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Lone Sentry: Unit History: 102d thru Germany


There were few prisoners in this day’s fighting. The staggering Germans, pounded unmercifully by our artillery, either crossed the river or died. Furious skirmishes raged in Flossdorf until late afternoon. Co's G and I of the 407th had meanwhile eliminated the fanatical defenders in the emplacements at the head of the draw near Welz. By nightfall all objectives were firmly held.
Never again was the Division to experience such severe artillery fire as was encountered in this operation. Roads and towns throughout the area were continuously shelled by guns of all caliber. Nor did the enemy hesitate to place artillery and mortar fire on towns which their own infantry was still defending.
So ended the first phase in the battle for the Roer. The enemy had been cleared from the west bank up to and including Linnich. Four hundred twenty-five prisoners had been counted, over 400 enemy dead were buried, forty-three bunkers and pillboxes had been knocked out. 36 assault guns and tanks had fallen before our guns and bazookas, and many personnel carriers were abandoned in the headlong flight across the river. A tremendous blow had been dealt the enemy in both strength and prestige. 340th Division was reeling from its losses. A vaunted SS outfit, the 10th SS Panzer Division, had fled ignominiously, seeking to escape our mercilessly accurate artillery. 42nd German Airforce Battalion was virtually destroyed, never to rise again.
Many winter weeks were to pass before the second phase of the Roer battle ended in the reduction of the Brachelen salient. While the Division prepared further assaults against the West Wall, Nazis unleashed a do-or-die counteroffensive through the Ardennes in Belgium. Von Rundstedt opened his push 16 December against a thinly held line in the First Army Sector. Three days later strong enemy forces were penetrating in full cry towards the Meuse river and Liege. This grave situation completely altered the entire aspect of the Ozarks' problem. 84th Division on our right, 2d Armored on our left and 7th Armored in our rear, hastily moved south to assist in halting von Rundstedt's drive. This left the 102d Division defending the entire XIII Corps sector with a front extending from the Wurm river, just north of the village of Wurm, east and south to Barmen, a distance of nearly eight miles. Service and supply units, even company cooks, were to get the feel of front-line defense before the winter snows disappeared.
[Military Police]

In February and March military police were forced to post all MSR's with signs like this in order to keep heavy traffic from tearing up the roads. Here Sgt Edward J. Neidinger and Pfc Estole Deley of the 102d MP Platoon nail up signs along the Ubach-Hunshoven highway.

102d Signal Company line men string another wire through Ederen justifyspacer

[102d Signal Company]

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