329TH INFANTRY REGIMENT (83RD DIV.)
1 - 26 DECEMBER 1944
HEADQUARTERS 329th INFANTRY
UNITED STATES ARMY.
1 - 8 December 1944 (incl)
The month of December opened with the 329th Inf Regt still on the same mission it had been performing since the 25th of September, which was, principally: to patrol vigorously to the SAUER-MOSELLE River line; to drive the remaining enemy to the East of the SAUER-MOSELLE River line; to prevent the enemy from patrolling and infiltrating to the West of the SAUER-MOSELLE River line; and to protect the left or North flank of the 83rd Division.
The 331st Inf Regt was on our right, occupying the central sector of the 83rd Division. The 109th Inf Regt of the 28th Division was on our left. The 9th Armored Division was also on our left, in Corps Reserve, the larger part of the Division in positions to the rear of the 28th Inf Division, although some elements were being employed by the 329th Inf in order that they might gain some battle experience, for the 9th Armored Division had not yet been in combat.
The 9th Armored Division units attached to the 329th Inf at the first of the month were:Troops A and C, 89th Cav Rcn Squadron, who were being used for rcn on our left flank;and Co C, 52nd Armored Inf Bn, which was being used to hold the OSWEILER-DICKWEILER sector. Other attachments of 329th on the first of December were: one platoon, Co D, 774th Tk Bn; Co A, 774th Tk Bn, Co A, 802nd TD Bn and the 322nd FA Bn were in direct support. Previously the: tks had been used for several varied missions, but during this period, both the tanks and TDs were used for indirect firing only.
The activity during this period consisted of two types: patrolling, both by ourselves and the enemy; and artillery, mostly our own. During the nine weeks occupancy of this sector up to the first of December, the 329th Inf had gradually driven the enemy back to the East side of the SAUER-MOSELLE River line. Only two or three small pockets of enemy remained on the West side of that river line, and they were permitted to remain there, for their elimination would have been more costly than the gain would have warranted, and to hold those positions would have placed our troops under fire from across the river. The 322nd FA Bn, with indirect fires of the tanks and TDs, and supporting fires from the 3rd and 73rd FA Bns of the 9th Armored Division, fired harassing missions every day and took on whatever targets of opportunity presented themselves. The 329th Inf Cn Co also participated in this firing. Enemy artillery during this period was light.
The general dispositions of our troops on Dec 1st were as follows: 1st Bn was at the Maginot Line training area conducting training on the attack of a fortified position; 2nd Bn occupied the left flank of our sector, with one Co in ECHTERNACH and two companies in reserve; 3rd Bn occupied the right flank of our sector, with two Cos on the line and one Co (-) in reserve; elements of the 9th Armored Division, mentioned above, aided the 2nd Bn and I & R platoon in the left flank sector; and 1st Bn, 330th Inf, was available as a motorized reserve in case of emergency.
On Dec 1st a Top Secret order was received ordering a mutual relief of sectors by the 83rd Division and the 4th Inf Division. As the order affected us, the 12th Inf Regt was to relieve the 329th Inf Rgt, after which the 329th Inf Regt would relieve the 8th Inf Regt in a sector SW of DUREN, Germany. Briefly, the plan called for relief of the 329th on Dec 9th, movement to new-sector on the 10th, and relief of the 8th Inf on the 11th.
On Dec 3rd, our tanks, Co A and one platoon Co D, both of 774th Tk Bn, were released at 0800, for movement separately to new sector.
On Dec 4th, 322nd FA Bn joined Div Arty on the move to the new sector, and the 3rd FA Bn, a 9th Armored unit, moved to vic of HERBORN to take over positions which had been occupied by the 322nd FA Bn.
Only one normal CT attachment was to make the move to the new sector with the 329th Inf, Co A, 308th Med Bn. Co A, 802nd TD Bn, and attached units of the 9th Armored Division were to pass over to the 12th Inf Regt upon completing relief of the 329th Inf Regt.
On Dec 5th, B Troop, 89th Cav Rcn Sq, relieved A Troop, of the same unit.
On Dec 7th, Major Bagley, Regtl S-3, left for new sector to make a rcn and secure information of the new situation to confront us.
9 December 1944
12th Inf Regt completed relief of the 329th Inf Regt at 1450. Quartering party went to new sector and closed in vic GRESSENICH at 1600, where they were met by corresponding units of the 8th Inf Regt.
This new move by the 329th Inf, which changed us from the VIII Corps to the VII Corps, gave us a heavily wooded sector lying midway between GRESSENICH, to the rear, and DUREN, to the front, both towns inside GERMANY. The sector was one of the most eastern penetrations into GERMANY. The 8th Inf Regt, on Nov 11, had started the attack to the East from the Village of SCHEVENHUTTE, and in 3 weeks time had advanced a total of 5 kilometers. Their main obstacles had been extensive mine fields and heavy artillery fire. Casualties had been heavy because of tree bursts and non-battle casualties had been heavy because of trench foot. During the week prior to being relieved, the 8th Inf had made no further attacks, largely because of low effective strength.
The front ran along a N-S line, the direction of movement being to the East. The distance to DUREN, which lay within the future boundaries of the 329th, was 6 kilometers. The first half of this distance was wooded and the last half composed of towns and open fields. These towns were GURZENICH, BIRGEL, and ROLSDORF.
The 329th Inf was to occupy the left sector of the Division, with the 4th Cav Group, consisting of the 24th Cav Sq and 83rd Rcn Troop, on our right. Future plans called for the pinching out of these cavalry elements after advancing 1 kilometer to the East, after which time the 331st Inf Regt would be on our right. The 9th Inf Div was in process of relieving the 1st Inf Div on the left, and it was estimated that relief would be complete by the time the 329th Inf had taken over its new positions.
10 December 1944
329th Inf Regt, with Co A, 308th Med Bn, attached, moved from Duchy of LUXEMBOURG to an assembly area 1 kilometer SE of GRESSENICH, GERMANY,. (K9842), preparatory to relief of the 8th Inf Regt.
11 December 1944
Movement started shortly after daylight to relieve the 8th Inf Regt, and by 1300 relief had been completed. Two Bns were placed on the line, 2nd Bn on the left, and 1st Bn on the right, with 3rd Bn in reserve.
Shelter consisted entirely of log huts and dugouts built over a period of one to two weeks by the former unit. This shelter provided good cover but was bad from a comfort standpoint.
One platoon, Co D, 774th Tk Bn, was attached and reported in at the regtl CP at 1700.
12 December 1944
329th Inf Regt jumped off to the attack at 1000, 2nd Bn on the left and 1st Bn on the right. Resistance was spotty and mostly s/a fire. The objective for the day was a N-S line running through HOF HARDT, a stop along the road consisting of two or three houses. The objective was about 700 yards from the Line of Departure, which was the line occupied by the troops at the time of jump off. 2nd Bn overcame resistance by moving quickly and actually overrunning it. They reached the objective at 1345. Co B moved quickly through light resistance, but Co C was held up by a strong point. After flanking the strong point, C Co moved forward, too, and by 1700, the 1st Bn was on the objective. Positions were prepared for the night.
The platoon of light tanks which had been attached the previous day were given to the 2nd Bn. This platoon followed the 2nd Bn as far up the main supply route as clearing of road blocks and mine fields would permit. Two platoons of Co A, 629th TD Bn, were also attached, but lack of routes hampered them, too. One plat followed up the 2nd Bn as closely as possible, and the other platoon was held back in regtl res in A-T Co area.