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 - January 1945

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

4 February 1945

SUBJECT: Action Against Enemy, Report After.

TO: The Adjutant General, Washington, 25, D. C.

1. In compliance with the provisions of Par 10 C3, AR 345-105, submitted below is report after action against the enemy for the 35th Infantry Division covering the period 1 - 31 January, 1945.

1 January, 1945

The first day of 1945 found the 35th Infantry Division pressing its drive into the German salient in the III Corps Zone SE of Bastogne. In front of the Division's riflemen, the opposition continued to be as fierce as it had been the last week of December. The enemy obviously was making an all-out attempt to hold its gains. In addition to the stiff resistance displayed by the enemy, front line men also had the elements to combat. Heavy snow and bitter cold took its toll of men though exposure and frostbite. The attacks still continued despite the weather and stonewall type of opposition.

The situation the morning of 1 January was as follows:

Spread thin on a 10 mile V-shaped front from Marvie to vicinity of Villers-La-Bonne-Eau to Bavigne, the Division had the 134th Infantry fighting on the left, the 137th Infantry in the center, and the 320th Infantry on the right. On the left of the Division was the 6th Armored Division and on the right the 26th Infantry Division. (See Figure #1)

During the morning, the 134th Infantry had its Battalions dig in to prepare positions for defense in case of a counterattack. In the afternoon it attacked at 1330. The 1st Battalion drove to positions beyond the crossroads about a kilometer SE of Marvie and the 2d and 3d Battalions advanced toward Lutrebois, seizing part of the town by dark.

The 137th Infantry, with the 1st Battalion of the 320th Infantry attached, also attacked at 1330 but, because of considerable enemy infiltration, was unable to gain ground. On its right flank, it had Company C defending and during the day the Company repelled several small counterattacks. Elements of Companies K and L, cut off in Villers-La-Bonne-Eau during the last days of December, remained surrounded in the town.

A 1230 attack by the 320th Infantry (less 1st Battalion) against the well-defended farm SE of Harlange resulted in only slight gain as the enemy maintained its stubborn defense there.

2 January, 1945

In the morning the 1st Battalion of the 134th Infantry discovered an estimated company of enemy infantry was entrenched to its rear and had the MSR to the attacking companies blocked. The Battalion spent a major portion of the day cleaning out this force and later managed to make contact with elements of the 6th Armored Division on the left. The 2d Battalion held its position against strong enemy pressure while the 3d Battalion battled enemy that had returned to the unoccupied portion of Lutrebois.

Striking fast and hard, the 1st Battalion of the 137th Infantry cleared the enemy from the woods W of Villers-La-Bonne-Eau and assisted Company F in driving the enemy from the woods S of the road junction W of Villers-La-Bonne-Eau. Pushing N in the same woods was Company E which after a hard struggle drove far enough into the woods to make contact with Company F. The 3d Battalion of the 137th Infantry and the 1st Battalion of the 320th Infantry remained in assembly areas behind the lines.

In its attack against the strongly defended farm SE of Harlange, the 320th Infantry failed to gain. Extremely heavy automatic and small arms fire was encountered. During the afternoon P-47 Thunderbolts bombed and strafed enemy tanks and infantry in the area N of Harlange.

3 January, 1945

The only progress made by the 134th Infantry was in Lutrebois where the 3d Battalion managed to seize two-thirds of the town. The other Battalions held their positions.

In the 137th Infantry zone, the 1st and 2d Battalions completed clearing the woods S of the Crossroads W of Villers-La-Bonne-Eau and pushed on to seize the crossroads itself. The Battalions were then in position to attack to the E toward Villers-La-Bonne-Eau. The 1st Battalion of the 320th Infantry and the 3d Battalion of the 137th Infantry remained in assembly areas, but the 3d Battalion made preparations to occupy the positions of the 1st Battalion after it moved to the E.

Once again the 320th Infantry pounded the enemy at the farm SE of Harlange and once again their attacks were repulsed. To assist in the drive against the farm, Company C of the 735th Tank Battalion was attached to the regiment.

4 January, 1945

During the night of 3 - 4 January the 1st Battalion of the 134th Infantry moved to the U-shaped woods about two miles N of Lutrebois. At 0700 the Battalion attacked to the SE to seize the road junction NE of Lutrebois. Company B, moving fast, captured hill 540 along with the enemy Battalion Commander and his Headquarters. Company C drove several hundred yards beyond the objective and became engaged in a heavy fire fight with the enemy. In an attempt to make contact with the 3d Battalion to the S, Company A attacked at 1340 and two hours later was up with Company B but had not made contact with the 3d Battalion. Company C, fighting alone in front, was cut off, but 43 men and one officer managed to return to American lines during the night. The 3d Battalion, meanwhile, having cleared the remainder of the enemy from Lutrebois attacked NE from the town to make contact with the 1st Battalion. The 2d Battalion tried to advance but was unable to move forward because of enemy patrols and infiltration parties maintaining constant pressure on its right flank.

The 137th Infantry attempted to drive closer to Villers-La-Bonne-Eau but gained only a few hundred yards. Extremely heavy fire was met and enemy tanks operated in the Regimental zone.

With the aid of tanks from Company C of the 735th Tank Battalion, the 320th Infantry's 2d Battalion captured the farm which the enemy had so bitterly defended. With the 3d Battalion, it then advanced to the woods N of the farm. From there Company E, supported by tanks, attacked Harlange and seized several houses in the E edge of the town. At 1730, however, a heavy counterattack drove the Company and its supporting tanks from the town.

5 January, 1945

The 134th Infantry's 1st Battalion, after seizing hill 540, switched its attack to the NE. The 2d Battalion continued to hold its positions, guarding against enemy infiltration attempts. The 3d Battalion crossed the open space E of Lutrebois and moved to the W edge of the wood NE of the town. Counterattacked by enemy dressed in American Soldier's uniforms, it withdrew to the E edge of the town. The 1st Battalion of the 320th Infantry was relieved from attachment to the 137th Infantry and attached to the 134th Infantry during the afternoon.

Little gain was reported by the 137th Infantry. The 1st Battalion was relieved by the 3d Battalion and began moving to positions behind the 2d Battalion. As soon as the 1st Battalion took up its new positions, the 2d Battalion attacked to the E and cleared enemy infiltrating through the draw to its front.

The 320th Infantry continued its bitter fight in the vicinity of Harlange. During the afternoon its 2d Battalion repelled a counterattack of three tanks and considerable infantry and spent the remainder of the day reorganizing its positions. The 3d Battalion's attack through the woods E of Harlange against increasing resistance gained little ground.

6 January, 1945

The 320th Infantry's 1st Battalion, which on 5 January had been attached to the 134th Infantry, moved to an assembly area a mile and one-half N of Lutrebois and attacked at 0700 and drove into the woods NE of the town. The 1st Battalion of the 134th Infantry held its positions until the 1st Battalion of the 320th Infantry came abreast. The 2d Battalion held.

The 137th Infantry continued to hold its positions and maintained heavy pressure against the enemy despite severe mortar and artillery fire. Late at night Company G, holding on the Regiment's right flank, was relieved by elements of the 6th Cavalry Group, which was to move into position on the Division's right flank. Company G moved to Surre.

In the 320th Infantry zone, the 2d Battalion held its positions while the 3d Battalion was being relieved by the 1st Battalion of the 101st Infantry, (Task Force Scott) of the 26th Infantry Division. This initiated the relieving of the entire 320th Infantry (less the 1st Battalion, which remained attached to the 134th Infantry) so it could be attached to the 6th Armored Division, operating on the left of the Division.

7 January, 1945

After an unsuccessful attempt to capture positions astride the Lutrebois-Lutremange road, the 2d Battalion of the 134th Infantry held along a line short of the road. The 1st Battalion of the 320th Infantry, still trying to come abreast of the 1st Battalion of the 134th Infantry, attacked during the afternoon but made no progress. The remainder of the day the Regiment continued to maintain pressure against the enemy.

The 137th Infantry continued to hold its positions and shuffled its line after relieving elements of the 28th Cavalry Squadron on its right flank, Company C of the 735th Tank Battalion was relieved from attachment to the 320th Infantry and attached to the 137th Infantry.

In the 320th Infantry sector, the remainder of the 101st Infantry (Task Force Scott) and elements of the 6th Cavalry Group relieved the 2d Battalion, and the Regiment moved to an assembly area in the vicinity of Bastogne, where it was to be attached to the 6th Armored Division.

8 January, 1945

The 134th Infantry moved two of its Battalions to areas behind the front lines in preparation for a coordinated III Corps attack the next morning. (See Figure # 2) The 1st Battalion of the 320th Infantry was relieved by the 1st Battalion and the 3d Battalion relieved the 2d Battalion in Lutrebois.

The 137th Infantry made no attacks, as its 3d Battalion was being relieved by elements of the 6th Cavalry Group. This Battalion assembled in the vicinity of Livarchamps upon being relieved.

The 320th Infantry (less 1st Battalion) was attached to the 6th Armored Division.

9 January, 1945

The 3d Battalion of the 134th Infantry and the 1st Battalion of the 320th Infantry attacked SE in conjunction with TF Hannum (2d Battalion of the 320th Infantry, working with the 6th Armored Division) and gained several hundred yards, while the 1st and 2d Battalions continued to hold their positions.

During the night of 8 - 9 January the 1st and 2d Battalions of the 137th Infantry repulsed strong enemy patrols. At 1000 both Battalions attacked to the E, meeting stiff resistance and moving forward very little.

10 January, 1945

The attack continued at 0900. The 134th Infantry pushed forward very little but succeeded in reducing a strong point. At midnight the 2d Battalion of the 320th Infantry was attached to the Regiment. This placed the 1st and 2d Battalions of the 320th Infantry under control of the 134th Infantry. The rest of the 320th Infantry remained attached to the 6th Armored Division.

In its attack, the 137th Infantry's 1st and 2nd Battalions attempted to move around the enemy left flank in the vicinity of Villers La Bonne Eau and advanced a few hundred yards. The 3d Battalion moved into position on the left of the 1st Battalion to protect the Regiment's left flank and maintain contact with the 134th Infantry. During the afternoon, the 1st Battalion encountered heavy resistance and made no gain. The 2d Battalion, however, drove hard into much-shelled Villers-La-Bonne-Eau, seized the town and the high ground to the NE.

11 January, 1945

The situation in the Division sector began to loosen as the enemy started slowly to move back. Continuing the attack at 0800, the 134th Infantry drove against scattered resistance to positions about 500 yards short of the Regimental objective. The 1st Battalion secured the left flank of the Regimental zone with one company, while the 2d Battalion remained in Lutrebois clearing the woods NE of the town.

The 137th Infantry's 2d Battalion attacked through Lutremange, taking the high ground N of the town from the withdrawing enemy. The 1st Battalion also drove forward. This brought the 137th Infantry to its pinched out objective.

12 January, 1945

The 134th Infantry moved to its objective in the woods SW of Bras, where it made visual contact with elements of the 90th Infantry Division, which was driving N. The 1st and 2d Battalions of the 320th Infantry were relieved from attachment to the 134th Infantry at 1300 and attached to the 6th Armored Division, where they rejoined their Regiment.

The 137th Infantry assembled during the afternoon in its sector. Company C of the 735th Tank Battalion was relieved from attachment.

The 35th Division Artillery was attached to III Corps Artillery.

13 January, 1945

The 134th Infantry moved the 1st Battalion to an assembly area vicinity of Salvacourt-Hompre, closing at 1730, and the 2d Battalion to vicinity of Chaumone-Hollange-Grandrue, closing at 2100. The 3d Battalion remained in position at the tip of the Division's pinched out boundary line and maintained contact with the 6th Armored Division and the 90th Infantry Division.

The 137th Infantry remained in its assemble area, and the 320th Infantry remained attached to the 6th Armored Division.

14 January, 1945

After the 90th Infantry Division and the 6th Armored Division had pushed further on, the 3d Battalion of the 134th Infantry assembled in vicinity of Remerville-Reminchampagne-Clochimont. The remainder of the Regiment, along with the 137th Infantry, engaged in rehabilitation of personnel and maintenance of equipment during the day.

15 January, 1945

Rehabilitation and maintenance of equipment carried priority for the Division on 15 January. The 1st Battalion of the 134th Infantry was attached to the 6th Armored Division. The 320th Infantry continued to be attached to the 6th Armored Division.

16 - 17 January, 1945

The Division continued rehabilitation and maintenance and conducted some combat training.

18 January, 1945

The 320th CT was relieved in its positions in the morning by the 134th CT, which was attached to the 6th Armored Division. CT 320 reverted to 35th Division control and moved to assembly areas previously occupied by the 134th Infantry.

The 137th CT began at 0930 to move to Metz. The 320th CT, along with the remainder of the Division (less 134th CT) moved to Metz the following day. Division Artillery was released from attachment to III Corps Artillery the previous day and reverted to Division control.

19 - 23January, 1945

The 35th Infantry Division (less CT 134) remained in Metz until 23 January, when it moved by motor to vicinity of Bidestroff and Chateau-Voue, in France, where it passed to control of XV Corps and Seventh Army.

24 - 29 January, 1945

On 24 January the Division moved to the front and began relief of elements of the 100th and 45th Divisions. The 137th Infantry relieved the 398th Infantry, of the 100th Infantry Division, in the area E of Soucht. The 320th Infantry relieved the 274th Infantry (of the 70th Infantry Division but attached to the 45th Infantry Division) in the area E and NE of Wingen. This sector was approximately 15 miles S of Saareguemines, the area where the Division, during December, had fought its way into Germany.

The Division remained holding and defending until 29January. The sector was extremely quiet with enemy artillery fire being only sporadic and only local clashes between patrols occurring.

30 January, 1945

The Division received the order to proceed N by rail and motor to the Ninth Army sector in the vicinity of Maastricht, Holland. Relief of the front line regiments took place during the night of 29 - 30 January. The 398th Infantry, of the 100th Infantry Division, relieved the 137th Infantry and the 179th Infantry of the 45th Infantry Division, relieved the 320th Infantry.

The move N took two days for elements traveling by motor and two to three days for personnel traveling by rail. All units moved their organic vehicles via the highways and dispatched foot elements and other personnel by rail.

31 January, 1945

The motor elements arrived in the area SE of Maastricht on 31 January. Elements traveling by rail were expected to arrive on 1 and 2 February.

As the Division neared the completion of its seventh month in combat, it could lay claim to being one of the most traveled Divisions in the European Theatre of Operations. Since its landing on Omaha Beach on 7 July, 1944, it had covered approximately 1300 miles, climaxing this with the 292 mile trip from the Seventh Army sector to the Ninth Army sector. During the month of January alone, the Division traveled approximately 350 miles. (See Figure #3)

With the attachment to the Ninth Army, the Division completed the circuit of the four operational American Armies in the European Theatre of Operations.

2. The number of Prisoners of War captured by the 35th Infantry Division during the period 1 - 31 January, 1945 is: 816

3. Battle casualties for the 35th Infantry Division for the period 1 - 31 January, 1945, are as follows:

Officers Enlisted Men
KIA 19 311
DOW 2 57
SWA 8 185
SIA 0 13
LWA 31 965
LIA 11 656
MIA 12 476
TOTAL 83 2,663


Total battle casualties for attached units is 42.

4. The number of Reinforcements received by the 35th Infantry Division during the period 1-31 January, 1945, is: 3554

5. Awards received by members of the 35th Infantry Division during the period 1-31 January, 1945, are as follows:

DSC

Regular OLC
Officers 0 0
Enlisted Men 2 0

Silver Star

Regular OLC
Officers 14 1
Enlisted Men 32 1

Soldier's Medal

Regular OLC
Officers 0 0
Enlisted Men 6 0

Bronze Star

Regular OLC
Officers 58 17
Enlisted Men 221 22

Air Medal

Regular OLC
Officers 1 7
Enlisted Men 0 0

The number of Purple Heart medals awarded is: 215.

For the Commanding General:

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

6 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-4 Journal
Incl 5 GO #1 thru #10, Hq 35th Inf Div, Jan 45
Incl 6 Sketches (3).

Transcribed by Roberta V. Russo
Palatine, IL


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