2d Bn. (with. K Co. atchd.), 47th Infantry Regiment, (9th Div.)
26-28 November 1944
Lt. Col. Lewis E. Maness, C.O., 2d Bn., 47th Inf.
Capt. William L. McWaters, C.O., K Co.
Place: Raguhn, Germany. Date: 14-15 May 1945
Interviewer: Maj. Kenneth W, Hechler, 2d Info & Hist Sv.
FRENZERBURG Castle (019489) was the last objective which the 47th Inf. captured between the start of the 16 November offensive and the time the regiment was detached from the 1st Division and pulled out of the line. It commanded the autobahn and the approaches thereto, and was a fanatically-defended enemy strongpoint which, prevented further advance toward the Roer River.
On 24 and 25 November, the 2d Bn. had fought until long after dark to clear HÜCHELN and WILHEMSHÖHE, and the battalion was tired and low in strength. Since E Co. was hit the hardest, Col. Maness asked for additional troops for the mission of taking the castle and K Co. was attached. K Co. had also experienced hard fighting in the two days preceding the attack, in reducing enemy resistance at the dairy at BOVENBERG (999469).
The plan of attack for 26 November was for a battalion of tanks from the 3d Armored Division, with Co. F mounting the vehicles, to attack southeast from the IM UNTEREN SCHILDCHEN road toward LANGERWEHE, and then seize the castle from the south. K Co. was to proceed northeast along the railroad track and protect the left flank of the battalion.
E Co., supported by two TDs, remained in the vicinity of IM UNTEREN SCHILDCHEN and blocked roads in that vicinity.
At 1000 on 26 November, the 2d Bn. and K Co. moved out in a coordinated attack. Two platoons of F Co. were loaded on a company of tanks from the 3d Armored Division, but the tank-infantry force had not advanced more then 100 yards across an open, cultivated field before enemy tank fire or anti-tank guns knocked out two of the leading tanks. A tanker had a leg blown off, but the mounted infantry scattered like confetti and miraculously escaped injury. This incident occurred at (010484); the enemy fire came from a point due west of LUCHEM (037490). Both tanks burned, and the enemy fire was concentrated so heavily in the vicinity that the attack was broken up and the tanks were pulled back around the houses in IM UNTEREN SCHILDCHEN.
Meanwhile K Co. had moved northeast along the railroad tracks to (012489), which the enemy artillery hit them also.
"It was the heaviest mortar and artillery fire since El Guettar,” described Capt. McWaters. With no cover, in exposed positions along the railroad tracks, and apparently observed from several directions by the enemy, K Co, was in desperate straits. Capt. McWaters looked due east and saw the towers of FRENZERBURG castle. It looked as though the castle were right in the middle of the woods. Capt. McWaters, figuring he could sneak his company through the woods, decided to try and move there in order to get protection from the heavy artillery and mortar fire. "I jumped off that morning with 60 men; after five minutes under that artillery, I had lost 20 men," said Capt. McWaters.
K Co, moved out from the railroad tracks with the 1st and 3d platoons abreast. Reaching a small patch of woods which appeared to border the castle, the company surprised a group of enemy who were just setting up their machine guns and captured 20 PWs. To K Co's surprise, it was discovered that the 150-yard stretch of woods ended 300 yards from the castle and that the intervening ground was open.
Today's view from Schildchen towards Frenzerburg.
The image shows the terrain in which the actions took place.
The railraod track in front of the image is post-war.
Frenzerburg Castle was demolished in 1964.
Only the U-shaped farm buildings remain.
The enemy was shelling the woods, and the company commander was hit; Lt. McWaters then took over the company. With no contact on either flank, out of radio communication, and unable to get smoke which was called for, K Co. moved out of the woods with Lt. Chester Jordan's 3d platoon leading on the right flank. The 1st platoon under Lt. Hubert Urban then attacked on the left flank, and both platoons overran a waist-high hedge halfway to the castle. The 2d platoon, and H Co's machine guns, set up a base of fire.
After the company had progressed beyond the hedge, enemy who had concealed themselves and dug in deeply along the east side of the hedge sprang up and attempted to ambush the company. S/Sgt. James W. Searles, platoon sergeant of the 3d platoon, turned in time to see what was happening, shot off a German officer's jaw, and the rest of the 40 men were summarily taken prisoner. The prisoners, along with German wounded and seven American wounded were taken to one of the three outlying buildings which border the main castle structure, under fire from the second-story windows of the castle and sniper fire from north of the buildings.
The approach to the castle was guarded by a solidly-built stone gatehouse, surrounded by a water-filled moat twenty feet wide. A drawbridge leading to a barricaded oaken door was the only approach to the gatehouse. Three U-shaped buildings surrounded a flat, open courtyard facing the gatehouse and drawbridge. Observation from the gatehouse on the courtyard and surrounding buildings was excellent. There was a low, waist-high stone wall which bordered the moat on the courtyard side, affording some protection from the second-story windows of the gatehouse. Only a 10-yard driveway separated the corners gatehouse from the corners of the two buildings closest to the gatehouse.
The gatehouse with the heavy oaken door.
The building in the left is part of the U-shaped outlying buildings.
Photo courtesy: Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf
K Co. was in a decimated condition when it reached the outlying buildings, with a strength of approximately 50 men. Pfc. Carl V. Sheridan, bazooka gunner from K Co., saw his ammunition-bearer wounded in the advance from the woods to the buildings. Sheridan went back under enemy fire and procured additional bazooka rounds. Covered by two rifleman at the southwest corner of the wall bordering the gatehouse moat, Sheridan worked his way along the wall on the south side of the moat toward the drawbridge. Despite approximately eight enemy grenades thrown from the gatehouse which burst close to him, he fired two rounds from his bazooka, unassisted, at the oaken door. The rounds weakened the door, but it was so heavy that probably Pfc. Sheridan realized he would have to blast off the hinges with his one remaining bazooka round.
By this time grenades, rifle and machine gun fire were concentrated on Pfc Sheridan, but he advanced to an even more exposed point on the drawbridge approach and fired his last bazooka round. After firing this round, Sheridan jumped to his feet and after turning back toward his company with a "Come on, let’s get them!" he charged the castle door and was killed within a few feet of the door on the drawbridge. For his exploit he was awarded a Medal of Honor, (Note: Up to 15 May, this was the only Medal of Honor awarded to anyone in the 9th Division for fighting in the American-European theaters),
Pfc. Sheridan's feat occurred about 1400, but K Co, in its weakened condition was unable to capitalise that day upon what he had accomplished. Later in the afternoon, the enemy launched a counterattack from the gatehouse and castle, overpowered a squad of K Co. in one of the outlying buildings and recaptured the 40 prisoners which had been taken from along the hedge. The K Co. squad was captured, but the K Co, wounded (including the ex-company commander) were left undisturbed.
Private First Class Carl Vernon Sheridan
The 47th Infantry Regiment’s northeastward advance was hindered by German-occupied Frenzerberg Castle.
Pfc Carl Sheridan was determined to single-handedly charge the fortress.
By Col Randall Bryant, USA-Ret.
As he lay flat on the frozen, snow covered ground, 19-year-old Pfc. Carl V. Sheridan, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, First Army, stared at the huge stone fortress facing Company K. He thought he had seen everything the Nazis had to offer but the forbidding Frenzerberg Castle near Weisweiler, Germany, blocking his division’s route to the Roer River, beat them all.
Careful to keep his head down, he turned to his left and said to his buddy, “Boy, this is something. How the hell do they think we can get inside this thing?”
“Yeah. We can never get the damn Krauts out of there,” he complained.
Private Sheridan, a bazooka gunner, hugged his “gas pipe” closer and checked his rockets, noting that both wires were connected. He had no assistant gunner to load for him. He’d been left behind, wounded during the unit’s 1,000-yard advance across the open approach to the castle. Of the 150 men who had started out, only 35 were left.
CASTLE CRUCIAL TO ADVANCE
It was November 1944, a chilling, snowy day. Sheridan was bone tired and shivering with cold. He had been cold ever since the 47th had breached the Siegfried Line in September. The division was short of supplies and men. Patton’s Third Army to the south had priority; First Army got what was left. This slowed their, advance, and gave the Germans time to reinforce their line from the Hurtgen Forest to Geilenkirchen, holding up the 47th for weeks. Frenzerberg Castle controlled the flat, open terrain across the only route to the east and the Roer River. It has to be taken and Sheridan knew it.
As Sheridan hugged the ground, enemy, fire spattered snow and ice over his face and arms. By instinct born of weeks in combat, he squirmed his body deeper into the snow and slush. His buddy scraped futilely at the frozen earth with his entrenching tool.
“Hey, sarge, can you see the Krauts?” Sheridan yelled over the noise of the small arms fire and exploding mortars.
“Yeah, they’re all over the walls and using the slits in the towers,” Sergeant Dalessandro yelled back.
When the shelling slowed momentarily, Sheridan cautiously raised his head and studied the situation. The castle was impressive, so impressive it scared the hell out of him. The walls were 30 or 40 feet high, yards thick he was sure, all of gray stone. Heavy artillery had tried to breach the walls the day before but had hardly made a dent. He studied the 20 foot wide, water filled moat. Nearest him was a lowered drawbridge leading to the gatehouse which was flanked by 50- to 60- foot high round towers with firing slits. The door to the gatehouse was closed with a massive oak, iron-reinforced door. German small arms fire came from the walls and the slits in the towers. Mortars were lobbed from emplacements in the central courtyard. How the hell to take it?
He fondly patted his bazooka — the only weapon left with sufficient firepower to blast the oak door. He knew he had to get much closer. He loaded his bazooka and attached his two remaining rockets to his belt. Then he tried to figure out exactly what he should do.
Sheridan knew a little of the German situation within the castle. Earlier that morning under a white flag of truce, Captain Ewald of the 47th had walked alone the 1,000 yards to the castle and asked to speak to the commander, Colonel Breger. Ewald advised Breger to surrender and prevent further bloodshed because he was completely surrounded.
Breger laughed at Ewald. Sheridan had heard through the rumor mill that Breger had informed Ewald that his unit belonged to the SS Das Reich Paratroop Division. He was wearing the Knight’s Cross with Swords and Diamonds. Breger boasted that he and his men would never surrender. They would fight to the death.
Ewald returned, after allowing Breger to evacuate his wounded, and reported that were about 150 Germans left. Seventy-five manned the walls and towers and maybe 40 to 50 were in other positions. There were three molars in the courtyard and several were at the windlasses that raised and lowered the drawbridge.
Sheridan made his decision. He was under slight cover of a small outbuilding. He studied a three foot high parapet on the near side of the moat, about 50 yards away. Could he make it to the safety of the parapet?
“Sarge, is that the only way in — the drawbridge?"
“That’s it, Sheridan. ‘Suicide path’ is staring us in the face.” Sheridan looked again, studying the drawbridge. It seemed too weak to support tanks, and the moat was too wide for men to cross under fire. Not a one, would make it. The bridge was the only way in, but the frontal assault across the bridge was sure death. The Nazis would cut down every man who tried to cross.
Only an occasional sniper's, bullet cracked near him as he lay thinking. Suddenly, the entire company area erupted in flame and fire.
“Get back! Get the hell back here!" he barely heard his platoon leader yell.
“A few weeks back Sheridan had been impressed by his former lieutenant’s bravery under fire. The lieutenant had been wounded three times, refused evacuation, and was finally killed leading a one person assault on a strongly defended hill. Sheridan became obsessed by the act. Suddenly he realized he had been preparing himself for such an ordeal. Maybe this was the time. “Back, hell!’’ Sheridan grunted to himself as he launched in a low crouch to run to the moat. Suddenly, a bullet grazed his left thigh and knocked him down. He grabbed his thigh and his hand came away bloody. He felt no pain, just surprise. His surprise turned to anger. As he struggled to rise again, he saw Delessandro’s helmet jump into the air and his body slump to the ground, his head a spongy mass of brains and blood. Sheridan felt more anger and determination. Another friend gone!
"Come out of here. Sheridan! We’re falling back!"
The lieutenant's voice carried loud and clear. Sheridan didn't move,
For a few seconds he stared at his sergeant’s body, while the crack of rifle and machine gun fire kicked up snow all around him. Then, very slowly, as if there weren’t a Nazi in 100 miles, he stood facing the drawbridge; holding his loaded bazooka in his left hand.
Again, the lieutenant yelled for him to come back. Sheridan finally made his move — not to the rear, but in a rapid zigzag to the safety afforded by the parapet alongside the moat. He made it!
“My God. he’s charging the castle alone!” yelled a GI.
He was only a couple of dozen feet from the huge door, but the Germans could look down on him. They tossed grenades from the wall and peppered the snow around him with rifle fire. With Sheridan's heroic advance the rest of his company held its ground in and around the outbuildings.
Sheridan was still alive. He had not been hit again although he was the sole target of German fire; and was taking all the soldiers had to give. Finally there was support fire from his company — but only rifles — so it had no effect on the Frenzerberg defenders. Bullets ricocheted off the stone like rain off a tin roof.
SHERIDAN MAKES HIS MOVE
Sheridan saw the drawbridge quiver — apparently the Nazis were attempting to raise it and prevent its use He knew what that meant. He had to make his move soon or it would be too late. Although it was shuddering, it was not rising, probably the result of rusty windlass and chains.
Sheridan watched the edge of the bridge rise a couple of inches. He must make his move now! The additional thickness of the bridge added to that of the door might render his rockets useless.
“Hey, Sheridan, fire at those chains!” yelled the lieutenant.
The drawbridge inched slowly upward another inch or two, then more, Sheridan saw daylight beneath the bridge. He blasted his bazooka!
“Lieutenant, Sheridan hit the door right in the middle!" yelled one soldier. The bridge clanked back on its rest. The Germans must have deserted the windlass. The rocket had blasted a two foot wide hole through the door.
Rapidly but expertly Sheridan unhooked a second rocket from his belt and reloaded his bazooka. He was going to give it a second try and save his last rocket for what happened next. He was in a no-miss location.
Vaguely he heard the lieutenant yell, "Get the hell back here. Sheridan! That’s an order.”
Sheridan didn’t move. With a temporary cessation of enemy fire he stood alone, calmly reloading. He was beyond hearing anything except his own thoughts. His decision had been made; he had to do it. If he could make it across, his company could follow him in. He could not turn back, not now!
He began walking slowly to the near side of the drawbridge — intent on his one man assault of the castle. His view through the blasted door revealed several Germans cranking the windlass as the bridge began to jerk upward. He could wait no longer.
Suddenly Sheridan dashed to the near edge of the bridge at full speed and jumped onto it as it rose. He swayed as he landed but regained his balance. He was standing alone, a few feet from the door and from the Germans. He slowly raised his bazooka and fired directly at the hinged side of the door. It caved in. The way in had been cleared.
There was no enemy reaction. He must have killed or wounded the Germans manning the windlass. The bridge thumped heavily down.
The lieutenant yelled. "Let's go men! Up and at ’em!" The men moved forward, slowly at first, then swarmed across the bridge to the door.
Sheridan had made It. He walked slowly through the blasted opening. As he entered the courtyard his bazooka flew out of his hand and his body twisted sharply as machine gun fire hit him. He still stood! He tugged his 45-caliber automatic from the holster, then began to crumple, and as he fell he looked back over his shoulder and tried to yell. "Come on, we’ve got ’em! Let’s go."
Then his bullet-riddled body settled slowly onto the flagstones, twitched once, then was still. Blood slowly formed a widening pool around him, reddening the ancient stones. He was dead before he hit the ground.
The lieutenant and the few remaining men rushed into the courtyard and forced the remaining Germans of the famous SS Das Reich Division against the rear wall, where they were surrounded.
Frenzerberg Castle had not been captured yet. The commander and other enemy were deep in one of the dungeons. It was not until the following morning that the Americans finally forced their way into this final position after a fierce fire fight. Among the almost 30 bodies was Breger’s, his Knight's Cross with Swords and Diamonds shining amid the rubble. Sheridan had given his life to gain an entrance to the castle.
Pfc Carl V. Sheridan was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for extreme bravery above and beyond the call of duty.
After the war had ended a brass plaque was placed on the kaserne in Augsburg, Germany, headquarters of the 9th Infantry Division. It proclaimed its name as “Sheridan Barracks" in honor of one of the division's bravest soldiers. I hope it is still there.
Colonel Bryant, an eyewitness to most of the above action, was with the 9th Infantry Division for eight campaigns. After retiring from the Army he worked for the CIA for seven years.
Source: The 9th Infantry Division in World War II as told by the men, by Robert Cardinell.
Shell fragments had destroyed K Co's SCR300, and by the end of the day the company was in an even more precarious position. Knowing that he had to get in communication with Col. Maness, Capt. McWaters asked for a volunteer find the platoon sergeant of the 1st platoon, Sgt. Linus Vanderheid went back to contact Col. Maness in his CP in the IM UNTEREN SCHILDCHEN brick factory (005482).
Meanwhile, Col. Maness had been trying desperately to push some help through to K Co. He tried to get some artillery fire placed on the castle, but could not get clearance because of a belief that K Co. was actually in the castle. F and G companies were pinned down by an increasing amount of machine gun and mortar fire which the enemy was placing on the approach from the woods. To clarify the situation, Col. Maness worked his way out to a pillbox on the west side of the hedge. Looking at the Germans in the castle through a 20-power scope, Col. Maness could clearly see their uniforms and insignia. Four tanks were pulled up to the edge of the woods, from which they fired into the second-story windows of the caste, and 35 additional PW's were rounded up in the woods.
Waiting until after dark, Col. Maness pushed F and G Cos. across the open ground, supported by three tanks. One tank bogged down in the soggy fields, a second was hit by anti-tank fire from FRENZENBURG and set afire, and the tank commanded by the tank platoon leader was the only one to get through to the castle. As soon as this tank came within range, it was subjected to machine gun and bazooka fire and in the darkness it ran into the moat surrounding the castle. The crew abandoned the tank and all escaped but the platoon leader, who was believed to have been captured.
Unaware that the enemy had launched his counterattack against K Co., Col. Maness sent F and G companies abreast against the west side of the castle. "What I should have done was to have sent one company in a flanking movement around the east side of the castle.
As it turned out, the enemy took the opportunity that night to reinforce the castle from the east side with a company of paratroopers." Cos. G and F reached the castle area at about 2100 on 26 November, and Co. G took up positions on the north side of the castle.
At 0400 on 27 November, six enemy tanks and 60 paratroopers launched a counterattack on the outlying buildings and came in from the northeast and southeast. The infantry reached the road immediately to the east of the buildings; two of the tanks were hit by our artillery, but one of them worked its way into the courtyard and roamed around shooting its machine guns until some individuals drove it away with grenades. Severe fighting raged, and heavy losses were inflicted on the counterattacking force.
The enemy set fire to all the buildings held by the battalion and K Co., and G Co. retaliated by setting the castle on fire.
"Fire in one of the haylofts enabled us to keep warm," said Col. Maness, “but it got so hot for one group that they had to tunnel their way out the south side with a pick and chisel; the enemy had the doorway covered with fire."
After the counterattack had been repulsed on the morning of 27 November, the companies became mixed to such an extent that it was impossible to identify any organized line between F, G and K Cos. Fighting continued all day, with the enemy firing from the second-story windows of the gatehouse, and our troops returning the compliments from windows barely ten yards away. At approximately 1500 on 27 November, the commanding officer of the enemy holding the castle asked for a truce in order to evacuate his more seriously wounded personnel.
A white German ambulance rolled up into the castle courtyard. "Don’t let him get away, and if he trios, blow him up with a bazooka," ordered Col. Maness. Col. Smythe, the regimental commander, sent Capt. William Ewald, regimental IPW team chief, to the castle to attempt to negotiate a surrender of the enemy troops. The enemy CO asked to be allowed one more day to think over his decision on this proposal; he was refused this request. Subsequently, 30 severely wounded enemy were evacuated; eight more less seriously wounded were left as our prisoners.
At 1800, after a three-hour truce, the fighting recommenced and raged on until well past midnight of 27-28 November, when the Firing died down for the remainder of the night. However, white phosphorous shells and WP grenades again set the castle on fire and it burned all night.
The plan of Col. Maness for the next day was to bring up 2 155mm "GPF's" and use them in combination with TDs to level the castle. Three TDs were sent to the castle under the cover of darkness and placed into position for another attack on the morning of 28 November.
At 0800 on the 28th, the three TDs opened up on the castle at close range, and buttered the gateway, door, and several machine gun positions covering the entrance. The men threw and fired incendiary grenades into portions of the rounds which could not bo reached by direct fire, and also made use of improvised adaptations of 60mm mortar shells fired from M1 rifle grenade launchers. These proved highly effective when they were fired into castle windows and exploded within the rooms.
Shortly before 1100, the castle was assaulted and it was discovered that most of the enemy had pulled out, leaving behind 60 bodies of paratroopers in and around the castle buildings. A considerable number of civilians were also discovered taking shelter in the deep castle cellars.
NAZIS SNEAK OUT OF HOARY CASTLE
Captain Has Strange Firelit Parley With Enemy.WITH AMERICAN INFANTRY. GERMANY. Nov. 28. — The ancient German castle of Frenzerburg lies empty and ruined in American hands tonight, yielded by an enemy who fled secretly.
In a strange firelit parley last night the German commander refused to surrender. His men held one wing and American doughboys the other, with only a 30-foot moat separating them.
Just an hour after dawn this morning another force of United States Infantry charged across 1000 yards of open ground before this old pile to smash the Germans and relieve the little force confronting them across the moat.
But during the hours of darkness the Germans had escaped eastward — two officers and 60 men. Eleven other Germans, all wounded, had been evacuated earlier with permission of an American negotiator. Capt. William Ewald of Red Bank, N. J.
Walks Across Field.It was Ewald who walked to the castle across an open field at 5:45 p.m. yesterday bearing a white flag made from a German civilian's shirt. The castle is southeast of the town of Frenz.
He entered the castle through the southern end held by Americans, and crossed by the drawbridge to the German held northern end.
"We got word back at the command post that our men had captured a Jerry ambulance as it tried to enter the castle." Ewald said.
“My C. O. told me to go up there for two reasons: First, to make sure that only Jerry wounded enlisted men and no unwounded were evacuated, and second, to demand the surrender of the garrison. It was a funny feeling walking across that field, for there was plenty of fire on it."
"I knew the name of the German commander through prisoners we had picked up earlier. I asked for him by name and told him he had to surrender. He passed a bottle of liquor over to me, it was good too, shook hands and said: 'It's, nice of you to come over, but I'm not in such a position that I have to surrender.'
Why He Can't Quit.
"He pointed to the knight's cross he was wearing and added. ‘That in fact, is one of the reasons I can not surrender.'
"I let him send out 11 of his wounded, and then about 7:30 I left with my flag and came back to our lines.
"All the time I was there the whole Jerry part of the castle was lighted like day from a fire that was burning in the upper part. The Jerries were down in the deep cellars, just like our boys across the moat."
"Nothing was between the Jerries on one side and the Yanks on the other but that moat. Those Jerries were all packed and ready to heat it when I was in there. There was one dead German officer on the drawbridge over the moat and another one on the door to one of the cellars on our side of the castle."
"What those Jerries did was to sneak up out of there some time during the night. When we put in our attack this morning and charged that place, every Jerry was gone."
Source: The Spokesman Review Newspaper, November 29, 1944.
The survivors from F, G and K Cos. then set up a strong defense from the autobahn south to the open, cultivated fields which stretched away to the east. G and F Cos. held those positions, and K Co. was relieved and sent back to IM UNTEREN SCHILDCHEN preparatory to rejoining the 3d Bn. The enemy continued to direct mortar and artillery fire on the castle and outlying buildings, but attempted no further counterattack to recapture any of the ground yielded.
K Co. returned to the 3d Bn. with a total strength of 31 men, having jumped off with the 2d Bn. for the castle with 80 men. Col. Maness estimates that his battalion lost 35 killed and 200 wounded in the fighting for FRENZERBURG castle. Amounts of enemy equipment were captured; the last assault on the castle on 28 November resulted in the capture of 2 120mm mortars, 4 81mm mortars, 8 light machine guns, and large quantities of rifles, bazooka and ammunition.
Maj., Inf. (Armored)
Report of Private Böhm, 1. Company/GrenReg 89 about the combat in Frenz Castle.
On November 24, 1944 our company, about 30 men, took up positions in Frenz Castle. Battalion CO was Captain Ripke. Coming from the county road, the first you can see are some cow-pens, stables, and outhouses. Then you step through a gate and in front of the mansion inside Frenz Castle. Through porch and door you reach a larger hall. We, Group Cords, have spent four days in that hall. The hall is connected to the cellar by a stairway and there is another stairway leading up.
The Americans had pursued us faster than we had thought and they took up positions around the outhouses and workhouses. That was only 150 meters away from us. Right the first night a patrol was sent out against them, 1 Sergeant and Group Cords, 11 men total. We advanced to the workhouses and were fortunate enough to find a number of Americans in a large cellar, most of them were sleeping. At first they did not want to surrender and come out. But after we fired a shot with the panzerfaust into the adjacent cellar room, 50 Americans did come up, one after the other, hands up in the air. We could also liberate 30 German soldiers, mostly wounded, which had been left behind in these houses.
In the following three nights we had to go on patrols again but the Americans were now very careful to deny us any further success.
Meanwhile Frenz Castle had been under heavy artillery fire. We observed everything from the windows and occasionally fired at the enemy infantry.
In the morning of 11/27/44 a medic and an American captain came over. He asked our company CO to give up the hopeless defense of the castle. This was of course rejected especially since we still had an open connection to the rear in case of a breakdown. He left and the shelling of the mansion by artillery and mortars intensified. The house started burning.
We were relieved that same evening by 15th Pioneer Company of ParaReg 9.
The castle was demolished in 1964 and the 20ft wide moat was filled up.
Only the U-shaped buildings remain.