XIX CORPS COMBAT CHRONOLOGY

 
 

NOVEMBER 1944

 

1 November:
During first week of November, XIX Corps operates in entire Ninth U.S. Army zone. Enemy maintains passive defense. Elements of Germen 176th, 183rd, and 246th Infantry Divisions, and 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division have been identified opposite the XIX Corps.

 

2 November:
Regrouping continues, preparatory to push eastwards from Geilenkirchen - Aachen line.

 

3 November:
Occupying extreme left (north) flank of U.S. forces, 113th Cavalry Group, which has been attached to 29th Infantry Division, reverts to XIX Corps control as 29th Infantry Division is relieved by 102nd Infantry Division transferred from XVI Corps. The 102nd Infantry Division also becomes responsible for a portion of 2nd Armored Division zone south of Waurichen. Sector 102nd Infantry Division runs back northwest of Geilenkirchen as far as Kreuzrath, 1 mile northeast of Gangelt.

 

4 November:
84th Infantry Division, first units of which landed at Omaha Beach, France, on 1 November, is attached to XIX Corps.

 

5 November:
Regrouping of units continues, with relief  of troops in front line positions, strengthening of defenses, and aggressive patrolling. Field fortifications cover the approaches to each defended town in area between the Wurm and Inde Rivers and link the towns laterally so that they are mutually supporting. Community digging program contributed much to conversion of villages into strong points.

 

6 November:
Rested 29th Infantry Division moves into front line sector between Bettendorf and Baesweiler, about 5 miles east of Wurm River and 9 miles northeast of Aachen. On north flank of 29th Infantry Division, elements of 2nd Armored Division prepare to attack toward Greonsweiler area; remainder of Division is to advance southeast toward Julich. The 406th Infantry Regiment ( - 1st Battalion ) is detached from 102nd Infantry Division and attached to 2nd Armored Division.

 

8 November:
XIII Corps enters front line on extreme left of Twelfth U.S. Army Group, occupying narrow sector between XIX Corps and British XXX Corps. 84th Infantry Division and 102nd Infantry Division ( - 406th Infantry Regiment) are detached from XIX Corps and assigned to XIII Corps.

 

18 November:
Fifteen enemy planes bomb and strafe in XIX Corps sector. Assisted by 406th Infantry Regiment (102nd Infantry Division), CCB of 2nd Armored Division repulses counterattack in the morning and captures Apweiler, 1 mile east of Immendorf, in the afternoon. Enemy begins to give way along 29th Infantry Division front, where Siersdorf is cleared of organized resistance and half of Setterich is seized. 30th Infantry Division completes occupation of Würselen, advances through Broich and Weiden to edge of Kinzweiler, and captures  Warden, 7 1/2 miles northeast of Aachen, after twice withdrawing because of enemy's strong resistance. Contact is established with 104th Infantry Division ( VII Corps, First  U.S. Army ) southeast of Würselen.

 

19 November:
Enemy loses 9 tanks in attempt of 9th Panzer Division elements to recapture Apweiler from CCB of 2nd Armored Division. 29th Infantry Division takes Setterich and strongly defended AT ditch east of it. CCA is committed in afternoon, attacking east in two columns jumping off from Setterich and Puffendorf. Both columns cross AT ditch east of town and column on right advances to outskirts of Freialdenhoven. Many AT mines discovered southwest of Duerboslar - Puffendorf road. Boundary of  29th Infantry Division and 2nd Armored Division is moved south of Setterich. in the afternoon 29th Infantry Division captures Duerboslar, 1 mile northwest of Aldenhoven, and Schleiden, 2 miles southwest of Aldenhoven on Aachen - Cologne highway. Capture of Schleiden is aided by supporting fire from Bettendorf and Siersdorf. Fighting continues in Niedermerz, 1 mile southwest of Aldenhoven. 30th Infantry Division clears Weiden and Verweiden and takes Kinzweiler and St. Joris, 2 miles northwest of Eschweiler, assisted by supporting fire from two near-by- towns.

 

20 November:
Bad weather sets in. 2nd Armored Division employs 5 assault forces in attacks toward Gereonsweiler, Ederen, and Freialdenhoven. Attacking north above Puffendorf, CCB captures Gereonsweiler, 2 miles southwest of Linnich, at 1400 hours. In advance to east CCA encounters extensive mine fields and heavy AT and tank fire, but overruns Freialdenhoven and seizes Ederen, 1 mile north, after heavy fighting.  29th Infantry Division advances 2 miles east, attacking Aldenhoven, occupying Niedermerz, 4 miles north of Eschweiler, and repulsing enemy counterattack  supported by 20 - 30 tanks. 30th Infantry Division consolidates its positions in Wurselen - Hoengen - Hehlrath triangle. On its right flank, 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, attached, maintains contact with 104th Infantry Division, VII Corps.

 

21 November:
CCB, 2nd Armored Division, secures Gereonsweiler area west of Linnich. CCA units repulse counterattack 2 miles southwest of Linnich. Other elements of CCA reach high ground on west outskirts of Merzenhausen, 2 miles east of Freialdenhoven. Aldenhoven is secured by 29th Infantry Division early in morning and division advances against stiffening resistance toward Koslar and Bourheim, 1 and 3 miles southeast of Merzenhausen, respectively. In a rapid advance east, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, takes Lueken, Langweiler, Laurensberg, Langendorf, and Fronhoven - the latter 3 miles northeast of Eschweiler. Most of high ground west of Roer River in Ninth U.S. Army sector has now been secured.  

 

22 November:
Resistance increases as fresh hostile troops are committed. CCA of 2nd Armored Division occupies most of Merzenhausen. To the northwest, intense enemy artillery fire falls in Gereonsweiler area. Attacking east, 29th Infantry Division reaches Erberich on division south flank, makes gains on outskirts of Koslar and north flank, and in center of sector practically encircles Bourheim. Enemy is fighting stubbornly from trenches around the towns and from all buildings in the area. Attacking at noon from vicinity of Fronhoven, 30th Infantry Division takes Erberich, 1 mile north, after hard fight, and moves into Lohn, 3/4 mile northeast of Fronhoven, but cannot bring up enough supporting weapons to hold latter position. Roads and other approaches to objective are under heavy tank and AT weapons cross fire from directions of Pattern and Puetzlohn. 

 

23 November:
40th Tank Battalion is attached to 2nd Armored Division for employment with 335th Infantry Regiment in relief of division elements in Gereonsweiler area. Enemy infiltration delays occupation of Merzenhausen. The German 340th Volksgrenadier Division is committed on fronts of 29th Infantry Division and 2nd Armored Division. 30th Infantry Division captures Lohn and Pattern, 119th Infantry Regiment having been brought up to Aldenhoven and having attacked southeast from there. Two enemy counterattacks are stopped before fully launched. 29th Infantry Division troops continue fighting at Koslar and Bourheim.

 

24 November:
All units of 2nd Armored Division north and including Ederen are replaced by 102nd Infantry Division elements and boundary between XIII and XIX Corps drop to a line south of Ederen, 8 miles north of Eschweiler. 29th Infantry Division continues fighting in Koslar and mops up in Bourheim, where 175th Infantry Regiment is under severe enemy pressure. Heavy artillery falls along entire division front. 

 

25 November:
29th Infantry Division continues attack on Koslar, where resistance is particularly strong. 30th Infantry Division clear woods east of Pattern and establishes outpost line along their edge.

 

26 November:
House-to-house fighting continues in Koslar, on north flank of 29th Infantry Division, and is also waged in Kirchberg on south flank, only slightly over a mile from Juelich. Enemy counterattacks with infantry and tanks in attempt to push 116th Infantry Regiment out of Koslar and wrest Bourheim, also from 29th Infantry Division troops. Air support strikes German tank forces approaching both towns and later effectively bombs retreating enemy column. Supplies are dropped by liaison plane to 116th Infantry elements cut off in Koslar. Thrusting east, 30th Infantry Division reaches northwest outskirts of Altdorf, 1 mile north of Inden, meeting stiff resistance from small arms, mortars, and artillery fire.   

 

27 November:
All three divisions attack to clear their zones to the Roer River. Three groups of German planes, totaling 27, bomb and strafe Ninth U.S. Army forces during day. CCA of 2nd Armored Division captures enemy battalion on hill near Merzenhausen, attacks toward Barmen, 1 mile northwest, and in evening fights off counterattack coming from direction of Flossdorf on the Roer. Other elements of 2nd Armored Division advance southeast to vicinity of Koslar, repelling counterattacks in afternoon and evening. 29th Infantry Division secures Kirchberg, where it occupies high ground dominating Roer River, and sends more troops into Koslar, where there is house-to-house fighting all day. Thrusting east, 30th Infantry Division elements are halted 800 yards west of Altdorf because of inability to bring up supporting tanks and tank destroyers.

 

28 November:
After fierce close-in fighting during night CCA of 2nd Armored Division repulses counterattack near Merzenhausen, 2 miles east of Freialdenhoven, and attacks toward Barmen, 1 mile to northeast, clearing latter after enemy tank fire from Flossdorf has been silenced by artillery fire and an air strike. 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion cuts Barmen - Koslar road and railroad line and contacts 29th Infantry Division elements in Koslar. 29th Infantry Division mops up in Koslar and Kirchberg and sends patrols to Roer River. enemy has destroyed east span of railroad bridge north of Kirchberg. Attacking before dawn, 30th Infantry Division captures Altdorf by 1055 hours and patrols along near-by Inde River. 78th Infantry Division assigned to XIX Corps.

 

29 November:
2nd Armored Division sends combat patrols east and north to Roer River from vicinity of Barmen. 29th Infantry Division clears area south of Aldenhoven - Juelich road and starts to clear area north of road. 30th Infantry Division clears all organized resistance from its zone west of Inde River.

 

30 November:
By month's end. at least 15 German counterattacks have been beaten off in XIX Corps zone and the Germans have lost over 8 miles on an 8 mile front. XIX Corps now holds area up to Roer River in its sector. The enemy follows a scorched earth policy as he is forced back across the Roer.

 
 

 

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