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

Communique Number 358 – 1 April 1945

North of the Ruhr, allied forces continue to make rapid progress and the momentum of the advances has been maintained. Our units are more than 65 miles east of the Rhine at some points. Several of our armored units gained more than 15 miles yesterday. North of Borken, we captured Stadtlohn and made substantial advances beyond the town. Gun positions north of Emmerich were attacked by medium and light bombers. Our armored elements are fighting in the southern outskirts of Paderborn against stiff resistance from enemy infantry and dug-in tanks. Farther southeast, our armor has reached Warburg, after and 18 mile advance. Infantry units continue to mop up behind the armor and have entered Brilon and Büren, south of Paderborn. Southwest of Kassel, our forces captured Bergheim, Edertal and the Ederstausee Dam on the Eder River. Our infantry entered Siegen and cleared the area south of the Sieg River between Schönstein and Elsenfeld.

Armored elements advancing north gained up to 35 miles and reached a point five miles south of Kassel. Other elements, advancing northeast, are in the area of Waldkappel, 15 miles southeast of Kassel. Our armor, advancing 23 miles northeast from Lauterbach, reached the area south of Bad Hersfeld. We liberated 10 American airmen in Asbach, two miles south of Bad Hersfeld. To the southeast near Eltra we knocked out several tanks. Armored units have reached the vicinity of Giesel, six miles southwest of Fulda. Our units met strong tank and infantry resistance near Gelnhausen, 20 miles northeast of Frankfurt, but by-passed the town and entered Birstein, 20 miles southeast of Fulda. Infantry continues to mop up and is in the area 12 miles west and southwest of Fulda, while other units have reached a point 18 miles northeast of Hanau.

The area west of Wiesbaden has been cleared and mopping up continues north and northwest of Frankfurt. We entered Bad Schwalbach, 12 miles northwest of Mainz, and captured an enemy hospital complete with 12 enemy medical officers, 38 nurses, 63 enlisted men and 900 enemy patients. Enemy gun positions, strong points, armor and road and rail transport ahead of our ground forces in the areas of Recklinghausen. East of Köln, Kassel, Hersfeld and Erfurt, were attacked by fighter bombers in strength. Seven hundred motor vehicles were destroyed and others were damaged. Much of Aschaffenburg was in flame as enemy forces continued to resist stubbornly our efforts to clear the city with ground and air attacks. Gains of up to six miles were made east of the Main River south of Aschaffenburg. Armored elements drove eastward 25 miles to within six miles of Würzberg on the upper Main River, more than 60 miles east of the Rhine. A number of towns including Tauberbischofsheim and Waldbrunn were taken in this drive.

Gun positions near Wurzburg were hit by fighter bombers and rail yards and storage installations in the area were attacked by medium and light bombers. Our units advancing southeastward along the Neckar River reached Dallau. South of Heidelberg we reached Walldorf. South of Speyer, our forces made another crossing of the Rhine on a ten mile front. Elements of this force joined at Hockenheim with our units pushing southward from the Mannheim area. Allied forces in the west captured 19.166 prisoners on Mar 30. Enemy transport moving from the Zuider Zee area of Holland towards northwest Germany in considerable numbers was attacked by fighters and fighter bombers in strength. In the Enschede area, more than 350 motor vehicles were destroyed or damaged. Communications and transport in the Rheine-Osnabrück areas, and a column of enemy troops and motor vehicles farther to the north between Haselünne and Cloppenburg, was attacked by fighter bombers. An oil storage depot at Ebrach, rail yards at Heilbronn and a motor transport depot at Boblingen, near Stuttgart, were bombed by meduim and light bombers.

Rail and industrial objectives at Halle, Brandenburg and Braunschweig and a synthetic oil plant at Zeitz, southwest of Leipzig were attacked by escorted heavy bombers in very great strength. A strong force of escorted heavy bombers bombed submarine building yards at Hamburg. According to reports so far received fourteen enemy aircraft were shot down during these operations. Seventeen of our bombers and 22 fighters are missing.

Communique Number 359 – 2 April 1945

Allied forces advancing from the west and from the south have linked up in the vicinity of Lippstadt, 75 miles east of the Rhine, and encircled the whole of the German Army Group B. The destruction of this large enemy force in the densely populated area of the Ruhr and in the mountainous district to the south, will take time but will not preclude the advance of allied armored columns farther into Germany. North of the Ruhr, our forces continued to make good progress advancing more than 15 miles in some sectors. Geseke, southeast of Lippstadt, has been captured and our units are mopping up in Paderborn where resistance from enemy tanks, bazookas and small arms fire has been stiff. Farther to the southeast, our armored elements advanced three and one-half miles east of Warburg. In the vicinity of Rimbeck, northwest of Warburg, our infantry encountered resistance from an estimated 1000 enemy troops.

Our infantry in a six mile advance, reached a point north of Besse, six and one-half miles south of Kassel. Armored units crossed the Fulda River in the area 15 miles south of Kassel and entered Adelshausen. We encountered strong enemy resistance in this area from assault guns and tanks. Farther to the southeast, our armored elements advanced eight miles to the vicinity of Nesselröden, west of Eisenach, while other units reached the vicinity of Heringen, 13 miles southwest of Eisenach. In these advances, we encountered road blocks and resistance from assault guns and tanks. Hersfeld has been cleared by our infantry, and north of Fulda we captured Langenschwarz and entered Lüdermünd. Northeast of Fulda, we reached the vicinity of Obernüst.

In the area northeast of Hanau, our cavalry entered Eidengesass. Mopping up proceeds in the area north of Frankfurt against strong resistance from enemy groups. Rail and road communications in the areas of Iserlohn, Holzminden, Siegen, Mühlhausen, Eisenach, Erfurt and east of Fulda were attacked by fighter bombers. Fanatical resistance continued in Aschaffenburg]. At Shweinheim the enemy continued to resist by infiltrating after the town had been cleared. Our rapid armored advance up the Main River continued and gains of up to 18 miles were made. Our forces control more than 14 miles along the Main River southeast of Würzburg and generally have broken out of the Odenwald into the Wurzburg-Heilbronn plain. In the action near Bad Wergentheim, we captured a lieutenant general, commander of a corps.

South of Mannheim, the last units which crossed the Rhine advanced eastward up to 18 miles and crossed the autobahn. Allied forces in the west captured 22.877 prisoners on Mar 31. Strong points, gun positions and fortified building impeding the progress of our forces in the sector east and northeast of the Main River were heavily bombed by fighter bombers in great strength. Targets were in an area extending from Aschaffenburg to Königshofen, some 60 miles to the northeast. Barracks and supply areas near Stuttgart including targets at Vaihingen an der Enz and Ludwigsburg were attacked by medium bombers. Rocket-firing fighters hit a convoy of more than 100 vehicles, some loaded with ammunition, attempting to move northeast from Enschede on a partially blocked road. Scattered motor transport was attacked in the Lingen area. Twenty rail yards were hit during the day. Nearly 800 transport vehicles and 43 tanks and armored vehicles were destroyed. A number of airfields including those at Herzberg and at Grossen Behringen south of Mühlhausen also were bombed. Forty-seven aircraft were destroyed on the ground and others were damaged. One enemy aircraft was shot down. From all operations 31 of our fighters are missing.

Communique Number 360 – 3 April 1945

Allied forces north and west of Emmerich continue to make good progress and in some areas have reached points 15 miles north of the Dutch-German border. Farther north, the line of the Twente Canal has been reached. To the east, we captured Enschede and reached the outskirts of Rheine. East of the Dortmund-Ems Canal, our troops are fighting in the Ibbenbüren and Lengerich areas. North of the Lippe River, our armor reached Lippstadt and made substantial gains to the north and east. Our forces are consolidating their positions and closing in on the sides of the Ruhr Pocket. Our armor cleared Paderborn and infantry units advancing west reached Altenrüthen southwest of Paderborn. Farther south, our units are clearing the enemy from the vicinity of Winterberg and Langewiese, and from the woods four miles southwest of Bad Berleburg.

We are fighting in Siegen and repulsed a counterattack at Netphen, northeast of Siegen. East of the Ruhr Pocket our units repulsed a tank supported counterattack north of Warburg and reached Peckelsheim and Borgentreich. We are fighting in the outskirts of Kassel and our units have reached the vicinity of Helsungen, 12 miles to the south. Resistance southeast of Kassel along the east bank of the Fulda River continues to be strong. Our armor crossed the Fulda River and reached the Werra River at a point 17 miles northwest of Eisenach. Other armored elements reached a point three miles northwest of Eisenach. Our infantry entered Fulda and very severe street fighting is in progress.

Armored units which bypassed Fulda on the south, advanced 25 miles eastward to the area of Mittelsdorf and Kaltennordheim. Farther east, our armor reached the Werra River at a point two miles north of the Meiningen. Our units continue to mop up in the area north and northeast of Frankfurt. Groups of the enemy are ambushing supply lines along the autobahn. Northeast of Aschaffenburg, we drove 12 miles to Bad Orb where some 6500 allied personnel were released from an enemy prisoner of war camp. Hard fighting continued in Aschaffenburg which is almost completely destroyed. Substantial advances were made northwest of Würzburg. To the southeast we are along the Main River almost to Marktbreit. The Giebelstadt airfield south of Wurzburg was captured.

In the drive up the Neckar River, our armor and infantry reached the vicinity of Bad wimpfen, eight miles north of Heilbronn. South of Heidelberg, approximately 100 anti-tank and other artillery pieces were knocked out in heavy fighting. Our advance in this area has reached Unteröwisheim and we are near Bruchsal. Allied forces in the west captured 12.446 prisoners on Apr 1. Fortified buildings and strong points at Aschaffenburg; Eppingen, east of Bruchsal; Göttingen, northeast of Ulm, and ammunition dumps east of Heilbronn and near Schwabisch Hall were hit by fighter bombers. Barracks, supply and motor transport maintenance installations in the Stuttgart area; and at Böblingen and Tübingen, southwest of Stuttgart were attacked by medium bombers. Road and rail transport in Holland, in the Osnabrück area, and farther to the east between Chemnitz and Dresden were attacked by fighter bombers and rocket-firing fighters. Other rocket-firing fighters hit a gun position and strong points near Arnhem. Targets in Berlin and Magdeburg as well as enemy communications over a wide area of Holland and northwest Germany were attacked last night by light bombers.

Communique Number 361 – 4 April 1945

Allied forces north of Nijmegen have cleared a large area between the Waal and the Neder Rijn. To the northeast along the Twente Canal we have cleared Lochem and have advanced beyond the town to the west. Northeast of Enschede we captured Nordhorn. Farther east, our forces advanced through difficult country and have reached the outskirts of Osnabrück. Münster has been cleared. Northeast of Bielefeld we crossed the Werra River south of Herford and have advanced to the northeast. Our units crossed the Bielefeld-Paderborn road and pushed beyond it to the east. Rail yards at Holzminden and Hameln were bombed by medium and light bombers. On the northern side of the Ruhr Pocket, our forces crossed the Lippe-Seiten Canal and are fighting in the outskirts of Hamm.

To the southeast, we captured Oestereiden and Rüthen. Winterberg is in our hands, and in the area to the south we made gains of up to two miles toward the west. We repulsed a counterattack southwest of Winterberg and are fighting in Bad Berleburg. Our forces pushing northward along the southern edge of the Ruhr Pocket crossed the Sieg River ten miles north of Siegen which is in our hands. Netphen, to the northeast, was taken after a three hour battle. Southeast of Paderborn, our infantry is advancing into the Hardehausen Forest, where and estimated 1000 German infantrymen and 20 tanks were by-passed by our spearheads. This enemy force made two unsuccessful counterattacks in the vicinity of Blomenberg and eight of its tanks were knocked out in the first attack. We have cleared Helmern and Borgentreich northwest and northeast of Warburg which has been captured. Fighting continues in Kassel. German barracks and troop concentrations at Nordhausen, east of Kassel, were bombed by heavy bombers. Airfields at Thal and west of Erfurt were attacked by fighter bombers.

Fanatical enemy resistance in Aschaffenburg was overcome after several days’ severe fighting. We made gains up to 10 miles to the northeast, reaching Florsbach. At Würzburg, our infantry, with armor support, crossed the Main River in assault boats and entered the city. Another crossing was made some eight miles to the south. We drove two miles beyond the river but an enemy counterattack cost some of the gains. Armored columns advancing up to Neckar River closed on Heilbronn farther north and west. Among 4400 prisoners taken, mostly in the Heilbronn-Würzburg-Aschaffenburg sector, where another German general who was a hospital patient was captured. Allied forces in the west captured 27.771 prisoners On Apr 2.

Artillery positions, east of Aschaffenburg and enemy armor and strong points in the outskirts of Würzburg were bombed and strafed by fighter bombers. Rail yards at Würzburg and Stuttgart were attacked by other fighter bombers. Three large u-boat bases, the naval base and the ship building center of Kiel were attacked yesterday by escorted heavy bombers in great strength. Road and rail transport in wide areas stretching from Amersfoort, Holland to Bremen, Germany and motor transport and armor in the Ruhr were attacked by fighter bombers. Targets in Berlin and enemy movements in the areas of Bremen, Hamburg, Stendal and Magdeburg were attacked last night by light bombers.

Communique Number 362 – 5 April 1945

Allied forces north of Nijmegen reached the line of the Neder-Rijn on a broad front. In the Zevenaar area north of Emmerich we made further progress to the northwest. North of the Twente Canal, we cleared Hengelo and made gains to the north and west. Farther north, armored units, advancing northeast from Nordhorn, reached the line of the Ems River at several points. Southeast of Rheine, our troops crossed the Dortmund-Ems Canal. Northeast of Osnabrück we crossed the Ems-Weser Canal and advanced beyond it. Osnabrück has been entered, but is not yet clear. Other units by-passed the town to the south and reached a point seven miles east of it. Münster has been cleared with the exception of snipers. Over 1700 prisoners were taken in the city.

Our armor reached the Weser River in the vicinity of Bad Oeynhausen, and other elements reached a point five miles northeast of Bad Salzuflen. Other armored units reached the Bega River, on the outskirts of Lemgo capturing more than 4000 prisoners. Our infantry is mopping up a by-passed hill in the Teutoburger Forest. In the Detmold area we are meeting resistance from the remnants of an SS tank battalion. Enemy strong points near Gütersloh were attacked by fighter bombers. Kassel has been cleared after heavy house-to-house fighting. Our armor reached the vicinity of Oberdorla, four miles south of Mühlhausen. Other armored elements are in the vicinity of Heldra, northwest of Kreuzburg. Infantry, advancing behind the armor, crossed the Fulda River and reached a point 14 miles northwest of Eisenach.

Eisenach, by-passed by our spearheads, is an enemy strongpoint defended by tanks and infantry. Armored spearheads cleared Gotha and entered Ohrdruf, seven miles to the south. Farther south of Gotha, our armored units reached the vicinity of Oberhof and cleared Suhl. German troop concentrations at Nordhausen were attacked by escorted heavy bombers. Fighter bombers hit enemy airfields at Schweinfurt and Jena. On the northern side of the Ruhr Pocket, our infantry crossed the Dortmund-Ems Canal, captured Ickern and Waltrop, and advanced to a point one and a half miles west of Lünen after repulsing several small counterattacks. Resistance continues in Hamm with considerable artillery fire coming from the city. On the eastern side of the pocket, northeast of Winterberg, our armor reached Hildfeld and Grönebach against tank and self-propelled gun fire. We cleared Oberkirchen to the southwest and repulsed two small counterattacks.

Southwest of Siegen, we cleared a number of small towns including Mudersbach and Katzenbach and repulsed several counterattacks. Targets at Essen and Lüdenscheid, in the pocket, were attacked by fighter bombers. It is estimated that our ground units inflicted 4600 casualties in breaking the enemy resistance at Aschaffenburg. Northeast of Aschaffenburg we gained ten miles in rugged terrain, advancing past Obersinn. Burgsinn and Rieneck were cleared. Our forces made another crossing of the Main River south of Lohr. About a half of Würzburg has been cleared. Our armor, driving south of the Main River bend at Ochsenfurt, gained some ten miles. Farther west our armor reached Igersheim on the Tauber River. Möckmühl, Bad Wimpfen and a number of other towns northeast of Heilbronn were captured. Enemy resistance around Heilbronn was strong and we repulsed a counterattack north of the city. Karlsruhe, was captured against stiff resistance. Between the Aschaffenburg area and Heilbronn, 2594 prisoners were taken. Allied forces in the west captured 28.817 prisoners on Apr 3.

Supply depots at Ebrach, east of Würzburg and Grossaspach, northeast of Stuttgart were targets for medium and light bombers. Enemy troop concentration and fortified positions in the area from Heilbronn northeastwards to Bamberg and Nurnberg, and a barracks area at Crailsheim were struck at by medium, light and fighter bombers. Submarine yards at Kiel and Hamburg and airfields in northwest Germany were attacked by escorted heavy bombers in very great strength. Road and rail transport in Holland in the Meppen and Cloppenburg areas northwest of Osnabrück; near Oldenburg and Bremen; and in the area of Mühlhausen and Halle, and rail yards at Erfurt, Schweinfurt and Crailsheim were heavily attacked by medium, light and fighter bombers. In all the day’s operations, 31 enemy aircraft were shot down and 32 others were destroyed on the ground. According to reports so far received, nine of our heavy bombers; three medium bombers and 17 fighters are missing. Last night heavy bombers were over Germany in very great strength with synthetic oil plants at Merseburg and Hamburg as the main objectives. Light bombers again attacked targets at Berlin.

Communique Number 363 – 6 April 1945

Allied patrols north of Nijmegen crossed the Neder Rijn west and east of Arnhem. In the Zutphen area fierce opposition was encountered and the town is still in enemy hands. Northwest of Hengelo we captured Almelo and made good gains to the north and east. Farther east there is fighting in the Lingen area but the town is not yet clear. Southeast of Rheine, the Dortmund-Ems Canal bridgehead has been further extended and Dreierwalde has been captured. In the Ibbenbüren area resistance remains strong but armored elements bypassed the town to the south and advanced to a point five miles south of Diepholz. Osnabrück is in our hands, and armored units, which previously bypassed the town, advanced to the line of the Weser River north of Minden. Another column reached the Weser in the Petershagen area and virtually cleared Minden.

We have cleared Bielefeld, and the garrisons in Herford and Bad Oeynhausen have surrendered. Armored elements pushed to within two miles of Rinteln. Another armored spearhead advanced to the Weser River opposite Hameln. Detmold, and Veldrom in the Teutoburger Forest, were cleared and we are fighting in Altenbeken. The Hardehausen Forest, northwest of Warburg was cleared. Our units entered Meimbressen northwest of Kassel and pushed beyond Nienhagen, east of the city. Mühlhausen was cleared by armored elements which pushed eight miles farther northeast to the vicinity of Schlotheim. Our infantry reached the vicinity of Altengoettern, northeast of Mühlhausen, and Mihla, farther southwest. We entered the southern outskirts of Eisenach, and reached points seven miles west of Schmalkalden.

Armored units cleared Zella Mehlis, capturing three small arms ammunition factories. Seven small arms factories were taken in Suhl. Our forces made further gains into the Ruhr Pocket from the north and east. On the north, we captured Brambauer, four miles north of Dortmund. Fierce fighting is in progress in Hamm, east of the city our units crossed the Lippe River and reached the Hamm-Soest rail line. On the east side of the pocket, we are in the vicinity of Rüthen. Southwest of Winterberg our forces reached points near Winkhausen and Latrop. We repulsed numerous counterattacks between Siegen and Siegburg, one of which reached the outskirts of Siegen before it was repelled.

Fighter bombers attacked targets in the pocket including a large formation of enemy troops on a road near Arnsberg. South of Fulda our armor and infantry drove through the Spessart Hills to reach Speicherz, and Bad Brückenau. Farther south on the Main River, east of Lohr, we reached Wiesenfeld. Heavy fighting is in progress in Würzburg and most of the city has been cleared. An enemy counterattack forced us back in the northern part of the city, but the attack was repulsed and the lost ground was regained. More than 1000 prisoners have been taken in the city. Substantial advances were made by our armor and infantry northeast and southeast of Ochsenfurt. Kitzingen, northeast of Ochsenfurt, was cleared. The enemy is fighting stubbornly to hold the line of the Neckar River and Jagst River, and in front of Heilbronn. West of Heilbronn, we captured a number of villages. Schwaigern was cleared. Allied forces which made the latest Rhine River crossing below Speyer and captured Karlsruhe, reached the Neckar River more than 30 miles east of the Rhine. Allied forces in the west captured 32.616 prisoners on Apr 4.

Enemy transport in the areas of Pforzheim, Heilbronn, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Nürnberg and Gera was attacked by fighter bombers. And ammunition store southeast of Stuttgart, and an oil storage depot at Geislingen an der Steige, northwest of ulm, were bombed by medium bombers. Enemy transport, supply dumps, troops and strong points in the Deventer, Zwolle and Groningen areas of Holland and in wide areas of northwestern Germany, including Hamburg, Bremen, Meppen, Celle and Hanover, were attacked yesterday by fighter bombers. Airfields in the Weimar area and farther south also were attacked by fighter bombers. Seventy-one enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground and many others were damaged in the course of these attacks. Military equipment depots at Ingolstadt, northeast of München, at Grafenwohr, southeast of bayreuth, and at Furth: railway yards at Plauen, Bayreuth and Nürnberg; and an airfield southwest of Nürnberg, were attacked by escorted heave bombers in very great strength.

Communique Number 364 – 7 April 1945

Allied forces have broken out of their bridgehead across the Twente Canal and are astride the Zutphen-Deventer highway within two miles of Deventer. To the northeast our forward elements have reached Meppen following a 15-mile advance. Lingen has been cleared and we have gained a bridgehead across the Ems River in the Lingen area. We captured Ibbenbüren, east of Rheine, and reached Diepholz, northeast of Osnabrück. Our units secured a bridgehead north on Minden on the right bank of the Weser River. Minden is in our hands. Our forces are at a point five miles south of Bückeburg. We are fighting in Hameln, and to the south we have crossed the Weser River near Tündern and continued eastward. In the area northeast of Warburg our units reached the vicinity of Bruchhausen, and we are at Tietelsen and Borgentreich. We captured Hofgeismar, ten miles east of Warburg, and to the southeast we reached Hann-Münden after repulsing a counterattack.

Our forces advanced 12 miles on a five mile front east and southeast of Kassel. We repulsed a counterattack in the vicinity of Osterode, 13 miles southwest of Kassel. Our infantry entered Bad Langensalza and other elements are in the area four to seven miles north of Gotha. Infantry units, mopping up behind our armor, are in an area 13 to 18 miles southwest of Gotha. We cleared Eisenach and Meiningen and our armored elements have reached the vicinity of Stützerbach. We made gains into the Ruhr Pocket from the north and east. Hamm has been cleared, and to the east we captured Norddinker and Süddinker. Our armor took Bettinghausen and Schmerlecke, northeast of Soest. We reached Olsberg and captured Siedlinghausen north of Winterberg, and our armor is beyond Winkhausen, west of the city. Considerable opposition is being met in the Siegen area. We advanced to the outskirts of Fulda and cleared a substantial area to the south.

Würzburg has been cleared and gains were made north and south of the city. Farther south our units gained more than six miles south of Bad Mergentheim. We cleared one-third of Heilbronn. East and southeast of Karlsruhe we captured Bretten, and reached Stein. Allied forces in the west captured 40.107 prisoners Apr 5. Rail yards at Leipzig, Halle and Gera, southwest of Leipzig, were attacked by escorted heavy bombers in strength. Other rail yards at northeim, Göttingen, in the area south of Nordhausen and north of Bayreuth, and at Stuttgart; and an ammunition dump at Gailenkirchen, east of Heilbronn, were targets for medium, light and fighter bombers. Fortified positions and troop concentrations at Gollhofen, southeast of Würzburg; Löwenstein and Schwäbisch Hall, east of Heilbronn; at Ellwangen; and in the area northeast of Strasbourg were attacked by fighter bombers. Enemy airfields at Bindersleben, west of Erfurt, and at Illesheim, northeast of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, were targets for other fighter bombers.

Previous articleSHAEF Communiques (ETO) March 1945
Next articleSHAEF Communiques (ETO) May 1945