134th Infantry Regiment
"All Hell Can't Stop Us"
Unit: 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division.
Action: 18 - 20 January
Source: Interview with Lt. Colonel Carlyle F. McDannel, Commanding Officer of the battalion.
Interviewer: Capt. Jacob Goldman
Place and Date of Interview: Battalion CP at Lippborg, Germany, on 26 May 1945.
Journals: After Action Reports.
Comments: The Houffalize map was not available. The entire action took place on this map. The person interviewed expressed difficulty in remembering events because of the lapse of time. The After Action reports were used as a guide and to refresh his recollection.
Transcribed by Roberta V. Russo, Palatine IL, 8/30/2011
134th Infantry Regiment
Interview with Lieutenant Colonel Carlyle F. McDannel, Commanding Officer, at the Battalion CP at Lippborg, Germany, on 26 May, 1945.
On the morning of 18 January at 0500, the 2nd Battalion moved from Hollange to the vicinity of Michamps to relieve the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 320th Infantry Regiment, with the mission of holding their present positions and patrolling actively to the front in the zone. Relief was completed at 1100. Artillery and mortar fire was received throughout the area, and Michamps was shelled twice that afternoon. For the remainder of this day and the two days following the battalion continued to hold its present position, actively patrolling in its zone. The weather was cold, with a high wind and snow. The men were still wearing combat boots with overshoes, which were not satisfactory for that type of weather. Sporadic enemy artillery and mortar fire was again received throughout the general area. Our patrols reconnoitered to a depth of from 500 to 700 yards to our immediate front, occupying positions recently vacated by the enemy. Strong outposts were established in these positions.
The battalion attacked on 21 January toward the northeast to secure the high ground approximately two miles northeast of our front line positions which were along the north-south road running due south from Bourcy. No resistance was encountered, and the objective was reached at 1300 hours. Progress throughout the morning was greatly hampered by deep drifts of snow, often waist deep. The weather remained cold with a high wind.
On 22 January the 2nd Battalion moved on 65 tanks and TDs of the CCR, 6th Armored Division, to an assembly area on the high ground in the vicinity of Hoffett, were fed hot chow and dug in for the night.
On the following day the 2nd Battalion was given the mission of seizing the high ground approximately one kilometer south of the town of Basbellain, which was approximately six kilometers from the established front lines. The battalion moved from Hoffett on a company of medium tanks, a platoon of light tanks and a platoon of TDs, which were attached to the battalion for this operation, to an assembly area just behind the front lines. Reconnaissance was made by battalion and company commanders, and the attack was launched with two companies abreast, Company E on the right, Company F on the left and Company G in support. The battalion reached the objective without encountering any resistance, secured their position and by early afternoon finished digging in almost immediately before the enemy laid in heavy mortar and artillery fire. Meanwhile, a reconnaissance was made for a possible tank approach to the objective through a minefield. The selected route was swept by engineers, but when the tank started over it, one tank struck a mine, and the route had to be re-swept. A company of tanks and a platoon of TDs were then able to move up to the vicinity of the infantry to support them. One medium tank was disabled by enemy fire when approximately one kilometer south of the town while moving up.
Approximately one battalion of enemy were on the next ridge to our immediate front, generally along the skyline drive, running adjacent to the Our River. We fired on them continuously and patrolled aggressively throughout the night.
Throughout this period we suffered 10 combat casualties, and some cases of frostbite of the feet.
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