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 - March 1945

Headquarters 35th Infantry Division
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 C-3, Par. 10, AR 345-105, the following report of action against the enemy by the 35th Infantry Division during the period 1 March 1945 to 31 March 1945, inclusive, is submitted.

On 23 February, 1945, the Ninth United States Army crossed the Ruhr river and began its carefully planned advance across the Cologne Plain to the Rhine river. During the initial phases of the attack, the 35th Division moved to positions overlooking the Ruhr. On 26 February it crossed the river and established a bridgehead in the Hilfarth area. Two days later, after making good progress and it appeared the enemy defenses were disorganized, the Division Commander formed a Task Force, mobilized it, and gave it the mission of attacking N to seize Venlo, Holland, and from there to proceed NE to make contact with the Second Canadian Army, driving S. The Task Force consisted of the 320th Infantry (Mtz); 216th FA Battalion; 275th FA Battalion; 784th Tank Battalion (-Company A); Company C, 654th TD Battalion; Company C, 60th Engr. (C) Battalion; and Company C, 110th Medical Battalion. In command was Col. Bernard A. Byrne, Commander of the 320th Infantry. Dawn of 1 March found the Task Force prepared to jump off from the vicinity of Wildenrath.

1 March, 1945

Led by medium and light tanks of the 784th Tk Battalion carrying a company of infantrymen, the Task Force attacked N at 0700 on the main road to Venlo. By-passing all resistance except that encountered in towns and villages along the main road, the Task Force made good progress. Surprised by an attack from the S, the enemy was not prepared to demolish bridges along the road, enabling the Task Force to capture most of them intact. Steady movement forward continued all day, and what little resistance was met was wiped out quickly. Leading elements entered the objective by 1800. There the 3d Battalion, 320th Infantry, was given the mission of mopping up the remaining resistance in the N outskirts of the town and the remainder of the Task Force occupied and outposted the city. A gain of 25 miles was made and a total of 20 town and villages were captured.

Following the Task Force Byrne column were the 137th and 134th CTs. Both CTs were on the road during the night.

2 March, 1945

While CTs 137 and 134 were closing into their assembly areas S and SE of Venlo and mopping up scattered enemy forces by-passed by Task Force Byrne, the Task Force continued its advance. Its mission was to continue its advance NE to seize Straelen, then E to Nieukerk and Sevelen. With the exception of scattered resistance and a few blown bridges, the Task Force encountered little trouble and drove steadily ahead. At Sevelen resistance stiffened and slowed down the advance. Elements of the 784th Tk Battalion which entered the town first were cut off temporarily when the enemy blew a bridge behind them preventing reinforcement and resupply. The situation was remedied when another route in to town was located. Task Force Byrne captured 15 towns and villages during the day.

The 35th Recon Troop, operating on the Task Force left flank, seized the towns of Auwel, Bormig, Winternam, and Dohenhot.

Meanwhile, CT 137 was given the mission of advancing N on the right of the Task Force to clean out enemy remaining in the area E of Venlo. Some resistance was met but it was wiped out in short order. The Regiment captured 84 prisoners of war during the day.

3 March, 1945

Task Force Byrne maintained its positions E of Sevelen and for the first time since beginning its drive at Wildenrath met strong opposition, causing the 2d Battalion to go cross country to occupy Oermten. No other gain was made during the period. CT 137 moved from vicinity of Leuth to vicinity of Nieukirk and made reconnaissance to the E and SE of Nieukirk in preparation for an attack at 0700 the next morning in the right of the Division area. During this time, CT 134 moved from Venlo to vicinity of Straelen and took over road blocks and guarding of bridges behind Task Force Byrne. The 1st Battalion with tanks and TDs attached drove against moderate resistance to the RJ W of Geldern. Just W of the RJ, the battalion made contact with the 12th Battalion, Kings Royal Riflemen, 8th Armored Division, of the Canadian Second Army.

4 March, 1945

While the 3d Battalion outposted Sevelen and the 2nd Battalion outposted Oermeten, the 1st Battalion, 320th Infantry, attacked at 0700 and inched forward against bazooka, artillery, mortar and SP fire to positions along the Fleuth river. At 1115, the 2nd Battalion moved ahead slowly from Oemeten against the same type of resistance and reached the Fleuth river opposite Kamp and Kamperbruch.

During the night, CT 137 moved to assembly positions in the vicinity of Rheurdt and from there attacked at 0700 with Lintfort as the initial objective. The attacking Battalions, the 1st and 2d, against light resistance advanced to positions about a kilometer E of Landwehr. From that point on resistance increased and only the 2d Battalion was able to move forward. It advanced to and seized the hill at Loppelmannshof.

Meanwhile, the 1st Battalion, 134th Infantry, maintained pressure against enemy elements in Geldern and cleaned out the area W of the canal. At 0700 the British passed through the 1st Battalion to attack Geldern. The 1st Battalion then assembled in the Stemeshof area. The 2d Battalion continued to maintain road blocks and guard bridges vicinity of Straelen.

5 March, 1945

In an 0600 attack in its zone in the left of the Division sector, Task Force Byrne crossed the Fleuth river by capturing two bridges intact, and then in house to house fighting, took the towns of Kamp and Kamperbruch.

In conjunction with CC B, 8th Armored Division, attached to the 35th Infantry Division, CT 137 attacked and seized Lintfort by 1100 and then CC B went on to the outskirts of Rheinberg against fierce opposition, suffering heavy losses in tanks. During darkness, the 2d and 3d Battalions, 137th Infantry moved into Rheinberg. Prior to that time, Task Force Murray was formed consisting of CT 137; CC B, 8th Armored Division; Company B, 654th TD Battalion; and Company A, 784th Tank Battalion; and 692d FA Battalion. In command was Col. William Murray, Commanding Officer of the 137th Infantry. The new Task Force was given the mission of seizing Wesel, a city on the E banks of the Rhine, if the Rhine bridge at that point was still intact.

CT 134 (-161 FA Bn) went into Division reserve and had its 2d Battalion maintain bridge guards on the Straelen-Nieukerk-Sevelen highway and took over bridge guard responsibility from Task Force Byrne from Sevelen to Horstegen.

6 March, 1945

Now driving N, Task Force Byrne had its 1st and 2d Battalions, 320th Infantry, attack at 0700 and by 1000 had taken Hogenhof, Saalhoff, Olspray, and Schmitshof. About this time heavy resistance was again encountered, but by close of day, the 1st and 2d Battalions had advanced several hundred more yards. The 3d Battalion, in regimental reserve, followed.

Task Force Murray mopped up in Rheinberg and secured all positions there. An attempt to attack N by the 1st Battalion on the left of Rheinberg met with initial success but soon heavy opposition was encountered. A 1900 attack by the 3d Battalion with the 807th TD Battalion; 36th Tk Battalion (-1 Co.), CC B; and Company B, 53d Engr. (C) Battalion, brought about a gain of 1500 yards along the road to Ossenberg.

CT 134 (-161st FA Bn) moved to vicinity of Sevelen and remained in Division reserve. The 88th Cav. Sqdn., 8th Armd Division, was attached to the Division and given the mission of clearing the area N of Orsoy.

7 March, 1945

The enemy continued to hold out in the Wesel pocket despite constant hammering by the 35th, Canadian and British forces.

Task Force Byrne's 0700 attack gained ground initially in the 1st Battalion zone and at 1030 contact was made on the right with the 2d Battalion and at 1440 on the left with the 53d British Infantry Division. The 2d Battalion, meanwhile, had captured Bauern.

Continuing the attack from Rheinberg with the 1st and 2d Battalions and attached CCB 8th Armored Division, Task Force Murray advanced to the outskirts of Ossenberg and there was halted by strong enemy fire. No further gain was made during the day.

CT 134 (-161st FA Bn) remained in Division reserve and CT 291, 75th Infantry Division, attached to Division at 1400, began relief of the 88th Cav. Sqdn., in the right of the Division zone. The 88th had completed its mission of mopping up in the area N of Orsoy.

8 March, 1945

Jumping off at 0630, the 1st and 2d Battalion, Task Force Byrne, entered and captured Huck and Milligen after house to house fighting. After the 2d Battalion cleared Milligen, it moved to the NW along a small stream bed with Durpt as its objective.

Task Force Murray inched forward in the battle for Ossenberg and made some gain but the town remained in enemy hands. The area was firmly held by the enemy.

CT 291 completed relief of the 88th Cav. Sqdn. and became responsible for the right of the Division zone at 0800. It established contact with the 84th Infantry Division on the right. The 88th was then released from attachment to the Division.

9 March, 1945

The attack in the Task Force Byrne zone was continued at 0700 but intense enemy resistance prevented advances during the morning. At 1630 another attack was launched and by 2300 Drupt was taken by the 1st Battalion and the 2d Battalion had taken Hillmanshof where 160 PWs were taken. The Regiment had now completed its mission and the 134th Infantry passed through it during the night. The 3d Battalion, 320th Infantry, Task Force Byrne, took over the bridge guarding detail held down by the 2d Battalion, 134th Infantry.

Task Force Murray continued meeting stiff resistance and made little gain during the day.

10 March, 1945

After passing through Task Force Byrne, during the night, CT 134 (-161st FA Bn) attacked at 0615 and seized Borth. One company of the 3d Battalion, riding tanks, went on to seize Buderich, which brought the Regiment near its objective.

After clearing Ossenberg, Task Force Murray went on to seize Wallach, thereby completing its mission. At this time the Regiment was ordered to assemble its Battalions and patrol to the Rhine.

Task Force Byrne was dissolved upon being relieve by CT 134 ( -161st FA Bn) and the 320th Infantry moved to vicinity of Sevelen to become Division reserve.

CT 291 continued occupying positions in the right of the Division zone.

11 March, 1945

While its leading battalions, the 1st and 2d, remained in position, the 134th Infantry sent patrols from the 3d Battalion to occupy Fort Blucher, the last step before the Division's mission could be termed completed. During the afternoon, arrangements were made with the 53d British Infantry Division for relief of the 3d Battalion. The relief was completed at midnight.

CT 291 passed to the control of the 75th Infantry Division.

12 March, 1945

Elements of the 290th Infantry, 75th Infantry Division, relieved the 134th Infantry at 1610 and the regiment moved to the area S and SE of Venlo.

CT 137 was also relieved by elements of the 290th Infantry and with the remainder of the Division moved to the area S and SE of Venlo the next day.

14 - 24 March, 1945

The Division rested and rehabilitated its troops in the Kaldenkirchen area, making its first lengthy rest period since entering combat on 9 July 1944. Not all of the Division and attached troops rested, however. The 654th TD Battalion was attached to the 30th Infantry Division for operations only on 15 March. The 35th Infantry Division artillery was attached to the 30th for operations only the next day.

On 24 March the Twenty-First Army Group assaulted the Rhine river at points N and S of Wesel. XVI Corps Divisions, the 30th and 79th, made the crossings for the Ninth Army. The 35th Division, meanwhile, prepared to move across the river to exploit the Corps bridgehead.

25 March, 1945

The Division received the order to move one CT across the Rhine with the remainder of the Division scheduled to cross the next day. The Commanding General formed a Task Force of 134th Infantry; 127th FA Battalion; Company A, 60th Engr (C) Battalion; Company A, 654th TD Battalion; and Company A, 784th Tk Battalion. It was commanded by Colonel Butler B. Miltonberger, Assistant Division Commander. The Task Force closed into the area vicinity of Rheinberg at 1900 where it passed to control of the 79th Infantry Division. During the night it crossed the river. The other two infantry regiments continued rehabilitation and made plans to move to the E side of the Rhine. Division artillery and the 654th TD Battalion reverted to control of the Division.

26 March, 1945

At 0800 Task Force Miltonberger attacked generally E encountering moderate resistance including 20mm and SP fire, but by 1430 had advanced three and one-half miles to the Task Force objective. Meanwhile, the remainder of the Division crossed the Rhine and moved to the vicinity of Dinslaken. Task Force Miltonberger was dissolved at 1800.

27 March, 1945

The Division took up positions about three-fourths of the way through Kirchheller Heide forest from a point two kilometers west of Kirchellen to Sterkrade-Nord. On the left the 134th Infantry attacked at 0600. The attacking Battalions initially met scattered resistance but later resistance stiffened. Both Battalions, however, gained several hundred yards.

The 137th Infantry, on the right, attacked at 0600 and gained several hundred yards by dark. It too met light resistance initially but ran into stiff opposition later.

The 320th Infantry was in Division Reserve.

28 March, 1945

The heavy resistance encountered late during the day before prevailed again on the Division front as it attacked at 0600. The 134th Infantry, attacking with three Battalions abreast, advanced to and crossed the railroad tracks running N and S through Kirchellen.

The 137th Infantry advanced to positions about two kilometers W of the railroad.

The 320th Infantry was committed on the right of the Division zone. Against heavy small arms, mortar, artillery, and SP fire, the Regiment's 2d Battalion advanced beyond the autobahn.

29 March, 1945

The 134th Infantry drove ahead and seized the railroad W of Gladbach against moderate mortar and artillery fire. Attacking again at 1530, the two Battalions seized Gladbach. The 1st Battalion, during this time, protected the Regiment's right flank.

The 137th and 320th Infantry Regiments made only limited gains against heavy small arms, mortar, artillery, and SP fire.

30 March, 1945

In the 134th Infantry zone, the 2d and 3d Battalions drove on from Gladbach into Buer. W of Buer, the 3d Battalion overran five enemy direct fire AA guns. At end of day, the 1st Battalion passed through the 3d Battalion.

The 137th Infantry shot ahead eight kilometers during the day to seize Eigen.

Progress was slow in the 320th Infantry zone. However, the 2d Battalion managed to clear Bottrop.

31 March, 1945

The last day of March found the 35th Division advancing slowly but steadily, against moderate small arms, mortar, artillery, and direct fire, taking the towns of Bachum, Stuckenbusch, Buer-Resse, Buer-Erle, Karn AP, Horst, and the N half of Herten. An average of two miles was made during the day, making a total gain of approximately 15 miles for the operation.

The total gain for the month was 78 miles.

Number of battle casualties suffered by the 35th Inf. Div. during the period 1 March 1945 to 31 March 1945

 

Officers Enlisted Men
KIA 5 176
DOW 0 13
SWA 4 51
LWA 26 325
LIA 1 54
MIA 0 0
TOTAL 36 619

Total casualties among attached units: 132

Number of Prisoners of War captured by the 35th Inf. Div. during the period 1 March 1945 to 31 March 1945: 5900

Number of reinforcements and returns to duty received by the 35th Inf. Div. during the period 1 March 1945 to 31 March 1945: 1280

Decorations awarded the 35th Inf. Div. during the period 1 March 1945 to 31 March 1945

Silver Star

Regular Post MIA OLC
Officers 5 3 1 4
Enlisted Men 23 8 0 3

 

Soldier's Medal

Officers 1 0 0 0
Enlisted Men 0 0 0 0

Bronze Star Medal

Officers 59 0 3 7
Enlisted Men 145 6 1 7

Air Medal

Officers 1 0 0 4
Enlisted Men 1 0 0 0

Awarded by Higher Hq:

Officers Enlisted Men
Congressional Medal of Honor 0 1
Distinguished Service Medal 1 0
Legion of Merit 1 0
Bronze Star, OLC 1 0

4 Incls.
Incl. 1 After Action Report G-1 w/supporting papers.
Incl. 2 After Action Report G-2 w/supporting papers.
Incl. 3 After Action Report G-3 w/supporting papers.
Incl. 4 After Action Report G-4

For the Commanding General:

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

Headquartes 35th Infantry Division
APO 35, US Army

16 March 1945

Captured and/or Destroyed Enemy Material - Operation Grenade

88mm AT/AA Guns - 26
AT Guns - 56
75mm Howitzer - 13
SP Gun - 14
150mm Field Gun - 12
105mm Howitzer - 8
170mm Howitzer - 4
Misc Arty Pcs - 28
20mm AA Gun - 32
40mm AA Gun - 27
50mm Mortars - 4
80mm Mortars - 6
Machine Pistols - 249
Rifles - 5,047
Bazookas - 544
Panzerfaust - 1,333
Pistols - 136
Grenades - 6,700
Ammo:
Small Arms - 720,000
Arty - 12,151
Mortar - 900
Bazooka - 1,000
Explosives (Ton) - 1
Tanks - 14
Trucks - 58
Halftracks - 2
Prime Mover - 1
Ambulance - 2
Command Cars - 7
Motorcycles - 90
Trailers - 5
Personnel Carrier - 83
Misc Vehicles - 8
Military Radio - 24
Field Telephones - 74
P A System (Complete) - 1
Movie Projector - 2
Searchlight - 1
Assault Boats (Rubber) - 1
Assault Boats (River) - 13
Range Finder - 2
Aiming Circles - 2
Footbridges - 2
Bicycles - 200
Barge - 1
Medical Chest - 1
Aircraft (ME-109) - 2

Transcribed by Roberta V. Russo
Palatine, IL



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