Original Annexed Map

16th infantry Regiment in Schoppen, January 1945

During the next two days, January 26 and 27, as the Division attack halted, the enemy activities were confined to further work on his defenses and counter-patrolling. On January 27, two of our outposts, one about 1000 M west of Heppenbach and the other on Hill 625 (939008) were pushed back by stronger enemy forces, but the latter outpost was retaken after a heavy artillery concentration had driven off the enemy. On January 28, however, Hepscheid, Heppenbach, and Valender were cleared of the enemy, and our troops, taking advantage of the enemy’s disorganization, pushed rapidly up the Hepscheid-Honseld road to Hill 620, about 1500 M west of Honsfeld. This move apparently caused the enemy to believe his troops in the Reigelsbusch were being encircled; at any rate, the enemy in the area pulled back to the Honsfeld area, and when the woods were taken by our forces, only a few stragglers remained. A total of 257 prisoners were taken during the day’s operation.

Hepscheid was held by the remnants of the 1055.VGR and elements of the 5.FJR; the rest of the 5.FJR held Heppenbach. In both areas, the enemy had taken advantage of the hiatus in the Division’s attack, and well-constructed fortifications were encountered. The flanking position to the north in the Reigelsbusch was held less firmly by the 2/1056.VGR and a strong position in the patch of woods about 1000 M west of Heppenbach was outposted by a force of about 40 men from the 48.FJR under a Lt Sprenger. In spite of these precautions, however, the fighting in Hepscheid was over as soon as our tanks penetrated the town. Fighting in Heppenbach was more severe. Our tanks got stuck in the snow and the initial assault was by infantry alone. With the taking of Heppenbach, our troops moved along the road to Honsfeld, encountering small resistance, but eventually clearing the enemy as far as Hill 620.

Kampfgruppe Sprenger (48.FJR) was eliminated when our tanks were able to advance far enough to bring the woods under direct fire. It appeared that the 2/1056.VGR had pulled back to Honsfeld and was holding the town. To the north, Büllingen, the base of the attack of the 12.SS-PD in December, was finally cleared of the enemy after stubborn fighting in the southern and western parts on January 29. The town was held by the 3/1056.VGR, from which more than 200 prisoners were taken. Prisoners said they had no warning of the attack until it had actually closed in, but in spite of this surprise, the elements in the outskirts put up a stiff fight before the added support of our tanks discouraged them. Whatever was left of the 3/1056.VGR pulled out toward Mürringen. Along the rest of the Division front, the enemy was inactive.

Members of the 505-PIR in the town of Amel (Amblève) Jan 1945

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