zone between the Inde and Roer Rivers, thus protecting left flank of 104th Infantry Division.

 

10 December:
Fire support for 104th Infantry Divisions attack on Schophoven, in VII Corps zone, is furnished by elements of 30th Infantry Division.

 

13 December:
2nd Armored Division front line is advanced to west bank of the Roer, a distance of about 600 yards. At 1800 hours, Company "L" of 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, attacks north from high ground west of Schophoven and secures Viehhofen; large portion of region between the Inde and Roer Rivers in division zone now cleared of enemy.

 

14 December:
Company "I" of 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, after relieving Company "L", clears remainder of division zone between the Inde and Roer Rivers.

 

17 December:
30th Infantry Division is attached to V Corps, First U.S. Army, and starts movement south at 1625 hours; 29th Infantry Division assumes responsibility for 30th Infantry Division zone at 2030 hours. 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron is released from attachment to 30th Infantry Division and attached to 29th Infantry Division. German Air Force harasses movement of 30th Infantry Division with little effect.

 

20 December:
2nd Armored Division is released from XIX Corps and placed in Ninth U.S. Army reserve. 29th Infantry Division takes over defense of XIX Corps sector.

 

21 December:
2nd Armored Division is released to First U.S. Army and at night starts on 22 hour road march from assembly area near Baesweiler, Germany, to vicinity of Huy, Belgium. At 2400 hours, Ninth U.S. Army boundary is moved south to include VII Corps sector of First U.S. Army. XIX Corps becomes responsible for former VII Corps sector with 104th Infantry Division, 83rd Infantry Division, 5th Armored Division ( less CCR ), 8th Infantry Division and 78th Infantry Division ( north to south ) in present locations under command. XIII Corps takes over former XIX Corps front and 29th Infantry Division.  

 

22 December:
83rd Infantry Division is concluded during night 22 / 23 December. While relief is in progress, 5th Armored Division elements clear Untermaubach and Schneidhausen of enemy. 8th Infantry Division attacks to clear enemy from positions in and near Obermaubach: 2 companies of 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, and platoon of 709th Tank Battalion jump off at 1100 hours and advance to the town where a strong opposition is met; another attack at 2300 hours with an additional platoon of 709th Tank Battalion fails to oust enemy from Obermaubach. 3rd Battalion of 28th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, relieves 2nd Battalion of 311th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division, of responsibility for defense of its sector at   2005 hours; latter reverts to 78th Infantry Division control.

 

23 December:
At 1615 hours, 83rd Infantry Divisions 1st Battalion of 330th Infantry Regiment, reinforced, attacks toward Winden and, although opposed by extremely heavy artillery and mortar fire, reaches edge of town by 1700 hours. Relief of 83rd Infantry Division is initiated, 104th Infantry Division relieving units in north portion of zone under cover of darkness; to assist 8th Infantry Division in taking over south portion of 83rd Infantry Division front subsequently, elements of 113th Cavalry Group plus 295th Engineer Combat Battalion are attached to 8th Infantry Division. At midnight, 744th Tank Battalion is released from attachment to 113th Cavalry Group. 2nd Battalion of 330th Infantry Regiment (83rd Infantry Division) is detached from 5th Armored Division. 1st Battalion of 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, regroups for another attack on Obermaubach. 311th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division, is released from attachment to 8th Infantry Division and boundary between 8th and 78th Infantry Divisions adjusted. 

 

24 December:
At 0200 hours, 104th Infantry Division assumes complete responsibility for approximately the north half of 83rd Infantry Division sector, and is to defend 16,000 yards of Roer River front. 29th Infantry Division relieves 104th Infantry Division of responsibility for Inden - Pier - Schophoven region, and boundary between XIII Corps and XIX Corps is shifted south of this area. 2/3 of Winden cleared of enemy by 83rd Infantry Division elements against small arms and sporadic artillery and mortar fire; river bend just south of Winden is being cleared. 8th Infantry Division continues operations to reduce enemy pocket in Obermaubach area:  in limited objective attacks, elements clear portion of woods southwest of Obermaubach; 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, continues preparations for an assault on the town itself.

 

25 December:
Renewing attack on Winden at 0730 hours, 1st Battalion of 83rd Infantry Divisions 330th Infantry Regiment, reinforced, clears the town by 1700 hours; later in the day the 83rd Infantry Division is alerted to move to First U.S. Army zone. Obermaubach pocket of resistance is attacked by two battalions of 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, reinforced, and further gains made against still bitter resistance; 1st Battalion clears  eight to ten houses inside the town. 8th Infantry Division prepares to take over remainder of 83rd Infantry Division zone, attached 113th Cavalry Group initiating relief of 83rd Infantry Division during night.

 

26 December:
Detachment of 308th Engineer Combat Battalion, 83rd Infantry Division, blows Roer River bridge just south of Winden at 0300 hours. 8th Infantry Division assumes responsibility for 83rd Infantry Division zone at 0730 hours, by which time 113th Cavalry Group, attached to 8th Infantry Division, has completed relief of all remaining units of 83rd Infantry Division. 83rd Infantry Division is assigned to First U.S. Army. All three battalions of 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, with elements of 13th Infantry Regiment and 709th Tank Battalion attached, participate in attack to reduce Obermaubach pocket, 1st Battalion overcoming stubborn resistance inside the town, 2nd Battalion making small gains in attack northeast toward the town, and 3rd battalion furnishing fire support. Only one pocket, south of Obermaubach, remains to be cleared in 8th Infantry Division zone.

 

27 December:
2nd Battalion of 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, renews attack to clear remaining enemy pocket south of Obermaubach at 1230 hours, but is held to small gains by determined resistance; 2nd Battalion of 13th Infantry regiment at night relieves 2nd Battalion of 121st Infantry Regiment of task of clearing this position. XIX Corps and 8th Infantry Division artillery prevent strong enemy patrol across the Roer south of Winden from penetrating U.S. lines.

 

28 December:
Patrol of 104th Infantry Division crosses Roer at night and penetrates 500 yards into Dueren before being forced out by enemy fire. Except for two machinegun positions, all resistance south of Obermaubach is cleared by 2nd battalion of 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division.

 

29 December:
Artillery fire drives back enemy patrol seeking to cross the Roer just south of Dueren. Elements of the 8th Infantry Division clear final resistance south of Obermaubach.

 

30 December:
Small arms and machinegun fire frustrate another attempt by enemy to cross the Roer near Dueren.

 
 

 

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