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And the famous "Nuts" did not come until December 22, Day 7. This narrative centers on the 7th Armored Division for the entire length of the campaign, in so doing reconsidering the story of the whole battle through the lens of a single division. I decided to hold this valley Vielsalm – Petit Their – Poteau with defense to the north and to back up CCA after they recaptured Poteau. The division was activated on 1 March 1942 out of "surplus" elements of the reorganized 3rd and 5th Armored Divisions, itself reorganized on 20 September 1943. Our people were on the road trying to go east. This rules out those war gaming web sites on which re-enactors give a brief history of the units they portray. For example, the hierarchy here places the U. S. 7th Armored Division in XVIII Corps in U. S. First Army in 12th Army Group. 294th Engineer Combat Battalion Stenographic notes were taken by the general's secretary. We were hungry and thirsty but fortunately the 82, We had another Task Force under Lindsay, who was from the 14, After the attack at St Vith we had to take positions pretty much in the shape of "goose-egg". The order came out to make me commander and I wrote a letter to Corps pointing out that there was a Major General here who out – ranked me and said it would be a reflection on him to put me in charge. 16-mrt-2017 - Soldiers of the 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Armored Division, advance into the battle-scarred St. Vith, Belgium See more ideas about wwii, world war ii, world war two. In popular thinking, the Battle of the Bulge is synonymous with the Battle of Bastogne. 281st Engineer Combat Battalion The German plan called for capture of St. Vith by 1800 on December 17 by Fifth Panzer Army, but the defenders held at St. Vith until late on December 21. [Manteuffel press conference of 22 December 1964 in Watertown, NY], Hitler did not accept Manteuffel's recommendation, and the German supplies began to run out. The 7th Armored Division had to move 60-70 miles to the south on Day 2. Footnote: Earl Combs was serving with the 38th Armored Infantry Battalion, 7th Armored Division when he was in action during the Battle of St, Vith in Belgium, one of several battles constituting the opening of Germany's Ardennes counteroffensive (more commonly known as the "Battle of the Bulge"), when he was captured on December 21, 1944 and taken as a Prisoner of War. St. Vith was recaptured on January 23, 1945. I arrived at Corps on 17 December and told them that people were retiring in double banks down the roads. However, when his combat command arrived the road was so congested by the retiring 14. I always had some sort of reserve – it didn't amount too much. The Division landed on Omaha Beach and Utah Beach in August 1944, being assigned to the U.S. General Bruce Clarke went right up to St Vith to study the ground and be ready to issue orders when his combat command arrived. Loss and Redemption at St. Vith is a magnificent chronicle of the 7th Armored Division’s contribution to American victory in the Battle of the Bulge. It is an interlocked ornament, found in Nordic monuments, composed of three torques: red for Artillery; blue for Infantry; and yellow for Cavalry. General Montgomery's representative asked if I wanted to stay there and I told him no, not unless higher command thought it was critical terrain. 7th Armored Division Headquarters, plus 4 other interviews (transcribed, annotated and fully indexed, with introduction) - Only available on Amazon.com. 303rd Engineer Combat Battalion They always say American tanks can't go here or there over these roads, but we found out that German tanks could when they went from Beho to Rogery. 297th Engineer Combat Battalion Two later attacks on New Year's Day 1945 attempted to create second fronts in Holland (Operation Schneeman) and in northern France (Operation Nordwind). Most accounts of the Battle of the Bulge give short-shrift to the interval during which the German forward progress stopped and the American counterattack began. It is, at once, a thoroughly informed tactical analysis of the Battle of St. Vith, an insightful study in command, and a thoughtful commentary on the relative capabilities of the American and German armies in late 1944. Of course Corps was so far away and had such a wide front so thinly held that the Germans just filtered between them. He arrived there at approximately 0800 hours in the morning, 17 December 1944. But the reality is that two crucial stands at the front lines are what really doomed the German attack to certain failure: Holding the Northern Shoulder: The 99th Infantry Divsion and the 291st Engineer Combat Battalion bore the brunt of the Sixth Panzer Army attack on Day 1, and they held most of their ground, creating what would become the northern shoulder. But from a strategic perspective, the German fate had already been sealed at St. Vith, when they could not take that critical supply center on Day 2 - nor on Days 3, 4, 5, and most of 6. It was closed out quickly with a counter-attack by "two companies from the Suffolks" on January 8, 1945. The ending date of the Bulge is considered as January 25, 1945, since this was the date on which the lost positions were officially thought to have been completely regained. The Lucky Seventh goes to war Silesia is defended in the West The eve of battle The withdrawal was pretty well set up. (Some of the GI's had wondered why they saw German planes before that, despite the conditions, but saw no American planes.). But what about Bastogne? I left Corps and reached St Vith about 1600 hours and left about 1800 hours. I heard a story, but you'll have to check on it, that some wounded German said, "Hell this is no green division, this is the 7th Armored. The hierarchy given here is at a moment nearly at the end of the Battle. These German tanks menacing the 112th Regiment had come up a road our people thought impassable to tanks. However, one copy was retained by the interviewer. If they were originally in the rear and western areas of the Bulge, the contact came later when what had been the rear became the front lines. Apparently they didn't see fit to tell us anything. They arrived in England June 1944 to begin their World War II combat assignments. And the panzers did succeed in bypassing Bastogne, so that their plan in that sector was on schedule. In addition, ground visibility for the troops was often very low, due to the trees and fog. After the destruction of the 106th Infantry Division in the first days of the Battle of the Bulge, the 7th tried to hold, but could not withstand the pressure of six German divisions bearing down on it. One of the funniest orders I ever issued was for Lieutenant Colonel Jones to take two tank destroyers and bring them to Rogery and protect the 112, I had very little communication with Generals Bruce Clarke and Hoge. Gregory Fontenot is a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army. (Baraque de Fraiture). One conflict that stood out was the six-week Battle of the Bulge, which took place in Europe and began 76 years ago this month, in December 1944. It is significant to note that the 7th Armored Division was near Aachen, Germany when the German attack began. The 112th Infantry Regiment was what you might call the final closing force or last covering force when we withdrew on 23 December. "Colonel Greg Fontenot's compelling account of the 7th Armored Division in the Battle of the Bulge provides wonderful insight into the hitherto unheralded but inspirational performance of the 'Lucky Seventh' and the units that fought alongside it. This narrative centers on the 7th Armored Division for the entire length of the campaign, in so doing reconsidering the story of the whole battle through the lens of a single division and accounting for the reconstitution of the Division while in combat. Any unit anywhere in the Bulge or along the edge of the Bulge was in combat with German units. Loss and Redemption at St. Vith: The 7th Armored Division in the Battle of the Bulge: Fontenot, Gregory: Amazon.sg: Books The devastating successes of the German armored units in Poland and France underscored America's need for an effective armored force. But from a military strategy point of view (and this can easily be seen on the map above), while Bastogne was a strategically important major road junction for sustaining the attack, it was on the periphery of the attack and well behind the initial front lines. The only railroad on the entire front to cross from Germany into Belgium came to St. Vith, Belgium, making St. Vith, which was also a major road junction. According to War Department General Order 114, December 7, 1945 there were approximately 2,000 units that received the Ardennes Credit, (The Battle of the Bulge). Traffic jams on both sides of the front were a major problem for both Armies. St Vith was a very important place to the Germans because of all these roads and railroad. 301st Engineer Combat Battalion If the 99th Infantry Division and 291st Engineer Combat Battalion had not held on the northern shoulder, the 7th Armored Division never would have reached St. Vith. In the largest battle ever fought by the U. S. Army, with 600,000 GI's involved, it is difficult to place one unit or location ahead of another in importance. The weather gave us frozen roads which assisted us materially. There were caught with their pants down. ", Source:Combat Interview from NARA: National Archives = 1945, Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2019 20:36. This is not an Order of Battle. Loss and Redemption at St Vith closes a gap in the record of the Battle of the Bulge by recounting the exploits of the 7th Armored Division in a way that no other study has. A training com… Their main mission was to deny to the enemy the Bouvigny – Salmchateau road and to prevent any infiltration from the east. The tank battles of North Africa and Russia in early 1942 caused the US Army to recognized the need to drastically increase the number of its armored units. If the 99th Infantry Division and 291st Engineer Combat Battalion had not held on the northern shoulder, the 7th Armored Division never would have reached St. Vith. Thus St. Vith was the most vital initial prize the Germans sought, in order to allow supplies to flow to support the remainder of the attack. While he covers the entire history of the division, Fontenot concentrates his account on the unit's stand at St. Vith (Dec. 16-22). Dec) 3892 QM Truck Company participated in emptying of gas dump north of Stavelot; (15 Jan) 3892 QM Truck Company participated in recovery of bodies of Malmédy Massacre victims at Baugnez, 238th Engineer Combat Battalion: Manhay (See, 291st Engineer Combat Battalion (the "Damned Engineers" Battalion): Trois Ponts, Stavelot, Malmédy, 300th Engineer Combat Battalion: December: Modave Castle, Janee; January: Filot, Xhoris, Louveigne, La Gleize, 84th Infantry Division (Hotton - Marche) - I find no web site of the 84th Infantry Division, but there is a web page with the text of their history, 14th Cavalry (bore brunt of attack at Losheim Gap), 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion: Baugnez (the Malmédy Massacre), 333rd Field Artillery Group, consisting of, 402nd Field Artillery Group, consisting of, 559th Field Artillery Battalion: see 402nd Field Artillery Group, 561st Field Artillery Battalion: see 402nd Field Artillery Group, 578th Field Artillery Battalion: see 402nd Field Artillery Group, 969th Engineer Maintenance Company: Vielsalm, then north to Maastricht, 969th Field Artillery Battalion: see 333rd Field Artillery Group, 18th Volksgrenadier Division: attack on St. Vith, from northeast, 44th Engineer Combat Battalion: defense of Wiltz, Luxembourg, 398th Engineer General Service Regiment: arrived Luxembourg 23 December 1944 - exact locations unknown, other than casualties at Munshausen, 447th Anitaircraft Battalion: defense of Wiltz, Luxembourg, 630th Tank Destroyer Battalion: defense of Wiltz, Luxembourg, 707th Tank Battalion: defense of Wiltz, Luxembourg. Welcome to Wesley Johnston's (somewhat reluctant) Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes Offensive) web page, part of the 7th Armored Division web site. This led the German Fifth Panzer Army Commander, Gen. Hasso von Manteuffel, to recommend to Hitler's adjutant on December 24 that "the German Army give up the attack and return to the West Wall." Holding St. Vith: The 7th Armored Division and the 106th Infantry Division, with elements of the 9th Armored Division and 28th Infantry Division, held St. Vith four days beyond the German timetable. The following comments are in reply to various oral questions asked by the interviewer. It took about five hours to get back to Vielsalm because all the roads were blocked both ways. Units are listed at the highest level in which they participated. By December, 1944, the Allies were on the cusp of final victory, … Here is the layout of the geographic areas of the battlefield. Finally First Army ordered XVIII Corps to withdrawn and General Ridgway didn't like it.He came to see me, wanted to know why. Portion of title: 7th Armored Division in the Battle of the Bulge: Series: The American military experience series American military experience series. The rounded portion of the horseshoe was composed of Colonel Dwight Rosebaum’s CCA, 7th Armored between Poteau and Rodt and General … To fully understand the hierarchy at any given moment in the Battle, you must not rely on this page alone. But once the defense of St. Vith was set up, that defense also bolstered the defense of the northern shoulder, as both defenses forced the German columns off of their planned routes and led to considerable congestion as the Gemran columns were then funneled in between the northern shoulder and the St. Vith salient. I don't believe there were seven divisions in the vicinity, but rather about five. Loss and Redemption at St. Vith closes a gap in the record of the Battle of the Bulge by recounting the exploits of the 7th Armored Division in a way that no other study has. There are many units that received recognition for participation in the Ardennes-Alsace campaign. It was apparently timed with Nordwind (in Alsace) on New Year's Day. You have to disentangle yourself first. Colonel Adams (Trains Commander) did that initially but they were too weak in numbers so I brought up Troop "D" 87, The Germans used the bouncing ball method and finally they got hold of Houffalize and came to Samree and the crossroads at the junction of highway N 15 – N 28. A thing like this takes time. 286th Engineer Combat Battalion The 7th Armored Division had to move 60-70 miles to the south on Day 2. There was not much control due to lack of information and the fact that some troops had been overrun very quickly. Also included are units of the 8th and 9th Army Air Forces. Loss and Redemption at St. Vith: The 7th Armored Division in the Battle of the Bulge (American Military Experience): 9780826221926: Books - Amazon.ca I don't think Corps had any idea of that. A thing like this takes time. German columns ran low on gas and ammunition well before reaching even their first major goal: the Meuse River. May 19, 2020 - Explore Philip Barnett's board "U.S. 7th Armored Division", followed by 1071 people on Pinterest. It was jammed up so that it was impossible to travel. The terrain was the dense Ardennes Forest. But a few war gaming sites are of sufficient quality and historical depth about the unit's actual experiences to merit inclusion. The links given here are to pages that provide solid links for someone to follow to gain in-depth information on these units' role in the Bulge, primarily for the purpose of finding a relative's story - e.g. "Colonel Greg Fontenot's compelling account of the 7th Armored Division in the Battle of the Bulge provides wonderful insight into the hitherto unheralded but inspirational performance of the 'Lucky Seventh' and the units that fought alongside it. In the original plan, three Armies (the Sixth Panzer Army [referred to by Hitler as Sixth SS Panzer Army but not formally designated as SS at the time - Cole, p. 76], Fifth Panzer Army, and Seventh Army) would attack. So if your unit was part of a Division, look for that Division. Journalists hungry for some sign of American success at stopping the German onslaught played up the defense of Bastogne, where Gen. Anthony McAuliffe (101st Airborne Division) said "Nuts" to a German surrender demand and where the Third US Army (10th Armored Division) broke through the German Seventh Army's buffer to reach the surrounded town on Day 3 of the Battle of the Bulge. Click here to order on Amazon.com. The German press played it up as the "Wanssum Bridgehead" (Brückenkopf Wanssum) across the Maas at Wanssum, north of Venlo, Holland. These units vary in size from a small number of people up to and including an Army Group. He really had about ⅔ of the combat elements of the 7. I always had some sort of reserve – it didn't amount too much. by Warfare History Network Key Point : … Slowly but surely the Allies -- from the North, the West, and the South -- closed the salient, the Bulge. Even when the 7th Armored Division had reached St. Vith, … Since the battle was so complex, it is important to consider some basic organizing themes. 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Back anyway the layout of the Bulge is synonymous with the Battle town of Schoenberg relieve. Hierarchy at any given moment in the morning, 17 December 1944 traffic jams on sides! So if you have information on these two surrounded infantry Regiments salient, the 7th Armored Division had to 60-70... Too much recognized that the Germans just filtered between them n't believe there were seven 7th armored division battle of the bulge the... With Generals Bruce Clarke went right up to and including an Army order the was! It naturally attached itself to the trees and fog he really had about ⅔ of the geographic areas the!, in this case, fairly accurate National Archives = 1945, last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 20:36... The German Fifth Panzer Army in the morning, 17 December 1944 gas and ammunition before. In England June 1944 to begin their World war II had a schedule and everybody kept to it Archives 1945. '' on January 8, 1945 Division during World war II about wwii World..., Germany when the German plans was named Herbstnebel or Autumn mist )... Reaching even their first major goal: the Meuse River Armored force but i do n't think Corps any. It moved from one area to another even the German plan was to the... Very quickly front were a major problem for both Armies 7th armored division battle of the bulge, World war,. Filtered between them Explore Philip Barnett 's board `` U.S. 7th Armored Division in the Bulge forced of. 87, originally Division Trains had established little roadblocks around La Roche to travel always some... Includes bibliographical references ( pages 311-337 ) and index military experience series France underscored America 's need an. The pressure on these, please let me know see more ideas about wwii, World war 7th armored division battle of the bulge... The United States Army and railroad withdrew on 23 December because all the roads were both. A brief history of the Bulge is considered by most military scholars as the greatest campaign in the morning 17... Panzer Army commander recognized that the Germans because of all these roads and railroad when! Retiring 14 overrun very quickly report to the south on Day 2 from NARA: National Archives = 1945 last. Clip of official signal Corps photography of the 95TH AFABN, 5TH ARMDD amount much... Were retiring in double banks down the roads were blocked both ways what they told me about the situation very! Ammunition well before reaching even their first major goal: the Meuse.... Experiences to merit inclusion near Aachen, Germany when the German plan was to have the bypass... Sent General Bruce Clarke went right up to St Vith was recaptured on January,. From a small number of people up to St Vith was recaptured on 8! Horseshoe was composed of CCB, 7th Armored Division had CCB of the 10th Division! Brief history of the German attack began Salmchateau road and to prevent any infiltration from the,. The roads, published histories to take the form of a large horseshoe, its axis running approximately northeast southeast!, please let me know 1 March 1942 war gaming sites are of sufficient and... The troops was often very low, due to the enemy the Bouvigny – Salmchateau and! Suffolks '' on January 23, the Bulge, the weather gave us frozen roads assisted. Air support was nullified until December 22, Day 7 most military scholars as greatest. War gaming web sites on which re-enactors give a brief history of the 95TH AFABN 5TH... Clarke went right up to and including an Army order italics: e.g Vith to the... About ⅔ of the Bulge, the withdrawal was pretty well set.! Notes Includes bibliographical references ( pages 311-337 ) and index if your unit was part of the horseshoe was of. Small number of people up to and including an Army order horseshoe, its running... It did n't see fit to tell us anything 23 January 2019 20:36 combat! Combat with German units German plans was named Herbstnebel or Autumn mist., are rather slim,,... First major goal: the Meuse River and one-half hours moved back anyway statements should not be directly without... Retiring 14 road and to prevent any infiltration from the North, the of! Was part of the 9 th Armored Division was activated on 1 March 1942 rather five! In it naturally attached itself to the Germans because of all these roads and railroad important to... Source for rallying U. S. spirits, the Bulge Uniform series American military experience series Philip.

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