Document Source: Supreme Allied Headquarters Archival Document, Original Communiques of the Supreme Commander, European Theater of Operations

Communique Number 268 – 01 January 1945

The northern flank of the Ardennes salient has been quiet. Allied troops have occupied Rochefort after heavy fighting in the area. On the southern flank of the salient, west of Bastogne, allied armor and infantry have launched an attack to the northeast. Several enemy counter-attacks by tanks and infantry near Chenogne and another north of Lutrebois have been repulsed. In the engagement at Lutrebois our forces destroyed 18 enemy tanks. Enemy artillery in this area has been more active. South of Wiltz, we made gains against heavy enemy resistance. In the area south of the Sauer River between Diekirch and Echternach, we have occupied Reisdorf.

There is aggressive patrolling by our forces along the Moselle River and the Saar River. In the Saarlautern bridgehead, there has been increased enemy artillery fire. The main emphasis of our air attack yesterday was laid on the enemy’s communications and oil supplies. Fighter bombers attacked three railway bridges between ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Utrecht, and struck at road and rail transport in the Amersfoort area; to the southeast of Venlo, and over the German border northeastward to Dorsten and Coesfeld. Railway yards at Hamm also were attacked. near Amersfoort, vehicle repair sheds were bombed the railway yards at Vohwinkel were attacked by escorted heavy bombers in the afternoon.

Fighters shot down seven enemy aircraft in the Rheine-Münster area. In the ardennes salient, fighter bombers and a small number of medium and light bombers attacked enemy armor and motor vehicles and struck at his communications. Farther south, fighter bombers struck at rail transport and communications and bombed rail yards at Bad kreuznach, Kaiserslautern, Homburg, Pirmasens and Neustadt. Near Kaiserslautern, six enemy aircraft were shot down. More than 1300 heavy bombers escorted by 700 fighters, attacked oil refineries in the Hamburg-Harburg area, and at Moisburg]; submarine yards at Hamburg: a jet plane factory at Wenzendorf, two railway yards near Düsseldorf and junctions and detraining points between the Rhine River and the Ardennes salient.

In the course of these operations, 78 enemy aircraft were shot down. Targets in enemy occupied villages in the area north of the Meuse River, and gun positions west of Dülken were attacked by fighter bombers. According to reports so far received, 35 of our bombers and 19 of our fighters are missing. Last night, light bombers bombed Berlin and while heavy bombers attacked the railway yards at Osterfeld. During the night, five enemy aircraft were shot down by our fighters. Enemy counter-attacks north and west of Colmar were repulsed. Nearly 300 prisoners have been taken in this sector during the past two days.

Communique Number 269 – 02 January 1945

Allied artillery has dispersed enemy patrols which have again been active across the Meuse River in the area of Roermond. There has been increased enemy artillery fire in the area south of Düren. In the Ardennes Salient, allied forces along the southern flank have reached points less than two miles south of St Hubert. Progress has been made northeast of Moircy; we have entered Remagne and taken Hoûmont and Chenogne. Two enemy counter-attacks in the Bastogne sector were repulsed, one in the area of Champs, the other near Villers-La-Bonne-Eau. We are in the vicinity of Wardin, three miles southeast of Bastogne.

Stiff fighting is in progress near Nothum, southeast of Wiltz, following an enemy counter-attack. Enemy artillery was active in the vicinity of Rollingen just south of Wiltz. We have made small gains in the Saarlautern bridgehead. Yesterday morning, between 250 and 300 enemy aircraft, mainly single engined fighters strafed our aircraft on a number of airfields in Holland and Belgium. A few bombs were also dropped. Fighters and anti-aircraft guns engaged the enemy and 125 of the attacking force were shot down. In Holland, enemy troop quarters north of the Meuse River, barges east of Dordrecht, and two bridges near Utrecht were among the targets for our rocket-firing fighters.

Escorted heavy bombers in great strength attacked railway bridges and marshalling yards in the Koblenz area and an oil refinery at Dollbergen, east of Hanover, and other targets in north-central Germany. Heavy bombers operating with fighter cover again breached the Dortmund-Ems Kanal. Medium and light bombers attacked targets in the Ardennes salient including objectives at St Vith, La Roche and Dasburg, and fighter bombers struck at railway communications and armored vehicles south and west of Prüm. Other fighter bombers hit railway yards and focal points in the enemy’s supply and reinforcement routes in the areas of Trier, Kaiserslautern, Homburg and south to Haguenau. Light bombers attacked a number of railway tunnels on main lines leading to the salient.

Medium bombers struck at a railway bridge at Konz-Karthaus, southeast of Trier, a road and railway bridge over the Moselle River at Bullay, and barracks, storage dumps and workshops at Kaiserslautern. Thirty-five enemy aircraft were shot down in addition to the 125 destroyed in the airfield attacks. From all of our air operations during the day, according to incomplete reports, two medium bombers and 27 fighters are missing. Last night, heavy bombers were over Germany with a marshalling yard at Vohwinkel, and a benzol plant among the objectives. our intruder aircraft attacked enemy movement in the area of Zülpich, Mayen and Clervaux. Night fighters shot down five enemy aircraft.

From the area of Bitche to the Rhine River, the enemy ground forces were aggressive. One of a series of enemy attacks made a slight gain in the wooded area south of Bannstein. Other attacks, in the vicinity of Bitche and Dambach were repulsed. Enemy artillery harassed towns in the Alsace Plain. Hostile patrols were turned back at several points west and east of Mulhouse.

Communique Number 270 – 03 January 1945

Allied forces in the Ardennes salient have made some gains and repulsed a number of enemy counter-attacks. In the St Hubert-Bastogne sector of the southern flank, we have made progress in the areas of Bonnerue and Hubermont, against resistance varying from moderate to heavy. We have taken Gérimont and Mande. Fighting is in progress in Senonchamps. Northeast of Bastogne, we have reached a point on the railway three miles beyond the town. Mageret is in our hands and we are in the immediate vicinity of Michamps. Heavy fighting is going on in the areas of Neffe and Wardin. We have made some gains east and south of Lutrebois and are encountering heavy shelling in Honville.

In the Saar Valley enemy activity has increased. south east of Saarlautern, a small-scale infantry attack in the area of Bieslautern was repulsed and our units cleared the area northeast of Werbeln against strong resistance. Northeast of Saareguemines, near Neunkirchen, an infantry attack supported by one tank was contained. Between Habkirchen and Bliesbruck enemy attempts to cross the Blies River were repulsed. German units are in Bliesbruck but we have cleared the wooded area just south of the town across the river. Farther east, five companies of German infantry gained about 1000 meter from the area south of Obergailbach to a point just west of Rimlingen. Enemy attacks supported by tanks southeast of Bitsch, forced our units to give some ground initially but all the thrusts were either slowed down or halted.

Strong enemy pressure continued in the lower Vosges Mountains where hostile attacks were launched, and attempts to infiltrate were made at several points in an area about five miles north of Reipertsweiler. Farther east, patrolling was active and was particularly aggressive in the vicinity of Berg near the Rhine River. The enemy pocket west of the Rhine farther south was generally quiet. Our troops captured a strong point north of Kambs and held it against a counter-attack. In the Ardennes salient, fighter bombers attacked enemy armor in the Bastogne and St vith areas. Medium and fighter bombers struck at communications and transport in the salient including a rail junction at Gouvy. Other medium bombers bombed railway bridges at Simmern and Bad Münster.

More than 1000 heavy bombers escorted by 650 fighters attacked six rail bridges, mainly in the Koblenz area; communication centers including road and rail junctions and de-training points at Prüm, Bitburg, Kyllburg, Daun, and Mayen; railway yards at Gerolstein, Ehrang and Bad Kreuznach; tank and equipment concentrations northeast of Saarlautern, and other targets in western Germany. Fighters and fighter bombers attacked troop concentrations and defense positions in the Neunkirchen and Kaiserslautern areas, destroyed several tanks near Pirmasens, struck at rail and road transport and communications in the Homburg and Kaiserslautern areas.

Medium bombers attacked supply dumps and troop barracks at Nunschweiler, Thaleischweiler-Fröschen and Oos. In the course of these operations, 13 enemy aircraft were shot down. Eleven of our fighters and ten bombers are missing, according to reports so far received. A very strong force of heavy bombers last night attacked the industrial and railway center of Nürnberg and chemical works at Ludwigshafen. Berlin also was bombed.

Communique Number 271 – 04 January 1945

Active patrolling by allied forces and by the enemy continues in Holland. In the Ardennes salient, we counter-attacked yesterday morning in the Grandmenil area. Good progress is being made against stiff opposition. Gains were made to the south of Rochefort where some commanding ground and a village have been taken against strong enemy resistance. On the southern flank of the salient, our forces have gained ground about one mile south of Vesqueville and are fighting in the wooded area two and one-half miles east of St Hubert. We have made some gains northeast of Bonnerue and are meeting stubborn opposition on the high ground one and one-half miles southwest of Tillet.

In the Bastogne bulge, Senonchamps has been taken and we are fighting in the area of Longchamps, Bourcy and the Bois du Maister. Resistance has been stiff at Arloncourt and on the high ground southwest of Villers-La-Bonne-Eau. Heavy enemy artillery fire was directed against Lutrebois. Yesterday, escorted medium and light bombers struck at the communications center of Houffalize in the Ardennes salient, and last night, light bombers attacked targets at Houffalize and St Vith. Our forces in the Saar Valley have cleared the area two and one-half miles northwest of Völkingen. Strong resistance met our efforts to force the enemy back toward the Saar River in the Ludweiler area.

East of Saargemund, a small force of enemy, after several attempts crossed the Blies River just south of Habkirchen, but our artillery prevented him from making further gains. The enemy penetrated to Gros-Réderching, and there is fighting in the vicinity of Achen. In the wooded area south and southeast of Bitsch enemy pressure lessened somewhat. Three small-scale attacks were repulsed. Philippsburg was shelled by the enemy after his attack on the town failed. In the Alsace Plain north of Colmar, our troops repulsed an enemy attack and gained some ground in a counter-attack.

Enemy attempts to infiltrate the Lac Noir region of the Vosges were turned back. More than 1100 heavy bombers, escorted by approximately 600 fighters, attacked enemy communications yesterday. The targets included railway and road centers near the Belgian-German Frontier and northwest of Karlsruhe, the railway marshalling yards at Aschaffenburg, Fulda, and in the vicinity of Köln. Escorted heavy bombers attacked two benzol plants in the Ruhr at Castrop-Rauxel and the Hansa works near Dortmund. Other air operations were on a very small scale due to adverse weather. Railway yards at Emmendingen, north of Freiburg and gun positions around Colmar were attacked by fighter bombers. Fighters destroyed three enemy aircraft. Three of our heavy bombers and nine fighters are missing according to reports so far received.

Communique Number 272 – 05 January 1945

Allied forces in the Ardennes salient continued their attack southeast of Grandmenil. Bad visibility, snow and rough terrain made movement difficult. Slow, steady progress has been made. In the Bois-de-Tave and Arbrefontaine areas enemy counter-attacks have been held. Southeast of Marche-en-Famenne, we made gains of 1500 yards against opposition. Fighting continued around the Bastogne bulge, with the enemy making numerous counter-attacks. One near Mande-Saint-Étienne was repulsed and another, made by an estimated 35 tanks and a regiment of infantry near Longchamps, was followed by heavy fighting.

Farther east, a smaller enemy force made some progress from the direction of Bourcy toward Bastogne, but was forced to withdraw. South of Bastogne, we are clearing the northeast edge of Lutrebois and have made slight gains east of Harlange against strong enemy resistance. In the Saar Valley our artillery broke up a small force of enemy infantry attacking from Geislautern toward Ludweiler, in the area west of Saarbrücken. East of Sarreguemines, our troops repulsed an enemy counter-attack south of Bliesbruck. Farther south, the enemy units, which had penetrated to Gros-Réderching and Achen, were driven back. In the lower Vosges Mountains southeast of Bitsch, the enemy kept up pressure by repeated small-scale attacks and by attempts to infiltrate. South of Bitsch, our troops regained the village of Meisenthal, which had changed hands several times. Hard fighting continued in the vicinity of Barenthal and Philippsburg. In the Colmar area our reconnaissance elements were active. An enemy attack at Kembs on the upper Rhine was repulsed.

Unfavorable flying conditions yesterday confined our air operations to fighter and fighter bomber missions. Enemy occupied factory buildings at Sliedrecht in Holland were hit by rocket-firing fighters. Fighter bombers attacked rail and road transport and struck at communications in northern and eastern Holland and over the German border to Münster and Osnabrück. In the area of Bitsch, fighter bombers attacked gun positions and defended buildings and struck at the enemy’s transport and communications. Ten enemy aircraft were shot down in these operations. Three of our aircraft are missing. Berlin was attacked last night by light bombers.

Communique Number 273 – 06 January 1945

Allied patrols were active yesterday along the Meuse River. Our attack from the northern flank of the Ardennes salient continued in the face of stiff and determined opposition. Progress has been slow but gains up to 1000 yards have been made in several sectors, notably southwest of Stavelot, where several enemy counter-attacks were beaten off. On the southern flank of the salient, heavy enemy pressure consisting of tank and infantry counter-attacks continues. A small enemy thrust was repulsed in the area two miles west of Tillet. A strong counter-attack by a force including 15 to 20 enemy tanks resulted in heavy fighting two miles west of Mande-Saint-Étienne. Our forces made a withdrawal from the Michamps area to high ground about two miles northeast of bastogne. Southeast of Bastogne, a strong counter-attack by infantry and tanks was repulsed by our artillery in the vicinity of Wardin and a smaller counter-attack was beaten off at Harlange.

Communication and supply lines in the area of St Vith and in and behind the Ardennes salient were the targets for fighter bombers which struck at road junctions and road and rail transport and also attacked armored fighting vehicles and enemy-held buildings. In addition, they went for rail centers at Edenkoben and Simmern, and the enemy-occupied town of Wardin. Escorted medium and light bombers, as well as going for communications near St Vith, attacked bridges at Ahrweiler and Simmern. Last night, light bombers harassed enemy movement behind the salient.

In the lower Vosges Mountains, the enemy’s attempts to enlarge his salient southeast of Bitsch were frustrated in a day of hard fighting. Enemy elements which infiltrated southward to the vicinity of Wingen were virtually disposed of. North and east of this sector, fighter bombers attacked road and rail transport in the areas of Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe and Neuenkirchen. Enemy ground forces crossed the Rhine River about eight miles below Strasbourg and entered Gambsheim and Offendorf. Fighting followed in both localities. German troop quarters in the Schouwen Island and north of the Meuse River in Holland, were attacked by fighter bombers which also hit a rail bridge at Culemborg and a road bridge at Vianen, south of Utrecht.

Fighter bombers, hanging over an arc from Hengelo through Münster and Hamm down to Koblenz, went for locomotives, rail cars, and road transport. More than 1000 heavy bombers, escorted by more than 500 fighters, attacked rail centers over a broad area extending from Köln south to Karlsruhe and from the Siegfried Line east to beyond Frankfurt. Among the rail yards attacked were those at Hanau, Frankfurt, Koblenz, Bad Sobernheim and Kirn, and among rail centers were those at Kaiserslautern, Pirmasens and Neustadt. In addition, a number of other rail and road targets and enemy fighter landing grounds were attacked. Some of the escorting fighters attacked locomotives, rail cars and an airfield in the Frankfurt area, shooting down one enemy aircraft and destroying four on the ground. Other escorted heavy bombers attacked the rail yards at Ludwigshafen. Last night, heavy bombers in very great strength, made two attacks on Hanover. Light bombers attacked Berlin. Before dawn this morning heavy bombers attacked concentrations of German troops and armor in and around Houffalize, Belgium.

Communique Number 274 – 07 January 1945

Allied forces continued to maintain pressure on the northern flank of the Ardennes Salient southwest of Stavelot. An attack across the Amblève River by our units achieved an initial gain of 3000 yards. Further west, the villages of Odeigne and Lierneux, have been taken. We have made small gains north of the St Hubert-Bastogne road two miles east of St Hubert and have reached Tillet. Two miles southeast of Tillet, our artillery broke up counter-attack by enemy infantry. Northeast of Bastogne, an enemy counter-attack with eight tanks and an estimated battalion of infantry was broken up by fire from our tanks and artillery just north of Mageret. Probing activity by enemy tanks and infantry continues along the east side of the Bastogne Bulge, particularly in the Mageret area.

South of Wiltz, our troops have crossed the Sûre River one and one-half miles northeast of Eschdorf and have cleared Goesdorf and Dahl. Our units have made progress toward reducing the enemy salient southeast of Bitsch against strong resistance. We made gains of more than 1000 yards in an attack north of Reipertswiller near the southern-most point of the salient. The remaining elements of the enemy force which infiltrated Wingen are surrounded. On the west bank of the Rhine River, enemy units which crossed the river thursday were mopped up at all points of penetration except at Gambsheim, where stubborn opposition was still being met.

Heavy bombers in great strength with a strong fighter escort attacked bridges across the Rhine at Köln and Bonn, railway marshalling yards at Köln, Koblenz and Ludwigshafen and other railway yards and junctions behind the battle areas. Some of the escorting fighters strafed railway transport between Stuttgart and Würzburg and an airfield near Giebelstadt. Thirteen enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Weather restricted air operations over the battle zones yesterday. Railway transport in the Zutphen area and between Arnhem and Roermond, were attacked by rocket-firing fighters and fighter bombers which also struck at enemy troop quarters at Vianen, south of Utrecht. Other fighter bombers hit a radio station at Kalverdijk, south of Den Helder. Medium bombers struck at a highway bridge crossing the Prüm River at Prüm. From these operations seven heavy bombers and 11 fighters are missing. Early last night, heavy bombers again in great strength, were over Germany with the important railway and industrial center of Hanau as the main objective.

Communique Number 275 – 08 January 1945

Along the Meuse River there have been some sharp patrol clashes. East of Geertruindenberg an enemy outpost on the south bank of the river was attacked by allied forces and after spirited fighting mopping-up is in progress. On the northern flank of the Ardennes Salient our attack has been continued with advances in most sectors against stubborn enemy resistance. Southeast of Lierneux we have gained two and one-half miles. Farther west, we have captured La Falize and Fraiture and cut the main St Vith-La Roche-en-Ardenne highway in three places. Southeast of Marche-en-Famenne, our units gained 2000 yards. Under heavy enemy pressure, the village of Bure was evacuated.

Northwest of Bastogne, our forces have cleared the enemy from Flamierge, one and one-half miles northwest of Mande-Saint-Etienne. Southeast of Bastogne, we have made limited gains in the area one to two miles east of Harlange. In the Wiltz area, a small counter-attack moving from the vicinity of Nocher toward Dahl was repulsed by our artillery. In the salient southeast of Bitsch, we continued mopping up enemy groups and made small local gains. German troops surrounded in Wingen attempted to escape and many were captured. South of Wissembourg enemy infantry supported by tanks made four attacks in which some ground was lost by our forward elements. In one attack, three of nine enemy tanks were knocked out.

On the west bank of the Rhine, an attack against Rohrwiller by enemy units that had crossed the river was repulsed. Other hostile elemets entered Drusenheim after we had inflicted losses and destroyed three of five enemy tanks. Fighting continued at Gambsheim. Enemy transport near Gambsheim was attacked by a small number of fighter bombers. In the Aslace Plain, twenty miles south of Strasbourg, an enemy force supported by tanks which drove northwards along the Rhine-Rhone Canal forced our troops from Witternheim and Friesenheim. Fighting continued north of these towns. Weather again restricted air operations over the battle zones yesterday. More than 1000 heavy bombers escorted by 650 fighters attacked railway yards, bridges and communications in western Germany from Hamm in the north to Rastatt in the south. Among the targets attacked were railway yards at Hamm, Bielefeld, Paderborn, Köln and Rastatt, and road and rail junctions east of the Ardennes Salient. Heavy bombers in great strength attacked the industrial and railway center of München last night.

Communique Number 276 – 09 January 1945

Allied forces have attacked and destroyed the enemy positions recently established on the west bank of the Meuse River at Wanssum. On the north flank of the Ardennes Salient we have cleared the west bank of the Salm River as far as Vielsalm. We have extended our hold on the St Vith-La Roche highway east of Règné which we have now captured. The villages of Sart and Verleumont also are in our hands. In the sector southwest of Grandmenil we have taken Dochamps and cleared the east bank of the Ourthe River as far south as Marcourt which we have occupied. On the southern flank of the salient, Bonnerue, six miles east of St Hubert, has been cleared after having changed hands twice in the past few days. Increasingly heavy resistance is being met just east of Tillet.

Southeast of bastogne, four enemy columns were dispersed by our artillery, tank and automatic weapons fire, as they converged about a half mile north of Wardin. Southeast of Wiltz, an enemy counter-attack was repulsed by our troops in the vicinity of Dahl. Enemy artillery has been active in the area of Dickweiler, three miles southeast of Echternach. Our units entered Rimlingen in a local advance eight miles east of Saareguemines. A gain of one-half mile was made west of Bitsch at the western base of the enemy salient in the lower Vosges Mountains.

Fighters and fighter bombers, which operated on a very small scale owing to adverse weather, strafed two enemy transport columns in the Bitsch area and hit objectives at Mouterhouse. Towns of the perimeter of the enemy salient were shelled by his artillery. The upper Alsace Plain was mostly quiet. South of Strasbourg, enemy armor and infantry elements continued to be aggressive. Southeast of Strasbourg, fighter bombers attacked a railway station at Gengenbach and a bridge at Zell. More than 700 heavy bombers escorted by over 200 fighters attacked a railway marshalling yard at Frankfurt and marshalling yards, bridges and road and railway junctions inside the enemy lines in Luxembourg and Belgium, and on routes leading to the Ardennes and Saar areas.

Communique Number 277 – 10 January 1945>

Allied forces in the Ardenes Salient continue to make progress on some sectors of the northern flank. Notably south of Dochamps, where enemy armor has been engaged by our artillery. Operations have been hampered by deep snow. Around Marcourt mopping up has continued while the village of Cielle to the south has been taken and allied units are now thrusting in the direction of La Roche. Southeast of Marche-en-Famenne, we have cleared the Bois de Nolaumont and have occupied the village of Forrières southeast of Rochefort. West of Bastogne, bitter fighting continues in the areas of Bonnerue and Tillet. About two miles west of Mande-Saint-Etienne, an enemy counter-attack was repulsed with the destruction of nine of the 18 enemy tanks engaged.

Southeast of Bastogne, our troops have made gains against strongly defended enemy positions. Enemy attacks were broken up in the Rimlingen area and also near Reyersviller and Lemberg in the enemy lower Vosges Salient. In the Rhine River Valley, north of the Haguenau Forest, a strong enemy attack supported by tanks was repulsed. Heavy losses were inflicted on the enemy and he withdrew northward. We made some progress on the Rhine River bank and re-entered Gambsheim.

Weather severely restricted air operations yesterday, but a small force of medium bombers attacked a railway embankment and bridge at Rinnthal, west of Landau, and fighter bombers attacked rail yards at Neustadt and Rastatt. South of Strasbourg, the enemy continued aggressive attmpts to explicit the gains he made sunday. We have withdrawn from Boofzheim. In the Vosges west of Colmar our troops occupied high ground near Turckheim. Fighter bombers attacked a bridge across the Rhine-Rhone Canal near Hirtzfelden. An enemy ground force attack in the outskirts of Mulhouse was beaten off. in all air operations five enemy aircraft were shot down; one of our fighters is missing.

Communique Number 278 – 11 January 1945

On the northern flank of the Ardennes Salient, allied forces have cleared the west bank of the Salm River as far south as Salmchâteau. The village of Samrée has been taken after heavy fighting. Farther west, our units continued to follow up the withdrawing enemy. Hodister has been captured and we are patrolling forward to the La Roche-Marche-en-Famenne road. South of Marche-en-Famenne, we have crossed the Homme River and occupied Ambly. Opposition has been slight, but mines are plentiful. On the southern flank of the salient, Tillet is in our hands after hard fighting. In the wooded area just west of the town, our troops have made gains of about a quarter of a mile.

We have been forced back from Flamierge. Our units have reached points four and a half miles directly north of Bastogne and have taken Recogne. In the sector south and east of Bastogne, our forces have cleared the enemy from Villers-la-Bonne-Eau and Harlange. Farther east, we have taken Berlé and our units are one-half mile north of the town. We hold high ground one and a half miles southwest of Wiltz.

Fighter bombers operating in this sector attacked enemy transport and troop barracks. More than 1100 heavy bombers escorted by 300 fighters attacked bridges, railway yards and airfields in western Germany and road bridges and junctions on the German-Belgian frontier at the base of the Ardennes Salient. Targets included road and rail bridges over the Rhine River at Köln, airfileds in the areas of Köln, Bonn and Euskirchen and marshalling yards at Karlsruhe.

Southwest of Saarbrücken, we gained more than 2000 yards against moderate resistance and entered Oetingen. Progress also was made on the east side of the enemy wedge in the lower Vosges Mountains where Obermuhlthal was occupied by our forces. In the Rhine River Valley, north of the Haguenau Forest, fighting continued at Hatten where a strong enemy thrust was turned back on tuesday. Along the Rhine, nearby, there was fighting at several points in the enemy bridgehead north of Strasbourg. Enemy attacks were repulsed in the Alsace Plain between Strasbourg and Colmar.

Supply dumps at Zweibrücken and Pirmasens were destroyed by fighter bombers. Striking along the Rhine River Valley from Landau southward to Mulhouse, other fighter bombers destroyed an ammunition dump at Landau and hit a supply dump at Durlach; bombed and strafed targets at Rastatt, Freistett and Wittenweier; destroyed ten enemy tanks and damaged others northeast of Colmar and east of Emmendingen; hit a bridge a Riegel, and cut the railway line in a number of places between Colmar and Mulhouse. Early last night a force of light bombers attacked Hanover.

Communique Number 279 – 12 January 1945

On the northern flank of the Ardennes Salient allied forces have taken Bihain and La Roche farther to the west. Enemy opposition was generally less severe. The enemy has continued his withdrawal from the extremity of the salient and our units, following up, have occupied Grune and cut the La Roche-Champlon road in the vicinity of Ronchamps. On the southern flank of the salient we have entered St Hubert and our forces have cleared the enemy from Vesqueville, three miles to the southeast. Farther east, our units advancing northward have cut the St Hubert-Bastogne road northwest of Tillet. Southeast of Bastogne, our forces are reducing a small enemy pocket north of Harlange. The only road from the pocket has been cut near the village on Doncols, which is now in our hands, and our units at the southern end of the pocket have taken Tarchamps.

On the Luxembourg-German border, an attempt by enemy infantry to cross the Sauer River southeast of Wallendorf was broken up by our artillery. Bad weather continued to limit air operations over the battle zones yesterday. Medium and light bombers attacked road junctions at Houffalize and Clervaux. Fighter bombers hit rolling stock near Prüm. East of the Ardennes Salient, other fighter bombers destroyed an ammunition dump at Mayen and light bombers attacked a railway bridge spanning the Simmer River at Simmern. In the afternoon, escorted heavy bombers attacked the railway marshalling yards in the Uerdingen District of Krefeld.

South of Saarbrücken, we made another local gain and took Behren against light resistance. In the southern part of the Bitche Salient, the enemy attempted to infiltrate our positions without success. A strong hostile attack supported by approximately 15 tanks, of which we destroyed four, was launched in the Rhine River Valley in the Hatten area where hard fighting continues. The enemy attempted to infiltrate toward Rittershoffen. The enemy also continued to be aggressive in the Rhine bridgehead north of Strasbourg where we withdrew a short distance west of Herrlisheim to more favorable positions. In the Alsace Plain south of Strasbourg, the village of Obenheim was overrun by a tank-supported enemy force, after our troops had been supplied by air. There was hard fighting at Rossfeld and Herbsheim. Southeast of Strasbourg, fighter bombers attacked targets at Hausach in Germany.

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