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Lone Sentry: Unit History: 102d thru Germany

[Roadblock 405th Infantry]
Roadblock near Leiffarth Company L,
405th Infantry. January 1944.

29 November. Morning broke cold and damp. Light rain and mist hung fitfully over the battlefield. Division objectives were the little towns of Welz, Linnich, Roerdorf and Flossdorf. 3d Battalion, 407th Infantry attacked at 0630 on the extreme left of the regimental sector. Advancing against bunkers, heavy artillery and mortar fire, the 407th slugged through to its initial objective in less than two hours. Not to be overlooked in this action were their aggressive patrols, which during the night pushed the enemy off balance. Shortly after noon the next day Co's B and K of the 407th Infantry were in Welz.
30 November. The river towns were more dif-ficult nuts to crack. Supplied by defiladed routes, dominating the muddy rolling fields to the west, they were truly fortresses. 405th Infantry, with its north flank exposed, neverthe-less managed to push ahead against tremen-dous concentrations of artillery, mortar and automatic weapons fire. The battle ground was honeycombed with emplacements -- pillboxes, concrete shelters, L trenches, minefields -- all tied together by a labyrinth of fire trenches. Seven enemy tanks appeared during the morning but were driven off by artillery fire. An unsupported infantry counterattack was also dispersed. Terrific skirmishes raged all day and after nightfall.
Meanwhile 1st Bn, 407th Infantry hunted snipers in Wetz while the 3d Bn inched slowly southward up the draw. 2d Bn had resumed its attack on Flossdorf supported by five tanks of Co C, 771st Tank Battalion, But a combination of mines, and direct 88ram fire from across the river, made armor support in this area virtually impossible. The battalion managed, however, to dig in around the outskirts of Flossdorf by justifyspacer
following a rolling artillery barrage, skillfully laid down by the 927th and 252d FA Battalions. It was a beautiful example of artillery-infantry cooperation.
1 December. At 1400 the 406th Infantry was committed. 1st and 2d Battalions fighting for every foot, circled west of Welz and reached "Windy Corners", screened by the 380th and 83d FA Battalions' rolling barrage. At 1700 the 3d Battalion followed, completing the encirclement of Linnich, The remainder of the night was spent in cleaning out by-passed installations under intense enemy artillery and mortar fire from east of the river.
2 December. During the night it became evident that the enemy had lost both the heart and initiative to sustain the contest much longer. Many troops had deserted. Others had retreated. True, their supporting artillery had reorganized in the vicinity of Gevenich and Glimbach and were sending hundreds of rounds into our newly won positions. But the SS troops had withdrawn and demolished all bridges leaving only Volksgrenadier and Luftwaffe units in the towns. Hence, 406th Infantry encountered little organized resistance when they mopped up Linnich during the morning.
407th Infantry smashed into Roerdorf and by 0830 the enemy was in full flight. Many drowned while trying to swim across the river. More fell from canister aimed with deadly accuracy by tanks of Co B, 771st Tank Battalion. Co C of 407th, A and B following, entered the town at 0800. By noon the last fanatic defenders had been accounted for. Some fled southward where they received a warm reception from the 2d Battalion, 407th Infantry which was about to clean up Flossdorf.

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