Source: W.S. Zapotoczny., The 110th holds in the Ardennes
Excerpt from 110th Infantry Regimental—After Action Report, 1944, (Harrisburg: 28th Infantry Division Archives)
From: 1 December ’44
To: 18 December ’44
a. During the period covered, this regiment identified the following units opposing it. Identifications were determined from prisoners taken by units in contact and represent units which attacked the regiment on or after 16 December ’44:
2nd Panzer Division
26th Volks Grenadier Division (also identified prior to 16 December)
130th Panzer Lehr Division
352nd Volks Grenadier Division (identified prior to 16 December)
11th Panzer Division (Elements)
b. Enemy reserves not located.
c. During the period 1 to 15 December inclusive, enemy action was limited to manning their Siegfried Line pillboxes and installations; local patrol movements, scattered personnel and vehicular movement east of the Our River; occasional artillery and small arms fire on friendly positions and patrols. On the morning 16 December ’44 at 0530, the enemy heavily shelled the forward positions of the regiment. At approximately 0730, 16 December ’44, the enemy attacked along the entire regimental front in groups of fifty to 150 men supported by four to eight tanks each. The enemy troops moved between and around our strongpoints isolating companies and platoons. During the night 16/17 December ’44, the attack was continued to accomplish their apparent desire to establish an MSR [Main Supply Route] to continue the attack west. Enemy action reduced our positions or rendered them untenable until at approximately 1900, 18 December ’44 he had over run the Regimental Command Post and had control of the sector. Early in the morning of 19 December ’44, he continued his attack west and southwest toward Wiltz and Bastogne against remnants of the regiment.
Upon reorganization of the Regimental Headquarters in Neufchateau, Belgium on 23 December ’44, remnants of the regiment were no longer in contact with the enemy. No contact was established to the end of the period.
d. On 16 December ’44, enemy strength was established as 6,500 per division, each supported by 150 tanks including Command Headquarters armoured units. Artillery support was rendered by an unknown number of self-propelled guns and towed guns. Prisoners displayed a high state of morale induced by their offensive; they were not as freely responsive to interrogation as previously.
e. Plans open to the enemy from 23 December ’44 to the close of the period were to maintain his position in the vicinity of St. Hubert-Veaqueville-Moircy: Attack Southeast to capture Neufchateau or isolate Bastogne further; or withdraw to the Siegfried Line.
2. OWN SITUATION.
a. Front line or most advanced element—see overlay.
b. Location of troops, command posts, boundaries, etc.—see overlay.
c. Location of adjacent troops and supporting troops—see overlay.
d. On the first of December, the second and third battalions of this regiment were dispersed along the Our River from Bastendorf on the south to Marnach on the north with the second battalion on the south. The companies occupied strong points. Outposts of varying sizes and patrols covered terrain from the main north-south road west of the Our River to the river. The first battalion was in reserve (mobile) located in the town of Feulen near Ettelbruck. The 32nd Cavalry Squadron attached to the regiment occupied a sector between the town of Marnach and Lousdorn. The Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Company were at Consthum and Service Company at Nocker. The Headquarters of the Antitank Company was at Hoscheid. The guns of the Company were emplaced covering the road net. The Cannon Company was at Munshausen. The 109th Field Artillery Battalion, 687th Field Artillery Battalion, Company ‘B’ 630th Tank Destroyer Battalion and the 2nd Reconnaissance Platoon were attached for operations. The 707th Tank Battalion with Headquarters at Wilwerwiltz was dispersed behind the regiment. Plans were being formulated to make a raid across the Our River with the mission of securing prisoners.
On 2 December the first battalion relieved the second battalion in the line. By 1500 the second battalion (minus ‘E’ and ‘H’ Companies) had closed in its area at Feulen. Company ‘E’, the company to make the raid, and Company ‘H’, to support the raid, remained in the line.
On 3 December Company ‘E’ made its raid across the Our River into Germany
On 4 December Company ‘B’ 630th Tank destroyer Battalion was relieved from attachment to the regiment and moved to Enscherange for training. It still could be called on for any necessary tactical mission through the Division Antitank Officer. The commanding officer of the company was to maintain liaison with the regiment by a daily visit and telephone.
On 5 December the first battalion was formulating plans to conduct another raid across the Our River into Germany The third battalion was making plans to send a patrol of two platoons, reinforced, through the towns of Ober and Unter Eisenbach. The purpose of the patrol was to clear out any enemy within the area and to establish the status of any enemy installations in the area.
On 6 December the patrol from the third battalion completely searched the area from Wahlhausen to Eisenbach and found neither enemy nor enemy installations. B Company ‘C’ontinued planning and training for their contemplated raid into Germany. One platoon of Company ‘B’ 707th Tank Battalion was to train both the infantry and tank personnel in the Tank-Infantry Team.
On 8 December the following instructions were received from Division Headquarters:
1. 60th Armoured Infantry Battalion relieve 2nd Battalion 109th Infantry on 10 December.
2. 109th Infantry relieve 1st Battalion 110th Infantry on 10 December.
3. 110th Infantry relieve 32nd Cavalry Squadron on 10 December. 32nd Cavalry Squadron revert to parent organization on completion of relief.
4. Relocate units to conform to boundaries.
5. Commanders of units involved arrange details of several reliefs.
6. Commanders of units involved agree on passing of responsibility for sectors. Advise Division Headquarters.
7. Units concerned contact G-4 for necessary additional trucks.
The drafting of plans to accomplish the above mission was immediately started. On 9 December plans were completed for the shifting of battalions to conform with the Division order on the change of boundaries. The second battalion took over responsibility of the sector held by the 32nd Cavalry Squadron. This put all three battalions in the line.
On 10 December the 109th Infantry relieved the 1st Battalion 110th Infantry and took over responsibility of that area. The 1st Battalion relieved the second Battalion and assumed responsibility for the sector previously occupied by the 32nd Cavalry Squadron. The second battalion reverted to the Division reserve (Mobile) and occupied the following towns: Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company, at Donnange, Company ‘E’ at Boxhorn, Company ‘F at Eselborn, Company ‘G’ at Lullange and Company ‘H’ at Boevange-les-Clervaux. The third battalion continued to train and patrol.
On 12 December the 1st Reconnaissance Platoon 630 Tank Destroyer Battalion replaced the 2nd Reconnaissance Platoon 630 Tank Destroyer Battalion and moved into the town of Marnach. The mission of the Tank Destroyer Reconnaissance Platoon was to patrol the main highway west of the Our River and keep it open to traffic from the north end of the Regiment sector to the south end of the Regimental sector. All mines and booby traps were removed from the area Marnach to Clervaux to enable the reserve battalion to run a battalion problem (Moving a battalion tactically across country through woods). Plans were made to move the Regimental Command Post to Clervaux.
On 13 December the Regimental Command Post moved from Consthum to Clervaux closing the old command post at 1050 and opening the new one at the same time. Service Company moved from Nocher to Weicherdange. As of 2400 13 December 44 the units of the 110th Infantry were disposed as follows.
Regimental Headquarters at Clervaux
Service Company at Weicherdange
Cannon Company at Munshausen
Antitank Company at Hoscheid
Headquarters and Headquarters Company at Urspelt
Company ‘A’ at Heinerscheid
Company ‘B’ and 1st Reconnaissance Platoon 630 Tank Destroyer
Battalion at Marnach
Company ‘C’ at Munshausen with Cannon Company
Company ‘D’ at Grindhausen
Headquarters and Headquarters Company at Donnange
Company ‘E’ at Boxhorn
Company ‘F’ at Eselborn
Company ‘G’ at Iullange
Company ‘H’ at Boevange-les-Clervaux
Headquarters and Headquarters Company
Company ‘I’ at Weiler-les-Putscheid
Company ‘K’ at Hosingen with Company ‘B’ 103rd Engineers
Company ‘L’ at Holzthum
On 14 and 15 December the regiment trained, patrolled and improved their defensive positions. Each battalion on the line had established five outposts along the Our River. Each outpost was composed of one full infantry squad and equipped with a SCR 300 radio and either tied in by wire or in the process of being tied in.
In general during the period from 1 December to 15 December inclusive the regiment received replacements, reorganized and trained. Tactically it consolidated the defence of its sector by organizing the line battalions into company strong points, building up its defence around various towns. In general the plan of defence was for each battalion:
1. Five outposts in each battalion sector along the Our River.
2. Strength 1 full infantry squad.
3. The outposts to be in position prior to daylight and to pull back into the town occupied by its parent Company after dark.
4. During the hours of darkness patrol to work between the company, occupied towns and the Our River and laterally between companies.
5. The town occupied by the companies to be out posted in such strength as to allow sufficient time for the remainder of the company (in case of an attack) to man their previously held dug in positions.
6. Extensive patrolling was carried out with the mission of keeping the enemy east of the Our River, obtaining enemy information and maintaining contact between units.
On the morning of 16 December at approximately 0530 the entire regimental front was subjected to a heavy artillery barrage for about a half hour. From about 0600 to about 0630 it diminished slightly. From 0630 to 0730 it again increased in intensity. At about 0730 generally along the entire front an attack was made by infantry. This was rapidly followed up by armour and more infantry. As the day progressed, the enemy build-up in infantry, armour and artillery was rapid. Companies on the line and artillery batteries behind the infantry companies were soon fighting numerically superior forces. In some cases companies were driven into the centre of the town and had house to house battles. As the day progressed communications generally diminished.