WW 2

 WW 2 

 

In World War II, the 48th Infantry was disaggregated and designated as separate numbered battalions  of the 7thArmored Division.   The following Chronology relates their distinguished actions in the war, and is extracted from:  UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II, Special Studies, CHRONOLOGY 1941-1945, Compiled by Mary H. Williams, Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, US Govt Printing Office, Washington D.C., 1960.  Library of Congress Catalog Number 59-60002, HIST 940.54 U58 v.49. unless otherwise noted.

 Italics portions of background and strategic settings from World Book Encyclopedia

 1944

 Normandy Landings: The D-Day landings on 6 June 1944 at Normandy had been successful.  Within 5 days the Allies had landed sixteen divisions and seized eighty miles of the coast of Normandy.  They went on to take a large part of Normandy, and then began to pile up supplies for a great offensive on French soil. 

 The “Break-through”:  The capture of St. Lô on 18 July opened the way for the Allies to break out of Normandy.  Allied tanks raced south into Brittany and down to the Loire river.  Another column of Allied troops headed East, directly toward Paris. The Germans tried to counterattack. But British and Canadian troops broke through at Falaise to meet the U.S. forces and close a trap around the German seventh Army. That Army was destroyed in four days, and the road to Paris lay open to Allied armies.

 Liberation of Paris:  By August 19, two columns of General Patton’s troops had reached the Seine River, north of Paris.  With rescue at hand, the people of Paris rose against the Nazis.  They freed the city on August 25 before the Allies arrived. 

Invasion from the South:  On August 15, a strong Allied force landed on the southern Mediterranean coast of France.  It swept inland to join the Allied armies fighting in the North.  In two weeks it had taken the great industrial city of Lyon and was approaching the Belfort Gap.

 Within this setting enters the 7th Armored Division, identified as 7AD herein. The following chronology tracks the unit through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany on a route generally depicted on the following map.

map.jpg (87613 bytes)10 August: 7AD attached to XX Corps in Third Army area of the 12th Army Group in France.  In the XX Corps area, 5th Div overruns Angers.

12 August:  XX Corps issued its field order close to midnight.  In an area between VII Corps on its left and XV Corps on it right, two divisions to attack abreast, the 80th on the right, and the 7AD on the left.  Because 7AD would not arrive in the area until the afternoon of 13 August,  XX Corps ordered the 80th Div to initiate the attack at 0800, 13 August.  The armor was to follow, pass through the 80th, and take the lead.  With two regiments abreast, the 80th was to attack from the Evron-Sille-le Guillaume area to capture the Argentan-Sees line. Though the attack made good progress and swept away scattered German resistance, it ended in embarrassment as the 80th Div troops collided with XV Corps units moving across their attack zone.  Evidently through oversight, the XX Corps order made no mention of the Third Army instructions to hold the advance upon establishing contact with the XV Corps in the vicinity of Alencon or farther north. The following morning General McBride went forward and ordered the 80th’s regiments back to the Laval-Evron area.  (2)

13 August:  General Patton gave the XX Corps the 7AD and instructed Gen Walker to secure Dreux as the initial step in blocking German escape across the lower Seine. 

15 August:  XX Corps assembles near Chartres, France, and establishes bridgehead across Aunay River.  7AD reaches edge of Chartres, where heavy fighting ensues.

18 August:  7AD takes over bridgehead at Dreux

20 August:  XX Corps attacks East toward the Seine, with the 7AD on the North and 5th Div on the south, in effort to gain bridgeheads at Melun and Montereau.

22 August:   XX Corps speeds towards Mellun and Monterau, 7AD approaching Melun and 5th Div threatening Fontainebleau.

24 August:   In the Third Army area, XX Corps gains bridgeheads across the Seine at Melun and Montereau, 7AD establishing former and 5th Div, latter.

26 August:  In XX Corps area, 7AD thrusts quickly North-East toward Chateau-Thierry and the Marne.

27 August:  In XX Corps area, 7AD drives North-East toward Reims on broad front, followed by 5th and 90th Divs.  Armored forces reach the Marne at Chateau-Thierry, secure crossings, and overrun that town.

28 August:  XX Corps speeds toward Reims.

30 August:   In XX Corps area, 7AD speeds toward Verdun against scattered resistance.

31 August:  In XX Corps area, CCA of 7AD followed closely by 5th Div, establishes bridgehead across the Meuse at Verdum, 90th Div remains in Reims area.  XX Corps advances than comes to a halt to await gasoline.

1 September:  Third Army is practically immobilized by acute shortage of gasoline.  In XX Corps CCR of 7AD advances to Etain along Verdun-Metz highway.

2 September:  Third Army is immobilized for lack of fuel.  In XX Corps area while 3d Cav Grp reconnoiters to the Moselle, 7AD feints to North from Verdun to confuse enemy, halting short of Sedan when fuel runs out.

3 September:  7AD columns feinting toward Sedan are recalled, returning on 4th after getting enough gasoline to do so.  Airfield near Reims is sufficiently repaired by the time to receive cargo planes.

6 September: In Third Army’s XX Corps area 7AD opens corps’ attack to force the Moselle.  Main body of 7AD attacks at 1400 with CCA (Combat Command A)  and CCB leading and CCR (Combat Command Reserve)  following CCB:  on North, CCA is brought to a halt at Ste Marie-aux Chênes; CCB is held up near Rezonville and Gorze but gets elements to canal between Noveant and Arnaville. 

7 September:  CCA of 7AD, after overcoming opposition at Ste Maire-aux-Chênes and St. Privat, continues to the Moselle at Mondelange, North of Metz, and starts South toward Hauconcourt; CCB is forced to withdraw elements on canal between Noveant and Arnaville because of heavy fire, but gets other elements to the river in Dornot area, where they are under fire from both sides of the river; CCR starts forward to join in battle, but is ordered to halt until passed through by 5th Div.

8 September:  CCA (-) 7AD disposed along the Moselle South of Talange, is containing enemy in North part of his Metz bridgehead with exchanges of fire.  Because of diverging attacks of Corps units, General Walker attaches 2nd Inf of 5th Div to 7AD and CCB of 7AD to 5th Div, although missions remain unchanged. 

9 September:  In the U.S. Third Army ‘s XX Corps area, 2nd Inf of 5th Div, assisted by a Taskforce from CCA.  7AD continues to attack West of Metz without making appreciable headway.

10 September:  2nd Inf of the 5th Div, assisted by elements of CCA 7AD continues almost fruitless attacks against German line West of Metz.

11 September:  CCR, 7AD joins 2nd Inf, 5th Div in attacks West of Metz.

12 September:  2nd Inf of the 5th Div continues bitter fighting to improve positions and straighten lines South of Amanvillers.  Arnaville bridgehead perimeter holds against coordinated German counterattacks.  At noon engineers finish bridging  the Moselle, thus permitting tanks and Tank Destroyers from CCB of 7AD to cross into bridgehead.

15 September: CCB of 7AD and 10th Inf of 5th Div , CCB on the right, expand Arnaville bridgehead in preparation for northward drive on Metz; Arry, Hill 396 NE of Arry, Lorry, Mardgny, and Vittonville are cleared.  After this action, CCB halts until relieved by 2nd Inf of 5th Div and reverts to 7AD control.  Other elements of 7AD are concentrating in Arnaville bridgehead.

16 September:  CCR of 7AD begins attack to break out of Arnaville bridgehead along Lorry-Sillegny road but is soon stopped; CCB crosses into the bridgehead in early morning and joins in attack at 1400, pushing toward Marieulles.  5th  Div regroups within the bridgehead; 2nd Inf relieves CCB on right flank and CCB moves to Vittonville.

17 September:  In US Army’s XX Corps area, Gen Walker issues tentative plan for air-ground offensive in Metz area, Operation Thunderbolt.  CCA 7AD assisted by elements of CCB, takes Marieulles; upon relief there by the 5th Div, is withdrawn to reserve; CCR and CCB are ordered to continue attack toward Seille River.

18 September:  5th Inf and 7AD drive toward Seille River.  CCR 7AD drives to edge of Sillegny against intense fire; CCB, directed toward Longuefillples-Cheminot, is stopped by fire from Hill 223, but patrols occupy Bouxieres-sous-Froidmont without opposition.

19 September:  CCR 7AD after hard fighting at edge of Sillegny, enters and finds the town vacated by enemy. But is forced out again by extremely heavy fire and enemy counterattack; CCB drives into Seille loop and takes Longueville but is unable to take Cheminot, from which its positions are threatened.  Massing forces at Coin-sue-Seille, enemy columns move forward to counterattack but are checked by air and artillery.

20 September: CCA 7AD replaces badly mauled CCR in front of Sillegny and, together with CCB attacks toward the Seille; bypassing Sillegny, CCA reaches the river, where it comes under heavy fire; CCB also reaches the river but falls back under fire.

21 September: 7AD continues to meet  intense fire from Seille River line; two companies of armored infantry of CCB ford the river south and East of Longueville after dark, but withdraw at daylight of  22nd to await coordinated attack..

22 September:  In Third Armies XX Corps Area, 7AD prepares to attack across the Seille on 23rd.

23 September:  7AD drops plans for crossing the Seille upon receiving orders to join XIX Corps of First Army, leaving General Patton’s Third Army.

24 September:  5th Div begins relief of the 7AD in line.

25 September:  5th Div extending southward, completes relief of 7AD and withdraws to new Main Line of Resistance, pulling back its outpost line.

28 September:  In 12th Army Group, First Army’s XIX Corps area, Gen Corlett orders offensive to clear Peel Marshes.  7AD is to attack from North while Belgian 1st Brigade, which comes under Corps control, and 113 Cav Group makes secondary effort on south.

29 September:  7AD moves through British zone to positions from which to attack southward in Peel Marshes, Belgian 1st Brigade and 113th Cav Group attacks from South toward Roermond by make little headway against unexpectedly strong resistance.

30 September:  7AD from positions near Oploo, attacks south in corridor West of Maas during afternoon, pushing toward Vortum and Overloon and soon running into determined resistance; attacks to clear the corridor from Sount continue to make little headway. 

1 October:  First Army spends most of its time during October encircling and reducing Aachen (Germany), from which drive on Cologne (Germany) is to begin.  In XIX Corps area, two-pronged attack to clear Peel Marshes continues to gain little ground.  Main attack of Corps, attack on West Wall region between Aachen and Geilenkirchen, cannot be undertaken as planned on this dated because of poor weather conditions.

2 October:  7AD is assisted by British and U.S. artillery as well as aircraft, as it continues effort to clear corridor west of the Maas.  Task Force (TF) of CCB takes Vortum, but efforts to invest Overloon fail and enemy begins series of counterattacks. 

3 October: On left flank of Corps, 7AD replaces CCA with CCR as efforts to invest Overloon continue.

4 October:  7AD continues to fight hard but indecisively near Overloon.

5 October: Strong opposition continues to keep 7AD from Overloon, though the town is almost encircled.  Germans are assisted by heavy arty fire, which Corps counters with 99 missions despite dwindling supply of arty ammunition. 

6 October:  Costly effort to clear Peel Marshes comes to an end as 7AD breaks off attack.  The division has gained less than 2 miles in this operation and is still within British zone.

12 October:  21st Army Group in British Army’s 8 Corps area, 3rd Div attacks southward against Peel Marshes salient, clearing Overloon.  7AD provides diversionary demonstration along Deurne-Venray road.

16 October: 7AD establishes bridgehead across canal on Deurne-Venray road.

17 October:  7AD pushes south along east bank of canal.

18 October: General Eisenhower issues plan for offensive, with tentative dates.  First priority for 21 Army Group is to open Antwerp port.

28 October: In British Second Army’s 8th Corps area, 7AD begins two-pronged attack to recover Meijel, CCB driving SE along Deurne-Meijel highway and CCR moving along Asten-Meijel highway and CCR moving along Asten-Meijel road.  Small gains are made against severe opposition.

29 October:  7AD upon relief concentrates about Nederweert and Weert.

 30 October:  In British Second Army’s area, 12 Corps makes contact with 1 Corps.  7AD drives West to Oosterhout and makes contact with the Polish 1st Armored Division of 1st Corps there. 

31 October:  Major Gen Lindsay McD. Silvester is replaced as commander of the 7AD by Maj Gen Robert W. Hasbrouck, former CCB commander. Division front is confined to Nederweert area as Belgian 1st Brigade along Nerweert-Wessem Canal is detached. The Belgian force is augmented by a British armored brigade.

1 November:  7AD prepares for limited offensive to secure NW bank of Canal du Nord.

2 November:  CCA of 7AD begins limited attacks to clear enemy from Canal du Nord.

3 November: CCA of 7AD continues to clear NW bank of Canal du Nord, overrunning villages of Horik and Ospel.

4 November :  CCA of 7AD continues to clear NW bank of Canal du Nord

5 November:  7AD approaches Meijel area from south and 15 Div begins drive on Meijel from North.

6 November:  7AD is ordered to return to 12th Army Group in preparation for offensive.

7 November:  7AD reverts to 12th Army Group in the First Army area.

8 November:  British 1 Corps extends east, taking over sector formerly held by 12 Corps of British Second Army, and assumes command of the 7AD and attachments.

9 November:  In U.S. Ninth Army’s XIII Corps area, 7AD arrives in corps zone from British Second Army Sector.

29 November:  In Ninth Army Group, XIII Corps begins drive toward the Roer.7AD is held in Corps reserve.

 

Battle of the Bulge – The Ardennes:  In December 1944, the Allies were massing men for a big attack.  German Army Marshall von Rundstedt found that the Allied lines in the Ardennes forest were thin and lightly held.  With three German armies massed on a ninety-mile front, von Rundstedt  tried for a break through.  On 16 December the German Armies struck.

15dec44_640.jpg (122656 bytes)The overall situation on 15 December is depicted in the map at the left. To view it in larger scale, double click on it.  Note the position of St. Vith, Belgium in the center of the map within the Ardennes forest.  It will play a critical role in the history of the 48th Infantry.(credit source 3 at footnote)

16 December:  News of Ardennes counter-offensive cancels plans for XIII Corps assault on German West Wall.

17 December:  U.S. Ninth Army releases 7AD to VIII Corps in the U.S. First Army area.  Elements of the 7AD and 9AD are committed to defense of St. Vith, Belgium.

 48TH INFANTRY NOTE:

The unit received a Presidential Unit Citation for its action at St. Vith.  With its colors, it can therefore fly a streamer embroidered  ST. VITH, and we wore a blue ribbon over the right pocket on dress uniforms to commemorate the citation.  The unit was also cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at ST. VITH.

st_vith_320h.jpg (30666 bytes)St Vith, depicted in this aerial photo at left lay approximately twelve miles behind the front lines on 16 December.  This was an average Belgian town, with a population of a little over 2,000.  It was the knot which tied the roads running around the Schnee Eifel barrier to the net which fanned out toward the north, south and east.  Six paved or macadam roads entered St. Vith.  In German war plans St Vith was important to: 1) ensure the complete isolation of the troops that might be trapped on the Schnee Eifel, 2) to cover the German supply lines unraveling behind the armored corps attacking to the north and south, and 3) to feed reinforcements laterally into the main thrust by using the St. Vith road net.  (text and photo credit source 3 at bottom of page)

16dec44_320.jpg (30961 bytes)16 December:  The US Army map from source 3 shows the German plans, and the situation and situation to 26 Dec. (credit source 3)

18 December:  7AD is too heavily engaged at St. Vith to assist with VIII Corps eastward push.  Germans occupy Reht and cut St Vith-Vielsalm road at Poteau but CCA recovers Poteau.  14th Cav Group which falls back to Petit Their, is transferred from 106th Div to 7AD control.

19 December:  In VIII Corps area, hope of relieving beleaguered 422nd and 423rd Regts of 106th  Div in the Schnee Eifel fades.  7AD and 9AD (-) are aggressively defending region just east of St Vith.

21 December:  In XVIII Corps (Airborne) area, CCB of 7AD withdraws from St. Vith at night; CCA contains attack near Poteau; CCR clears Viel-salm-Poteau road.

22 December:  In XVIII Corps (Airborne) area, withdrawal of delaying forces in St Vith area through 82nd Airborne Div line begins.  82nd Airborne Div is under strong pressure.

23 December:  7AD, remnants of 106th Div, RCT 112 of 28th Div, and CCB of 9th AD withdraw from St Vith area as planned, moving through lines of 82ndAirborne Div.

24 December:  In XVIII Corps (Airborne) area 82nd Airborne Div is under strong pressure in Manhy area; loses Manhay, although elements of the 7AD are pressed into action in that region.

25 December: 7AD is reinforced by RCT 424 of the 106th Div; tries vainly to recover Manhay. (note – the 7th AD and the 3rd AD were side by side; Manhay-Grandmenil (7thAD) and Freneux-Lamormenil (3AD) at Christmas 1944)

26 December:  In U.S. First Army Area, army halts enemy’s westward drive short of the Meuse River.  German supply lines are now overextended, and stalled armor becomes a lucrative target for aerial attacks. XVIII (Airborne) Corps maintains defensive positions and defeats enemy efforts to break through to the Meuse. 

28 December:  XVIII Corps (Airborne) area is relatively quiet.

29 December:  XVIII Corps (Airborne) area is virtually static.

30 December:  7AD releases RCT 424 to 106th Div.

 1945

 17 January:  In Third Army’s V Corps area, 1st Div, making main effort on right, fights to clear defile south of Ondenval through which 7AD will pass in attack on St. Vith.

 19 January:  1st Div opens passage through which 7AD will drive on St Vith; against greatly decreased resistance, Div clears Iveldingen, Eibertingen, Montenau, and Schoppen.

 20 January:  In First Army’s XVIII Corps (Airborne) area 7AD attacks south toward St Vith through Ondenval defile, with Deidenberg and Born as immediate objectives; CCA drives beyond Deidenbert, but CCB, held up by mines and deep snow, is unable to take Born.

 21 January:  7AD overcomes house-to-house opposition in Born. 

 22 January:  In British Army’s 12 Corps area of 21 Army Group, 7AD fights indecisively near Montfort.

 23 January:  7AD is still held up by strong opposition near Montfort.

 24 January:  7AD overruns Weerd, Aandenberg, and Montfort.

 25 January:  7AD captures Linne and Putbrock and continues NE toward river line. 

 27 January:  7AD is slowly clearing Bois de St Vith.

 3 Feburay:  In 12th Army Group First Army’s V Corps Area CCR of 7AD is attached to 78th Div to participate in drive on Schwammerauel, important Roer River dam near Hasenfeld. 

 6 February:  CCR of 7AD assists 309th Inf in mopping up Steckenborn area and takes over defense of Hechelscheid sector.

 7 February:  78th Div renews attack.  CCR of 7AD mops up bypassed pockets to rear of 78th Div. 

 

 Beyond the Rhine:  On 27 February 1945 the allies attacked Cologne on the western bank of the Rhine River.  The city fell seven days later.  German forces hastily destroyed the bridges that crossed the Rhine River.  But at the little village of Remagen, near Cologne, Allied troops found a bridge that the Germans had neglected to destroy  the American first Army captured the bridge and moved quickly across the Rhine. On March 24, four more Allied armies crossed the river by boat, and two parachute divisions were dropped five miles beyond the river into German territory.

 7 March:  In 12th Army Group’s First Army area VII Corps, Cologne, Germany’s third largest city falls to Third Armored Division and 104th Inf Div.  In III Corps area 9th AD  and finds the Ludendorff  Bridge across the Rhine standing though damaged and prepared for demolition, and starts across.  7AD is attached to III Corps and assembles in Zulpich area before taking over the 9th Div zone.

 8 March:  9th Div continues attacks until 1715 when 7AD takes over its zone; RCT 39 occupies Bad Godesberg and is attached to 7AD; RCT 60, fighting for limited objective near Duisdorf, is also attached to 7AD except for reinforced 1st Bn, which is under 9AD control.  7AD is unopposed as it begins clearing its zone west of the Rhine.

 9 March: In 12th Army Group’s First Army VII Corps area, German resistance west of the Rhine ends 7AD defends West bank of river between Bonn and Remagen.

 14 March:  7AD places cable across Rhine.

 19 March:  7AD is attached to 12th Army Group First Army’s VII Corps and defends west bank of Rhine to south of 8th Div.

 22 March:  7AD no longer required to defend west bank of the Rhine, prepares to cross the river.

 23 March:  7AD starts assembly East of the Rhine on the night of 23-24th.

 25 March:  7AD completes assembly East of the Rhine to spearhead Corps breakout attack.

 26 March:  7AD jumping off at 0200 in center of Corps, thrusts toward Lahn River and Limburg.  CCR attack from Vettelschoss, TF Griffin moving steadily east to Ailertchen and TF Brown, after bypassing resistance and rubble at Dierdorf, advancing so rapidly to 2 of its objectives, Obertiefenbach and Heckholzhausen, that it overtakes retreating enemy and inflicts severe losses.  CCR is directed to turn NE to secure crossing of Dill River.  CCA, organized into TF Rhea, Wemple, and King drives SE along the autobahn toward Limburg until contact is made with the 90AD of V Corps at Montabaur, then swerves NE toward Wetzlar as plans are hastily changed to leave reduction of Limburg to V Corps.

 28 March:  In III Corps Area of the First Army, 7AD, jumping off shortly after midnight  27-28th from Dill River line, drives NE to Lahn River and secures crossings between Marburg and Giessen and communications center east of the Lahn. CCR’s TF Griffin crosses south of Marburg to gain objectives in Schroeck-Beltershausen region and makes contact with 3AD of VII Corps at Marburg.  TF Brown crosses in Roth-Bellhausen area and continues to Ebsdorf.  CCA meets determined resistance as it approaches Giessen but succeeds in entering and clearing the city; since bridge there is damaged, a treadway bridge is constructed over the Lahn.  CCB, having displaced Eastward, is committed between CCR and CCA and secure crossing of the Lahn North  of Giessen and road center East of the Lahn.  Bypassing resistance near Rodheim, CCB advances to Wissmar, which it is obliged to capture before continuing: TF Erlenbush clears Wissmar, crosses the Lahn and captures Wieseck and Grossen Buseck; from Wissmar, TF Chappuis turns N, taking Ruttershausen and crossing the Lahn to clear Staufenberg, Mainzlar, Daubringen, Lollar, and Alten Buseck.. 7AD thus gains all of its objectives and is directed to assemble in Marburg area to continue attack to north.

 30 March:  In III Corps area, 7AD speeds north to line of Ederstan See and Eder River, captures Edersee Dam intact, and secures crossing of Eder River.  CCR, on left, advances to the Eder without opposition and sends patrols to North bank.  CCB organizes TF Wolfe (a sub TF of  TF Brown, CCR) reaches the dam first and captures it while temporarily attached to CCB.  RF Chappuis, followed by attached TF Beatty, drives to river line on right and seizes six bridges between Hemfurth and Bergheim.

 31 March:  7AD’s CCR and CCB defend newly won positions along the Eder River and are passed through be elements of V Corps. 

 2 April:  In First Army’s III Corps area, CCA of 7AD is attached to VII Corps and starts to Medebach area.

 3 April:  At 2400 hrs CCA 7AD relieves 415th Inf in Kuestelberg and is attached to 9th Div.

 4 April:  9th Div forms TF Birks, consisting of CCA of &AD and 47th Inf, at 2000 hrs and at midnight the Div plus attachments passes to control of III Corps in place.  III Corps completes preparations for assault against Ruhr pocket.

 5 April:  First Army joins in battle to destroy Ruhr pocket, at first employing III Corps.  III Corps begins attack on Ruhr pocket, employing 9th Div on North, 7AD in center, and 99th Div on south.   TF Birks clears Wiemeringhausen, Brunskappel, Assinghausen, Buchhausen, Wullmeringhausenk and Elleringhausen.   CCB of 7AD attacks west through 9th Div to edge of Winkhausen, which elements bypass to reach positions near Grafshaft. 

7april45_320.jpg (25712 bytes)7 April: US Army photo depicts men of Company B, 38th AIB (1st Bn, 48th Infantry in lineage) preparing to take Fredeberg, Germany.

 

 8 April:  CCB of 7AD clears Obringhausen and provides fire support for attack of CCR on Fredeburg; in vigorous, day-long fighting, CCR clears most of Fredeburg.  99th Div’s 394th Inf coordinating closely with 7AD, clears Wormbach, Felbecke, Selkentrop, Werntrop, and bypassed resistance west of Milchenbach.   

9april45_320.jpg (25855 bytes)9 April:  US Army photo shows 38th AIB troopers riding a tank destroyer through Fredeburg, Germany.

 10 April:  7AD commits CCA between CCR and CCB and drives steadily NW in multiple columns.

 11 April:  5th Div expands Wenne bridgehead. On the left flank of Corps, 99th Div continues Norwest in region East of the Lenne to positions near Serkenrode, Fretter, and Weringhausen.  7AD gets into position to drive West across fronts of the 5th and 99th Divs.

 12 April:  7AD speeds west some 15 miles, passing through the 5th Div on right and cutting across front of the 99th Div on left; CCA reaches Hoevel and Balve on right; CCR seizes Neuenrade.

 13 April:  In III Corps area, CCA of 7AD assisted by left flank elements of the 5th Div, moves Northwest toward Hemer.

 14 April:  CCA of 7AD reaches edge of Hemer by noon but suspends assault until 2030 in futile effort to negotiate peaceful entry, then attacks and clears the town.

 15 April:  In III Corps area, 5th Div completes offensive operations and is passed through by the 7AD.  CCR of 7AD drives West from Menden in two columns and reaches Kalthof area.

 16 April:  In III Corps area, resistance in Eastern part of the Ruhr pocket collapses early in the day as Germans indicate desire to surrender en masse. 7AD with CCR in assault, starts West toward the Lenne but halts at 0630 to await surrender negotiations.  With the 99th Div, it takes more than 20,000 prisoners during the day.  7AD then starts to new assembly area in vicinity of Gottingen.

 17 April: III Corps rounding up prisoners and prepares to depart for the Third Army zone.  5th Div begins to take over Corps zone, relieving CCR of the 7AD and 99th Inf Div. 7AD is transferred to V Corps from the III Corps. 

 18 April: 7AD closes in Gottingen in Supreme Headquarter Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF) reserve.

 21 April:  In the U.S. First Army area, XVIII Corps (Airborne) is ordered to assemble in Uelzen-Lueneburg-Celle area by 30 April to protect the British 2ndArmy East flank; be prepared to secure Elbe River bridge site; and to participate in further operation on Army order.  The Corps will command the British 6th Airborne Div, the U.S. 7AD and 8th Inf Div, and 82nd Airborne Div.

 30 April:  U.S. XVIII Corps (Airborne), in the British 2nd Army area, now consisting of Corps troops and the 8th Inf, 82nd Airborne, and 7th AD, begins drive from the Elbe to the Baltic to right of 8 Corps.

 3 May:  In British Second Army Area, 12 Corps receives surrender of Hamburg.  7AD crosses the Elbe to help 53d Div occupy the city.

 

(2) UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II, The European Theater of Operations, BREAKOUT AND PURSUIT, by Martin Blumenson, Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, US Govt Printing Office, Washington D.C., 1961.  Library of Congress Catalog Number 61-6000, HIST 940.54 U58 v.53.

(3) UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II, The European Theater of Operations, THE ARDENNES: BATTLE OF THE BULGE, by Hugh M. Cole, Center of Military History, United States Army, US Govt Printing Office, Washington D.C., 1994.  Library of Congress Catalog Number 61-6000, HIST 940.54 U58 v.53.

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