134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

Report of Action Against the Enemy

320th Infantry Regiment

March 1 to March 31, 1945

 

DECLASSIFIED

Authority 735017

By IM NARA, Date 4/1/06

 

Auth: CG 35th Inf Div

Initials: R G C

Date: 16 April 1945

HEADQUARTERS 320TH INFANTRY

APO 35 U S Army

4 April 1945

 

SUBJECT: Action Against Enemy, Report After.

 

TO : The Adjutant General, Washington, D. C.

 

  1. In compliance with the provisions of Par 10, C3, AR 345-105, submitted below is report after action against enemy March the 320th Infantry covering the period 1-31 March 1945.

 

1 March 1945: At 0700 Task Force Byrne crossed the IP to advance to seize objectives along the route to the North and establish road blocks for the protection of the division left flank to the West. The column was headed by Company K, 320th Infantry, riding tanks of the 784th Tank Battalion. Task Force Byrne advanced meeting road blocks in the vicinity of Dalheim (913846), meeting small arms fire in Elmpt, overcoming scattered resistance at Bracht and finally overcoming small arms, machine gun and mortar resistance in street fighting at Venlo, Holland. The Second Battalion had followed the Third Battalion protecting the left flank with blocking groups. The First Battalion had followed the Second Battalion in regimental reserve. During the day Task Force Byrne advanced 23 miles, captured 16 towns and liberated Venlo, Holland.

 

2 March 1945: At 020620 Task Force Byrne received Operations Memo No. 22 from division to continue the attack to the NE 021000, to capture and secure Straelen (978975), prepare to continue the attack to the East, and to protect the division North flank. Task Force Byrne crossed the line of departure 021000, with the Third Battalion (reinforced) leading and the First Battalion following at 15 minutes. Other units no change in attachments or order of march. At 1210 Commanding Officer ordered Third Battalion, on securing Straelen, to proceed to Nieukirk. The Third Battalion (reinforced) pushed forward to crush enemy resistance in Straelen and completed its capture at 1630. The road South of Straelen was blown by enemy after entry of leading troops, but sufficient force had entered the town to subdue opposition, and cover repair of the road. Leading elements had continued on the NE to engage the enemy in the vicinity of Nieukirk. At 1800 Nieukirk had been substantially cleared of enemy; tanks and infantry continued to the NE to enter Sevelen by night. Here again the entry road was blown by enemy behind leading troops but, although fighting continued in the town throughout the night, its conquest was never in doubt and the enemy cleared from the town. At end of period the 320thInfantry held positions as follows: Third Battalion (reinforced) occupying and outposting Nieukirk and Sevelen; Second Battalion occupying and outposting Straelen; First Battalion guarded bridges along the route. Task Force Byrne had advanced 15 miles, seized the two corps objectives of Straelen and Nieukirk and continued advance to secure Sevelen by 022240.

 

3 March 1945: During the day Third Battalion's advance had been completely halted because of heavy “88”,SP and MG fire along and north of the route of advance and in Sevelen. The Second Battalion moved cross-country from Sevelen to capture Oermten and at the end of the period occupied and outposted that town. The First Battalion was also assembled at Oermten. At 2230 operations Memo No. 23 Headquarters 35th Infantry Division was received giving Task Force Byrne the mission to attack in Zone 040700 and seize Rheinberg, advance to Rhine River and protect the division left flank.

 

4 March 1945: The First and Second Battalions attacked North and East from Oermten at 040700. After meeting heavy enemy resistance throughout the day consisting of small arms, bazooka, artillery, mortar and SP fire, the First Battalion occupied positions 122245-139240-140236 and the Second Battalion with one platoon light and one company medium tanks was able to advance to a line 141235-143231. The Third Battalion occupied and outposted Sevelen in regimental reserve throughout the period. Task Force Byrne had gained 2-1/2 miles throughout the day's action.

 

5 March 1945: The First and Second Battalions continued the attack to the NE with the First Battalion seizing a bridge at 142239 intact, capturing Kamperbruck, and clearing woods at 150240 and 16245 (sic). The Second Battalion captured Kamp and the built-up area at 164245. Both units reported that defenses at Kamperbruck and Kamp were well organized with automatic, small arms, mortar and artillery fire from prepared entrenchments and buildings.

 

6 March 1945: The First and Second Battalions continued their attack against heavy enemy resistance. During the day Task Force Byrne advanced 2-1/2 miles capturing Hogenhof, Saalhof, Alspray and Schmitshof. The Third Battalion remained in regimental reserve in the vicinity of 170270.

 

7 March 1945: The First Battalion attacked against moderate resistance and pushed forward to the vicinity of 171301 at 1030 where they contacted Second Battalion on the right. Both Battalions met stiffening resistance at this point by small arms, machine guns, artillery and SP fire. At the end of the period, Task Force Byrne had advanced one mile and taken Bauern (1729). During the day, the First Battalion had made contact wit the 53rdBritish Division, elements of the Canadian First Army, at 163288.

 

8 March 1945: The First and Second Battalions jumped off at 080630 encountering strong enemy resistance. After fierce house to house fighting First Battalion succeeded in taking Huck (167313) and Second Battalion took Millingen (180308).

 

9 March 1945: The First Battalion continued clearing the Huck area. At 1530 it jumped off and cleared the woods in the vicinity of 164315. At 2100 it had seized and was clearing the task force objective at Drupt. During the day Second Battalion had taken the woods at 174315, 176316, 174317 and seized Hilmannshof. Both Battalions reported fanatical enemy resistance throughout the day. A the end of the period, 320thInfantry was making plans for the 134thInfantry to pass through its lines and continue the attack to the NE in its zone, as per Operations Memo No. 25 Headquarters 35thInfantry Division.

 

10 March 1945: At 0315 the First Battalion reported that the task force objective of Drupt was completely clear of enemy. Upon relief, First Battalion moved by motor to assembly area in Oermten (110224) closing in at 1430. Second Battalion moved by motor to assembly area in Sevelen closing in at 1100. Third Battalion stayed in assembly area and continued to execute mission of guarding all bridges from Straelen to 159237. Task Force Byrne dissolved at 100630.

 

11 March 1945: The 320thInfantry continued to occupy the same assembly area. The regiment received Operations Memo No. 26 Headquarters 35th Infantry Division for move to new assembly area in the vicinity of Kaldenkirchen.

 

12 March 1945: CT 320 (-Company K and Company L) with Company C, 654 TD Battalion attached moved from assembly area in the vicinity of Sevelen (9022), Horstgen (1224), and Oermten (1122) and closed in at new area in the vicinity of Tagelen, Holland at 1615.

 

13 March 1945: During the period CT 320 remained in assembly area S of Venlo and engaged in rehabilitation and cleaning of equipment. Company L (- one platoon) had been relieved of its bridge-guarding detail and rejoined Third Battalion in assembly area at Steil, Holland. Company C, 654 TD Battalion was relieved from attachment.

 

14 March 1945: CT 320 remained in assembly area S of Venlo engaged in rehabilitation and maintenance. Company K was relieved from its bridge-guarding duties and rejoined Third Battalion in the assembly area of the battalion.

 

15 March 1945: CT 320 continued rehabilitation and maintenance. The platoon of Company L was relieved of bridge-guarding detail and rejoined the Battalion at Steil at 1245.

 

16 March 1945: CT 320 continued rehabilitation and maintenance during period. Disposition of troops unchanged.

 

17 March 1945: CT 320 continued rehabilitation and maintenance, supplemented by drills, marches, range firing and inspections during period.

 

18 March 1945: CT 320 disposition and activities unchanged.

 

19 March 1945: Disposition and activities of the regiment unchanged.

 

20 March 1945: Disposition and activities of the regiment unchanged.

 

21 March 1945: Disposition and activities of the regiment unchanged. The First and Second Battalions patrolled the CT assembly area and guarded important bridges in compliance with Operations Memo No. 27 Headquarters 35thInfantry Division.

 

22 March 1945: Disposition and activities of CT 320 unchanged.

 

23 March 1945: Disposition and activities of CT 320 unchanged.

 

24 March 1945: Disposition and activities of CT 320 unchanged.

 

25 March 1945: Disposition and activities of CT 320 unchanged. At 2145 the Commanding Officer issued Operations Memo No. 11 Headquarters 320thInfantry regarding movement of the regiment from Tegelen, Holland, to a new assembly area E of the Rhine River in the vicinity of Letkampshof, Germany.

 

26 March 1945: 320thInfantry Regiment crossed the IP at Kaldenkirchen (932041) at 0900 and closed into a new assembly area in Letkampshof, Germany, at 2100, in division reserve. The Second Battalion was placed on one hour alert and the regiment on a two hour alert in preparation for a counter attack in the division zone.

 

27 March 1945: The 320thInfantry remained in assembly area in the vicinity of Letkampshof, Germany, in division reserve.

 

28 March 1945: The 320thInfantry (with Company C, 654thTD Battalion attached) attacked within its zone on the right flank of the division sector in column of battalions with the Second Battalion leading, passed through the right Battalion of the 137thInfantry, 280600. Strong enemy resistance was met in the vicinity of the Autobahn (375271) and woods to the South. At 1815 the Third Battalion was committed to the left of the Second Battalion and both battalions continued the attack in the regimental zone throughout the night. By 2400 the Second Battalion occupied a general line extending from 375265 to 384268; the Third Battalion a line from 392268 to 397270. The First Battalion remained in regimental reserve in assembly area at 3429.

 

29 March 1945: The Second and Third Battalions continued the attack against strong resistance, jumping off at 0700. At 1215 the First Battalion was committed at the left of the regimental zone and began movement to line of departure in the vicinity of 406268. At the end of the period, Third Battalion occupied positions vicinity 403249, 403257. First Battalion occupied positions vicinity 410266, 400270. Second Battalion secured the regimental right flank by blocking to the East and South.

 

30 March 1945: 320thInfantry Regiment continued attack in zone with Third Battalion (with 8 British flame-throwing tanks attached) on the right. First Battalion on the left. At end of period, First Battalion occupied positions vicinity 503268 and 495245. Third Battalion occupied positions vicinity 494245 and 495253. Second Battalion occupied positions vicinity 426234, 436237 and 445233.

 

31 March 1945: The 320thInfantry continued to attack. At end of period, Second Battalion held positions at 440228, 445232, 450230 and one platoon Company F at 444234, and continued clearing area in zone between Emscher Canal and Rhine-Herne Canal meeting strong resistance from vicinity Prosper Mine (444228). Third Battalion held defensive positions along Emscher Canal in zone extending from 483242 to 503247; 520259; 518274. First Battalion occupied defensive positions along Emscher Canal from 525261 to 547276.

 

2. The battle casualties for the month of March are as follows:

 

Officers

Enlisted Men

Killed in Action

1

32

Died of Wounds

2

Seriously Wounded in Action

11

Lightly Wounded in Action

6

116

Lightly Injured in Action

14

Missing in Action

1

23

Total

8

198

 

Awards received by members of the Regiment are as follows:

 

Croix de Guerre

Legion of Honor

 

Silver Star

 

Bronze Star

Regular

Olc

Regular

Olc

Officers

2

1

6

2

11

2

Enlisted Men

9

2

31

2

 

The number of Purple Heart medals awarded is: 136

 

The number of prisoners captured for the period is: 1885

 

(Signature)

B. A. BYRNE

Colonel, Infantry

Commanding

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