XIX CORPS COMBAT CHRONOLOGY

 
 

SEPTEMBER 1944

 

1 September:
Elements of 79th Infantry Division move from near Mouchy le Chatel, 9 miles southeast of Beauvais, northeast to Somme River west of Perrone. CCA, 2nd Armored Division, crosses Somme at Bray-sur-Somme and Chipilly, 30 miles east of Amiens. CCB reduces enemy 88-mm installations near Montididier and reaches Peronne and Combles, 8 miles northwest of Peronne. CCR reaches Albert, 15 miles northeast of Amiens. Elements of CT 120 of the 30th Infantry Division reach Roye, 23 miles southeast of Amiens; CT 119 and TF Harrison, overcoming some enemy SA resistance and clearing out 88-mm installations near Montdidier, reach Fins, 11 miles southwest of Cambrai.

 

2 September:
Elements of XIX Corps cross into Belgium, CT 314 of 79th Infantry Division reached Sameon at 0030 hours, CT 313, Howardries area south of Tournai, CT 315 advancing to Rumegies, France. Elements of 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion cross Belgian frontier near Rumes, Belgium, at 0930 hours. CCA 2nd Armored Division, crossed border by 1330 hours, taking Lemain, 4 miles west of Tournai, Chapelle, further west, and Rongy, 6 miles south, near Howardries. On way to Belgium some units encounter opposition in Somme River crossings, 79th Infantry Division crossing near Peronne. CCB, meeting demoralized bands of enemy between Albert and Marchiennes, 10 miles west of Valenciennes, and an enemy column near Bouvignies, 2 miles north, destroys many enemy vehicles; patrols reach area northeast of Orchies, Belgium, in spite of low fuel supply. TF Harrison, 30th Infantry Division, disposes of enemy resistance in Cambrai area; CT 119 operates in Cambrai, mopping up mortar and sniper opposition, and clearing route through town. CT 120, after entering Peronne and Fins, pushes through Cambrai at St. Amand to Belgian territory.

 

3 September:
Elements of 30th Infantry Division complete occupation of Tournai, entered during night. Other XIX Corps units consolidate positions near Orchies, Marchiennes, and Sameon, France.

 

4 September:
CCA of 2nd Armored Division shifts southeast of Orchies - Tournai road to conform to new boundary with British  Second Army. Elements of 79th Infantry Division clear woods in Sameon area and units of the 30th Infantry Division shift positions in Tournai without enemy contact.

 

5 September:
Patrols of CCA, 2nd Armored Division, cross Senne River, south of Brussels, reaching within 6 miles of the city. CT 117 of 30th Infantry Division completes movement to vicinity of Tournai.

 

6 September:
Meeting light opposition, CCA, 2nd Armored Division advances to area east of Braine le Comte; CCB passes through Valenciennes, France, and Mons, Nivelles, and  Wavre, Belgium, without hostile contact; CCR reaches Archennes, 3 1/2 miles northeast Wavre, both about 12 miles 12 miles east of Brussels. Elements of 30th Infantry Division remain in defensive positions; 79th Infantry Division moves to join XV Corps.

 

7 September:
Elements of CCA, 2nd Armored Division, advance 30 miles northeast to Ottenburg, 3 miles north of Wavre; elements of 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion run into strongly defended road block southwest of Hasselt, 40 miles east of Brussels, and engage enemy tanks near Marline, 14 miles south of Hasselt. Elements of 30th Infantry Division occupy area between Nivelles and Wavre. 

 

8 September:
CCA of 2nd Armored Division, capturing many enemy stragglers, reaches Spalbeek, 4 1/2 miles east of Hasselt; CCB reaches Stevoort-Alken-Nieuwerkerken area between Hasselt and St.Truiden; patrols of 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion enter Bilsen, 8 miles east of Hasselt, and push reconnaissance to Albert Canal, 2 1/2 miles north of Bilsen. Elements of 2nd Armored Division swung slightly north, allowing 30th Infantry Division to take its zone on right flank of the XIX Corps.

 

9 September:
Elements of 78th and 92nd Armored Field Artillery Battalions of 2nd Armored Division displacing to Beverst vicinity, between Hasselt and Bilsen, and attached 65th Armored Field Artillery Battalion attack enemy artillery, AT guns, and mortar units east of the Albert Canal, firing on possible rubber boat crossing sites of the enemy. Elements of 30th Infantry Division closed in assembly area 9 miles northwest of Liege and near Tongeren.

 

10 September:
Operations of 2nd Armored Division are limited to artillery fire and patrolling. Elements of the 120th Infantry Regiment, meeting slight enemy opposition, advance 15 miles northeast to Fort Eben Emael area, 4 miles south of Maastricht, Holland, near Albert Canal, encountering enemy artillery fire from Maastricht area, but finding the fort unoccupied. Other elements of 30th Infantry Division reach area 4 miles north of Liege; patrols indicate area clear of enemy east of positions as far as Albert Canal.

 

11 September:
Patrols of 2nd Armored Division, receiving mortar, small arms, and artillery fire, cross Albert Canal, reaching Zonhoven, 4 miles north of Hasselt. Elements of 30th Infantry Division send patrols across Albert Canal and Meuse; 120th Infantry Regt crosses Canal and occupies Lanaye, Holland, against small arms and machine gun fire. Albert Canal looks near Lanaye are seized intact, although prepared for demolition.

 

12 September:
Patrols of 2nd Armored Division exercise pressure east and south along Hasselt - Zonhoven road north of Albert Canal. Elements of 119th Infantry Regiment of 30th Infantry Division advancing toward objectives in Gulpen - Valkenburg area of Holland, 7 miles east of Maastricht, encounter 20 mm and small arms fire 2 miles east of Meuse River and reach objectives 3 1/2 miles farther to northeast in Mheer (Holland) area. Elements of 117th Infantry Regiment cross Albert Canal and Meuse River, and enter Holland, established defensive positions near Ekkelrade, 4 miles southeast of Maastricht. CT 120 breaks up counterattack at Albert Canal lock. 

 

13 September:
After crossing Albert Canal near Stockroye, Belgium (northwest of Hasselt), CCA of 2nd Armored Division clears area west of north - south road through Genk, northeast of Hasselt, overcoming road blocks, AT defenses, and formidable terrain obstacles; 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, attached, contacts Britsh 11th Armored Division while covering CCA's left flank. CCB covers right flank. Elements of 117th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, enter Maastricht from southeast and seize central portion of city against heavy enemy resistance. All bridges have been destroyed. Road blocks established on Maastricht - Sittard highway. Other elements of 117th Infantry Regiment seize Cadier, 3 miles southeast of Maastricht, against light resistance.  Attacking northeast, 119th Infantry Regiment elements occupy Termaar, 2 1/2 miles beyond Cadier on Maastricht - Aachen highway, after fire fight requiring tank reinforcements, and reach Sibbe, 2 miles north. Tanks help overcome heavy resistance along railroad cut southwest of Gulpen, 3 miles east of Termaar, on highway; 120th Infantry Regiment organizes defensive positions west of Billenhuizen, 2 miles southwest of Gulpen. 

 

14 September:
CCA of 2nd Armored Division advances to Eysden - Mechelen area (Belgium); North portion of 2nd Armored Division zone, except for small strip between Zuid Willemsvaart Canal and Meuse River, cleared by combined efforts of CCA and 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion; latter maintains contact with British on north and patrols east. Division Reserve relieves CCB on right flank. Active patrolling on front and flanks of 30th Infantry Division; patrol platoon of 119th Infantry Regiment meets vigorous resistance at Valkenburg - 3 miles north of Termaar and 5 miles east of Maastricht - and battalion occupies and holds town against severe artillery fire; 117th Infantry Regiment crosses Meuse River in assault boats to clear western segment of city.

 

15 September:
On 2nd Armored Division front, CCA, assisted by 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, finishes clearing division zone north of Albert Canal and east of Zuid Willemsvaart Canal. CCB crosses Holland frontier over bridges constructed across Albert Canal near Eben Emael and across Meuse River at Maastricht; TF 2, opposed by machine gun fire, secures bridgehead at De Geul River near Weert, Holland ( West of Meerssen ); construction of bridge here started; bridge captured intact at another point west of Meerssen. Under increasingly heavy enemy arty fire, 30th Infantry Division makes slight gains in direction of German border.  CT 117th Infantry Regiment clears out isolated pockets of resistance to south and east of Maastricht. De Geul River, is bridged east of Gulpen in 119th Infantry Regiment sector, but artillery fire prevents building of bridge at Valkenburg.

 

16 September:
In 2nd Armored Division zone by CCA on right and CCB on left, each on 7 miles front. CCA, organized with 3 task forces ( A, B, C), movies east through Maastricht and overcomes strong resistance to reach railroad north of Valkenburg. CCB encounters organized defenses along Valkenburg - Meerssen road; TF 1 establishes bridgehead near St. Gerlach ( between Valkenburg and Meerssen ), and engineers build bridge while under enemy fire; TF 2 advances from De Geul River bridgehead and, assisted by tanks, secures crossroads and high ground at Kruisberg ( northwest of Meerssen ). TF Stokes organized and given mission of mopping up between Zuid Willemsvaart Canal and Meuse River; hampered by terrain and heavy opposition this group drives toward Reckheim to secure bridge site, halting 300 yards south of the town. Attacking to northeast at 0800 hours, 30th Infantry Division makes general advance of 8 miles; 120th Infantry Regiment crosses De Geul River near Gulpen and reaches vicinity of Molsberg, 4 miles northwest, meeting moderate resistance; elements of 119th Infantry Regiment cross river on improvised causeway at Valkenburg and advance slowly about 2 miles east under heavy artillery, mortar and small arms  fire from northeast, to near Walem, while other elements cross at Wijlre ford, 1 mile, north of Gulpen, and reach Ubachsberg, just northwest of Molsberg.    

 

17 September:
In 2nd Armored Division zone, CCA and CCB resume east and northeast attack; CCA drives slowly but steadily from Valkenburg area to vicinity of Schimmert, while CCB advances from St. Gerlach bridgehead and Kruisberg to Schimmert, Oensel, and Beek area. Dug-in infantry, AT guns, and artillery oppose both combat commands, and in addition CCA is delayed by mine fields and CCB by bridging operations. TS Stokes crosses Zuid Willemsvaart Canal over bridge constructed at  Reckheim and continues north to area south of Vucht; terrain obstacles as well as artillery, mortar, and bazooka fire met. 30th Infantry Division continues attacking northeast in area north of Maastricht - Aachen highway: CT 119th Infantry Regiment reaches Heerlen and Onderspekholz, 12 miles northeast and 14 miles east of Maastricht respectively, through intermittent artillery fire. CT 120th Infantry Regiment advances across German border east of Simpelveld against scattered small arms fire and occupies Horbach, while the 125th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron enters Germany 3 1/2 miles to the southwest at Orsbach.

 

18 September:
Both CCB and CCA gain about 6 miles, forward elements of former crossing German frontier in Wehr - Mindergangelt area southeast of Sittard and south of Gangelt at 1600 hours. On CCB right, TF 1 passes through Schimmert and continues northeast, entering Germany at Wehr, while TF 2 continues along left of Maastricht - Sittard road against stiff resitance, right column reaching Sittard - Gangelt road west of German boundary, while left column clears Oensel and Beek areas and continues north to vicinity of Rosengarten. From Schimmert area, CCA advances east to vicinity of Amstenrade and Oirsbeek,  bridging Geleen beek and overcome enemy resistance en route. TF Stokes, capturing Vucht and reaching its final mission of clearing remnants from area between Zuid Willemsvaart Canal and Meuse River; Considerable opposition overcome and total of 625 prisoners taken; 99th Infantry Battalion ( Separate ) takes over area. Enemy air activity and artillery fire in 2nd Armored Division zone increases. 30th Infantry Division starts regrouping in preparation for assault on Siegfried Line, here a pillbox band over 1 1/2 miles wide, constructed to implement natural obstacle formed by Wurm River and paralleling railroad line north of Aachen and Roer River, north of Wurm, 6 to 9 miles in advance of front lines. Its progress retarded by heavy mortar, artillery, and AT fire on left flank, 117th Infantry Regiment moves up from Ubachsberg - Winthagen - Fromberg assembly area, 10 miles east of Maastricht, toward new assembly area in vicinity of Scherpenseel, Germany, 9 miles north of Ubachsberg and 3 miles southwest of Geilenkirchen. In the same general line of advance, 119th Infantry Regiment elements reach Waubach and Rimburg, just south of Scherpenseel. 3 miles farther south, 120th Infantry Regiment engages in fire fight west of Kerkrade, where the enemy is organizing for a determined stand. 

 

19 September:
CCA and CCB of 2nd Armored Division attack to clear area along Sittard - Geilenkirchen road: CCA, against artillery, AT and small arms fire, moves forward from Amstenrade Oirsbeek area to Gillrath, 2 miles beyond boundary, securing region from there west to Gangelt; after establishing strong defensive positions for protection of XIX Corps left (north) flank, CCA repulses counterattack by battalion of 343rd Infantry Regiment supported by artillery and 8 self-propelled guns; 7 self-propelled guns destroyed and heavy losses inflicted on enemy. CCB, to west, clears area along Gangelt - Sittard road, capturing former town; heavy resistance overcome by elements taking high ground northeast of Tuddern, Germany. On CCB left flank, 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion relieves Reconnaissance Company 67th Armored Regiment; former occupies Urmond area ( between Sittard and Juliana Canal ) and relieves elements of CCB at Limbricht ( northwest of Sittard ). Reconnaissance Company 67th Armored Regiment moves south to CCA's zone. 30th Infantry Division continues regrouping  southeast of Heerlen ( northwest Aachen ) for Siegfried assault.

 

20 September:
CCA, holding defensive position in Germany on Sittard - Geilenkirchen road from Gangelt 3 miles east and south toward Teveren, Germany, protects XIX Corps left flank in 2nd Armored Division zone. In Sittard - Wehr area, Division Reserve relieves CCB, which moves to assembly area in vicinity Valkenburg and Klimmen. 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, relieved by 113th Cavalry Group ( less 125th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron ) is attached to CCB. 30th Infantry Division moves slowly northward against heavy artillery fire, conducting active patrolling and reconnaissance of routes and crossing site in the area within Maastricht - Aachen - Geilenkirchen triangle. Enemy mine filed cleared near Rimburg in the 119th Infantry Regiment sector.

 

21 September:
During period 21 - 30 September 1944, 2nd Armored Division improves its defensive position in left flank of XIX Corps sector and patrols actively, CCA maintaining mobile defens south and west of Gillrath and Division Reserve operating in German frontier area east of Sittard. 29th Infantry Division ( VIII Corps, Ninth Army ) is assigned to XIX Corps. All front-line elements of 30th Infantry Division receive shelling from heavy enemy artillery.

 

22 September:
Relieving 2nd Armored Division Reserve, 113th Cavalry Group takes over defense of XIX Corps sector from Holland - Belgium border across Holland - Germany border to Gangelt, inclusive; Division Reserve moves to assembly area near Brunssum. 1st Battalion, 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, attached to CCA to strengthen defensive line east and southeast of Gangelt. Division Artillery breaks up counterattack intended for CCA positions by 2 infantry battalions with horse-drawn artillery and AT guns. 30th Infantry Division carries on maintenance and training and patrols Wurm River area along German border. Constant interdictory and harassing artillery fire is placed on enemy lines and direct fire on emplacements is continued. Air support received in sectors of   117th, 119th, and 120th Infantry Regiments.

 

24 September:
Forward line of XIX Corps generally north and south from woods west of Geilenkirchen, with slight resistance on right center and left flank.

 

25 September:
7th Armored Division ( XX Corps, Third Army ) is assigned to XIX Corps. In 30th Infantry sector constant patrolling and observation of Siegfried Line to develop enemy positions continue.

 

26 September:
29th Infantry Division assembles east of Maastricht. during night of 26 / 27 September 1944, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, sends harassing patrols between Holz and Spekholzerheide, about 1 1/2 miles south of Kerkrade.

 

28 September:
1st Belgian Brigade ( Second British Army ) is attached and  prepares to attack between Weert and the Meuse River. 7th Armored Division prepares offensive south, after moving to Oploo, 7 miles northwest of Venray. The 113th Cavalry Group advances up east bank of Meuse River and protect XIX Corps right flank. Active patrolling continues in 30th Infantry Division sector.

 

29 September:
CCA, 2nd Armored Division, prepares for attack on Siegfried Line; 702nd Tank Destroyer Battalion ( - 3 Companies ) relieved. 7th Armored Division and 1st Belgian Brigade now under operational control of XIX Corps, which is to contact VII Corps northwest of Aachen and seize Linnich and Juelich. North of Sittard XIX Corps conducts reconnaissance to Buchten, Nieuwstadt, and Hongen against light resistance.

 

30 September:
At 2200 hours, 115th Infantry Regiment ( 29th Infantry Division ) relieves CCA, 2nd Armored Division, of its defensive responsibility between Gangelt and Teveren, northwest of Geilenkirchen. The 65th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Battalion, 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, and Company C, 17th Armored Engineer Battalion detached from CCA. Since 21 September, Division Artillery has fired 285 missions (12,785 rounds of ammunition) against enemy troop concentrations and installations. On XIX Corps left flank, 7th Armored Division attacks south in area west of Meuse River. 1st Belgian Brigade clear enemy resistance south and west of Van Nederweert Canal.

 
 

 

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