Synonyms for volksgrenadiers or Related words with volksgrenadiers
Examples of "volksgrenadiers"
After several days of fighting the destruction of the 62nd
and what had been left of the 9th SS Panzer Division was complete. For the 82nd Airborne Division the first part of the Battle of the Bulge had ended.
By the end of the first day, the "
" of LXVI Corps had not made it to "St. Vith", or even the critical bridges on the "Our" River at "Schoenberg" and "Steinebruck". The American village strong points set up by the cavalry groups and sustained artillery fire from both VIII Corps reserve and the units supporting the 106th division had denied LXVI Corps the roads, but the "
" had not been depending on them anyway. Their main problems proved to be the same miserable weather and terrain conditions that prompted the "Ardennes" counteroffensive in the first place. Colonel Friedrich Kittel of the 62nd Division had set up a bicycle battalion to make a fast run on "St. Vith" from "Eigelscheid", but the snow, ice, and mud had made it ineffective. Expert ski troops could have covered the 11 to 15 miles of snow covered forested ravines from the "Schnee Eifel" to "St. Vith" in one day, but the "
" simply did not have that kind of training or equipment. They did not even have the training it took to take full advantage of the motorized assault guns they did have. This was not enough to pull off a carefully timed series of sequential envelopments and advances through rough terrain.
As Clarke was cursing and threatening his way through the traffic jams west of "St. Vith", Model and Manteuffel were doing the same in the traffic jams east of "Schoenberg". Meeting Manteuffel in the confusion, Model ordered him to capture "St. Vith" on the 18th, giving him control of the "Fuhrer Begleit" Brigade to make sure the objective would be met. It was not to be however, for the armor brigade had bogged down in the traffic jams, and the 18th and 62nd "
" were busy reducing the "Schnee" pocket and rebuilding the bridge at Steinbruck. The mechanized combat engineer battalion of the 18th "
", with a group from the 1st SS Panzer, did attack from the north, but were repelled by counterattacks from the 7th and 9th Armored.
On 3 January 1945, the 82nd Airborne Division conducted a counterattack. On the first day's fighting the Division overran the 62nd
and the 9th SS Panzer's positions capturing 2,400 prisoners. The 82nd Airborne suffered high casualties in the process. The attached 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion was all but decimated during these attacks. Of the 826 men that went into the Ardennes, only 110 came out. Having lost its charismatic leader Lt. Colonel Joerg, and almost all its men either wounded, killed, or frostbitten, the 551 was never reconstituted. The few soldiers that remained were later absorbed into units of the 82nd Airborne.
The Second Battle for Kesternich took place from 30 January 1945 to 1 February 1945. In the battle, the American 311th Infantry Regiment fought against the 272. Volksgrenadier-Division. This time the offensive was conducted under William H. Simpson's Ninth Army. Over the preceding weeks the
had infiltrated back into and created strongpoints throughout the village. While this battle was no less a struggle than the earlier battle, the entrenched Germans inside the village could not stave off the unrelenting American attack and the village of Kesternich fell into American hands.
With ample time to develop their defense, the
had emplaced machine gun positions in houses and in the rubble behind mine fields and wire. Each of these strong points became an exercise in and of itself in order to advance. It took actions like those of squad leader Jonah Edward Kelley, who singlehandedly destroyed several machine-gun emplacements before being killed, to push the attack. Again, the village became Bloody Kesternich. At the end of the first day, the battalion had only advanced a couple of hundred yards into the rubble.
Nevertheless, the Germans amassed close to 1,400 armored fighting vehicles for the offensive. Allied bombers also affected the movement of supplies to the front, though some 500 trainloads of equipment, fuel and ammunition were delivered without being discovered, despite Allied control of the skies. This, however, was not able to cope with the shortage of small-arms; 1.5 million infantry weapons were required to arm the new
. Ammunition was in dire need, as well, and ultimately the rail system was forced to stop troop movements in favor of moving more supplies to the front.
Volksgrenadier was the name given to a type of German Army division formed in the Autumn of 1944 after the double loss of Army Group Center to the Soviets in Operation Bagration and the Fifth Panzer Army to the Allies in Normandy. The name itself was intended to build morale, appealing at once to nationalism ("Volk") and Germany's older military traditions ("Grenadier"). Germany formed 78 VGDs during the war. "
" and "Volksgrenadier" divisions should not be confused with the "Volkssturm", which is an entirely different entity.
Before dawn on 17 December, the German LXVI Corps renewed its advance on the "Our" River. "Winterspelt" fell to the 62nd
early in the day. They then advanced to the critical bridge at "Steinebruck" and advanced past it, but were thrown back by a counterattack by the American 9th Armored Division's CCB. They were also considering retaking "Winterspelt", but Middleton ordered a general withdrawal behind the "Our" River. As German troops were massing on the opposite bank, the 9th Armored would blow up the bridge on 18 December, and fall back to a defensive line with the 7th Armored Division on the left and the remaining 424th Regiment of the 106th Division on the right. The southern arm of the 18th
overran "Bleialf" at about the same time as the attack on "Winterspelt". The northern arm of the 18th struck at "Andler", receiving unexpected help from the 6th SS Panzer Army. The lavish supply of heavy armored fighting vehicles had proved an embarrassment of riches in the area north of 5th Panzer Army - the road net in the northern area of the attack was unable to support the volume of the attack, so the vehicles of the "Schwere Panzerabteilung" 506 wandered south into the 5th Army's area in search of a road west. The super heavy tanks of this unit, the Tiger II, were slow and of such colossal weight as to endanger any bridge they crossed. However, in combat they were virtually unstoppable and they easily routed the light cavalry forces of the 32nd Squadron's Troop B, holding "Andler". From there, the troops of the 18th
swept onward toward "Schoenberg". The heavy tanks of the 506th did not join them, creating a traffic jam in the narrow streets of "Andler". The jam was expanded by additional traffic from 6th Panzer Army, blocking the advance far more effectively than American forces could hope. This jam would be the first of many plaguing both sides in the paths of the German advance. "Andler", "Schoenberg", and the road west of "St. Vith", to the west of the town of "Rodt" would all be the scenes of traffic blockages that would attract the personal intervention of most of the field commanders in the area of "St. Vith", all to no avail. General Lucht of LXVI Corps was the first commander to waste his efforts clearing the jam at "Andler", but not the last.
captured the bridge at "Schoenberg" by 8:45, cutting off American artillery units attempting to withdraw west of the "Our" River. The southern pincer of the 18th, advancing from "Bleialf" against scattered American resistance, was slower than the northern group. As a result, Manteuffel’s trap on the "Schnee Eifel" did not close until nightfall on 17 December. General Jones had given the troops east of the "Our" River permission to withdraw at 9:45 AM, but it was too late to organize an orderly withdrawal by that time. This order, and the slow German southern arm, gave more Americans a chance to escape, but since they had newly arrived in the area, and had few compasses or maps, most were unable to take advantage of the opportunity. The American positions east of the "Our" had become the "Schnee Eifel" Pocket.
On December 21, 1944, the 79th VG moved towards its assembly area near Diekirch, Luxembourg. On December 24, 1944, the
in conjunction with the Führer Grenadier Brigade, launched a series of attacks against the Blue Ridge Division, the 80th Infantry Division (United States). The objective was to seize the town of Heiderscheid, which included a strategic bridge across the Sure River. Both units suffered very heavy losses, particularly when on December 26 most of the 79th VG artillery and FGB armor was destroyed by American fighter bombers. The 79th VG began falling back towards the town of Baunscheid, to hold another strategic bridgehead there; it was unable to hold against the US 80th Infantry Division.
The German counterattack against the 2nd Battalion, 310th Infantry consisting of at least 500
began at approximately 1615 hours and continued sporadically until the early morning hours of 16 December. At first, the Americans held firm, driving off the frontal attack by the I. Battalion, 753. Volksgrenadier-Regiment. In a classic envelopment maneuver, the II. Battalion, 982. Volksgrenadier-Regiment infiltrated behind the companies of the 310th Infantry inside the village to cut them off from the rear. Those GIs trapped in Kesternich faced German armored vehicles with no means to combat them. Outnumbered, with little ammunition, and cut off from their supplies, the fate of the Americans inside the village was sealed. As darkness fell, the attack by the 753. Grenadier-Regiment gained momentum, advancing steadily on the isolated companies. Once the battalion commander was captured, nearly all of the surviving Americans surrendered, although some men hid away in the houses.
The division fought in the Ardennes, inflicting on the 106th US Infantry Division the worst defeat suffered by U.S. forces in the ETO, when over 8,000 US soldiers surrendered to the
. On December 21, the 18th VGD captured St. Vith, winning a great victory. As the offensive steam came to an end in the Ardennes, the division went on the defensive, and there they would stay. Eventually retreating through Germany until the end of the war, when it surrendered. On February 5, 1945 General Walter Botsch took over command of the division. On March 6, 1945, when Botsch was ordered to take command of the LIIIrd Army Corps, the 18th VGD division was absorbed into the 26th VGD led by Heinz Kokott, Heinrich Himmler's brother-in-law.
Following the German attacks sweeping around their position, the two regiments of the 106th Division, the 422nd and 423rd had remained in place, since they had heard that the Germans would launch artillery and patrols against them as they would any new division taking a place on the line. The German activity during the counter offensive seemed to follow this pattern, and since communication with the division headquarters in "St. Vith" was unreliable and intermittent, the Americans had remained for the most part inert. The few messages received indicated they could withdraw, but that counterattacks from the 7th and 9th Armored divisions would probably clear the Germans out of the area anyway. It was only at 2:15 AM on 18 December that they received an order from Jones to break out to the west along the "Bleialf" - "Schoenberg" – "St. Vith" road, clearing the area of Germans in the process. At 10 AM that morning, the breakout began with Colonel Cavender leading the attack with the 423d Infantry. By nightfall both regiments had covered three miles to the base of the ridge forming the east side of the "Our" River valley, and were prepared to attack and capture the bridge at "Schoenberg" at 10 AM the next day. At 9 AM on the 19th, the American positions came under artillery bombardment, and the 18th
overran the 590th Field Artillery Battalion who were to provide support for the attack. The attack was launched at 10 AM anyway, but came under assault gun and anti-aircraft gunfire from armored fighting vehicles on the ridge to their front.
advanced from the flanks firing small arms. This was bad enough, but then the tanks of the Führer Begleit Brigade appeared behind them, on their way around the traffic jam at "Schoenberg", it was the last straw. The Americans were under fire from all sides and running low on ammunition. At this point Colonel Descheneaux, commander of the 422 decided to surrender the American forces in the pocket. At 4 PM, this surrender was formalized and the two regiments of the 106th division and all their supporting units, approximately 7,000 men, became prisoners of the German Army. A different grouping of scattered American soldiers under the command of Major Ouellette, numbering some 500 men surrendered later, but by 8 AM on 21 December, all organized resistance by American forces in the "Schnee Eifel" pocket ended. This marked the most extensive defeat suffered by American forces in the European Theatre.
After the initial artillery strike, searchlights behind the German line lit up, reflecting an eerie illumination from the clouds and lighting up the front lines. Moving forward with the glow, the 62nd "Volksgrenadier" Division advanced through "Elgelscheid" toward "Winterspelt". This movement, combined with the advance of a southern column of the 18th "
" through "Grosslangenfeld" to meet the 62nd at "Winterspelt" and combine for a capture of "Steinebruck", with its bridge over the Our River. The capture of "Schoenberg", (six miles east of "St. Vith"), also with a bridge over the "Our", and "Steinebruck" would set up LXVI Corps for an envelopment of "St. Vith" itself. The only significant check in the German advance was at "Kobscheid", where the 18th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron had circled the village with barbed wire and dug in machine guns from their armored cars. Here, they held the village for the day; after dark, they destroyed their vehicles and abandoned their positions, withdrawing to "St. Vith". In the other villages, the cavalry troops were forced to withdraw earlier in the day so as to avoid being surrounded and cut off. The Squadron was directed by Colonel Devine to take-up positions on a new defense line along the ridge running from "Manderfeld" to "Andler", on the north side of the "Our" River.
Meanwhile, in Neubourg, K and L Companies fought a bitter struggle with the advancing Germans that eventually resulted in Hand-to-hand combat. During this combat, PVT Franklin Van Nest and PVT Joe McGraw engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle with a pair of Germans, and Van Nest (a big man) wielded a knife as large as a Roman short sword. Despite winning this brief encounter, the Germans wounded the two Privates with grenades. Companies I and M were heavily engaged in the west defending against the breakthrough. The "
" were less than aggressive in their assaults and machine-gun fire effectively halted their advance. 1-222 was alerted to move at 2050, in order to sweep the "Panzergrenadiers" and the "Fallschirmjägers" out of the Ohlugen woods. B Co was sent to the Mill d'Uhrbruck shortly after midnight but became pinned down in an hour long engagement in the forest. They eventually advanced into the enemy and took the position at the cost of 8 killed and 15 wounded, but inflicting 50 German killed.
At Bastogne, Belgium, the 327 held half of the perimeter (including the 401, which was acting as the Regiment's 3rd Battalion and later officially became a part of the 327). Numerous intense fights erupted along the 327 sector including two brutal fights at Marvie and more to the west in the 401 section. The Germans attacking were of the
and the elite tank-based Panzer Lehr. At Marvie the 327 was outnumbered by 15 to 1. Facing only two US companies, G Company, supported by several tanks from the 10th Armored Division and E Company in reserve, the German commander took his whole division further west. At Marvie, the Germans lost six tanks and several half tracks. One tank did break into Marvie, but was destroyed trying to make a run towards Bastogne. Several days later, during the night of 23 December, the enemy attacked in force with tanks. The road through Marvie was blocked when G Company mistook a US tank destroyer for a German tank and destroyed it on the village bridge. The Germans overran Hill 500 just to the west of Marvie and broke through the gap between F and G Company. The enemy then put rear pressure on the F Company Command Post. A platoon sized paratrooper element came to support F Company. The German forces managed to place tanks behind US lines between Marvie and Bastogne. The glider men of Company G and Company F were pushed back from 500 to 1,000 yards during the intense fighting, but did not break. Unable to make quick progress, the Germans pressed the attack until morning, but withdrew when the German Command Center was destroyed by US artillery. Again, the 327 was badly outnumbered by the enemy.
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