• Last modified 7504 days ago (Dec. 31, 2003)
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Story deserves to be retold

I have been bragging for years that the 3rd Bn., 395th was the only unit hit the morning of Dec. 16, 1944, that did not yield an inch to the Krauts during the Battle of the Bulge, but have had no acknowledgment from any other source.

Even "Dauntless" shows an overlay that says we retreated two-plus miles, which is patently not so. I wrote Gen. Bishop about this overlay, but he died before I contacted him. I just bought a book that says exactly what I have been saying for years and enclose a copy of the quote.

"The northernmost element of the German attack was an attempt by the 67th Corps in the Monschau forest to push through the left wing of the 99th Division's defenses from Höfen to Wahlerscheid. The attack was carried out by the 326th Volksgrenadier Division through forested, hilly terrain not unlike the neighboring Hurtgen forest. Without any significant armor support, the attack was stopped cold by the 395th Infantry of the 99th Division. The positions of the forward rifle platoons had been registered by the U.S. regimental artillery, and in cases where the German infantry reached the forward trench lines, they were pummeled mercilessly while the U.S. infantry remained within the cover of their foxholes. This was the one sector of the front where the German offensive made no significant inroads. An attack the following day met the same results, and the division was withdrawn to its start line where it remained for the remainder of the campaign."

The above is a verbatim quote from "Battle of the Ardennes 1944(1)," by Steven J. Zaloga and is a volume in the Osprey series.

The 395th unit referred to was the 3rd Battalion, 395th Infantry, commanded by Lt. Col. McClernand Butler, which was in Höfen. Also in Höfen was A Company, 612th TD Battalion. On the immediate left flank, the 38th Squadron of the 102nd Cavalry Group was in and around Monschau. On the right flank there was a 10km forested gap between the 3rd Battalion and the 395th Regimental Combat Team and the 2nd Division troops attacking Wahlersheid.

Thor Ronningen

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