Monday, December 15, 2014

Following the 10th Armored (8): Waiting and Regrouping

This is part of a series following my father's 10th Armored Division in World War II seventy years ago. He was a medic with the 80th Medical Battalion assigned to the 10th Armored.

30 Nov - 16 Dec
Regrouping in the Saar-Moselle Triangle

10th Armored area early December. Distance about 13 miles.

30 Nov – 1 Dec- Combat Command B (CCB) had almost reached its mission objective- the bridge over the Saar at Merzig. Just as they arrived, the Germans had blown it up. The next day, December 1, 1944 CCB cleared Hilbringen, just west of Merzig, and continued to straighten its lines.

2 Dec - The Division Commanding General ordered CCA to relieve CCB.

3 Dec – 16 Dec- CCB assembled in an area north of Remeling and the weary tankers began the move to an assembly area in the vicinity of Montenach, ten miles northeast
of Thionville. In two and a half weeks of incessant combat they had reached their objective only to find their mission – the capture of a bridge across the SAAR in the vicinity of Merzig - incapable of accomplishment. Units, however, had received their baptism of fire and had ironed out many kinks in operating technique. These and other lessons learned proved invaluable in time to come.

{NOTE: CCA continued to occupy positions overlooking the Saar until just prior to the Division
 move to Luxembourg on the l7th of December.
It engaged in no serious combat, and was used primarily to "beef up" the depleted forces of the 90th Division who were primarily responsible for the zone. CCB remained in the Montenach area during the entire period.}
Information from a research report from the Officer's Advanced Course at the Armored School, 1948-49.

Saar-Moselle Triangle (2014 map)
13 Dec
At this point in the month, the main direction of the Allies in the area continue to be the Saar-Moselle Triangle.
  • The U.S. Third Army III Corps accepts the surrender of last of the Metz forts--Jeanne d'Arc
  • The U.S. Third Army draws up plans for an air-ground assault on the West Wall. In the XX Corps area, the 90th Infantry Division prepares for an all-out effort to take the rest of Dillingen on 15 December, regrouping and building up supplies.
What happens next will be a surprise to all involved. It would appear that Allied intelligence had no idea that there was a major build-up of enemy troops, spreading out along a 75-mile battle front. The goal was to push the Allies west and open up a route for the Nazi troops to the port an Antwerp.

But today all was quiet. Mopping up was finishing on this phase and plans were ready for the next.

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