DIARY OF ACTIVITIES OF THE DIVISION SURGEON`S OFFICE AND THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT OF THE
EIGHTH INFANTRY DIVISION FROM 25 JULY 1943 TO THE TERMINATION OF THE "DURATION PLUS"
16 November 1944: Measures are being taken in the replacement of this area by the 28th (Key-Stone) Inf Div, and convers[e]ly, the replacement of their area by this Division. The 112th Inf Regt of the 28th Inf Div has replaced our13th Inf Regt. No change in the enemy situation
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 4 HE [high explosive, usually artillery or mortar fire], 2 Misc; making a total of 6 BC`s [battle casualties]. 0 NP [neuropsychiatric or combat exhaustion] cases 18 Duty. 16 Trf [transferred to rear area hospitals for care]. 0 Died. 1 EM [enlisted man] KIA [killed in action]
17 November 1944: The 8th Co, 1058th Inf Regt, is a new identification obtained from two deserters picked up by the 112th Inf Regt (28thInf Div). Enemy ground activity showed a slight increase over previous period. Pa-
trolling was more aggressive than usual; 5 patrols were encountered. Arty[artillery] fire during period was negligible. Early in the period enemy patrol attempted to penetrate our lines vie REISDORF. Patrol withdrew after exchanging small arms fire. A 5-man patrol was ambushed at 1600A by a patrol from the 28th Inf Regt, resulting in 3 dead germans. At 1000A a 7-man enemy patrol fired on Jeep from 28th Inf. In the 112th Inf Sector a small enemy patrol attacked our OP. Patrol withdrew after tossing a few grenades at our OP. 4 PW`s captured.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 1 GSW [gunshot wound], 2 HE, 14 Misc; making a total of 17 BC`s. 0 Np cases. 8 Duty. 36 Trf. 0 Died. 0 KIA
18 November 1944: CT 110 [Combat Team 110, 110th Infantry Regiment] (28Div) completed relief and assumed control of the area, CT 28 (8 Div) at 1830A. CT 28 moving to V Corps, vicinity of Roetgen, Germany. Enemy activity in the V Corps front- generally confined to arty and mortar fires. 14 enemy troops from a patrol operating in the VOSSENACK area were captured late last night. It has been determined that the enemy anticipates the use of buildings by our troops for shelter and CP`s [Command Posts]. Units seeking forward . CP`s or shelter would do well to check the area for mines and booby traps. Clr Sta [clearing station] closed at 1500 today.
CASUALTIES FOB THE DAY: 2 HE, making a total of 2 BC`s. 0 NP cases. 1 Duty. 9Trf. 0 Died. 0 KIA
19 November 1944: Enemy defensive organizations: In that part of the Div Sector S and SW of F012303 [map coordinates], the enemy defenses is centered around concrete bunkers and pillboxes. In the remainder of the Div Sector the enemy defensive positions consist of prepared field fortifications employing trenches, logs, earthen embankments, barbed wire and mines. Enemy activity centered around the GERMETER and VOSSENACK areas there the arty was medium-heavy; one combat patrol sought to enter VOSSENACK during the afternoon. The remainder of the Div sector was relatively quiet; the activity consisted of harassing arty and mortar fire.
ENEMY CAPABILITIES: Enemy is capable of defending his present position with a present strength of 3500-4000 men. He is capable of continuing the harassment of the Div forward areas by arty fire from a least 8 Bns [battalions] of FA [field artillery] supplemented by an unknown number of SP [self-propelled] guns. He is further capable of sending harassing and combat patrols in varying size up to company strength against any part of the Div Sector.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 5 GSW, 20 HE, 3 Land Mines, 1 Burns, 7 Misc. Total;36. 9 NP cases. 6 Duty. 89 Trf. 0 Died, 0 KIA
20 November 1944: Later estimates of enemy arty is 35-40 4 gun batteries or 10-12 Bns of artillery. Arty shelling in the GERMETER - VOSSENACK area was heavy; it was relatively light in the remainder of the Div area. A combat patrol of approx 75 men sought to enter the 28th Inf Sector up the draw. The patrol employed light mortars.
The majority of the units have moved from Lux [Luxembourg] to Germany, and replacement of the 28th Div is almost complete.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 6 GSW, 19 HE, 4 Booby Trap, 1 Bomb, 11 Misc. Total:41. 6 NP cases. 10 Duty. 58 Trf. 0 Died. 0 KIA.
21 November 1944: The Rear Echelon moved today from WILTZ, Lux to ROETGEN, Germany. Billets and offices are set up in German homes, and the facilities are much inferior to the set-up at WILTZ. Crowded conditions are to be expected, it is assumed, as we press further into Germany.
The extensive use of arty and mortars again characterized the enemy activity. The ground resistance to the advance of the 121st Inf was relatively slight. A group of perhaps 70 was in contact with the 28th Inf, but aside front this resume, no other ground activity.
MEDICAL EVACUATION: The deterrent factors which make increasingly difficult the evacuation of our wounded are principally the steady rain, deep mud which makes use of regular vehicles impossible, long litter hauls, harassing arty and small arms fire, and the decreasing temperatures to which our medical aid men are not immune. Confronted with this situation, our ingenious medical department members have made distinct deviation from the normal means of evacuation, and are employing tractor jeeps [M-29 tracked cargo vehicles called Weasels], relay litter hauls, and have set up aid stations in advanced positions in newly reduced pill boxes and the like. Despite the heavy casualty rate in some of our units, evacuation is being accomplished in an expeditious and efficient manner.
MEDICAL CONSIDERATIONS: Warfare in this type of weather and terrain has brought about a moderate amount of trench foot, upper respiratory infections, and considerable discomfort to the troops which results, ultimately, in some individuals, the state of fatigue. The majority of the battle casualties resulting directly from enemy action are from artillery and mortar fire. In the121st Sector, approx 1500 rds of mixed arty and mortar shells fell and in the 28th Inf Sector there fell approx 2500 rd of mixed arty and mortar fire, so with arty and mortar fire lies the preponderance of the causative agents of battle casualties.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 15 GSW, 75 HE, 6 Land Mines, 1 Booby Trap, 2 Bomb, 18Misc; total: 117. 16 NP Cases. 20 Duty. 119 Trf. 0 Died. 0 KIA
22 November 1944: There was very little ground action in the Div sector during the period. AP [anti-personnel] mines and fire from mortars, artillery and MG`s [machine guns] delayed our advance. Both mortar and artillery fire continued to be heavy; 2000 rds fell in the 121st Inf Area, and1500 r ds fell in the 28th Inf area. Calibre of arty generally 105 and 150mm.Direct fire believed coming from tank in HURTGEN was recd by the 121st Inf sector. 14 PW`s were taken, brining to date a total of 15,546 since 8 July.
The thick mud and continued cold weather remains an important factor affecting the health of the front troops. It is impossible at times to get rations in sufficient quantities up to the troops, and the necessity of the men remaining in fox-holes and dugouts which are partially filled with water is catalystic to the contraction of trench foot.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 36 GSW, 67 HE, 5 Land Mines, 2 Booby Traps, 9 Bomb,43 Misc; Total: 162. 50 NP Cases. 14 Duty. 191 Trf. 0 Died. 0 KIA
8th Inf Div (+ CCR & 2nd Rgr [Ranger] Bn) attacked with 121st RCT[regimental combat team], at 0900A, through the positions of the 12th RCT. The3rd Bn, on the rt flank, advanced 500 yds to the edge of the woods. Hvy arty and mortar fire and extensive minefields, impeded the progress of the 1st and 2ndBns.
23 November 1944: The enemy continued to defend in the Div sector. A counter-attack was launched late in period against our attacking elements. Arty and mortar fire continued heavy, principally with medium arty and hvy mortars. Approx 100 rds fell in the 15th Inf sector; 3 were of propaganda. 28thInf recd some 1450 rds, and the 121st Inf recd 2700 rds, 50% of which were mortar. A large pocket in the northern part of the 28th Inf sector was liquidated by I Co, 28th Inf; 94 PW`s were taken in the pocket. In the 13th Inf sector, the enemy fired consistently at our patrols. 102 PW`s captured today, making a total of 15,448 since arriving tin the continent. We face an estimated 5,700 germans on this front in this sector. According to a PW, the "Volks deutsche" soldiers of the 2nd Bn, 890th Regt were withdrawn because of the high rate of desertion among these men.
With the serving of Thanksgiving dinner, some meals were prepared as much as24 hours in advance with a resulting incidence of a few mild cases of diarrhea with associated symptoms.
CASUALTIES F0R THE DAY: 18 GSW, 49 HE, 15 Land Mines, 1 Booby Trap, 2 Burns,21 Misc; Total 106. 15 NP Cases. 38 Duty. 181 TRF. 2 Died. 0 KIA
24 November 1944: The 121st Inf resumed the attack at 0800A without appreciable gain. A strong enemy counterattack was repulsed in the late afternoon, without loss of ground. The 13th and 28th Inf cleared up scattered enemy pockets of resistance within the Division sector. The enemy again sent artillery and mortar shells into our area, and estimated 5000 rds of arty and mortar fire fell in the Div Sector. No peculiar medical problems other than those mentioned have been encountered.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 18 GSW, 68 HE,13 Land Mines, 1 Booby Trap, 3 Bombs,26 Misc; Totals 129. 14 NP cases. 29 Duty. 156 TRF. 1 Died. 6 KIA.
25 November 1944: 8th Inf Div (+ CCR of 5th Armd Div and 2nd Ranger Bn) continued the attack at 0500A with the 121st Inf. 2nd Bn gained approximately 500 yds on the left flank and the 3rd Bn advanced about 200 yds to the north on their left flank. 1st Bn, in the center, was unable to make any gains. Enemy resistance continued to be stubborn. CCR moved up to assembly area in preparation for attack at 250730A. Estimated 5500 rds of mixed mortar and arty fell in the Div Sector during period. The brunt of the shelling was received in the 121st Inf and 28th Inf Sector. Much of the area of advance of the 121st Inf was covered by minefields and road blocks; most of mines were anti-personnel and RIEGEL mines.
ITEM OF INTEREST: The morale of PW`s was low. They complained of lack of hot food and lack of long promised relief. A Nazi News-sheet for soldiers found on PWs contained the following paragraph:
"On the Ninth of November our entire nation, united in the national socialist idea of the Fhrer, hardened during years of war and bombing terror, must and can muster strength to fight onto final victory. We are fighting for the question "To be or not to be", and we are convinced that in the near future, a reborn air force will deal to telling blows to the enemy . . . ."
51 PW`s processed during the day.
CASUALTIES FOR THE 25th: 7 GSW, 56 HE, 13 Land Mines, 1 Bomb, 1 Burn, 16 Misc;Total: 94 17 NP Cases. 33 Duty. 132 Trf. 0 Died. 1 EM KIA.
26th November 1944: The enemy defended the town of HURTGEN. Arty fire was moderate though noticeably decreased over the prior period.
No Peculiar medical problems were encountered.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 1 GSW, 26 HE, 5 Land Mines, 2 Booby Traps, 1 Bomb, 6Misc; Total: 41. 18 Np cases. 16 Duty. 62 Trf. 0 Died. 3 EM KIA
27th November 1944: 8th Inf Div (+ CCR of the 5th Armored & 2ndRanger Bn) continued the attack at 0730A. 1st and 2nd Bns, 121st Inf, advanced to the edge of the wood`s, west of HURTGEN, during the morning. F Co advanced towards HRTGEN and met heavy resistance just outside the town. 1st Bn, 13th Inf, passed thru the 2nd Bn, 12th Inf, and prepared attack with the 121st Inf. 47th Armd Inf Bn returned to CCR in assembly area. Preparations were completed to resume the attack at 0700A. 2 out of 3enemy tanks seen E of the Div Sector were destroyed by fighter bombers. 15 PW`s were taken during the period. Total captured by the 8th Inf Div in this sector:252. Total captured since 5 July 44 ---- 15,538. ENEMY CAPABILITIES: The enemy is capable of bringing upon the town of HRTGEN the same intense arty fire heretofore brought upon the town of VOSSENACK.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 15 GSW, 30 HE, 7 Land Mines, 1 Booby Trap, 6Misc. Total: 59. 8 NP Cases. 27 Duty. 85 Trf. 1 Died, 1 O [Officer], 9 EMKIA
28th NOVEMBER 1944: Climaxing a week of furious battling, our two regiments completed the mopping up the hotly disputed town of HRTGEN. Later they repulsed a large-scale counter-attack, reporting considerable slaughter of the Germans. Others of our units reached the road linking KLEINHAU and BRANDENBERG, making an advance of some importance in this campaign where control of the road net is so vital. 220 prisoners were taken from the HRTGEN clean-up, making 472 during operations in Germany, or 15,748 since entering combat. In the HRTGEN area, the enemy defended strongly in the town from cellars and ruins with s/a [semi-automatic]and MG [machine gun] fire until the last resistance was moped up at 1800 hrs. AIRCRAFT: 4- ME109`s strafed our positions on the central front; of these out AA reported one destroyed and two damaged.
Colonel [J. Augustus] Crisler, [Jr.], Surgical Consultant with the Fir US Army`s Surgeon`s office called on Colonel Daniels at 1500 hrs today and discussed the trench foot situation. He gave several questions about which he desires answers based on research of the surgeons of the forward organizations.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 27 GSW, 45 HE, 4 Land Mines, 1 Bomb, 6 Misc. Total:83. 9 NP Cases. 28 Duty. 108 TRF. 0 Died, 2 EM KIA
29 November 1944: Armored elements attached to our division moved to KLEINHAU and occupied that town. Our infantry then advanced northeast through the captured town and occupied the high ground on both sides of the KLEINHAU -BRANDENBERG road. Other of our units are pushing eastward along a line running directly south of HRTGEN, attempting to reach the southern flank of the forces occupying this ridge.
The town of HRTGEN and KLEINHAU and the road just NE of HRTGEN were subjected to heavy arty and mortar fire by the Germans. Despite this, however, division troops have succeeded in reaching the town of GROSSHAU in a drive in the north sector.
193 enemy were captured today, bringing, our total for opns in Germany to 675or 15, 941 since entering combat.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 17 GSW, 45 HE, 8 Land Min, 1 bomb, 4 Misc. Total: 75.9 NP Cases. 23 Duty. 112 TRF. 0 Died. 1 Off 16 EM KIA.
30 November 1944: 8th Inf Div (+ CCR 5th Armd Div and 2nd Ranger Bn).CCR attacked at 0700A to secure KLEINHAU and high ground NE of the town. KLEINHAU was taken by 1030A and Hill 405 NE of the town was secured by 1400A.The 3rd Bn, 28 Inf, and the 3rd Bn, 121st Inf, attacked east and gained over 1000 yards. 35 PW`s a were processed during the day, making a total of 15,976 since arriving on continent.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 10 GSW, 63 HE, 2 Land Mines, 1 Booby Trap,1 Bomb, 3Misc; Total: 50. 11 NP Cases. 20 Duty. 86 TRf. 0 Died . 5 EM KIA.
1 December 1944: The 3rd Bn, 121st Inf, continued the attack at 0700A and advanced approximately 200 yds to their objective. To further clarity this attack, the divisional elements launched and attack to the SE with the town of BRANDENBERG as objective. The plan was to secure strategic ground and clear the KLEINHAU - BRANDENBERG road, at which time, at division call, Combat Command R would move into BRANDENBERG. A small garrison was designated to protect the town of KLEINHAU. Elements of the 13th and 121st Inf jumped off and attacked eastward to clear the KLEINHAU - BRANDENBERG road. The enemy infantry SE of KLEINHAU was taken by surprise and resistance was scant. In the remainder of the Div attacking zone the resistance prevented much advancement by our troops except where the 3rd Bn, 28th Inf advanced to its objective but only after extreme hard fighting. Strong-points built around timber-bunkers and protected by wire entanglements were employed in the defenses. The principal strongpoints were SE of HRTGEN in the draw and in the woods, at the E end of VOSSENACK in the buildings, and in 2 bunkers, and SE of VOSSENACK in a bunker protected by wire. 175 PW`s were taken in the day`s activities.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 23 GSW, 103 HE, 1 Land Mines, 18 Misc. Tota1 145. 28NP Cases. 33 Duty. 246 TRF. 0 Died. 0 EM KIA
2 December 1944: The enemy continued to defend his holdings in the Div sector. Elements of the 121 and 28 Inf pushed slowly toward their objectives. Resistance was particularly heavy in the area NE of BRANDENBERG. CCR moved from assembly in the Vicinity of KLEINHAU toward BRANDENBERG but was stopped 2000yards from its objective by dense minefields. Just to the north of the div area, the enemy counter-attacked with a Parachute Battalion. They gained some ground but after intense fighting the 22nd Inf repulsed the effort. 52 PW`s were captured.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 47 GSW, 108 HE, 3 Land Mines, 0 Bomb, 0 Burns, 12Misc. Total 170. 23 NP Cases. 40 Duty. 207 TRF. 0 DOW, 29 EM KIA
3 December 1944: Resistance to our advance continued strong with the enemy small arms, mortar, and artillery fire continued heavy throughout the period. One counterattack was repulsed by "L" Co, 28th Inf in which the enemy suffered heavy losses. Approximately 30 ME-109`s strafed both forward and rear areas in the Div sector. AAA claimed 8 destroyed and 10 probably destroyed. The area occupied by this office was among the strafed, and although the planes circled several times, very little was accomplished. Today`s action resulted in 273 PW`s captured making a total of 16,476 since entering combat.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 16 GSW, 78 HE, 2 Land Mines, 2 Bomb, 1 Misc, Total113. 11 NP Cases. 26 Duty. 145 TRF. 1 DOW. 3 EM KIA.
4 December 1944: The enemy successfully resisted any advance E and SE of VOSSENACK; in the areas immediately N and S of BRANDENBERG, resistance was light to moderate. E of HRTGEN and S of KLEINHAU there was no appreciable resistance. Mortar fire had been falling almost unceasingly on front line troops in the VOSSENACK area. 41 PW`s were processed during the period.
The unfavorable weather continues, and our troops are suffering moderately from the effects of cold and moisture, particularly with regards to poor circulation in static positions. Moderate numbers of trench foot continues despite measures taken to combat the threat.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 11 GSW, 37 HE, 3 Land Mines, 0 Burn, 5 Misc. Total :56. 21 NP Cases, 31 Duty. 94 TRF. 1 DOW, 5 KIA
5 December 1944: The enemy continued to defend. Only two patrols(enemy) operated in the Div Sector. The enemy defenses in the BERGSTEIN sector seems to have been surprised by the attack of CCR this afternoon; in that area, ground resistance was light, arty and mortars, intense. In the area C of VOSSENACK, the inf, mortar, and arty defensive continued to be strong and heavy. The advances of the Div NE and SW of BRANDENBERG were opposed principally by isolated MG`s. 3 enemy aircraft operated over forward elements this PM. One report, unconfirmed, reports one shot down. 65 PW`s were taken as a result of today`s action. Minimum temperature today was 30 Degrees F. PW`s morale was raise considerably when they saw their own aircraft after a prolonged absence. The 121 Inf reports that the area now occupied by its troops Is "practically littered" with enemy dead; in some instances the bodies appear to have been dead at least 30 days.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 11 GSW, 35 HE, 1 Land Mines, 1 Misc, Total 59 11 NP Cases. 18 Duty, 102 TRF. 1 O 14 EM KIA, 1 Died
6 December 1944: GRO [Graves Registration Officer] report received reveals that 2nd Lt Thomas J. McDonald, MAC, 13th Inf, has been killed inaction. This is our first medical department officer killed, and the report indicated that he was killed on 21 November 1944.
Medical units of the line are in acute need of medical replacements. Casualties and losses to the medical department has been felt most severely at this time than, perhaps, at any other time since our entry into combat. Borrowed litter teams from Corps has alleviated the situation to some extent, but it will require replacements in numbers to bring us back to strength.
The enemy staged 3 definite counter-attacks on the town of BERGSTEIN during the period. The attacks were supported by intense arty fire and by the firepower of tanks and SP guns. The attacks gained no ground except a few 200 yds in the Sedge of the town. Arty fire on BERGSTEIN was unrelenting throughout the period. Arty fire in the [remainder] of the sector was moderate to light. The enemy continued to defend stubbornly SE of VOSSENACK. 1 PW was taken in the action of the day.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 27 GSW, 51 HE, 1 Burn, 5 , Misc, Total 84. 8 NP Cases.24 Duty. 128 TRF. 0 Died, 1 O 4 EM KIA
7 December 1944: The enemy continued to defend against all attacks upon his positions W of the KALL River, SE of VOSSNACK. The enemy was surprised and put up but scant resistance to the taking of our objectives in the BERGSTEIN[area] early during the day. Arty and mortar fire were both intense in the BERGSTEIN area throughout the period. Two counter-attacks were delivered at dusk against Hill 400; they were repulsed. 45 PW`s were processed during the day.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 8 GSW, 37 HE, 6 Land Mines, 7 Misc, Total 58. 12 NP Cases, 19 Duty, 105 TRF. 0 Died. 1 O 16 EM KIA
8 December 1944: 42 Medical replacements were received today, which considerably eases the strain placed a our medical units. We are still approximately 35 short of full strength but careful use of the available manpower, as directed by the Division Surgeon, this group of replacements is of material value towards filling our numberical [numerical] strength. The calibre of the men was not as good as we should receive. The majority of the men were in Class IV and V, as tested by the AGCT, and this acts to strengthen the Division Surgeon`s sentiments about the replacement training and selection for combat divisions.
Two enemy counter-attacks in the BERGSTEIN area during the early morning were repulsed with fairly heavy losses to the enemy. The first attack came from the NE at 0700 and the second, from the SE at 0900, and were preceded by heavy arty and mortar preparations. A similar attack was tried again by the enemy at 1700,bu this, also, was repulsed with losses to the enemy. The size of the enemy force involved could not be determined, but in each cases was probably a Co. 21PW`s were captured during the day.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 13 GSW, 38 HE, 3 Land Mines, 1 Misc. Total 55. 5 NP Cases, 11 Duty. 94 TRF. 0 Died. 16 EM KIA
9 December 1944: The enemy continued to defend in the Div Sector. In the KLEINHAU-BRANDENBERG area, 5 patrols operated. In the VOSSENACK sector our attack was stubbornly resisted. 2 PW`s explained the bitterness of this defense by stating that German officers consider this a break-through point should we seek to take SCHMIDT by the use of Panzers. In the ebb- and flow of the woods fighting in that area today, the enemy lost some ground, part of which they recovered about 1700. 35 PW`s were taken today. Min temperature for tomorrow is estimated at 28 degrees F.
In total, 68 cases of true trench foot were diagnosed in the Div for the past week (2 Dec through 8 Dec). 1 case of frost-bite was trfd, and 145 cases of battle fatigue and mixed NP disorders were trfd rear of the Div control. 49cases of battle fatigue admitted to the clearing station were turned to duty for the same period. 76 cases of upper respiratory disease were diagnosed, all butof 8 of which were trfd rear of the div clr sta.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 15 GSW, 47 HE, 6 Misc, Total 68. 11 NP Cases. 32Duty. 98 TRF. 0 Died. 13 EM, KIA.
10 December 1944: 21 medical replacements were received today; 19of whom were litter bearers, and 2 medical technicians. The calibre of these personnel was mainly in Class IV, from the standpoint of the AGCT, and their records revealed that they had very little experience. Never-the-less, this alleviates considerably the medical department personnel shortage which has been so pressing.
The enemy continued to defend stubbornly against all attacks upon his positions W of the KALL River, SE of VOSSENACK. At 1350, the enemy`s attempt to regain ground lost earlier in day in the SE VOSSENACK sector was unsuccessful. In the BERGSTEIN and SE VOSSENACK sector, arty and mortar fire was heavy (2500rds - 65% mortar). 2 ME-109` s strafed our southern sector at 1410. Our AA reported scoring hits on one of the planes. At 1715 two unidentified planes dropped bombs on 2nd Bn, 13th Inf. 51 PW`s were processed during the period.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 6 GSW, 44 HE, 1 Bomb, 12 Misc. Total 65. 19 NP Cases.17 Duty. 103 TRF. 0 Died. l EM KIA
11 December 1944: The enemy`s resistance was stiff in the capturing of the strongpoint by the 13th Inf. An attempt by the enemy tore-occupy this strongpoint at 1430 was repelled with further losses to the enemy. Arty and mortar fire was heavy in the BERGSTEIN, SE VOSSENACK and KLEINHAU areas. (In excess of 3,000 rds). 5 PW`s were processed.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 7 GSW, 44 HE, 1 Land Mines; 1 Bomb, 7 Misc. Total 60.7 NP Cases. 25 Duty. 116 TRF. 1 Died. 2 EM KIA.
12 December 1944: The enemy continued to defend. Arty fire was generally light and fell mostly on front line troops. Ground action was limited to a small patrol and a larger patrol of at least platoon size which sought to use infiltration tactics N of BERGSTEIN. 20 PW`s were captured making a total since entering combat of 16, 809. No peculiar med problems.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 13 GSW, 24 HE, 6 Land Mines, 2 Bomb, 5 Misc. Total50. 8 NP Cases. 23 Duty. 80 TRF. 0 Died. 16 EM KIA.
13 December 1944: On the 8th Div Front, the enemy was driven back slightly in the area south of VOSSENACK, giving stiff resistance. Our forces apparently set off a trip wire that caused enemy flares to go off, and considerable amount of mortar fire resulted.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 4 GSW, 17 HE, 1 Land Mines, 3 Misc. Total 25. 9 NP Cases. 11 Duty. 72 TRF. 0 Died. 2 O 2 EM KIA.
14 December 1944: A strong enemy combat patrol operated E of VOSSENACK during the period. There was no other offensive ground action [by] the enemy; he continued to occupy his defensive positions. Arty fire continued moderate, on about the same scale as that of preceding period. 11 PW`s were captured.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 3 GSW, 19 HE, 1 Bomb, 3 Burns, 3 Misc. Total 29. 7 NB Cases. 29 Duty, 102 TRF. 0 Died. 4 EM KIA.
15 December 1944: The enemy continued to occupy and improve his positions and to build up his order of battle opposite the Div sector. The one bit of offensive action by the Div; namely, the attack of K Co, 311th Inf [78thInfantry Division] was a surprise to the enemy and consequently, met inadequate resistance. The arty was lighter than yesterday. 2450 rds fell in the sector. 20PW`s were captured.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 5 GSW, 21 HE, 8 Misc. Total 34. 5 NP Cases 10 Duty.115 TRY. 3 Died. 14 EM KIA.
16 December 1944: Two unidentified craft were over the Div sector at early light. 10 enemy fighters strafed VOSSENACK and reconnoitered deep inthe Div sector shortly before noon; They began dropping flares, particularly, in the SIMONSKALL - VOSSENACK area, shortly after dark.
The enemy continued to defend in the Div Sector. Enemy combat and rcn patrols in the area S and E of VOSSENACK increased. 3 PW`s were captured. NOTE: HIGHERHQS advises, "It is considered likely that the enemy may use Para-troops in the near future. All units will be alert to this possible enemy action, particularly in rear areas."
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 1 GSW, 17 HE, 1 Land Mines, 2 Bomb, 4 Misc. Total 25.6 NP Cases. 6 Duty. 121 TRF. 0 Died. 1 O 17 EM KIA
17 December 1944: Enemy continued in the defense of his positions within the Div sector. The dropping of flares late during the preceding period has continued during darkness of the current period. At about 0200A, enemy troop transports began flying over the Div sector carrying paratroopers which were dropped in adjacent areas. At noon, there was one strafing attack by an ME-109. Later, bombs were dropped in BRANDENBERG - VOSSENACK area. 24 PW`s were processed during the period. The presence of paratroopers in the Div rear areas gives the enemy the capability of conducting extensive harassing operations
against our rear establishments and lines of communication and supply. All paratroopers that have been captured have been in uniform and have NOT carried demolitions. Some of them stated that the purpose of the attack was to draw Allied Troops southward from the AACHEN sector. There were 40 planes (over the cons area) and the total number of troops involved is estimated at between 400and 800. Some of the paratroopers stated that additional paratroopers were to have been dropped at 1700 hrs today.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 2 GSW, 9 HE,; 1 Land Mines, 5 Misc, Total15. 7 NP Cases. 12 Duty, 83 TRF. 0 Died. 0 KIA
18 December 1944: A bomb was dropped vic of KLEINHAU at 0110. 16 fighter planes strafed 121st Inf sector at 1100 hrs. Enemy ran and other type planes were over the Div sector, particularly in the morning. After dark, enemy air activity again increased; there were many flares dropped. Ground action was limited to holding by the enemy. There was no offensive action. Approximately 1500 rds of arty fell in the Div sector. 3 PW`s taken.
DENTAL SUMMARY: Note General Remarks of October and November Reports No. 57concerning reorganization of the Division Dental Service. While the Field Dental Clinics No. 1 and 2 were set up in the vicinity of Roetgen, Germany, with the Clearing Station. It was impossible to follow the original plans of our operative dental service. It was planned to give priority of treatment to troops of the reserve combat team. While fighting this area, all combat teams have been on the line, and it was impossible to draw patients from them due to the lack of roads and the time involved in the delay accompanying the use of these roads. It was necessary to examine all the service troops in the rear areas to keep the clinic partially operating.
It is the policy of these clinics to put a patient in Class IV in one sitting if scientifically permissible. Due to the lack of supplies, the operations of the Prosthetic Section has been curtailed, and at this time has ended. Check all Dental Reports (General Remarks) for possible material for annual report.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 4 GSW, 17 HE, 2 Land Mines, 1 Bomb, 9 Misc. Total 33.4 NP Cases. 10 Duty, 84 TRF. 0 Died. 2O 8 EM KIA
19 December 1944: The enemy continued to occupy his defensive position within the Div Sector. Patrolling was light. There was a marked decrease in arty (1100 rds fell in the Div Sector). In the BERGSTEIN area, the enemy moved his entrenchments forward under cover of smoke. 5 PW`s were taken.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 8 HE, 2 Land Mines, 1 Misc. Total 11. 2 NP Cases. 18Duty 51 TRF. 0 Died. 2 EM KIA.
20 December 1944: Early during the period the enemy replaced all or part of that portion of the 6th Para Regt in the OBERMAUBACH - BOCHEIM area. He continued to occupy his defensive positions in the Div Sector. Arty increased (3500 rds). Ground activity was limited to two patrols. 5 ME-109`s bombed and strafed forward elements of the div during the late morning. A 13th Inf patrol was challenged in English by a German ambush patrol. After remaining quiet a few minutes, the 13th Inf patrol leader opened fire with a Tommy gun with probable good results. 5 PW`s were processed.
A discussion of our present place in the new counter attack by the new thrusts of Field-Marshal von Rundstedt is worthy of mention. The Germans thrust into Luxembourg and Belgium over a 60 mile front with strong aerial support and freshly equipped troops, aided with SS paratroopers dropped in the rear of our lines to disrupt communication. Our office, located in Roetgen, Germany is in between the two attacking forces nearest our sector, and it generally conceded that we are in a "hot-spot" of activity, which may become the focal point of arty and paratroop action.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 3 GSW, 11 HE, 3 Land Mines, 1 Bomb, 4 Misc. Total 22.7 NP Cases. 13 Duty. 55 TRF. 0 Died. 0 KIA
21 December 1944: The period represented one of the quietest days since arrival of the Div in this sector. The enemy continued to occupy his positions opposite the Div. Patrolling, in the area SE of KLEINHAU was markedly increased. Arty was light. (668 rds). PW`s taken: 9. Tonight we were alerted to a possible parachute attack since the enemy counter-attacked in the 78th Div sector. Our position in this town, while far from perilous, is one to be taken note of.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 3 GSW, 5 HE, 3 Land Mine, 1 Bomb, Total 12. 4 NP Cases. 8 Duty. 51 TRF. 0 Died. 2 O 19 EM KIA
22 December 1944: The enemy defended the OBERMAUBACH; he continued to occupy his positions in the remainder of the Div sector. Arty was light (950rds). During the latter part of the morning and early afternoon, enemy foot elements were more numerous than usual in and about the SCHMIDT- KOMMERSCHEID Tarea; however, no trends could be recognized. 10 PW`s taken. 16 medical replacements of generally good calibre were received today.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: l GSW, 20 HE, 2 Bomb, 3 Misc, Total 26. 4 NP Cases. 23 Duty. 71 TRF. 0 Died. 4 EM KIA.
23 December 1944: There were no significant changes in our frontlines today. The enemy continued his defensive tactics, improving his defensive positions and reorganizing his heterogeneous forces. The Germans successfully resisted all attacks by our forces on OBERMAUBACH, a town NE Bergstein. One ME109 and one FW-190 were destroyed within sight of this office. 14 more PW`s taken.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 22 GSW, 55 HE, 4 Land Mines, 1 Bomb, 7 Misc, Total87. 0 NP Cases. 18 Duty. 98 TRF. 0 Died. 10 EM KIA
24 December 1944: A strong enemy pocket was reduced by the 28th Inf. Otherwise, no change except that arty increased (3000 rds). Christmas eve was not a day of jubilation for our forces, but just a night of continued aggressiveness and feeling of alertness with a view toward erasing the enemy from the position of military might. 25 PW`s were taken:
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 8 GSW, 52 HE, 2 Land Mines, 1 Booby Trap, 9 Misc, Total 72 4 NP Cases. 15 Duty. 84 TRF. 0 Died. 10 EM KIA
25 December 1944: The enemy continued to defend the town of OBERMAUBACH and the dam and bridge behind it. Increased Arty in the OBERMAUBACH area (1740 rds). 15 PW`s taken. Christmas day was passed as an average day of combat with our air corps taking advantage of the brilliant skies to pound the enemy`s lines, and smash their supplies.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 18 GSW, 34 HE, 5 Land Mines,1 Bomb, 5 Misc Total 63.4 NP Cases. 9 Duty. 81 TRF. 0 Died. 7 EM KIA
26 December 1944: The 1st Bn, 121st Inf with A Co, 13th Inf and elements of Cos B and D of 709th Tk Bn attached, captured the town of OBERMANBACH during the period.. The movement on the town was from the NW. Up until the center of the town was reached, there was no s/a resistance. However, the mortar and arty fire which came from the E across the ROER River was intense throughout the movement, to and in the town. Approx 80 PW`s were taken in the town; these had been withdrawn to the centre of the town and had been ordered to hold at all costs. Despite the order, they accepted our credentials and immediately began surrendering after token resistance. The road leading to the town from the NW was de-mined to give us free access. This minefield was on a fill in the road; elements of the 12th Engr C Bn [Engineer Combat Battalion] which removed it stated that the fill was the width of the road and was of great length and that the mines were laid only a foot and a half apart. Elements of the 2nd Bn, 121st Inf with C Co, 13th Inf attached, moved against the enemy positions SW of OBERMAUBACH; there the enemy was in well sited, well built, well-defended log bunkers; little ground was gained against them.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 2 GSW, 24 HE, 4 Land Mines, 6 Bomb, 1 Misc. Total 37.7 NP Cases. 11 Duty. 80 TRF. 2 Died. 2 O 17 EM KIA
27 December 1944: The enemy`s strongpoint continued to delay the 2nd Bn, 121st Inf in their advance to the River ROER in the OBERM AUBACH area. From well entrenched positions and supported by fires from 4 MG`s, arty and mortars, his resistance has been stiff. Late in the day, 84 to 100 foot troops attempted to cross the ROER River via a causeway. The enemy as repulsed by well directed fires from all weapons brought to bear upon (them, by the 113th Cav Rcn Sq. The enemy employed no armor. 1500 rds of arty and mortar fire fell in the OBERMANBACH area. Approximately 24 enemy planes over Div zone during the day. AAA AW Bn claimed 3 destroyed, and 2 probables. One ME-109 was reported shot down by the 8th QM Co. 12 PW`s captured.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 1 GSW, 48 HE, 3 Land Mines, 1 Booby Trap, 2 Bomb, 1Burn, 4 Misc. Total 60. 2 NP Cases. 13 Duty. 75 TRF. 0 Died. 1 EM KIA
28 December 1944: The enemy continued to occupy his defensive positions. Only one enemy patrol was rptd. In the OBERMAUBACH sector, the enemy strongpoint was relinquished as our forces closed in and the few remaining die-hards were attempting to escape south along the banks of the River ROER. These few armed with 2 MG`s and s/as were being engaged by "F" Co,
13th Inf at the close of the day. Temperature is about freezing, and the roads are becoming firm with some dust activated by the trucks now instead of splashes of mud. Today the Rear Echelon moved to ZWEIFALL, about 5 miles from ROETGEN, the former location. Billets in buildings is universal, and adequate office apace is available.
With the increased firmness of terrain due to the freezing of roads and other areas, evacuation is becoming considerably less strained. From the health point of view, although cases of frostbite are anticipated, trench foot will become almost a has-been for the duration of the freeze. No unusual diseases have been encountered.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 3 GSW, 10 HE, 15 Land Mines, 1 Bomb, 7 Misc. Total34. 2 NP Cases. 25 Duty. 49 TRF. 0 Died. 0 KIA
29 December 1944: The last enemy strongpoint on the W [bank] of the ROER River between OBERMAUBACH and BERGSTEIN was cleared this afternoon by "F" Co, 13th Infantry. Approx 100 rds of mixed mortar and arty fell in the div sector. A 4-man enemy patrol crossed the River ROER on back of other men vic bridge at WINDEN. Shortly after reaching the west bank, they encountered members of the 113th Cav Gp resulting in 3 being captured and 1 killed. 3 PW`s captured during the period. Counter-intelligence reports that a number of germans are operating in our rear with complete American uniforms and SHAEF identity cards. One is posing as a Brigadier General.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 2 GSW, 12 HE, 2 Land Mines, 1 Booty Trap, 2 Misc Total 19. 2 NP Cases. 24 Duty. 41 TRF. 3 Died. 4 EM KIA
30 December 1944: No change today except for decrease in arty (550 rds).2 PW`s were captured. Temperature remains low.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 19 HE, 13 Land Mines, 4 Misc. Total 36. 3 NP Cases.21 Duty. 42 TRF. 1 Died. 2 O 52 EM KIA.
31 December 1944: Increase in enemy arty (1000 rds). Hostile aircraft dropped 6 butterfly bombs at 0640A. One of these planes, believe to bean ME-109, crashed. The pilot bailed out and was last seen out of reach of our OP fire. At close of the day a number of unidentified aircraft were over the division sector.
CASUALTIES FOR THE DAY: 1 GSW, 8 HE, 1 Land Mines, 3 Misc. Total 13. 1 NP Cases. 8 Duty. 36 TRF. 0 Died. 1 O 5 EM KIA
SOURCE: National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 407,Records of the U.S. Army Adjutant General`s Office, World War II Unit records, Box 7211, 8th Infantry Division, Division Surgeon`s Diary, 1943-1945.