Chapter 25


1 VII Corps FO 13, 8 Dec, VII Corps FO file, Dec 44. Unless otherwise noted, sources for this account include official corps and division records, unofficial unit histories as cited in previous chapters, and several valuable combat interviews with personnel of the 9th and 83d Divisions. Records of telephone messages in 83d Div G-2G-3 Jnl are particularly valuable. An 83d Division history, Thunderbolt Across Europe (Munich, Germany: 1945), is sketchy and of little historical value.

2 On 28 November the 32d Field Artillery Brigade had reverted to First Army control. The brigade at this time controlled three 240-mm. howitzer battalions and two 8-inch gun battalions.

3 Annex 2 to VII Corps FO 13.

4 Opns Order for 1 Dec 44, Fifteenth Army (Gruppe von Manteuffel) to Corps Group Blumentritt and LXXXI Corps, 0115, 1 Dec 44, LXXXI Corps KTB, Befehle Heeresgruppe und Armee an Gen. Kdo., 1.-31.XII-44.

5 LXXXI Corps Gefechtsbericht, AAR for 30 Nov-1 Dec 44; Weekly Strength Rpt, LXXXI Corps to Gruppe von Manteuffel, 0001, 26 Nov 44, LXXXI Corps Ia KTB, Wochenmeldungen, 22.IX-31-XII-44.

6 Luttichau, Planning and Preparations, MS in OCMH.

7 Shifts and countershifts of German divisions in these last few days before the counteroffensive were common. The moves may be traced in detail in Luttichau, Progressive Build-up and Operations, MS in OCMH.

8 In the process of reducing Merken, an artillery observer, 2d Lt. Paul H. Schafer, executed an unusual assignment. Spotting seventeen Americans marching across a field as prisoners of two German guards, he adjusted time fire beyond the group so that the guards had no choice but to turn back the column toward American positions. See 104th Div Arty AAR, Dee 44.

9 An unusual aspect of this maneuver was a smoke screen laid down by tank guns. See VII Corps AAR, Dec 44.

10 VII Corps FO 13.

11 See 9th Div FO 45, 8 Dec 44, 9th Div AAR, Dec 44.

12 VII Corps Opns Memo 129, 11 Dec, VII Corps Opns Memo file, Dec 44.

13 Combat Interv with Bond, 9th Div Combat Interv file, Dec 44.

14 LXXXI Corps Gefechtsbericht, AAR for 12 Dec 44.

15 Figures compiled from VII Corps FO and Battle Casualties file, Dec 44.

16 Both combat commands originally were to move through Strass. Subsequent complications at Strass prompted the change. See 1st Lt George M. Tuttle, Seizure of Gey and Strass, 83d Div Combat Interv file.

17 See messages in 83d Div G-2–G-3 Jnl, 10 Dec 44.

18 This and subsequent direct quotes are from 83d Div G-2–G-3 Jnl, 10-11 Dec 44. See also Ltr, Macon to OCMH, 10 Aug 56.

19 83d Div AAR, Dec 44, and G-2-G-3 Jnl, 13 Dec 44.

20 LXXXI Corps, Befehle Gen. Kdo. an Div., VOM 1.-31.12.44; Erfahrungs berichte 23.10.-30. 12-44; Befehle H. Gr. u. Armee, order, Fifteenth Army to LXXXI Corps, 0330, 14 Dec 44.

21 See cumulative casualty statistics in VII Corps FO and Battle Casualties file, Dec 44. Breakdown by division:








1st Div




3d Armd Div




4th Div




5th Armd Div (-CCR)




9th Div




83d Div




104th Div*




* Only division of the seven to be committed actively during the entire thirty-one days.

22 Tabulation of rounds fired made from VII Corps AAR, Dec 44; Field Artillery Firing 16-23 Nov, FUSA AAR, Nov 44.

23 FUSA Rpt, Vol. 2, Annex 6, p. 158. Whether temporarily or permanently lost was not recorded. This figure covers the entire months of November and December, though most losses presumably occurred during the period 16 November-16 December.

24 12th A Gp Weekly Intell Summaries, Nov-Dec 44, 12th A Gp G-2 AAR.

25 The intentions are evident from M-334, 21 A Gp General Operational Situation and Directive, 2 Nov 44, 12th A Gp Military Objectives, 371.3, II, and from Notes on the Operations of 21 Army Group, 6 June 1944-5 May 1945, Sec. 6, p. 41, an official British document, copy in World War II Records Division, National Archives.

26 Notes on Meeting at Maastricht on 7-12. 1944, dtd 8 Dec, filed 12 Dec, SHAEF SGS 381, II.

27 Ibid. See also, SHAEF G-3 to SHAEF CofS, sub: SHAEF Letter to General Bradley 15 Dec 44; SHAEF G-3 to SHAEF CofS, sub: Future Operations, 12 Dec 44, both in SHAEF SGS 381, II.

28 SHAEF G-3 to SHAEF CofS, sub: Future Operations, 12 Dec 44, SHAEF 381, II.

Return to Table of Contents

Search CMH Online
Last updated 26 September 2006