Illustration

1945
17 Jan – Heffingen – Luxembourg
22 Jan – Fels – Luxembourg
28 Jan – Trione – Luxembourg
28 Jan – Durler – Liege – Belgium
2 Feb – Lommersweiler – Liege – Belgium
4 Feb – Amelscheid – Liege – Belgium
7 Feb – Bleialf – Rhineland – Germany
4 Mar – Prum – Rhineland – Germany
6 Mar – Schwirzheim – Rhineland – Germany
13 Mar – Gerbevillers – Moselle – France
20 Mar – Batzendorf – Bas-Rhin – France
26 Mar – Mussbach – Wurttemberg – Germany
30 Mar – Heppenheim – Hessen – Germany
30 Mar – Beerfelden – Hessen – Germany
1 Apr – Walldurn – Baden – Germany
2 Apr – Tauberbischofsheim – Baden – Germany
3 Apr – Kirchheim – Bavaria – Germany
13 Apr – Rottingen – Wurttemberg – Germany
15 Apr – Creglingen – Wurttemberg – Germany
18 Apr – Rothenburg – Bavaria – Germany
20 Apr – Wettringen – Bavaria – Germany
21 Apr – Maria Kappel – Bavaria – Germany
22 Apr – Jagstzell – Bavaria – Germany
23 Apr – Huttlingen – Wurttemberg – Germany
24 Apr – Ober Kochen – Wurttemberg – Germany
25 Apr – Heidenheim – Wurttemberg – Germany
26 Apr – Aisingen – Bavaria – Germany
27 Apr – Horgau – Bavaria – Germany
28 Apr – Gross Aitingen – Bavaria – Germany
29 Apr – Egling – Bavaria – Germany
30 Apr – Ober Pfaffenhofen – Bavaria – Germany
1 May – Wolfratshausen – Bavaria – Germany
6 May – Amberg – Bavaria – Germany

Jan 21, 1945. Moestroff is liberated for the second time. The men seen here advancing through the Rue de la Gare are American soldiers from George Co, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. The man in the middle is Sgt Arnold Erbstoesser, an American with German roots who served as an interpreter and translator for his unit

Combat Narrative

4-ID90-IDThe 4th Infantry Division, reinforced by the 359/90th ID, assaulted Utah Beach, France, with the 8-IR leading against light resistance on June 6, 1944. The 8-IR reviewed the isolated 82-A/B at Ste Mère-Eglise and countered several German attacks on June 7. The following day, the division began its drive on the Cotentin Peninsula toward Cherbourg, and the 22-IR took Fort Azeville on June 9, with naval gun support. 82-AB101-A/BThe Division reached Cherbourg‘s main defenses by June 21 and on June 22, began its assault with the 12-IR augmented by tank support. On June 25, it breached the fortress city and garrisoned it until relieved at the end of the month by the 101-A/B. The division then went south to participate in the general offensive in France.

On July 6, it attacked Périers and participated in Operation Cobra breakout on July 25. The division sped south and took St Pois after a furious battle on August 5, countered German attacks at Avranches, and committed the 22-IR in the Le Teilleu area. The division entered Paris with French army units on August 25.

Ernest Hemingway and Col Charles T. Buck Lanham with captured artillery in Schweiler, Germany, Sept 18, 1944

5-ADOn September 1, riding on tanks of the 5-AD’s CCA, the division pushed to Chauny and assembled near Mézières, moving forward from the Meuse River on September 6. On September 14, it penetrated the West Wall in the Schnee Eifel, but the 12-IR was stopped after small gains over the next few days despite costly attacks. The 8-IR and 22-IR also failed to take Brandscheid and the offensive halted on September 17, in the face of German counter-attacks. Making slow progress through 28-IDOctober, the division moved into the Zweitfall area and relieved the 28-ID on November 6. Fighting in the Huertgen Forest, the 12-IR was subjected to a strong German counter-attack on November 10, which cut off regimental elements until November 15. The 8-IR and 22-IR had a gap wedged between them in forest fighting which stopped the offensive on November 19. During five costly days of combat in the Huertgen Forest, the division had only gained 1 1/2 miles. Attacks were renewed on November 22, and the 12-IR finally closed the gap on November 28.

81-MM Mortar crew of the 22-IR firing in support of the rifle companies holding off a German counter-attack in Grosshau on Dec 1, 1944

83-IDAfter severe fighting, the 22-IR took Grosshau by frontal assault the following day. The 8-IR reached the edge of Huertgen Forest on November 30, but failed in further advances, and on December 3, the division was relieved by the 83-ID and moved to Luxembourg. While in Luxembourg the division was subjected to the fury of the German Ardennes counter-offensive on December 16. Despite heavy losses and the loss of several isolated components, it managed to hold its lines at Dickweiler and Osweiler. Reinforced by tanks, the 12-IR made several unsuccessful efforts to rescue trapped elements near Echternach. On December 22, the division renewed attacks there which finally took the town on December 27.

87-IDOn January 17, 1945, the 87-ID took over the division’s zone along the Sauer River from Echternach to Wasserbillig, releasing the division to seize the heights overlooking the Our River and cross the river at Bettendorf on January 22. It resumed the offensive on January 29 and advanced into Germany on February 1, breaching the defenses of the West Wall along the Schnee Eifel near Brandscheid on February 4. On February 9, the division crossed the Pruem River with the 8-IR and stormed the town itself on February 12. It then went onto the defensive on February 11, defending the river from Olzheim to Watzerath against counter-attacks.

11-AD12-ADOn February 28, the division crossed the river in force but the 12-IR was only able to make negligible gains. Gondelsheim was finally taken on March 4, and the division raced out of the Prüm bridgehead behind the 11-AD. The 8-IR reached the Honerath area by March 8, and on March 30, the division completed crossing the Rhine River, followed behind 12-AD, and was ferried across the Main River at Ochenfuhrt April 2. The 12-IR and 22-IR fought determined opposition up the wooded slopes in the Koenigshofen area, and the general offensive was resumed on April 10. The drive toward Rothenburg started a day later and against strong German defenses but the city was taken by the 12-IR on April 17, as the 8-IR reached Ansbach the same day.

101-AB3-AThe division then moved north toward the Danube River, and forward elements crossed it on April 25. The 8-IR established a bridgehead across the Lech River at Schwabstadt April 27, and by the end of the month, the 12-IR and 22-IR had reached the Isar River bridges at Miesbach. The division was relieved by the 101-A/B in that sector on May 2. On May 4, 1945, the 4th Infantry Divisions moved to Neumarkt for occupation duty under the 3-A.

A Squad of the 12-IR (4-ID) cleaning their weapons, grabbing some chow and resting until the next action. Prüm Germany, Feb 20, 1945

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