1 November 1944 to 20 November 1944.

Map: Germany 1/25000 Vicinity Medernach, Luxembourg.

The first nineteen days of November 1944 found the CT 121 and attachments (less 3rd Bn) in somewhat of a static or holding position. The 3rd Bn was on duty in the Communication Zone; policing trains between Cherbourg, Rennes, and Paris, France.

On 2 November 1944 the 60th Armored Infantry Bn relieved 1st Bn 121st Infantry on line. On this date "A" Co 60th Armored Infantry Bn captured two German prisoners. For position of our front lines see overlay attached (#1). During this period flares were used quite frequently by the enemy with only a limited amount of patrol or air activity reported. The 56th FA Bn had the unique experience of shooting down a "buzz bomb" in the vicinity of Savelborn, Luxembourg, on 3 November 1944.

To further strengthen our defenses a road block and anti-tank mines were installed at coordinates 94954095, by 2nd Bn. See overlay attached (#2). November 7, 1944, was a memorable day for members of the 1st Bn who had distinguished themselves in combat. For on this date a parade was held at which time nine (9) Silver Stars, two (2) Bronze Star Clusters, and forty-eight (48) Bronze Stars were awarded. During this period from the 1st to the 19th of November 1944 recreational convoys and passes were available to members of CT 121 to towns and cities which included Clerf, Ettelbruck, in Luxembourg, and Paris, France.

On 9 November 1944 the 1st Bn 121 relieved the 60th Armored Infantry Bn on line. At this time the boundaries of the sector were changed, and the 60th Armored Infantry Bn was relieved from CT 121. See Fragmentary Order and Overlay attached (#3). An enemy patrol contacted our lines at coordinates 921448, no hostile action was reported. From November 9th to November 15th the action was that of some mortar and artillery fire falling on our positions. This shelling was widely scattered. Considerable emphasis was placed on the use of flares of various colors throughout this period.

Action on the 2nd Bn front flared up a bit on 16 November 1944, when OG #1 engaged the enemy in a small fire fight; no casualties were reported. The 56th FA Bn knocked out an enemy anti-tank gun at coordinates 96334248, on 16 November 1944. Light skirmishes were again reported in this sector on 17 November 1944 without any casualties resulting.

Complete and detailed plans were made 18 November 1944 for the interchanging of positions with the 28th Infantry Division. See Field Order No. 4 with annexes (#4). Although plans were perfected the movement was made in rather an emergency and not according to previous plans.

The enemy became somewhat aggressive on 19 November 1944, and hit our 1st Bn area with two strong enemy details. A short sharp fire fight resulted in two wounded men for us and one of the enemy killed. At 1925 S-2 and S-3 left on reconnaissance to our new area in the vicinity of Germeter, Germany. Verbal orders from Division changed all previous plans. In making the move from the vicinity of Medernach, Luxembourg, to the vicinity of Germeter, Germany, the 56th FA Bn was the first to clear the IP in Medernach at 0130, 19 November 1944. Relief of CT 121 was effected by CT 109, 28th Infantry Division, in place by 2400, 19 November 1944. The CT 121 CP was closed at 0024, 20 November 1944. The new CP of CT 121 was established vicinity of Germeter,Germany. The 3rd Bn 121 was the last to close in the new area vicinity Germeter, Germany, 1918, 20 November 1944.

21 November 1944.

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

Orders were issued at 1900, 20 November 1944, for the CT 121 to jump off at 0900, 21 November 1944, and pass through the 12th Infantry, seize and hold objective number one (1). See Field Order Number 5 plus attachments. Attached (#5). After a hard trip through inclement weather from vicinity of Medernach, Luxembourg, to our new position in the vicinity of Germeter, Germany, all three Bn's of CT 121 jumped off at 0900 through mud rain and fog to an objective generally through rough, and densely wooded terrain. The 1st Bn was in the center and 3rd Bn to the right of it. "B" Company got off and advanced 100 yards, and waited for "A" Company to catch up with them. The initial resistance consisted of small arms fire and artillery fire, later followed by mortar fire. By 1035 the 3rd Bn had advanced 300 yards and taken 25 prisoners. The 2nd Bn on the left encountered both mines and artillery fire and made only a small gain. Relief of the 12th Infantry was not effected and the fighting was extremely severe with, "L" Company receiving heavy casualties.

22 November 1944.

Map: Germany 1/25000 (Sheets same) Vicinity Germeter, Germany.

Fragmentary Order, dated 2000, 21 November 1944, shows objective no change. Fragmentary Order attached (#6). Relief of the 12th Infantry was effected by 0830. The jump off for all Bn's was at 0900 with "L" Co meeting heavy MG and mortar fire. "A" and "B" Companies were able to advance fifty yards against mortar and MG fire. The initial attack bogged down and the Bn's jumped off again at 1030 but were pushed back with "L" Company again receiving heavy casualties. "F" Company advanced 200 yards and maneuvered that "G" Company could be committed on the left. "I" Company captured six prisoners. "K" Company attacked in a northwest direction. "G" Company upon reaching PL #1 at 1435 was confronted with a mine field. At 1455 "G" Company was receiving direct fire. At 1540 tanks were dispatched to the 1st Bn to be utilized with "A" and "B" Companies. "A" and "B" Companies supported by tanks advanced 40 yards against mortar and MG fire. Permission was granted by S-3 to fire upon an American tank which was in hands of the enemy and firing upon our 2nd Bn. "K" Company and "I" Company gained contact and along with "L" Company were receiving heavy small arms and mortar fire. "I" Company and the Ranger Bn beat off two sharp counterattacks. At 1734 the 2nd Bn reported that the enemy held American tank that was firing on our troops was knocked out by our TD's. At this time orders were issued to all Bn's to button up at present locations and wait for tomorrows plans and orders.

23 November 1944.

Map: Germany 1/25000 (Sheets same) Vicinity Germeter, Germany.

Fragmentary Order dated 2000, 22 November 1944, shows objective no change. Fragmentary order attached (#7). Our tanks were stuck in rear of "A" Company but the attack jumped off at 0800 without tank support. "A" and "B" Companies were making some progress. The 1st Bn continued to advance against heavy frontal MG fire and contacted and coordinated with the 3rd Bn. At 0847 "E" and "F" Companies were advancing with "G" Company following. Fighting was against stiff resistance with rain, mud, and fog through wooded area. By 0930, the 1st and 3rd Bn's had hit the enemy MLR which consisted of trenches and bunkers protected by MG and other automatic weapons. At 1041 a counterattack drove "B" Company back 50 yards. Fighting was fierce with the use of hand grenades at close range. Up to this time "E" Company had captured two prisoners and "I" Company 1 prisoner. "E" Company located an anti-tank minefield at coordinate 017351. At 1440 "B" Company captured 2 more prisoners and "G" Company had reached PL#2. Lt Colonel Morrison (Regimental Executive Officer) left the Regimental CP at 1530 to assist CO of 1st Bn. At 1644 the 3rd Bn tanks in support were moving forward when a counterattack hit all three Bn's. The fighting was fierce and finally shifted to the left flank of "B" Company. After fighting ceased CT 121 received orders to button up and await orders for the following day. CT 121 did not lose any ground in spite of the fierce counterattacks. The 3rd Bn reported "I" Company surrounded and out of contact receiving heavy artillery fire.

24 November 1944.

Map: Germany 1/25000 (Sheets same) Vicinity Germeter, Germany.

Fragmentary Order dated 2100, 23 November 1944, shows objective no change. Fragmentary Order attached (#8). Company "I" previously reported surrounded reestablished contact with 3rd Bn during the early hours of 24 November 1944. All Bn's on line attacked again at 0900 with 1 platoon of tanks supporting the 3rd Bn. One tank was knocked out by bazooka fire during the attack. "L"'Company attack was temporarily halted when they ran into a minefield. At 1115 Lt Colonel Kunzig assumed command of the 2nd Bn and Lt Colonel Morrison assumed command of the 1st Bn. At 1148 the 2nd Bn was moving with "G" Company on PL #2, "E" and "F" Companies were meeting only slight resistance and had a patrol advance as far as coordinate 013353. An enemy tank was reported moving into woods at 1158 coordinate 042309. 2nd Bn moved up beyond PL #2 before being slowed down by a minefields. A second tank was observed moving in to the same location as the 1st enemy tank. The disposition of the 2nd Bn as of 1328 was as follows: G Co at coordinate 018356, F Co at coordinate 021351, E Company at coordinate 01883535. K Company reached edge of woods at 1420. G Company of CT 121 contacted G Company 12th Infantry at 1345. 1st Bn at 1445 was receiving heavy fire from left flank and advanced only 75 yards. At 1535 "E" Company by-passed a minefield and G Company was still pushing. At 1626 G and F Companies were halted while I Company was continuing their advance up the road toward Hurtgen. At 1823 the 2nd Bn was instructed to button up for the night. Action for the day varied from little resistance to heavy fire and the resistance of numerous minefields, against which notable progress was made.

25 November 1944.

Maps Germany (Sheets same) vicinity Germeter, Germany.

Field Order Number 6 dated 2230 24 November 1944. Field Order attached (9). The FO #6 gave CT 121 the mission of following CCR and mopping up Hurtgen, and holding objective A and B once they were taken. At 0326 L Co received small arms fire while they were moving into position. At 0520 C Company was ordered to secure and held edge of woods. At 0745 1 tank from CCR fell into a crater hindering progress of the attack. C Company at 0752 was moving up with remnants of "L" Company. At 0938 the 1st Bn with tanks were still moving. The 2nd Bn at 0952 was moving up road in column of Companies. By 1015 the 2nd Bn had reduced four road blocks and was nearing PL #3. Resistance was such that plans were made with CCR to launch a coordinated attack from 0273355. Resistance remained stubborn with minefields direct 88 fire and heavy mortar fire retarding our progress. Several prisoners were taken. One PW reported a pill box at coordinate 045367. At 1442 Colonel Cross assumed command of the Regiment. Artillery Liaison Officer reported three tanks moving into Hurtgen and troops moving from Kleinhau westward at 1515. At 1547 E and F Companies had reached PL #4. A total of 26 prisoners were taken for the day. All Bn's were ordered to button up for the day at 1806. This ended a day of bitter fighting with all units in contact and limited progress having been made.

26 November 1944.

Map: Germany 1/25000 (Sheets same) vicinity Germeter, Germany.

Fragmentary order dated 2030 25 November 1944, mission no change. Fragmentary order attached (#10). 1st and 2nd Bn's jumped off on time and by 0930 B Company had advanced approximately 500 yards. A Company at this time was almost to the edge of the woods. By 1009 and 2nd Bn was almost on its objective. At 1027 A and B Companies had advanced to the edge of the woods and were tying in with the 2nd Bn on the left. At 1300 CO CT 121 called a meeting of Bn and attached unit CO's. Patrols from all 3 Bn's were attempting to get into Hurtgen but ran into small arms fire and some mortar and artillery fire. The 1st Bn of the 13th Infantry (attached to CT 121) was ordered into Hurtgen along with a company from both the 1st and 2nd Bn's. Two companies of TD's were also ordered to go into town, at 1540. In moving toward Hurtgen these various units ran into resistance consisting of small arms, direct fire, and mines. All units were ordered to coordinate, button up, maintain contact, and communication. These orders were changed and at 1545 both 1st Bn (13 Inf) and 2nd Bn (121) were ordered to advance into the town of Hurtgen. At 1647 1st Bn (13th Inf) ran into mines along road. The 2nd Bn (121) started moving toward town at 1650. At 1705 the 1st Bn (13th Inf) was ordered to proceed cross country into Hurtgen in order to bypass the mines on road. The attack of both Bn's were bogged down due to stubborn resistance of the enemy and intensive minefields. Only patrols from both these Bn's were able to penetrate the town. F Co most forward unit was located as being 300 yards from town in vicinity of road junction 033353. At 2225 the artillery was ordered to shell Hurtgen heavily and also objective B in order to soften it up for the forthcoming attack.

27 November 1944.

Map: Germany 1/25000 (Sheets same) Vicinity Germeter, Germany.

Field Order number 7 dated 2200, 26 November 1944. FO #7 attached (#11). The attack jumped off at 0700 with the 2nd Bn entering the outskirts of Hurtgen at 0737. At 0812 the 3rd Bn was advancing against mortar fire and small arms fire. By 0320 the 2nd Bn reported fighting was intense from house to house. Progress was being made and at 0845 the 1st Bn (13th Inf) had cut the road junction north of Hurtgen and at the same time the 2nd Bn out the road junction south of Hurtgen. Upon entering the town the 2nd Bn asked for the TD's when they encountered an enemy tank. At 1000 F and G Companies were receiving heavy artillery and MG fire. At 1110 TD's and tanks were advancing along with elements of the 2nd Bn and at 1300 the 2nd Bn with aid of TD's was reducing enemy strong points within the town. The resistance for the capture of Hurtgen grew more intense as vehicles and foot troops were reported moving to Hurtgen from Kleinhau. 4th Division artillery in conjunction with our Division artillery and dive bombers worked these enemy troops over at 1525. After a hard day of fighting with indifferent results the 1st Bn (121 Inf) and 3rd Bn buttoned up for the night. At 1845 the enemy was reported leaving Hurtgen in column of 3's. Three tanks sighted at crossroads southwest of Kleinhau. At 2130 the 2nd Bn sent a patrol into Hurtgen as far as the church. This patrol reported that they did not encounter any enemy.

28 November 1944.

Map: Germany 1/25000 (Sheets same) Vicinity Germeter, Germany.

Fragmentary Order dated 2000, 27 November 1944. Fragmentary Order attached (#12). The 2nd Bn fought throughout the night and early morning and patrols succeeded in reaching the church in Hurtgen. At 0710 the 1st Bn (13th Inf) jumped off to the attack, and by 1235 the leading company had advanced to the church located in the center of Hurtgen. The 2nd Bn in conjunction with tanks jumped off to another attack at 1145, and at 1215 E Company was riding atop 709th tanks into town. At 1500 the enemy was forming for a counterattack at the crossroads south of Kleinhau. This counterattack was repulsed and at 1530 the 1st Bn (13th Inf) had made contact with the 2nd Bn. At 1748 all resistance in the town of Hurtgen had ceased. The total number of prisoners taken during the day was approximately 180. Enemy air activity during the day consisted of four enemy ME 109's straffing the Regimental CP at 1422. Friendly aircraft activity consisted of a TOT on Kleinhau at 1042. Colonel Ginder was attached to the Regiment on this date. Lt Colonel Turner was assigned to the Regiment and was sent to assist the CO of the 2nd Bn. At 1442 the Assistant Division Commander and the new Division Commander (Brigadier General Weaver) visited the CP.

Ruined church of Hurtgen

Rebuild church of Hurtgen anno 2011
In the Huertgen Forest, not much reminds the present-day visitor
of the dreadful fighting that took place here in 1944.
However, the wall in the right of the picture still bares the traces of impact holes.

29 November 1944.

Map: Germany (Sheets same) Vicinity Germeter, Germany.

Fragmentary Order dated 2300, 28 November 1944, attached (#13). The general plan was for CCR to attack at 0700 29 November 1944, and seize Kleinhau. The 1st Bn (121st Inf) to relieve 1st Bn (13th Inf) on objective B. The 2nd Bn was to remain in place. The 3rd Bn had the mission of clearing the enemy from west of line AA and contacting 28th Infantry on the right.

The attack jumped off at 0700, and by 0800, the 3rd Bn had advanced 400 yards and captured 3 prisoners, without meeting much opposition. At 0802, the 1st Bn observed the enemy laying mines at coordinates 054367. By 0850, I and K Companies had advanced 500 yards and had taken some prisoners before contacting two companies of enemy troops dug in to the front. These two companies were protected by MG's. I Company at 0940 was reducing a strong point while K Company and L Company were mopping up. CCR had reached the center of Kleinhau by 0958, and was receiving heavy anti-tank fire from Grosshau. By 1000, the 3rd Bn (121) had made contact with 3rd Bn (28th Inf). The 3rd Bn reported at 1151 that K and I Companies were on line with L Company in reserve. The 2nd Bn which was holding Hurtgen was receiving heavy artillery fire. CCR was continuing its action in Kleinhau while receiving heavy artillery fire, but reported at 1355 that 2 companies of Infantry, and two companies of tanks, and two platoons of TD's had joined up with them. Generally by mid-afternoon all units had effected or accomplished their mission in preparation for the following days action. Total prisoners as of 1655 for the entire operation had reached 284.

30 November 1944.

Map: Germany (Sheets same) Vicinity Germeter, Germany.

Fragmentary Order dated 1900, 29 November 1944, attached (#14). The 1st Bn CT 121, completes relief of 1st Bn 13th Inf as soon as practicable and maintains contact, and establishes outposts. The 2nd Bn remains in present location with mission no change. The 3rd Bn maintains contact with 1st Bn (121 Inf) on left and 3rd Bn of 28th Inf on right (West flank).

Generally things were quiet with the exception of I Co which reported 3 enemy patrols by 0743. The 3rd Bn jumped off to establish definite outpost and to make contact with 3rd Bn, 28th Infantry on the right and advanced 200 yards by 0934. By 1114, they had occupied two thirds of the designated outpost line. Generally things were shaping up for the attack against Brandenberg on 1 December 1944. However the enemy was keeping pressure on Hurtgen with mortar and artillery fire and vigorous night patrolling. Word was received at 2130 that the I and R patrol consisting of 16 men had been ambushed. This report reached S-2 through 1 member of that patrol who though wounded was the only member to return to the unit. The I and R platoon had been extremely active throughout this operation and had supplied the Regiment with extensive enemy information.

Action during the last nine days of November in this sector has been against an enemy in well prepared positions in a heavily wooded area. The weather during this period has been extremely unfavorable due to the rain mud and fog.

The casualties from November 19 to the 30 were 22 Officers and 606 EM.

Major, Infantry S-2

Source: National Archives and Records Administration

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