1 December 1944.

Map: Germany 1/25000 (Sheets Number 5203, 5204, 5303, 5304) Vicinity Germeter, Germany.

Having accomplished the task of securing the town of Huertgen and immediate vicinity, CT 121 inaugurated its operations of December 1944 with the mission to assist the attack of CCR, 5th Armored Division, to capture the town of Brandenberg (063345) to the south. The general plan of operations called for the seizure of commanding ground to either side of the Kleinhau - Brandenberg road as protection for the movement of armor to its objective. The threat of an armored counter-attack from the NE required an additional mission of holding the town of Kleinhau (054374) controlling this approach. To facilitate a coordinated attack, two task forces were formed. Task Force "X" under the command of Colonel Ginder was assigned the task of clearing the enemy west of line BB' (Operational overlay, annex #1 to FO #8, Hq 121st Inf, 301900A Nov 44). A second task force, Kleinhau Garrison, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Streeter prepared to relieve the 1st Bn 13th Inf in the town of Kleinhau (054374). The 1st Bn (less Co C) was to seize and secure all of hill (054362) astride the Kleinhau - Brandenberg road, and from that position assist by fire the attack of TFX. Company C as part of Kleinhau Garrison was to occupy hill 401(058377). The 2nd Bn assumed part of the task of TFX. The 3rd Bn was to attack to the south and secure edge of woods with center at 055349.

TFX attacked at 0700 meeting heavy artillery and mortar fire at the LD. 1st Bn 13th Inf with companies B C and A from left to right reached a position approximately 300 yards short of line BB'. The 2nd Bn with companies F and E on line and Company G in reserve reached a position with center vicinity 056359, astride Kleinhau - Brandenberg road; Kleinhau Garrison moved to its objective relieving 1st Bn 13th Inf. Company B 709th Tk Bn lost one tank by mine action vicinity 045348 on its move to Kleinhau. 1st Bn reached its objective and assisted movement of TFX by fire. The 3rd Bn with Companies K, L, and I on the line advanced 150 yards to a position vicinity 049348. The advance was slowed by concrete and timber bunkers adding to the natural obstacle of heavily wooded terrain. The close of operations for the day found one platoon of Company C 12th Engrs clearing the Kleinhau - Brandenberg road of mines.

2 December 1944.

Map: same Vicinity: same.

The CT's mission and its units' respective objectives remained the same except for the 1st and 3rd Bn's. The 1st Bn (less Co C - in position on hill 401) was relieved from its position to proceed to Huertgen for rehabilitation. The 3rd Bn assisted by one company from TFX was to continue its attack and move to objective B upon capture of Brandenberg by CCR Objective B - high ground vicinity 070350)

TFX jumped off at 0700. Company G arrived on objective, part of line BB', at 0741. Company E followed in its path capturing 16 PW's. Company F met heavy opposition to the SW in its attempt to support the 3rd Bn advance. The lst Bn 13th Inf, overcoming a counter-attack at 1215 finally reached its objective, part of the line BB', at 1635. Companies K and L attacked at 0700. Company L ran into heavy small arms and mortar fire from a pocket vicinity 051355. This pocket showed signs of cracking at 2000. The Bn had advanced 150 yards and had taken 34 PW's. Its advance however, stalled after this exhausting operation. Company A moved to a position to the rear of the 46th Armd Inf Bn after its scheduled move at 0900. Heavy artillery inflicted casualties on Company A moving into positions not fully vacated by the 46th Armd Inf Bn.

The 12th Engrs cleared the Kleinhau - Brandenberg road of wooden box AT mines to 057356. Other roads leading north were cleared for 150 yards. The tanks of CCR were geared for the attack. Their swift initial advance was short-lived. Minefields located at 06703565 blocked the move. High velocity fire emanating from a point estimated at 3000 to 4000 yards distance vicinity 06453150 was directed at the armor. Mines and AT fire disabled four tanks. The tank attack was stalled. Further probings by engineers disclosed an AT minefield extending from 05503540 north to the next road 05613571.

Kleinhau Garrison was alerted at 0925 following the report of a counter-attack in the 3rd Bn 22nd Inf sector on its left flank. Division artillery set about task of softening up Brandenberg for the following day's attack by firing 300 rounds into the town. A loud explosion, believed to be an enemy ammunition dump, was heard vicinity Brandenberg at 1910. TFX forces on objective maintained OP's and dispatched patrols to the Corps boundary during darkness.

3 December 1944.

Map: same Vicinity: same.

Our units resumed the attack at 030630. Company F was to continue in its drive to aid the 3rd Bn. The 1st Bn 13th Inf and G Company were to secure gains of previous day. At 0931 CCR reported their troops in north Brandenberg. This unit's commander decided that attack against Bergstein would not be feasible until the 3rd Bn had eliminated pocket in its sector and had taken objective B. At 1100 CCR reported that their force had complete control of Brandenberg. Once again the sore spot in the coordinated drive centered in the 3rd Bn sector. Company L advanced to a position 150 yards north of the 35 grid line at 1023. At this point the company received heavy small arms and artillery fire. Cannon Company now moved a 155 mm gun into position to fire on pillbox located at 057351. Company E and F at this time progressed against the pocket to the south of their position. Fifty PW's were taken from this pocket. At 1235 the 3rd Bn reported an imminent break in their obstacle.

The pocket seemed to be cleared with news that firing had ceased at 1316. In the interim approximately 45 PW's had been taken. Company L in mopping up operations took an additional 50 PW's. At this time the "Luftwaffe" put in an appearance. Thirty planes flew in from the NE straffed CCR forces in Brandenberg and elements of our 2nd Bn. At 1505 the pocket in the 3rd Bn area was declared clear and the Bn prepared to move to objective B (069351). Within a short time the 3rd Bn contacted another pocket taking 12 more PW's. Moving forward toward objective B the Bn bagged another 40 PW's. At 1742 the 3rd Bn had reached the point 140 yards from its objective. The 2nd Bn patrols had reached the Corps boundary during the day. The telling effect of our artillery that had aided their previous offense was found in the vicinity of 065364 in a mass of dead enemy, horses and vehicles. TFX was officially dissolved by Colonel Cross at 1809. It had successfully accomplished its mission of securing and holding the line BB'. The 3rd Bn, buttoned up for the day, sent a patrol to Brandenberg to contact CCR. The patrol arrived there at 2015.

4 December 1944.

Map: same Vicinity: same.

The division objective as outlined in Fragmentary Order, Hq 121st Inf, 032300A Dec 44, was to seize and secure lines CC' and DD' and to take Bergstein. (At 076337). The CT 121 was to seize and hold objective B and line DD' (Operational overlay, annex #1 to Fragmentary Order above). Engrs cleared the road south east from Brandenberg to a point 25 yards from Bergstein. CCR again stayed its movement to Bergstein following PW reports that elements of the 12th SS Panzer Division were in town. Observers had spotted six tanks during the morning. At 1240 the 1st Bn 13th Inf reported that they were on their objective line DD'. The 3rd Bn jumped off at 1430. Company I reached its objective by 1658. The entire 3rd Bn supported by tanks overcame MO fire from the woods vicinity 071354 to reach objective B. The 2nd Bn pushed to a position half way between its LD and the line DD' by 1510. Company F reached the line DD' at 1630.

5 December 1944.

Map: same Vicinity: same.

CT 121 was to consolidate its position on the occupied portion of the line DD' and to jump off at 050800 to seize that portion of the line that had not been taken. The 1st Bn which had been at Huertgen was to make a complete interchange with the 3rd Bn. Company K And L moved to positions atop hill 401.

The 2nd Bn jumped off on time meeting small arms and MG resistance. A Corps patrol with the mission to scout the ridge in front of the 2nd Bn positions had reported that all trenches and pillboxes were clear of the enemy (ridge located NE of Brandenberg). Company F ran into heavy MG fire in its approach to the DD' line. Company G moved in a maneuver to outflank the three MG's retarding Company F progress. At 1620 the 2nd Bn reported slight progress toward DD' line. Two hours later Company G and E had moved on their objective. Company F still facing heavy MG fire was 400 yards short of objective. With the relief of the 3rd Bn complete, the 1st Bn jumped off on the attack at 0800. Company C on the north, B Co on the south and Company C in reserve. Companies B and C advanced 150 yards beyond the 07 grid. Company B arrived on line DD' prior to 0900. At that point the company reported heavy MG fire to its front. Within an hour Company B had also reached the objective. A new attack with the mission to move 500 yards to the next ridge and there after patrol to the river Roer was scheduled to commence at 1400. At 1327 Div ordered the 1st Bn to attack along with CCR (CCR on the right flank) with the town of Bergstein as the objective. The town was reached by CCR by 1450. The armor however encountered a stubborn pocket of resistance in the north sector. The 1st Bn dispositions at the close of the day were as follows: Company A 070346, Company B 071349, Company C 075353.

6 December 1944.

Map: same Vicinity: same.

The attack to occupy and secure all of line DD' and to patrol to the river Roer again jumped off at 0800. During the early morning hours (0400) CCR received a counter-attack from the south aimed at Bergstein. The attacking force consisted of approximately 200 men and 5 tanks. CCR accounted for two enemy SP guns but also reported the loss of one tank. The 1st Bn received fire from an enemy tank on its position at 076348. At 0920 CCR reported a slackening in the counter-attack. This force never the less believed an attack from the vicinity 065328 to the south of Bergstein would be forthcoming. Company I and Company M were moved to the vicinity of Brandenberg commencing at 1020 as a reserve for the threatened armor. At this time another threat from the NE appeared. An undetermined number of enemy infantry were reported to be moving SW from the town of Obermaubach. Our artillery placed heavy fire on the approaches leading to our positions in that sector. At 1200 the counterattack in the Bergstein area was completely subdued and the entire town was reported to be in the hands of CCR. Company F experienced the only contact with enemy ground troops in the day's operation. This opposition consisted of two MG nests to their front.

7 December 1944.

Map: same Vicinity: same.

The 1st Bn which had been ordered to attack during the night of 6 - 7 December reported favorable progress against a MG nest located at 072345 shortly after midnight. The attacking force consisted of Company B (less one platoon) and the 709th Tk Bn (less the assault gun platoon). Company C, 12th Engrs, was assigned the relief of the 1st Bn 13th Inf by division order at 0914. Relief was completed by 1830. The relieved Bn moved to 020350 as division reserve. Company F overcame the MG fire to its front and reached the line DD' at 1412. Lt Col Turner (CO 1st Bn) was evacuated through medical channels. Major Johnston assumed command of the Bn. The 2nd Ranger Bn which had taken over the protection of the high ground to the NE of Bergstein from our 1st Bn forces reported a counter-attack of an enemy force approximately 150 men strong. The drive of the attack had been blunted by 1929. Friendly patrols were active to Corps boundary without opposition. The bulk of artillery fell in the draw N of Bergstein. Huertgen received a moderate shelling from the vicinity of Schmidt (063296).

8 December 1944.

Map: same Vicinity: same.

The danger point in the sector NE of Brandenberg lay in a draw between our 1st Bn and the 2nd Ranger Bn (080350). At 0100 a slight infiltration was reported in this area by the 2nd Ranger Bn. Company B moved forward at 0105 toward its objective the nose of the hill (objective A) 078353. Contact between the 1st Bn and the 2nd Ranger Bn was vital at this time. At 0145 the CO of Company C contacted an officer representative of 2nd Rangers Bn in Brandenberg. Guides brought Company C into the town of Bergstein. The operation was completed at 0710. Company C was attached to the 2nd Ranger Bn. An enemy attack against hill 400 (086336) from the north east was repulsed by 0900. Company C moved to the southeast part of hill 400. The Rangers held positions on the NE part of the hill. Enemy infantry advancing against Company C position was caught between our defensive fires (artillery) and the company defenses. Company C inflicted heavy casualties on the trapped forces in action that reached its height at 1745. Company B had reached its objective at 080353. Small arms opposition ceased by 0820. Our artillery dropped 4.2 mortar fire in vicinity 08063556 (in front of 1st Bn) during the day. At 2242 half of D Company successfully relieved half of B Company.

9 December 1944.

Map: same Vicinity: same.

The mission of defense and patrol remained the same. A relief of units and slight enemy patrol activity constituted the action during this period. The 1st Bn was to hold line DD' until relieved by the reserve company of the 2nd Bn and thereafter to assemble as regimental reserve in Company A area. Following this operation the Bn was to relieve Company C 12th Engrs. The 1st Bn 13th Inf moved to relieve Company a from its defensive position on the SE part of hill 400. At 1825 all reliefs had been completed. An enemy patrol attempted to infiltrate through Company F position (068358). MG fire accounted for three enemy killed and one wounded. One enemy escaped. Enemy patrol activity was reported at 1232 between Company E and Company G positions. This patrol had evidently followed the Company G patrol back to its position. Our artillery placed fire on 07423531 suspected position of the patrol. At 1425 four PW's were captured at 075354. The PW's reported that they had been on a patrol


Source: National Archives and Records Administration

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