The following report is on file in the
National Archives. Any errors in spelling have been retained.
HEADQUARTERS 276th INFANTRY
APO 461 U.S.ARMY
Subject: Narrative Report of 276th Infantry
31 January, 1945
To: Commanding General, Task Force Herren,
APO 461, U.S. Army
Att: AG Historical Section
Having completed its combat training at Fort Leonard Wood
Missouri, the 276th Infantry, Colonel A. C. Morgan commanding,
departed by troop train 19 and 20 November 1944 for Camp Myles
Standish, Massachusetts, clearing that post before midnight of 22
November 1944. On departure from Fort Leonard Wood the unit was at
The following two weeks spent at Camp Myles Standish were
devoted to issue of articles of supply required for ETOUSA and to
instruction in subjects pertaining to security and to conduct and
safety measures aboard a troop transport.
Items of supply issued to the individual soldiers during
the staging period included: One pair shoepacs, one pair combat
boots, one lightweight standard gas mask, one sleeping big, two
pairs ski masks and one wool knit sweater.
Eight hours of special instruction was given to the
company orientation officers and noncommissioned assistants of the
On 5 December 1944 an advance party moved to Boston,
Massachusetts, by rail and boarded the transport to prepare for the
arrival of troops on the following day. The regiment moved by rail
the morning of 6 December 1944 to Boston and immediately boarded
ship. At 1630 an 6 December 1944 the transport lifted anchor and
stood out from Boston harbor for the Atlantic passage. Training
enroute included orientation, abandon ship drill and care and
cleaning of equipment. The regiment was transported to Marseille,
France, arriving in that port the morning of 15 December 1944.
Immediately after noon unloading began, the troops being taken off
in barges and set ashore at Callahan Beach. As they arrived, they
were transported by truck to Delta Base CP No. 2, where a bivouac
was established, the troops pitching pup tents in company street
During the week of CP No. 2, the regiment was issued
complete motorized equipment, 57-mm AT guns, 105-mm cannons and was
brought up to T/E strength in all respects.
Orientation instruction was conducted by company at CP No.
2 to familiarize the men with the strategic situation an the Western
Front. Troops were granted occasional passes for a few hours at a
time (always daylight) in the city of Marseilles. V-Mail stationary
was issued and a few consignments of mail from the States arrived
and were distributed. The Retreat Ceremony was conducted nightly in
the bivouac. Company officers stressed military courtesy and
discipline in their instruction to the men during this period.
Weather during the stay in the Marseilles vicinity was
rainy and cold and the bivouac area was muddy.
Movement of the 276th Infantry to the combat area began
early in the morning of 23 December 1944. The few elements were
transported in two troop trains, composed of French freight cars,
which left before morning of 23 December 1944. The first was
commanded by Major Theodore R. Mataxis and the second by Major
Robert J. Natzel.
Each of these trains was unloaded at Brumath, France, and
the troops marched to Bischwiller, Frame, where they were billeted
in abandoned factories and public buildings.
Meanwhile the motorized elements of the Regiment began
their northward movement from CP No. 2 at 0630 on 24 December 1944.
The motor column bivouaced that night in St. Rambert, France, having
covered 176 miles. The night of 25 December the bivouac was in
Dijon, France, after 167 miles, and on 26 December 1944 the motor
elements drove 145 miles, bivouacking in Baccarat, France.
The motor column cleared into its billeting areas in
Bischwiller at 1630 am 27 December 1944, after a 113 mile drive the
From 27 December 1944 to noon of 29 December, the 276th
Infantry remained in Bischwiller in TF Herren reserve. During this
period the Regimental strength was 152 officers, 5 warrant officers,
and 2805 enlisted men. A total of 219 EM had been transferred as
replacements to the 80th Infantry Division. The supply situation
was: Rations, 3 days rations; ammunition, basic load; all
unserviceable signal equipment was ordered to repair section by the
Commanding General; gas and oil, 1 day supply.
At 1230 on 29 December the regiment began to move by motor
and marching from Bischwiller to Soufflenheim in accordance with
orders to relieve the 275th Infarrtry in defensive positions along
the west bank of the Rhine River from Seltz to Roschwoog. Regimental
CP was established at Soufflenheim. The lst battalion occupied the
right half of the Regimental sector, the 2d Battalion the left half
and the 3d Battalion in reserve. Our mission was to deny the area to
the enemy. Later our right flank was extended to Fort Louis.
In general, the S-2 estimate of the situation was this:
The enemy lacked sufficient strength to prevent accomplishing of our
mission, but he would be able to maintain active patrolling and
reconnaissance mission along the banks of the Rhine. He on also
thought to be able to strafe and bomb our lines of communication and
to drop saboteurs by parachute.
Administrative reports at this time showed the following
replacements needed: 2 officers, 237 enlisted men. Five casualties
were evacuated in the 29-30 December 1944 period.
The supply situation showed 3 days rations, approximately
one day's supply of ammunition and one day's supply of gas and oil.
From 29 December 1944 to 1 January 1945 the 276th Infantry
held its defensive sector along the Rhine. Combat efficiency was
reported as excellent.
On 1 January 1945 the regiment, now attached to the 79th
Infantry Division, moved by motor and marching to Camp d'Oberhoffen,
its defensive positions along the Rhine being taken over by the
274th Infantry. The mission of the 276th Infantry in its new
location as VI Corps Reserve, and tactically involved only local
security. The Regiment was ordered to remain assembled, prepared to
move to the Mouterhouse area.
During afternoon of 2 January 1945 the Regiment began
movement by motor to Zittersheim, France, to continue its VI Corps
reserve mission by preparing, occupying and defending a position
extending from Volksberg to Ingwiller, a distance of 11 miles. At
this time the 276th Infantry, which had been attached to the 79th
Division, was attached to the 45th Division. The new position was
occupied during the late afternoon and night of 2 January 1945 with
the 2d Battalion on the right extending from Ingwiller to Wimmenau
inclusive, the 3d Battalion on the left extending from Volksberg to
Wimmenau exlusive, and the lst Battalion in reserve south of Wingen.
Administrative reports now listed needed replacements as 2
officers and 232 enlisted men. Rations were sufficient for three
days and oil and gas for one day. The ammunition report showed a
shortage of hand grenades and efforts were being made by S-4 to fill
this deficiency. There were no damaged vehicles and none on request.
The 276th Infantry, having occupied positions as shown on
an overlay from the 45th Division, at once began to improve then and
to install road blocks. One platoon of Company I was attached to the
190th Infantry and remained with the 190th Infantry all during the
battle of Wingen.
The 2d Battalion at 0730 on 3 January 1945 reported to the
Regimental CP at Zittersheim the loss of one Regimental Anti-Tank
gun, attached, and part of Company E.
Two artillery shells burst in the 3d Battalion area during
the morning and at 1010 that battalion reported 90 per cent of the
civilian population was evacuating Rosteig, moving west on foot
toward Volksburg. A column of French medium tanks and armored cars
appeared at Volksburg at 1030 and the French captain in command
conferred with the commanding officer of Company K to coordinate
action. Later in the day the captain of French Armed Forces reported
to the CP of the 276th Infantry for coordination.
At 1215 the 3d Battalion reported that Companies C and B
of the 179th Infantry were withdrawing throuqh the first platoon of
our Company I while Company A of the 179th was moving north around
our left flank to counterattack.
The 1st Battalion, preparing positions to defend Wingen,
was shelled and lost one man. This was reported at 1455. Shelling of
the 3d Battalion CP at 1625 required moving the CP to a new
On 3 January S-2 estimated the enemy situation this way:
Unit in contact is the 8th Company, 953rd Regiment, 359th Division,
with reserves including elements of 953rd Regiment and the 12th S.S.
Mountain Regiment reported at Equelshardt. There had been contact
with small groups of the enemy in the vicinity of Wimmenau and
artillery fire and patrolling in the Wingen area. We had killed a
two man enemy patrol, and he had killed a man in one of our patrols.
S-2 concluded that the enemy had very few supporting weapons to use
in an attack, that he could continue active patrolling in this
sector and that he might be able to bring up sufficient
reinforcements to attack.
The weather during the regiment's period of operations in
the Zittersheim area was cold with occasional snow flurries and
there was a light mantle of snow on the ground.
The following morning (4 January 1945) at about 0530, the
enemy attacked to the south, taking the town of Wingen. The
attacking force was aggressive and well equipped with individual
weapons, particularly automatic weapons, of which it had an
excessive number. However, they had very little Supporting fire.
Regimental CP, having been notified at 1830 the night
before (3 January 1945) that an enemy attack might be expected at
Wimmenau and Kelsberg, had immediately notified all its units and
had disposed troops on Corps order in anticipation of the blow. The
1st Battalion was moved from Wingen to the vicinity of Wimmenaui
with Company B north of the tracks at Wimmenau and Company C on the
high ground north of the tracks.
First definite information that the enemy had struck in
force came at 0510 4 January 1945 from Company B which was then
engaging the enemy north and east of Wingen. At 0635 the lst
Battalion reported that casualties were fifty per cent of all
riflemen, but this was later amended to say that casualties were
uncertain and could not be known definitely before daylight. Company
A was sent to aid Company B and to comb the area for patrols. At
0750 approximtely 30 enemy were reported in Wingen. The I. and R.
platoon was dispatched to Wingen at once to investigate.
At this time TF Herren notified the 276th Infantry that
tanks would be attached, and that they would arrive within an hour
and a half. A request from this regiment for artillery fire on
Wingen was refused by G-3, 45th Division at 1000.
The 276th Infantry was ordered by the G-3, 45th Division,
at 1027, to use at least one rifle company and Company B, 781st Tank
Battalion, (less one platoon), to attack and restore the regiment's
position north of Wingen. The town was to be bombed when our troops
had left it.
Immediately the 3rd Battalion was ordered to have its
reserve company, together with company I, launch a co-ordinated
attack on Wingen from the west, generally astride the railroad. The
1st Battalion was to support this move by fire from the south and
east to permit the attackers to clean out the town. One platoon of
medium tanks was attached to the 3d Battalion units. The 3d
Battalion companies were to reorganize after accomplishing their
mission. Specifically, the lst Battalion was ordered to company C to
the right of Company A astride the road and railroad tracks to
prevent the enemy withdrawing to the east.
The 276th Regiment was notified at 1230 that the 2d
Battalion, 274th Infantry, was to launch an attack northwest from
Puberg to Wingen and would then take over the line from Rosteg,
exclusive, to Volksburg, inclusive. The 3rd Battalion, 276th
Infantry, would then consolidate its positions to the south and
The attack of the 3d Battalion from the west end of Wingem
jumped off at 1330, and at 1720 the I. and R. platoon rported that
the attack was moving forward with heavy mortar support down the
valley and through the town. The attack was also supported by 10
tanks. The I. and R. platoon further reported that Company C was
receiving automatic weapon fire from Wingen on its right flank.
At dark, S-2 reported that enemy units in contact were the
8th Co, 953rd Regiment, 361st Division; 506th SS Battalion, 12 SS
Regiment; 6th SS Mountain Division, and the 506th Panzer grenadier
Battalion. The only reserves listed were armored units north of our
sector, all other enemy troops reported in the area having been
committed. Enemy strength in contact was estimated at 200 men, with
excessive amounts of automatic weapons, and the morale of the
mountain division troops was said to be very high.
The attack of 4 January 1945 failed to accomplish its
purpose and 0840 on 5 January 1945 the push was resumed on this
Elements of the 3d battalion attacked from the west and
Company C from the north, the remainder of the lst Battalion from
the south, was to support the attack by fire. Company G of the 274th
(attached) was to support the attack from the southwest. The attack
was supported by a concentration of artillery fire on the hill
northeast of Wingen by the 169th Field Artillery of the 45th
Division. By means of heavy automatic fire and bazooka fire on
tanks, the enemy held up this operation on all flanks.
A renewed attack by Compny C was launched by our forces at
1600 and this met with greater success, the troops of the 276th
Infantry penetrating far into the town. However before mopping-up
operations were well under way darkness descended and the operation
was brought to a halt, except for active patrolling, all troops were
ordered by Division to withdraw from the town.
During the two days of the attack, the enemy had taken
some 150 of our men prisoner, including 15 wounded, and all of these
were held in the Wingen schoolhouse. They were not fed and were used
as litter-bearer details for the handling of enemy wounded.
On the evening of 5 January 1945, S-2 reported that enemy
units in contact were the 1st and 3d Battalion of the 12th SS
Regiment, 6th SS Mountai Division, and the 6th Company, Second
Battalion, 331st Infantry. Reserves included a few units of depleted
strength reported north of our present position, and a small amount
of artillery and armor. In Wingen, the enemy casualties were heavy
as a result of our artillery, machine-gun and tank fire.
Mopping up operations in Wingen were resumed on the
morning of 6 January 1945 by our lst and 3d Battalions. The 2d
Battalion, having been attached to the 313th Infantry, had been
ordered to attack the strongly held town of Lichtenberg. This attack
was successful. During this day's action the taking of the town was
completed and practically all of the prisoners taken by the enemy
were freed and restored to their own units. The enemy was cleared
from our entire area by 7 January 1945 and the defensive line of the
switch position that the 276th Infantry had occupied as division
reserve was restored and strengthened. The regiment was warned to be
ready to move to a new sector.
In the course of the operations at Wingen, the regimental
and battalion communications platoons of the 276th Infantry overcame
the loss of their principal wire lines with the loss of Wingen, and
maintained uninterrupted service throughout the battle. Wires from
all battalions, going to the CP it Zittersheim, had been channelized
through the town of Wingen. When that point was taken by the enemy
it was necessary to lay wire back through Le Petite Pierre and then
north to CP's it Wimmenau and Rosteg. This involved 12 miles of wire
on each line. A total of 250 miles of wire was laid by the regiment
during the Wingen action. Tanks and artillery fire destroyed wire
constantly, necessitating 24-hour duty by the wire crews. In
addition, 150 messages a day were transmitted by radio.
The tide of battle put the routes of communication in the
hands of the enemy an several occasians, and an example of the
hazards of carrying messages was the case of one mounted messenger
who counted 10 bullet holes in his 1/4-T vehicle following a
On 8 January 1945 the 276th Infantry (minus 2d Battalion
attached to 313th Infantry) moved from the vicinity of Zittersheim
and Wingen to Mulhausen. At this new CP plans for an attack to be
executed at 0700 the following day were prepared pursuat to orders
from the 45th Division. On arrival of the regiment at Mulhausen the
2d Battalion, now at Offwiller, vas released from attachment to the
313th Infantry and was included in the attack plans.
As of this date, replacements required for the regiment
are listed at six officers and 21 enlisted men. There were 25
evacuations during the period covered in the report. Rations for
three days and gas and oil for one day were on hand. There had been
no ammunition expenditures listed for the period. The regiment was
short four 1/4-T vehicles, 31 1 1/2-T, one 2 1/2-T, and six 1/4-T
The attack to be launched at 0700 9 January 1945 had as
its objective the taking of four hills in the area southwest of
Barenthal. Prior to the action, S-2 listed the enemy units in
contact as 1st Batalion, 952nd Regiment, 361st Division, and 2d
Battalion, 476th regiment, 256th Division. No reserves had been
located. The enemy's activity consisted of defensive action in the
regimental zone to include artillery fire through out the area.
Strength of the enemy it Obermuhlthal was estimated at one battilion
of approximately 100 men. Morale of enemy troops was reported
S-2 concluded that the enemy had three capabilities: To
reinforce present positions and defend; to reinforce present
positions with sufficient force to attack; to fight a delaying
action on successive positions.
The 1st and 2d Battalions jumped off at 0700 and the 3d
Battalion at 0715, all advancing without opposition until about
1030. At that time Company C received sniper fire from Obermuhlthal,
a town in the area of the 275th Infantry. Meanwhile, the 2d
Battalion contacted the enemy in its sector.
Informed that fire from Obermuhlthal was hampering
attainment of the 1st Battalion's mission, G-3 said that the 275th
Infantry on the right would aid in taking that towm. On our left was
the 313th Infantry.
At 1146 Company A took its first objective and Company C
took temperary control of Obermuhlthal, while the other units
continued to advance without resistance. However, Company A was
ordered to hold up its progress at this point because of the slow
advance of the 2d Battalion due to terrain, and the impracticability
of by-passing Obermuhlthal.
Co C was hit by a counterattack at 1410 and at the same
time Company B was subjected to heavy artillery fire. A request was
again sent to the Commanding General, 45th Division, to have the 2d
Battalion, 275th Infantry, aid the lst Battalion, 276th Infantry, by
taking over Obermuhlthal.
The lst Battalion had the situation under control at 1530,
but at 1555 a small arms and artillery attack was made on its CP.
This was repulsed. The 2d Battalion was under machine-gun fire and
artillery fire was landing on the 3d Battalion. At 1700 the lst
Battalion reported Obermuhlthal cleared. S-3 of the 275th Infantry
had refused presissim to register artillery fire north and northwest
of Obermuhlthal because of danger to his troops. As of 1800 plans
were being made to defend the ground held. There was active
patrolling by our units and the enemy during the night.
S-3 conclusions of the day's action was that the 276th
Infantry had accomplished the initial phase of its mission, but that
better results would have been obtained if it had not been necessary
to turn aside from our mission on the right flank.
At dawn of 10 January 1945 the attack was resumed with the
2d Battalion on the left, lst Battalion on the right and 3d
Battalion in reserve position on its original objective. The
regiment continued to purh forward through out the day, after front
lines were straightened for easier contact between units.
On this day S-2 reported that enemy units in contact were
2d Battalion, 477th Regiment, 257th Division and 1st and 2d
Battalions, 952d Regiment, 38lst Division. No reserves had been
located. Enemy strength was reported as greatly reduced and
battalions operating with 60 to 200 men, some with only one officer.
Morale of all Volkssturm Guards was found to be exceedingly low, but
SS units had the same high morale and fighting spirit as previously.
More enemy field artillery was being encountered.
The S-1 report showed that replacements needed by the
276th Infantry now stood at nine officers and 203 enlisted mn. For
the period 7, 8, 9 and 10 January 1945 there had been 91 casualties
evacuated. There were rations sufficient for three days, ammunition
for 1-1/2 days and gas and oil for 2 days.
The Regimental CP moved to Offwiller 10 January 1945.
The attack entered its third successive day at daylight of
11 January 1945 with the battle order remaining: 2d Battalion left;
lst Battalion right; 3d Battalion reserve. Heavy enemy artillery,
mortar and SA fire was encountered throughout the day.
The lst Battalion attacked and captured Hill 403, but was
stopped by heavy artillery fire on reaching the crest of Hill 358.
Later this hill was taken at heavy costs to the battalion. The 2d
Battalion was pinned down by heavy enemy small arms and automatic
fire and unable to advance but later was instructed to move forward
in small groups and infiltrate past Hill 403. The 3d Battalion was
committed to the 1st Battalion sector, with the 1st Battalion
reverting to regimental reserve.
The 3d Battalion attack was halted at 1845, but the 2d
Battalion contnued to advance and at 0300 12 Januaryy 1945 captured
Hill 415. At this point it dug in and there was active patrolling by
both battalions during the night.
The fourth day of the attack began at 0900 12 January 1945
with the 2d Battalion on the left, 3d Battalion on the right.
Although the 2d Battalion was pimed down by heavy enemy small arms
fire, the 3d Battalion MM pushed forward and sent Company L
(reserve) to close the gap between battalions and aid the 2d
Battalion. During this day only slight progress was made by the
regiment as a whole, due to heavy enemy artillery and small arms
Late in the day, 12 January 1945, a warning order was
received that this regiment was to relieve units of the 157th
Infantry and 36th Engineers on 13 January 1945.
The S-1 report of 12 January showed five killed and 75
wounded with 82 casualties being evacuated. Replacements needed were
listed as nine officers and 288 enlisted men. The supplyy situation
The regiment moved its CP to Woerth, France, 13 January
1945 with lst Battalion relieving the 3d Battalion, 157th Infantry;
2d Battalion relieving the 3d Battalion, 157th lnfintry; 2d
Battalion relieving the lst Battalion 315th Infantry (attached to
157th Infantry) and the 3d Battalion relieving the the 1st Battalion
In the new position the 276th Infantry's left flank was at
Jaegarthal and its right Lembach. Its mission was to deny the area
to the enemy.
At 1357 14 January 1945 the regiment was warned by TF
HERREN to be ready to be relieved by units of the 103rd Division,
the relief to be completed by 1800 January 1945.
An advance party left the regimental CP at 1820 14 January
1945 with destination the vicinity of Farebersviller.
Relief of the 276th Infantry by the 410th began 15 January
and was completed at 1510 16 January 1945. At 1500 16 January 1945
first elements of the regiment left for the vicinity of
Farebersviller to relieve the 411th Infantry. The new regimental CP
was established at Farebersviller. Movement to the new positions
continued throughout the night.
The mission of the 276th, on relieving the 411th (and some
elements of the 106th Cavalry), was to deny the enemy the area
occupied in defensive positions extending from Emmersweiler on the
left to Buschbach on the right. The 2d Battalion occupied the right
half of the sector, the 3rd Battalion the left half and the 1st
Battalion was in reserve. At the time these positions were occupied
the enemy strength in this immediate area was estimated at three
companies with a total of 350 to 400 men. The situation along the
front was generally static and it was believed the enemy probably
knew our general location, since he had been in this vicinity for at
least a month. It was the S-2 conclusion that the enemy would
continue to defend and improve his present positions until he had
massed sufficient reserves to launch a co-ordinated attack. Active
patrolling and harrassing missions were anticipated.
The S-1 report of 17 January showed that needed
replacements were eight officers and 327 enlisted men. Supplies were
The two weeks following occupation of the new positions
were devoted to improvement of the defensive works and to aggressive
patrolling. Complete plans were prepared for defense, for
counterattack and for withdrawal under various conditions. In the
meantime, TF HERREN, which had been operating under the XXI Corps,
was placed under the XV Corps at 1100 25 January 1945.
S-2 subsequently reported that the enemy was dug in
strongly and was continuing to improve his position. Deliberate
defenses in the vicinity of Saarbrucken were reported. The enemy,
meanwhile, devoted his efforts chiefly to patrolling and harrassing
Operations in the Farebersviller area were conducted under
the handicap of a heavy stand of snow, icy roads and extremely cold
/s/a A.C. Morgan
A.C. Morgan /s/ DCR
Colonel, 276th Inf