1 January 1945
Activity increased in the Regimental sector on New
Year's Day 1945, particularly in the Co F area. From enemy pillboxes
and fortified positions east of the Rhine more machine gun and
automatic fire was heard than heretofore. Many of our 0P's drew
enemy fire and German observation of our positions seemed
particularly good. Some units, ceasing fire to change position, were
pinned down before moving out. Several trucks ran into an enemy
village north of Neiderbrum but were able to pull out without loss
of personnel or damage to vehicles.
Tactically, the enemy was in a favorable position
to cross the Rhine and penetrate our defenses. It was estimated that
an armored force, approaching from the northwest in the direction of
Neiderbrum, could cut off our unit from the remainder of the Army.
Sabotage and harassing missions were possible from
enemy airborne troops which could easily be landed to the rear.
Continuing our defense of the west bank of the Rhine several units
shifted position and the 753rd Tank Bn was deployed to counter a
mechanized threat. The 1st Bn of the Regiment was attached to the
275th Infantry Regiment at 0400 on this date.
2 to 4 January 1945
From a new CP location at Wieterswieller, France,
increased enemy activity was again observed. Because of the movement
of German troops and vehicles it was impossible to determine the
actual artillery, infantry or armored strength.
Elements of the 2nd Bn, on VOCG, engaged in
clearing out the woods west of Wingen where troops of the 275th
Infantry were attacking. Two Companies, E and G, left Ruberg at 1510
and completed the mission by 1700. Reorganizing with unusual speed.
these units moved into defensive positions north and northwest of
The 3rd Bn, Cn Co, AT Co were in defensive
positions in the vicinity of the Schneitzwald Forest.
5 January 1945
In contact with enemy troops, the first prisoners
taken were credited to Co L which sent patrols forward in the
vicinity north of Rothbaoh. Of the eleven POW's captured, one was
walking wounded and all were evacuated through the 313th Inf
Elements of the 2nd Bn discovered concussion
grenades booby trapped in a section of the woods outside of Wingen
which were immediately cleared. Through Pow information it was
learned that the enemy confronting the 2nd Bn were members of the
German SS Mountain Division, previously reported under strength.
Their morale was generally believed to be good and their
capabilities strong because of positions occupied on mountainous
The 3rd Bn occupied and prepared for the defense
of Rothbach. At noon one platoon of Co I, with a section of light
machine guns, was alerted and dispatched to assist the I and R
platoon, 45th Division, against an attack of thirty Germans. The
attack was dispersed with eleven prisoners and two machine
guns captured. Meanwhile, the 2nd Bn maintained defensive positions
along the Volksberg-Rosteig line. Co G, however, came into contact
with the enemy immediately west of Wingen.
6 January 1945
Consolidation of reports indicated that the units
in contact with our Bns included the German 12th SS Mountain
Division; 361st Volks Grenadier Division 952nd VG Regiment (5th and
14th Companies); 257th Volks Grenadier Division, 477th VG
Regiment (1st and 8th Companies).
An estimate of the situation pointed out,
that because of the terrain, the enemy is capable of withdrawing or
remaining to the last man. Either capability could be effected
immediately. In the village of Wingen the 2nd Bn was in contact with
the enemy during the entire day. After making an unsuccessful
counterattack the enemy was forced back by the 2nd Bn and withdrew
from the town. Snipers and machine gunners were left to cover the
withdrawal and the last of the enemy was cleared at 1330. Adding to
the success of the mission was the release of 150 American troops
taken prisoner by the Germans.
Consolidating positions and reorganizing quickly,
the 2nd Bn assembled in mobile reserve and the 3rd Bn maintained
defensive positions in their sector.
7 January 1945
With the current phase of the operations nearing
the end, the Regimental CP was set up in Neiderbronn, France. The
first real winter weather had arrived with a
heavy snowfall blanketing all of Alsace and hampering military
Our 1st Bn reverted to Regimental control and
maintained defensive positions in the Philipsbourg area. Meanwhile,
the 2nd Bn, having successfully completed operations in Wingen
closed into an assembly area as did the 3rd Bn in the vicinity of
Lichtenberg. To date, 62 prisoners were taken by our units.
Observation and patrolling uncovered extensive
enemy patrolling in all areas although activity was light. German
artillery units dropped approximately 60 rounds into Ingwiller and
20 into Neiderbronn but no serious loss or damage was noted.
Interrogation of prisoners taken out of the 458th
VG Bn indicated that enemy morale was low. Continuation of their
fight was mainly due to German officers forcing their troops to
fight. Supply of food and ammunition was critical and transportation
increasingly difficult for the enemy because of icy roads and poor
9 January 1945
The 3rd Bn moved from the assembly area at
Zinswiller and began the relief of the 1st Bn, 275th Inf at the
right sector of Regimental defense zone. Other units met slight
activity in patrolling their sectors but encountered some sniper and
Enemy in the sector consisted of the 118th
Grenadier Regiment, 36th Inf Division, composed of remnants of three
Bns of Volks Grenadiers. Several of the POW's captured were in
possession of their Soldbuk (Soldier's Book) with a new page pasted
in defining their rights under the Geneva Conference if captured.
10 January 1945
Relief of the 1st Bn from their positions east of
Philipsbourg was accomplished by the 3rd Bn, 275th Inf while our own
3rd Bn moved into the right portion of the Regimental defensive
sector vacated by the 1st Bn, 275th Inf. Enemy activity was limited
to light patrolling, sniping and artillery fire. The enemy's
capabilities were such that his positions could be held with the
intention of a series of counterattacks and slow withdrawal to the
11 January 1945
The Regimental reserve, our 2nd Bn, began relief
of the 1st Bn, 157th Inf, while remaining units
maintained their defensive positions.
The enemy was successful in locating some
positions in the vicinity of Philipsbourg and harassing fire by
their artillery and mortars was felt in these locations.
12 January 1945
Sharp patrol clashes on the right flank
of the Regimental sector indicated that the enemy was determined to
offer strong resistance in the entire area. Co. B was engaged in a
strong attack from the north and reported that they were surrounded
and required assistance. At the same time, Co A reported two
attacks, both of which were successfully repulsed.
13 January 1945
The position of Co B was under heavy attack during
the night and resulted in the loss of 100 yards. An estimated force
of 75 to 100 enemy in exceptionally well-dug positions were
estimated to be able to overrun Co B and Co C and cut off the
balance of the defenses to the city of Neiderbronn. Co L was
deployed to drive the enemy from the right the B and C positions.
14 January 1945
Under heavy pressure from the enemy who had the
advantage of commanding terrain, both B and C Cos maintained their
defensive positions. Supported by a rolling barrage of artillery, Co
A captured a hill north of Philipsbourg controlling observation of a
big road net. At the same time Co F attacked on the left flank to
clear the enemy from an important position. An enemy
counterattack was quickly repulsed.
Some of the processing of prisoners taken during
this action disclosed that they were older men, transferred from the
Luftwaffe, whose morale was considerably lower than the average.
15 and 16 January 1945
Early in the morning of the 16th, a superior force
of German troops attacked the right flank of Co C and forced the
withdrawal from ground won the previous 24 hours. That attack was
beaten off with many casualties inflicted on the enemy. Co B and Co
C maintained defensive positions in spite of the active pressure.
Co I, after an extremely hazardous march over
mountainous trails, reached positions during the hours of darkness
to make a frontal attack for the purpose of helping the 1st Bn clear
the enemy from their positions. Gaining their objective quickly,
organization was immediately effected. Later a strong counterattack
was beaten off and enemy wounded numbered more than 120.
17 January 1945
Little activity, other than Patrol clashes, was
noted during the day. Some fire was exchanged in the Co I area and
artillery landed in the 1st and 3rd Bn sectors and in the city of
Neiderbronn. It was estimated that the enemy could attack Cos A and
B during the night or at daybreak with a possible breakthrough.
18 Jan 1945
All units continued maintaining defensive
positions with some exchange of small arms fire. Preparations were
made for the relief of Cos B and C with two rifle platoons of Co E.
Except for the occasional small arms and mortar fire and
intermittent artillery the sector was quiet.
Although it was estimated that the enemy could not
attack in force in our sector, the regiment was alerted for
retrograde movement to the vicinity of Obersultzbach. Advance
elements completed plans immediately and made a reconnaissance for
To insure the best possible delaying action, one
company per Bn was given the mission of remaining as a covering
force followed by Engineers ordered to blow bridges and block roads.
The movement was carried out with exceptional speed and without the
loss of weapons or other equipment.
20 and 21 January 1945
Now in Division reserve, the movement to
Obersultzbach was carried out under the most adverse weather
conditions. Late arrivals of promised vehicles were responsible for
the issuance of orders to have foot troops march to their new
Higher headquarters advised the Regiment that it
was to assist in the preparation of the new MLR and that the 2nd Bn
would be detached until further notice.
22 January 1945
The Regiment was alerted regarding its attachment
to the 45th Division and relief from their attachment to the 103rd
Division. All Bns and Special Units were immediately notified and
reconnaissance groups left immediately for the 179th Inf area in the
vicinity of Wingen. The relief was carried out on time and without
contact with the enemy.
23 and 24 January, 1945
The new CP was opened in the town which only
several weeks before was the scene of bitter but successful fighting
by then 2nd Bn. This time, however, there was no oontact with the
enemy although several mine fields and booby traps, previously
overlooked; were sighted. Aggressive patrolling by units of the
During the afternoon of the 24th,
orders were received that the 274th Inf was to be relieved by the
320th Inf. The relief was accompllshed during the night
with our troops moving into an assembly area preparatory to
occupying defensive positions in the vicinity of Wimmenau.
25, 26, 28, 27 January 1945
Coordination and completion of the movement proved
satisfactory in most respects.
During this period all activity was exceptionally
light and our patrols made every effort to contact the enemy and
secure prisoners which might give a broader picture of the
disposition of the enemy in this sector. All positions were improved
while the 1st Bn, in Regimental reserve, perfected a series of
counterattack plans. It was believed that the enemy could attack in
small numbers or infiltrate to the rear areas and disrupt
28 January 1945
Incidental to the regrouping of all units of the
7th Army was the order on this date that the 274th Infantry was to
be shifted to the sector occupied by the veteran 36th Division.
Elements of the 180th Inf and 36th Combat
Engineers were ordered to take over our positions and relieve the
Regiment in this vicinity. The operation was extremely difficult
because of heavy snowfall, hampering the visibility and restricting
the road. traffic generally.
29 and 30 January 1945
Attachment to the 35th Division(1)
was short-lived since it was but a few hours after the issuance of
the initial orders making this change that new orders were received
attaching the Regiment to the 100th Division.
Reconnaissance of the new area disclosed that
conditions in Montbronn were overcrowded and that the Regiment was
not able to move until adjustments were made.
Enemy activity in the entire sector was reported
31 January 1945
The end of the first month in a combat
zone found this organization still maintaining the high standards
established in garrison. Morale of the troops was excellent and
constant checking of conditions affecting health prevented large
numbers of non-battle casualties.
Most of the day was spent in setting up the new CP
and making plans for positions to be occupied on bridges and road
be 36th. Editor