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
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
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.