134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

Report of Action Against the Enemy

134th Infantry Regiment

December 1 to December 31, 1944

HEADQUARTERS 134TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
APO #35, U.S. ARMY
4 January 45

Transcribed by Roberta V. Russo, Palatine IL, 1/13/2012

SUBJECT: Report of Action Against the Enemy.

TO: Adjutant General, Washington, D.C., (Thru Commanding General, 35th Infantry Division, APO #35, U.S. Army)

1. In compliance with Par. 10, C-3, AR 345-105, 9 March 43, the following report of action against the enemy by the 134th Infantry Regiment during the period 1 Dec. 44 to 31 Dec. 44 is submitted.

2. December 1 - 3: The 134th Infantry, with Company A, 654th TD Bn. (SP) in direct support, in assembly in the vicinity of Lixing, France, received orders to move to St. Jean Rohrbach, the Regimental CP closing there at 1440, 2 December, with the entire Regiment closing in at 1511. The 3d Bn. relieved elements of the 6th Armored Division in zone. Reconnaissance was made for crossing sites on the flood-swollen Moderbach River. The order for the Regiment to attack Northeast on 4 December was issued. The Regimental Commander was awarded the Legion of Merit by the Commanding General, 35th Infantry Division.

December 4 - 7: The 1st and 2nd Bns. Attacked across the Moderbach River, making the crossing in face of light enemy opposition, apparently effecting complete surprise. The town of Puttelange was captured with very few casualties. One enemy tank was destroyed by Company A, while the 161st FA Bn. Reported three (3) enemy Artillery Batteries destroyed. The advance to the Northeast continued, and the 3rd Bn., in reserve, was moved to the vicinity of Puttelange, Northeast of which town they destroyed a Panther tank. The Regimental Commander fired the first shot into Germany from the 35th Division Artillery. The gun crew was the 3rd Section, Battery B, 127th FA Bn. (155 mm howitzers). A recording for radio broadcast over Nebraska stations was made by a group of enlisted men of this Regiment, sending Christmas greetings to the home front. The towns of Ernstviller, Gubenhouse and Heckenransbach were cleared of the enemy and occupied. At 1900, Company A, 737th Tank Bn. was attached to the Regiment for further operations. 139 Prisoners of War were taken on 4 December, and one Treadway and one Bailey bridge were completed across the Moderbach River by supporting Engineers. December 5, the Regiment continued to advance to the Northeast. The 2nd Bn. reached the outskirts of Sarreguemines, while the 1st and 3rd Bns. Pushed to the west bank of the Saar River, clearing that area of enemy and instituting reconnaissance for crossing sites. In spite of heavy mortar and artillery fire, both direct and observed, during the day, the towns of Woustviller, Roth, Neufgrange, the Foret Sarreguemines, and the western edge of Sarreguemines were seized and cleared of the enemy. Prisoner of war identification disclosed that the enemy opposing the Regiment was from the 38th SS Panzer Regiment and Engineers from the 17th SS Division. At 1115, 5 December, the Regimental CP displaced to Puttelange. "C" Battery, 161st FA Bn., (CT 134 Artillery) fired into Germany. At 1534, 5 December, an artillery observer reported that the enemy was blowing the bridges across the Saar River. At 1630, the first CT Artillery salvo was fired into Germany by the coordinated guns of Anti-Tank Company, Cannon Company, and the 161st FA Ba., with observers reporting effective results. On 6 December, reconnaissance was continued for crossing sites, and the towns of Remelfing and West Sarreguemines were cleared of the enemy. On 7 December, the CP moved to Neufgrange. During this operation, Prisoners of War were taken from the Group Lehmann, the prisoners stating that they were in the German Navy until a month ago.

December 8 - 11: The 1st Bn. led the crossing of the Saar River on the ruins of a Railroad bridge, and the Regiment was completely across by 0655. In clearing the East bank of the Saar River and the town of Sarreinsming, stubborn enemy resistance of all types was encountered. At 1130, an enemy counterattack with tanks was launched on the left flank of the 2nd Bn., but it was broken up by intense and accurate artillery fire. Having extended the bridgehead, a Treadway bridge in the vicinity of Remelfing and a Bailey bridge at Sarreinsming were under construction despite intense and accurate enemy artillery and mortar fire. Hill 271 was secured on 9 December, and the woods Northeast of the Insane Asylum at Steinbach was cleared and the bridgehead expanded. The Class 40 Bailey bridge was completed at Sarreinsming. During the night, 8 - 9 December, a 6-man patrol from the 2nd Bn. who requested information from a civilian was lead into a trap, losing one man for 24 hours. The last man returned with one (1) Prisoner of War. The Regiment continued to attack in zone, 9 December, and by nightfall had secured the high ground overlooking the Blies River, and elements had reached the town of Folpersviller. The 2nd Bn. was heavily engaged in clearing De Gross Wald. By 10 December, supporting TD's had crossed the Saar River. On 11 December, the Regimental CP displaced to Sarreinsming. The first furlough group to the United States left for the Replacement Depot. During 11 December, the 1st and 3rd Bns. continued advancing in zone, while the 2nd Bn. moved to assembly in the vicinity of Blies Ebersing.

December 12 - 15: At 0500, 12 December, the 1st Bn. commenced crossing the Blies River, with B and C Companies entering the town of Habkirchen, Germany. This was the first actual occupation of German soil by more than patrols within this Corps. "B" and "C" Companies held this bridgehead alone for 48 hours against the repeated counterattacks of over 300 SS troops and tanks. During this period, the two companies suffered high casualties, including the Company Commander and all officers but one of B Company. The Company Commander of C organized and reorganized and made one of the most dramatic defenses of a bridgehead in the annals of the campaign. On 13 December, the 2nd Bn. crossed the Blies River and seized Hill 307 while the 1st and 3rd, who were able to reinforce the remnants of Companies B and C after their brilliant stand, continued to mop up Habkirchen, receiving heavy artillery fire. On 14 December, a Class 40 Bailey bridge was constructed at that location. All units were under continuous heavy artillery fire.

December 15 - 18: On 15 December, the 1st Bn. reorganized as Regimental reserve at Habkirchen, while the 3rd Bn. moved to woods to support the 2nd Bn. which continued through Bannholz Woods, encountering heavy artillery, mortar fire and dug-in enemy positions. During this operation, the main enemy opposition encountered was from elements of the 17th SS Division (reinforced). On 16 December, the 2nd Bn. was attached to the 137th Infantry Regiment for continuation of the operation to clear Bannholz Woods, in coordination with 3rd Bn., still under Regimental control. The Regimental CP displaced to Folpersviller. The 161st FA Bn. displaced to positions in Habkirchen and was the first of the Division Artillery in position in Germany. On 17 December, the 3rd Bn. was relieved by the 1st Bn., 137th Infantry, and assembled in the vicinity of Folpersviller. A definitely needed training program was established at the Regimental train area for replacements. On 18 December, the 2nd Bn. (attached to the 137th Infantry) was relieved by the 1st Bn., 134th Infantry, and assembled in the vicinity of Habkirchen for protection of the bridge in that location. The 2nd Bn. was relieved of attachments to the 137th Infantry, and the 1st Bn. attached to the 137th Infantry.

December 19 - 20: An enemy counterattack overran the forward positions of the 1st Bn. The penetration was contained from new positions North of Reinheim. The 1st Bn. was relieved from the 137th Infantry and attached to the 320th Infantry. The 2nd Bn., attached to the 137th Infantry, was alerted to reinforce the 1st Bn.; however, their employment was not necessitated.

December 21 - 23: The 324th Infantry, 44th Division, relieved the 1st and 2nd Bns., and CT 134 (less Artillery) moved to assembly in the vicinity of Ernstviller, from where they moved by motor to Metz, closing at the Caserne Roque, 1300, 23 December.

December 24 - 25: The Regiment conducted indoctrination of replacements and observed the Christmas holiday.

December 26 - 28: CT moved to the vicinity of Metzert, Belgium, by motor, where they remained as Division reserve, moving to the vicinity of Warnach on 27 December. On 28 December, the 3rd Bn. relieved the 1st Bn., 318th Infantry.

December 29 - 31: The Regiment attacked in a column of Bns. With the 3rd leading, followed by the 1st and 2nd. The 1st Bn. bypassed the 3rd Bn. when it became involved at Lutrebois. The 1st Bn. advanced to Marvie, making contact with elements of the 101st Airborne Division at that point. The 2nd Bn. moved to fill the gap between 3rd. Bn., 134th Infantry, and 3rd Bn., 137th Infantry. A heavy counterattack from the high ground and the woods Northeast of Lutrebois was received. Enemy infiltration through gaps in the wide front occupied by the Regiment penetrated to within 400 yards of the Arlon-Bastogne Highway, but did not succeed in cutting that route. Through the cooperation of CCA, 4th Armored Division, the enemy attack was contained. However, the enemy continued to counterattack throughout the 30th and 31st of December with strong Infantry forces supported by large numbers of tanks. The 5th Paratroop Division, the 167th Volks Grenadier Division and the 1st SS Panzer Division (Adolph Hitler Division) were identified in this operation. At least 25 tanks and large numbers of personnel were destroyed by the combined action of CCA, 4th Armored Division, fighter bombers and CT 134.

3. During this period the following casualties were received:

KIA - 84
WIA - 678
MIA - 305

567 Prisoners of War were captured during the period.

<SIGNED>
BUTLER B. MILTONBERGER
Colonel, Infantry
Commanding

Incl - 3
Incl #1 - Unit Journal
Incl 2 - S-3 Situation Report
Incl #3 - S-2 Periodic Report

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