Communique Number 264 – 28 December 1944

Allied forces in Holland continued to encounter active patrolling by the enemy along the Meuse River north of Tilburg and north of Venlo. The enemy made a small local attack at Gebroek, three miles southeast of Maaseik. Our troops after a slight withdrawal counter-attacked and regained their original positions. The Monschau-Malmédy sector remains quiet, with both sides carrying out active patrolling. The enemy attacked at a number of places on the northern flank of his salient. Heavy fighting continues at Grandmenil and Manhay, and we repulsed strong German attacks two miles northwest of Lierneux and near Humain and Havrenne. Small groups of enemy tanks have been observed in the triangl Rochefort, Beauraing and St Hubert, but enemy armored patrols pushing from Rochefort towards Celles have been less active.

Those that have been encountered have been severely dealt with. In the area of St Hubert which is in enemy hands, we encountered mines, road blocks and blown bridges. Allied forces advancing from the south have made contact with units holding Bastogne, at a point about three miles south of the town. During the period of encirclement, the units in Bastogne inflicted severe damage on the enemy, and on the day before their relief, they repulsed two German attacks. In the first attack, made by an estimated two regiments of infantry and a large number of tanks, an estimated 27 enemy tanks were destroyed and 250 prisoners taken. A similar attack contained later, and in a third attack the enemy lost four out of five tanks taking part.

In the area southeast of Bastogne, we have cleared the enemy from Bonnal and Insenborn and have crossed the Sure River in three places near Bonnal. Eschdorf was cleared of the enemy after heavy fighting, and a strong enemy counter-attack with infantry was repulsed in the vicinity of Ringel. Northwest of Echternach, we have encircled Beaufort and are mopping up in Berdorf. Strong formations of fighters and fighter bombers operated in close support of our ground forces and attacked German armor, troops, gun positions and road and rail transport. Medium bombers attacked a railhead at Kall and railway bridges at Ahrweiler, and at Nonnweiler southeast of Trier. Light bombers went for objectives at La Roche and Houffalize. more than 600 heavy bombers with an escort of over 400 fighters attacked railway communications in western Germany. The targets included a railway junction at Gerolstein, 40 miles west of Koblenz and marshalling yards at Euskirchen, Andernach, Kaiserslautern, Homburg and at Fulda, 60 miles south of Kassel.

Some of the escorting fighters also strafed railway transport near Trier and east of Bonn. Fighter bombers attacked railway transport and communications over the area from Sankt Wendel southeast to Stuttgart and struck at road bridges at Colmar and Endingen and an ammunition dump at Freiburg. Road and rail transport in the Rheine area were targets for fighter bombers and rocket-firing fighters. Yesterday afternoon, escorted heavy bombers made a concentrated attack on the railway center at Rheydt. During the night, our intruder aircraft were over the battle front attacking railway and road transport. In day and night operations, according to preliminary reports, 90 enemy aircraft were destroyed in the air. Five heavy bombers and 23 fighters are missing. Ground action in the Wissembourg area near the Rhine River was limited to patrol clashes and artillery exchanges. North of Colmar we made local gains.

Communique Number 265 – 29 December 1944

Enemy patrols are still active across the Meuse River in Holland. Along the northern flank of the German salient in the Ardennes, enemy pressure between Stavelot and Hotton has decreased, and Manhay, Grandmenil, and Humain have been retaken after hard fighting. An enemy attack between Hotton and Marche was repulsed with heavy losses to the Germans. Farther west, an enemy force which had been surrounded was mopped up. More than 1000 prisoners and much equipment, including tanks and vehicles, were taken. Isolated enemy units are offering stubborn resistance in the area of St Hubert. Allied forces which made contact with our units in Bastogne have entered the town. To the southwest we have reached the outskirts of Sibret and to the south we have cleared Hompré and Salvacourt.

Heavy fighting is in progress in the woods north of Assenois. Our units continuing the advance along the southern flanks of the salient have taken Sainlez, Livarchamps, Surre, Boulaide, Baschleiden, Bavigne and Kaundorf. We have crossed the Sure River near Esch. Between Diekirch and Echternach, we continued to make gains south of the Sauer River. East of Echternach, our patrols have reached the Sauer River at three points, including Rosport. Unfavorable weather yesterday caused a stepping down of our air attack. Operations were directed mainly against rail targets. A small number of fighter bombers attacked road and rail transport in northern Holland and north of the Ruhr.

Heavy bombers, in great strength, with strong fighter escort, struck at railway targets between Köln and Saarbrücken including railway yards and bridges in the vicinity of Köln, Bonn, Koblenz, Neunkirchen and Kaiserslautern. Fighter bombers attacked rail and road transport and communications in the areas of Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart. Last night, heavy bombers attacked railway targets at Bonn and Mönchengladbach. Light bombers attacked communications in the La Roche area. Activity in the Wissembourg area was generally limited to patrolling. In the high ground west of Colmar, we improved our positions by occupying Le Gras, southeast of Lapoutroie.

Communique Number 266 – 30 December 1944

Allied forces have driven back an enemy attack launched with infantry near Gangelt, on the German-Dutch frontier, northwest of Geilenkirchen. The attack gained some initial success. Enemy losses were about 100 killed and wounded and we took 70 prisoners. In the Ardennes sailent, we have made some gains, especially along the southern flank and repulsed a number of enemy attacks. Near the northern hinge of the salient south of Monschau, the enemy formed up for an attack east of Elsenborn. This was broken up by our artillery before it reached our positions. On the northern flank of the salient, our forces made a successful raid on an enemy position north of Lierneux, disorganizing the enemy and killing 30 including the commanding officer. Enemy troops which attempted to infiltrate our lines west of Grandmenil, were mopped up and more than 100 prisoners were taken.

Farther southwest, we have advanced to the outskirts of Rochefort where stiff opposition is being met. Along the southern flank, in the St Hubert-Bastogne sector, we have entered Moircy, cleared Remagne, Magerotte, Morhet and Sibret and pushed northwards to the wooded area a mile beyond Sibret. The allied corridor leading into Bastogne has been strengthened against enemy resistance on both sides and we have made gains west and east of the Bastogne-Arlon road in the areas northeast of Assenois, east of Hompré, and around Villers-la-Bonne-Eau, where we have encountered moderate small arms and mortar and rocket fire. Farther east, we have pushed about a mile north of Bavigne and have encountered sporadic resistance along a line approximately two miles southwest and south of Wiltz. Near Ringel we repulsed a conter-attack by infantry supported by artillery and took a small number of prisoners.

On the southern hinge of the salient, our advance towards the Sauer River in the Rigelbach area was met initially by strong enemy resistance, but this became scattered. Eppeldorf was cleared, though the enemy holds high ground east and southeast of the town. A group of German tanks in the area of Bollendorf was dispersed by artillery fire. Our patrols have penetrated into Echternach. In the Saar Valley, enemy patrols were encountered by our troops in Fraulautern, east of Saarlautern. The enemy rail communication system north of and leading into the Ruhr was heavily attacked yesterday by fighter bombers which destroyed many locomotives and rail trucks. Other fighter bombers flew in an arc extending from the Belgian Ardennes Forest to the Saar and ranged as far east as Frankfurt, attacking motor transport, armor and gun positions in Belgium and Luxembourg and striking at rail and road transport targets in Germany.

Escorted heavy bombers in great strength attacked road and rail junctions, railheads, bridges and marshalling yards in western Germany, severing communications to the enemy units in the Ardennes salient. Targets included two marshalling yards at Koblenz and marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Bingen and Aschaffenburg. Medium bombers attacked the communications center of Annweiler, while fighter bombers attacked a storage dump at Achern and rail yards in the upper Rhine Valley. Enemy troops and guns on the Dutch island of Schouwen were attacked by fighter bombers, while rocket firing fighters struck at barges between Schouwen and the island of Overflakkee.

Escorted heavy bombers attacked the boat pens at Rotterdam. In the day’s operations 32 enemy aircraft were shot down; ten of our heavy bomers and 25 of our fighters are missing. Last night heavy bombers attacked the railway junction and yards at Troisdorf near Bonn, and the synthetic oil plant at Scholven-Buer in the Ruhr. East and west of Wissembourg, artillery exchanges and patrol clashes were the principal activity. North of Colmar enemy troops infiltrating Sigolsheim were mopped up. A German foray across the Rhine north of the Swiss border was broken up.

Communique Number 267 – 31 December 1944

The enemy has continued sending patrols across the Meuse River north of Tilburg. These withdrew when fired upon by allied forces. The northern flank of the Ardennes salient has been quiet. A small enemy pocket west of Grandmenil is surrounded and is being mopped up. At Rochefort, our troops still are meeting strong opposition and enemy artillery and mortar fire is heavy. On the southern flank of the salient we have reached the vicinity of Lavaselle and Chenogne and we are near Senonchamps, two and one-half miles west of Bastogne. The enemy is strongly dug in along the line St Hubert, Moircy, Remagne and Lavaselle where he is supported by tanks and self propelled guns.

Continued strong enemy resistance is being met by our forces widening the corridor into Bastogne. The Arlon-Bastogne road was cleared and we have taken Remoifosse, Marvie and Lutrebois. Our units have reached the southeastern edge of Harlange. The enemy in this area is taking advantage of high ground to fight a delaying action. We have made gains in the vicinity of Berlé, southwest of Wiltz, and we have cleared Nothum. A small scale enemy counter-attack made in the area one mile southwest of Wiltz was broken up by our artillery. In the Diekirch area, we have cleared the enemy from high ground just north of Ettelbrück. Most of the right bank of the Sauer River between Diekirch and Echternach is now in our hands with the exception of a short stretch northwest of Bigelbach.

There has been only patrol activity and sporadic enemy artillery fire in the Saar Valley. Yesterday, heavy bombers in very great strength, with a strong escort of fighters, attacked a number of bridges and marshalling yards in western Germany, including those at Kaiserslautern, Mannheim, and Kassel. Weather prevented the full employment of our medium and fighter bombers. In attacks by fighter bombers 32 tanks were knocked out and others were damaged, mostly in the Bastogne area. Enemy road transport also was hit. Fighter bombers struck at railway stock and communications between Bonn and Kaiserslautern and farther south in the areas of Homburg, Landau, Karlsruhe and Colmar. Medium bombers hit supply stores, fuel dumps and barracks at Oos, four miles south of Rastatt, and a marshalling yard at Freiburg. Five enemy aircraft were shot down during the day. From all air operations, eight heavy bombers and eight fighters are missing. Active patrolling and artillery exchanges continued in the Wissembourg sector. Several towns in the Alsace Plain were shelled by the enemy.

End of the Communiques for the year 1944

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