134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

35th Infantry Division

Report of Action Against the Enemy - February 1945

Headquarters 35th Infantry Division
APO 35, U.S. Army

4 March 1945.

SUBJUCT: Action Against Enemy, Report After

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

1. In compliance with Change 4, Paragraph 10, AR 345-105, the following report of action against the enemy by the 35th Infantry Division during the period of 1 February 1945 to 28 February 1945, inclusive, is submitted:

On 30 January 1945, the 35th Infantry Division began a 350 mile trip from vicinity of Tieffenbach, France, in the Seventh Army zone, N to the area SE of Maastricht, Holland, to become a part of the Ninth Army. The dawn of 1 February found those elements of the Division which traveled by organic transportation already in the area. All other elements traveled by rail and were arriving at or enroute to the area.

1 February 1945

CT 134, which during the Division's attachment to the Seventh Army was attached to the 6th Armored Division in the Third Army sector, was relieved from this attachment and reverted to Division control. The CT arrived in its assembly area SE of Maastricht at 1745. The CT was dissolved upon arrival.

Elements of the 137th and 320th Regiments traveling by rail arrived in the area during the day.

2 February 1945

Remaining personnel of the 137th and 320th Regiments traveling by rail arrived in the area at different intervals during the day. Track vehicles of the 127th Field Artillery Battalion and the 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion were still enroute by rail.

The 134th Infantry engaged in rehabilitation during the period.

3 February 1945

With the arrival of the track vehicles of the 127th Field Artillery Battalion and the 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion, the Division reported being completely closed into its assembly area SE of Maastricht.

The Infantry Regiments engaged in rehabilitation. The 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was attached to the 137th Infantry and the 35th Reconnaissance Troop to the 320th Infantry. In addition, the 784th Tank Battalion was attached to the Division.

4 February 1945

The Division moved to the battlefront in the Ninth Army zone in Germany to relieve the 52d British Infantry Division along a line just short of the Roer River. First unit to move was the 320th Infantry which completed relief of the 157th Infantry Brigade, 52d British Division, at 2115. Its zone extended from Heinsberg to Randerath with the 3d Battalion on the left, 1st Battalion in the center, and the 2d Battalion on the right.

5 February 1945

The 137th Infantry moved forward from its area and relieved the 156th British Infantry Brigade on the left of the 320th Infantry. The Regiment took command of the sector, extending from Heinsberg to a point a kilometer W of Voorst, at 1600. From left to right it had the 17th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, the 3d Battalion, the 2nd Battalion, and the 1st Battalion.

The 320th Infantry held and improved its defensive positions while the 134th Infantry prepared to move forward as Division reserve.

6 February 1945

While the 320th and 137th Regiments held in their positions, the 134th Infantry relieved the 155th British Infantry Brigade in the vicinity of Bocket, assuming responsibility for the area at 1330. The 155th Brigade had been the 52d Division's reserve.

7 February 1945

Moving into the Division's right sector, the 134th Infantry had its 1st Battalion relieve the 1st Battalion, 406th Infantry (102d Infantry Division), the 35th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, and elements of the 2d Battalion, 320th Infantry, in position, assuming responsibility of the zone at 2130. The 3d Battalion, following the 1st Battalion, assembled at Randerath. The zone extended from Porselen to a point 500 yards NE of Hiemmerich. Reason for this move was to comply with plans for an attack which was to take place later.

The 320th and 137th Regiments held their positions.

8 February 1945

While the 1st Battalion consolidated its positions in the line, the remainder of the 134th Infantry moved to the Regiment's new sector.

Another small shift took place between the 320th and 137th Regiments. The boundary between the Regiments shifted slightly to the left when elements of the 1st Battalion, 320th Infantry, relieved the right platoon of the 137th Infantry.

Any plans the Division had at this time for a crossing of the Roer River were cancelled when the enemy blew one of the sluice gates in the Schwammenauel dam, allowing the water to run into the Roer. On the average, the water rose five feet.

9 - 11 February 1945

The Division held its defensive positions throughout the three days, and conducted assault boat and assault against fortified positions training.

12 February 1945

The Division front remained inactive except for a brief encounter with a six-man enemy patrol in the 137th Infantry zone. Two of the enemy were killed, two wounded, and an officer and enlisted man were taken prisoner.

13 - 21 February 1945

For nine days the Division continued its defense, concentrating at the same time on assault boat, infantry-tank, and assault of fortified positions training. On 15 February, the 15th Cavalry Group was attached to the Division and assembled at Brunnsun. On the left, the British 7th Armored Division was relieved in its zone by the American 8th Armored Division.

20 February 1945

In the left of the Division zone, the 137th Infantry was relieved in position by the 314th Infantry (79th Infantry Division), the relief being completed at 2307. The 137th and 320th Regiments continued defense of their positions and continued training.

23 February 1945

The Ninth Army launched its attack across the Roer River. The part the 35th Division played in the initial phases of the attack was this:

The plan called for the 320th Infantry, in the left of the Division zone, to move to positions overlooking the river. The 134th Infantry was to remain in position and patrol aggressively as far forward as the river. The 84th Infantry Division, on the right, was to make the main effort and cross the river. On the left, the 314th Infantry (79th Infantry Division) was also to make a limited attack to positions overlooking the Roer.

The attack began at 0330. The 320th Infantry moved forward with three Battalions abreast, the 3d on the left, the 1st in the center, and the 2d on the right. Against light resistance, the Regiment captured most of its objectives within a short time. The 3d Battalion reached Unterbruch by 0345 and established contact with the 314th Infantry on the left. Advancing against harassing machine gun fire from across the Roer River, the 1st Battalion seized its objective, Oberbuch, by 0440, and one platoon took Bleckden by 0550. Company A found resistance stiffer and only after difficult house to house fighting was it able to capture Kranzes. The town was declared free of enemy by 1400. The 2d Battalion, meanwhile, found the approaches to Schanz heavily mined and booby-trapped, and fought all day before seizing the town at 1810. During the night all Battalions occupied and outposted their positions.

The 134th Infantry remained in position but dispatched patrols to the farm at Kaphof and to Hilfarth. The patrol to Kaphof advanced quickly and seized it with little difficulty. The patrol to Hilfarth encountered more trouble. Advancing to within 75 yards of the outskirts, it met small arms and heavy artillery fire. Suffering four casualties, the patrol was forced to withdraw under cover of friendly artillery fire. The patrol to the farm held its positions and later in the day was reinforced.

During this time, the 84th Infantry Division, on the right, had crossed the Roer River in strength. By nightfall, it had two regiments across and was making good progress. The 314th Infantry gained its objective, positions in its zone overlooking the Roer.

Division artillery had its first big day for a considerable period. After firing a 45 minute preparation beginning at 0245, it fired smoke missions on a feint bridgehead area and likely enemy CP's kept a strategic concrete bridge under continuous harassing and interdiction fire, and neutralized nine enemy batteries.

24 February 1945

The 320th Infantry consolidated its positions overlooking the river and sent a patrol to occupy Kivit. No enemy was found in the town.

The 134th Infantry send another patrol to Hilfarth; had its supporting platoon of tanks from the 784th Tank Battalion fire direct fire missions into Hilfarth.

The 137th Infantry remained in Division reserve vicinity of Schindveld and engaged in rehabilitation.

On the right, the 84th Infantry Division continued to make good progress on the E side of the Roer.

25th February 1945

The Roer River having receded to normal, the Division Commanding General issued the order for the crossing of the river. The plan called for the 137th Infantry to cross the river over a bridge constructed by the 84th Infantry Division in its zone. The Regiment was to move by motor to Korrenzig, dismount and march to Doveren and to a line of departure NW of the town. From there it was to launch an attack at 0600 to the NE. The 134th Infantry was ordered to attack and seize Hilfarth at 2000 on 25 February and cross the Roer at that point at 0600 the morning of 26 February.

The 134th Infantry had its 1st Battalion attack Hilfarth with the objective of taking the town and capturing the bridge across the river at the town, which was believed to be still in good condition. Without artillery preparations, the attack progressed but by midnight the town had not been taken.

The 137th Infantry, meanwhile, moved across the Roer on the 84th Infantry Division bridge at Linnich to Korrenzig from where it marched to the vicinity of Doveren and made preparations to attack NE.

26 February 1945

Continuing its attack on Hilfarth, the 1st Battalion, 134th Infantry, fought in the darkness encountering many mines and booby-traps which slowed its progress considerably. Machine gun and rifle fire was also met. However, by daylight the town was declared clear. While the 1st Battalion was engaged in Hilfarth, the 3d Battalion with attached engineers constructed a foot bridge to the left of Hilfarth, crossing on it with little opposition. The 3d Battalion then teamed up with the 1st Battalion in capturing the permanent bridge at Hilfarth intact. During the morning it was believed the bridge was good only for foot troops but later it was learned that tanks could cross on it. Both battalions advanced about three-fourths of a mile beyond the river. The 1st Battalion remained in Regimental reserve in Hilfarth.

Closing into assembly area at 0300, the 137th Infantry prepared to attack NE at 0600. At that time the Regiment jumped off. Best progress was made by the 3d Battalion on the right. By evening it had advanced and captured Bruck. The 2d Battalion met more resistance and progress only to the outskirts of Huckelhoven. The 1st Battalion remained in reserve.

The 320th Infantry remained in Division reserve in its positions overlooking the river.

Division artillery can be largely credited with the capture of the permanent Hilfarth bridge intact. Following carefully laid plans, the artillery kept the bridge under continuous artillery fire denying the enemy vehicular use of it, and probably cutting wires attached to demolition charges.

27 February 1945

While the 1st Battalion, 134th Infantry, continued reorganization at Hilfarth the other two Battalions, 134th Infantry, continued their drive forward. The 2d Battalion, moving fast, captured eight towns. They were: Millich, Ratheim, Krickelberg, Vogelsand, Garsbeck, Luchtenberg, Orsbeck, and Pletsch. The 3d Battalion attacked NW from Huckelhoven and seized the towns of Siedlung, Schaufenberg, Busch, Gendorf, and Wassenberg. Resistance was moderate.

The 137th Infantry made good progress also. The 1st Battalion initially in Regimental reserve, attacked on the left of the 2d Battalion against moderate resistance and seized Allmyhl and Myhl. The 2d Battalion drove ahead and cleared the woods in its route of advance. Attacking from KL Gladback, the 3d Battalion seized Gerderath and Gerderhahn.

Leaving the 1st Battalion in position, the 2d and 3d Battalions, 320th Infantry, assembled in Dremmen and Schafhausen.

The 15th Cavalry Group was released from attachment to the Division at 1000.

The drive N gained impetus as the Division moved forward three and one-half miles during the day. In the 134th Infantry zone, the 1st Battalion remained in Regimental reserve while the 2d Battalion pushed on to the seize the towns of Chewylack, Sulenbusch, Kraffeld, Ophoven, Steinkirchen, and Effeld, and sent patrols to the NE after the last town was taken. The 3d Battalion, supported by Company A, 784th Tank Battalion, likewise gained much ground. It seized the towns of Birgeien, Eisum, Tosenthal, Ophoven, and Effelder Woods.

The 137th Infantry's 1st Battalion attacked at 0600, cut the road in the woods about two miles W of Wilenrath, turned NE and assembled at Rogden. The 3d Battalion continued its attack from Gerderath through Wildenrath to Station Vlodrop and assembled in that town. The 2d Battalion, meanwhile, moved to Wildenrath and assembled there.

During this time a Task Force under the command of Colonel Bernard A. Byrne, commanding officer of the 320th Infantry, was formed and given the mission of attacking and seizing Venlo, Holland, a town along the German border about 20 miles due N. The Task Force was motorized and consisted of the following units: 320th Infantry (Mtzd), 216th Field Artillery Battalion, 275th Field Artillery Battalion, 784th Tank Battalion (less Company A), Company C, 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion, Company C, 60th Engineer (C) Battalion, and Company C, 110th Medical Battalion. During the day, the Task Force grouped and formed in the vicinity of the 137th Infantry location and made preparations for attack the next morning. The 137th and 134th Regiments, in that order, were to follow the Task Force closely.

2. Battle casualties sustained by the 35th Infantry Division during the period 1 - 28 February 1945, are as follows:

 

Officers Enlisted Men
KIA 5 93
DOW 1 9
SWA 2 41
LWA 5 132
SIA 0 8
LIA 1 74
TOTAL 13 357

Total number of casualties sustained by attached units: 18

3. Total number of reinforcements received by the 35th Infantry Division during the period 1-28 February 1945, is: 1420

4. Total number of prisoners of war captured by the 35th Infantry Division during the period 1-28 February 1945, is: 524

The following awards and decoration were awarded members of the 35th Infantry Division during the period 1-28 February 1945:

Officers Enlisted Men
DSC 1 2
Legion of Merit 1 0
Silver Star 15 35
Bronze Star 49 159
Soldier's Medal 0 2
Air Medal 8 0

For the Commanding General:

<signed>
Richard G. Chadwick
Lt. Colonel, A.G.D
Adjutant General

5 Incls
Incl 1 G-1 Journal w/supporting papers.
Incl 2 G-2 Journal w/supporting papers.
Incl 3 G-3 Journal w/supporting papers.
Incl 4 G-3 Period Report
Incl 5 G-4 Journal.

Transcribed by Roberta V. Russo
Palatine, IL



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