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[104th Infantry Division Patch]   Timberwolves: The Story of the 104th Infantry Division
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[Timberwolves: The Story of the 104th Infantry Division]
"Timberwolves: The Story of the 104th Infantry Division" is a small booklet covering the history of the 104th Infantry Division. This booklet is one of the series of G.I. Stories published by the Stars & Stripes in Paris in 1944-1945.

This is one of a series of G.I. Stories of the Ground, Air and Service Forces in the European Theater of Operations, issued by the Orientation Section, Information and Education Division, ETOUSA. Major General Terry Allen, commanding the 104th Infantry Division, lent his cooperation to the preparation of the pamphlet, basic material was supplied to the editors by his staff.

ET smart and get tough" expresses the spirit of Timberwolf training. In our initial campaign with the First Canadian Army in Holland, the division spearheaded the drive to the Maas River. We then fought in Germany with the First U.S. Army in the drive to the Roer River and later to Cologne and beyond the Rhine. Enemy resistance was decisively overcome by continuous pressure and aggressive night attacks. All objectives have been taken "per schedule". Ground never has been given. The tenacity of our Infantry, the skill of our Artillery, the cooperation of our Engineer, Signal and Reconnaissance elements, and the efficiency of our Medical, Quartermaster, Ordnance, Headquarters and Military Police personnel have been outstanding. The 555th AAA Battalion, 750th Tank Battalion and the 692th Tank Destroyer Battalion have contributed effective support.

We must always live up to our battle slogan "Nothing in hell must stop the Timberwolves."

Terry Allen


The sacred soil of Germany shall never be invaded by the enemies of the Reich. — Adolf Hitler

ACRED towns of Germany — scores of them — have been taken by the 104th Infantry Division. Nazi towns, wrenched from Hitler's Third Reich, serve as battered and bruised evidence of the ripping, fighting Timberwolves who have clawed their way over countless miles of industrial Germany.

Smashed with devastating fire, surprised by night attacks, soundly drubbed by the smooth combination of guts, brains and supplies, Germans have had cause to reel in headlong retreat.

Timberwolves have sustained casualties, but the enemy has paid a higher price, including many prisoners. On frequent occasions, complete divisions fronting the 104th had to be replaced.

The drive on Cologne — once a great German city but now a brooding, conquered rubble heap — is a typical result of the division's speed and effectiveness.

The massive offensive for the "Queen City of the Rhine" jumped off after a pulverizing artillery barrage flashed and rumbled along the east bank of the Roer River where Duren lay in the Timberwolves' path. In one of the numerous night attacks which has gained the division world-wide recognition, the 104th spanned the Roer Feb. 23, 1945.

Racing ahead and gobbling up thousands of prisoners, Timberwolves smartly outflanked Duren with a succession of brilliant maneuvers that saved lives yet took objectives ahead of schedule.

Hardly pausing at Duren, the 104th roared on. Fighting 24 hours a day, elements moved in for the kill as the Wehrmacht became confused, uncertain, stumbled, finally fell. Whole battalions were captured by the fury and speed of Timberwolf tactics.

Ancient Rhineland castles, scarred and battle-pocked, were the settings for spectacular fights. By Feb. 26, the 104th was only 11 miles from Cologne with the three Erft Rivers streaming across its front. Again in a night operation, the division hurdled the rivers with comparative ease. Constant pressure, the result of unrelenting attacks, was paying amazing dividends.

Once across the rivers, a great team — the 104th and the 3rd Armored Division — lashed out at Cologne, clearing one perimeter town after another until the spires of the Dom, the city's famous medieval cathedral, were visible.

Germany's third largest city fell March 5, 1945, a symbol of the disintegration of Nazidom and its once-feared Wehrmacht.

The men under Maj. Gen. Terry Allen, Division Commander, always have turned in a superb performance. Everywhere — in Belgium, Holland, Germany — Timberwolves have let actions speak for themselves.

During the days of the division's initial action in Germany, Maj. Gen. J. Lawton Collins, VII Corps Commander, wrote Gen. Allen:

I am taking advantage of the first lull in our current fighting... to express to you and the officers and men of the 104th Infantry Division my admiration and keen appreciation of the magnificent work you did for the VII Corps during our recent campaign.

The mission of seizing the great industrial area Eschweiler-Weisweiler-Stolberg, which was assigned to the 104th Division in the first phase of our operations, was a difficult, nasty task. The division cleared this important area in much shorter time than I had expected and with the minimum of loss. The speed with which this was accomplished is a tribute to the leadership, dash and sound training of the division.

The second phase involving the crossing of the Inde River and the advance to the Roer was even more difficult, but with characteristic skill and dash, in a series of brilliant night attacks, the 104th Division forced a crossing of the Inde and in a few days had cleared its entire sector to the Roer River. I regard the operation as one of the finest single pieces of work accomplished by any unit of the VII Corps since D-Day.

During the entire time that the 104th Division was under my command, I and my staff were tremendously impressed with the cooperative spirit and exceptional fighting ability of the officers and men of all ranks. We regard the Timberwolf Division as one of the finest assault divisions we have ever had in this Corps...

Gray Wolves Attack by Night

OV. 15, 1944, 2255 hours: The phone rang at Division Headquarters. The officer who answered repeated what he heard. "The word is Wolf."

This was the signal. The Timberwolves were to begin their battle through Germany.

Preceded by a crushing, record-breaking air bombardment, attackers kicked off at 1115 the following night. Long embattled Stolberg and Hill 287, directly to its right, were the prime objectives. Third Bn., 415th Inf., ripped its way through Stolberg, while 3rd Bn., 414th Inf., pounded Hill 287, no ordinary mound.

Controlling the surrounding area, the hill had withstood three major assaults before the Timberwolves' entry into the line. Second Bn., 414th, also was on the move, aided by such men as T/Sgt. Robert J. Warner, Pomona, N.C., who twice adjusted punishing mortar fire after voluntarily crawling to an exposed position only 50 yards from dug-in Germans. Hill 287 held out two more days while it was battered from the air, assaulted by tanks and rocked with artillery. The defense cracked Nov. 18 when doughs punched to the summit.

This valley of factories and dingy stone houses dominating the industrial valley below had been transformed into a bristling hedgehog of defense. Doughs soon were to discover how Germans would defend their industrial towns. Timberwolves were to fight from house-to-house, from cellar to-cellar, for every fortress-factory. Every inch was mined; every house booby-trapped.

Rain was followed by more rain. Doughs slogged ahead in ankle-deep mud. Visibility was limited and lashing winds threatened to blow observers from vantage points.

Paced by veterans like Sgt. Clifford P. Haynes, Paducah, Ky., of Co. I, the 413th Inf. captured Verlauntenheide. The sergeant set up his machine gun in a fully exposed position, then knocked out an enemy gun after a vicious, short-range duel.

Siegfried Line pillboxes with eight-foot thick concrete walls crumbled to TNT, flame-throwers, eight-inch guns and courage — raw courage. Garrisons died, surrendered or pulled out. Pushing on from Verlauntenheide, the battalion took over a portion of the famous Adolf Hitler Autobahn, a 60-foot wide superhighway.

First Bn., 414th, crept through a forest to surprise the enemy, Nov. 18. Moving as silently as ghosts, the battalion stole through this integral part of the Siegfried Line without a man being injured or a shot fired. Some of the fiercest fighting of the campaign followed next day as the 413th bore down on Rohe, Helrath and Durwiss. The 414th was temporarily held up at Volkenrath, Bergrath and Hastenrath, while the 415th slugged forward to Eschweiler, a city with a normal population of 36,000.

In swift, slashing strokes, the 413th buttoned up the three towns. Germans used everything but armor against the battalion which insisted on victory. Pvt. Lucky C. Harkey, Davidson, N.C., Co. E, crawled across 500 yards of fire-swept ground to lead his imperiled platoon to safety.

A bitter bayonet and grenade battle raged but Germans were "kaput" by morning. Co. L plunged forward to gain a 1000 yard area north of Durwiss.

It had been quite a day: 3700 yards of Germany changed hands; Nazis said goodbye to three of their battered towns; PWs continually asked about the division's "automatic artillery."

Patrols probed Eschweiler shortly before noon Nov. 20. By 1640, 1st Bn., 415th, was cellaring itself at the southern tip of the town as 2nd Bn. smashed to the outskirts after a 3000 yards skulk through the dense Propster Forest where trip-wired explosives hung from trees like Christmas decorations.

The next night, Cos. A and C, 415th, tossed a nightmare at napping Nazis. In an attack launched at 0300, Co. C, 329th Engrs., cleared a route through mines and booby traps as attackers shoved ahead. Four hours after the jump-off, doughs were in the heart of Eschweiler; five hours later they had blazed their way completely through the city. It was an incredible performance — moving through a staunchly-defended German town and seizing it from a non-plussed enemy who had yet to learn how to deal with these Timberwolves who fought by night.

In the fighting east of the city, Sgt. Anthony J. Schukes, Mechanicsville, N.Y., Co. D, 414th, virtually thwarted an enemy counter-attack single-handed when he killed seven Germans and routed their companions.

By now, Timberwolves were tired. But the Germans were just as tired and considerably weakened by punishing body blows they were absorbing. Putzlohn was next.

The 413th bellied ahead under raking fire until 3rd Bn. was pinned down by tanks on the outskirts of the town. Fighting reached a furious high Nov. 23 when Co. K attacked in the pre-dawn darkness, wrenching the southeast corner of the town while heating off vicious counter-thrusts by Nazi tanks and infantry. Co. L pushed ahead to seize Hill 272. Putzlohn capitulated finally to indomitable Timberwolves.

Confronted by open ground over which Germans had grazing fire, the 414th decided to attack Weisweiler, the next objective, at night. In the glum dusk, one attack jumped off; another followed several hours later. By 2200, 3rd Bn. was in the hem of the town as withering fire poured from an 80-foot slag pile.

By the time the battalion had readied itself for an assault on the slag pile next evening, Capt. Bernard E. Barker, New Raymer, Colo., and Capt. Cornell E. Bryhn, Madera, Calif., commanders of Cos. C and E respectively, had drummed up a plan.

A shifting barrage of covering fire followed attackers so close that three men were wounded. The pay-off was, however, that not another man was lost to the deeply-entrenched and numerically superior enemy. One German, forced to keep his nose buried in the earth by the blazing fire, finally looked up to stare straight into the smudged faces of three Timberwolves.

The commander of an adjacent task force called this mission the "best example of an infantry attack I ever have seen."

Weisweiler was rough. Germans threw every conceivable weapon at the 414th whose grenades and bayonets took a heavy toll in the savage, house-to-house fighting. Capt. Charles Glotzback, Paxico, Kan., Co. B commander, supervised the pulverizing of enemy forces when he asked for, and received, fire on his own position in a factory. By Nov. 25, Wolves had slammed to the center of the town, forcing Germans to withdraw toward Lamersdorf.

In the original plan, the Timberwolves were to be pinched out of the offensive as soon as they reached Weisweiler. A higher commander smilingly told Gen. Allen: "You'll be pinched out, Terry, when we reach Berlin."

The division hadn't even called for the help of another combat team which had been expected to join it. That assistance never was necessary for a good reason — the Wolves were moving just a trifle too fast!

Across the Inde, Up Lucherberg

TILL a comparatively new outfit, the 104th was being mentioned in the same breath with famed veteran units. A correspondent for Newsweek wrote: "...By the third week of the big push, it became apparent that Terry Allen had trained a very good division indeed..."

The 104th now was drawing close to the Inde River and three more towns — Frenz, Lamersdorf and Inden. Timberwolves looked to the east in cool, clear weather, hung more grenades on themselves and prepared to jump off again.

Mopping up Weisweiler by noon, Nov. 26, the 414th requested, and was granted, permission to move on to Frenz. After an advance of only 500 yards, the regiment was pinned down by everything in the ammunition chest. The 386th FA then laid down a thunder of punishing artillery and Cos. C and E ripped forward. Eight hours later, weary doughs secured Frenz against counter-attacking Germans. Tanks of the 750th, spurting death-dealing support, immeasurably aided the Timberwolf assault.

Nov. 27, 1944 — The front lines advanced 300 yards northeast from Frenz against the fiercest and most intense concentration of mortar, artillery and small arms fire yet experienced in the operation. — Operations Journal

The Germans were snarling now. Though the Inde River was only 20 feet wide, they were going to fight for it — fight hard. Open ground sloped gently down to Lamersdorf and Inden, ground that would be deadly to cross in daylight.

An order came for two night attacks. Capt. Ralph N. Gleason, Townville, S.C., hunched Co. C, 413th, into pitch-darkness and doughs silently glided undetected to the north portion of Inden. That initial entry began a fight that was to rage for the next five days.

Capt. Gleason flanked one platoon across the river. When the unit found itself in the midst of an enemy hotspot and with its return route cut off, Pvt. Robert B. Thompson, Findlay, Ohio, swam the stream carrying a cable which he secured to a tree. The platoon came back, hand over hand, thwarting expectant Krauts.

Shouldering in from the north, Co. A moved alongside Co. C. Later, Co. B raced down the open slope clinging to the hulls of fast-moving 750th light tanks. The battle swirled, flamed.

T/Sgt. John McCaslin, Duquesne, Pa., kayoed a tank from such close range that shrapnel from the grenade he tossed cut his face. Keen enemy eyes were blinded by the pall of dense smoke laid by artillery. Fighting with Co. L, 413th, Pvt. John B. Murray, Falls City, Nebr., refused medical attention while he supported his company's attack for nine hours, spraying the enemy with BAR fire from an exposed position. When one of his squads was isolated by the enemy, Sgt. Jean L. Dondanville, Moline, Ill., Co. C, 413th, walked into an Inden street with his BAR blazing to free the men.

Kraut artillery screamed to a frenzied crescendo of 50 shells a minute. Armor and aircraft entered the fray, boosting the pitch still higher. Evidence of the white heat of battle came back in fragmentary reports: "Bridges all blown;" "four houses left to clean out;" "wire teams pinned down;" "artillery on Inden terrific;" "boats and bridge equipment pinned down or burning."

This was bitter fighting. Timberwolves had to dig Germans from cellar hideouts. Pfc Francis T. Chase, Utica, N.Y., Co. L, 414th, blew two 88s out of action with his bazooka after they had been turned on him. One shell knocked down a building in which he huddled, but that didn't stop the bazookaman.

The struggle for Inden waxed hotter as determined enemy tank-infantry teams grudgingly counted inches. Elements of the 413th, 692nd TDs and 750th Tank Bn. edged ahead. The procedure was the same — house-to-house under a storm of fire. Troops were reinforced as the savage, close-in scrapping continued one exhausting day after another.

While this battle raged, 2nd Bn., 413th, was cracking Lamersdorf. The jump-off came at night as German star shells lighted the heavens. Against strong opposition, doughs punched ahead doggedly. Pvt. James V. Polio, Hazlehurst, Pa., Co. F, crawled close to two blazing machine gun nests and silenced them with grenades.

The battalion had clamped a firm hold on the town by nightfall as five mediums from the 750th clanked in the following day to support infantrymen. By midnight, the Timberwolves held Lamersdorf. The north jaw, already in place, now had a southern mate. Together they crushed Inden. The immediate job now was the crossing of the Inde River.

Preceded by a terrifying artillery barrage, two companies of 2nd Bn., 415th, waded the icy stream an hour before midnight, Dec. 2. Surprised Nazis, dazed by the heavy fire, were overrun in cellars and bayoneted and grenaded into submission after staging several rallies.

At the same time, 3rd Bn., 414th, forded the river in the center of the town. Probing its way slowly through the black night, the battalion hacked out a 300-yard East Inden beachhead by dawn.

"We are killing Germans by the score," and later, "Killing Germans right and left," were flashes coming back from the tiny 536 radios of Co. G, 415th, then fighting in the dismal interior of a factory after a midnight crossing.

Lucherberg, citadel town perched on a 500-foot height with a steep cliff on its northern approach, became the next objective after Inden fell Dec. 3. Striking again in pitch-darkness, Co. I, 3rd Bn., 415th, led by Lt. John J. Olson, crossed the river, headed for Lucherberg as the Nazi garrison slept.

By scaling the cliff, Co. I doughs knew they could surprise the defenders. Climbing upward, the raiders pried three houses from the rim of the silent town before they were discovered.

It was then that the lieutenant radioed back: "We are very close to them now; they are firing with everything they have; I am going to rush them."

When enemy counter-attacks threatened to overwhelm the company, Lt. Olson, laying long odds, called for fire on his position. Artillery promptly responded.

Almost six hours later, Lt. John D. Shipley, Appleton, Wis., who had taken over when Lt. Olson was wounded, reported: "We have so many dead Germans in front of us that we can't see to shoot!"

Co. L had been stopped Outside the town at daylight by heavy fire. Refusing to give up, doughs now retraced their steps, wading the river they had crossed and moved south. Splashing in the cold, waist-deep water a third time, the company angled in from the south to aid Co. I which still defied frantic enemy attempts to be dislodged. Other companies implemented the attack. By late afternoon, the 415th had taken Lucherberg. The cost had been only 13 casualties, while more than 400 Nazis had been killed or captured.

Reluctant to relinquish this strategically-located town, Germans countered with 10 tanks and supporting infantry. A 70-ton Tiger Royal tank fired point blank into Co. F's Command Post. Sgt. George E. Burns, Findlay, Ohio, rushed from the building and fired his bazooka — only seven feet from the tank. The bulky tank waddled away in flaming retreat.

The Corps Commander messaged: "Congratulations to the 104th Division on its superb performance in capturing Lucherberg."

Three More Towns Fall Prey

HREE more German towns remained west of the Roer River. On Dec. 10, the 414th hurled itself against Schophoven and Pier, meeting heavy fire and mixing into a see-saw melee at the western tip of Pier.

Three tanks were kayoed by German self-propelled 88s which ran up and down streets and darted out from behind walls. After crumbling buildings that sheltered battalion doughs, the same 88s fired the buildings with incendiaries, forcing one company to dig itself from the flaming rubble. Parts of two other companies were reported safe in cellars although buildings had collapsed on them.

Pfc Francis F. Sloan, Co. B, fired every weapon he could find, including tank machine guns, a rifle, German bazooka and a BAR to allow his company, trapped in a cellar, to escape. Schophoven fell as did Pier after a maelstrom of fierce combat.

Merken was jolted by a perfectly planned and executed night attack as 1st Bn., 415th, pressed into the heart of the town. Lt. Jerry Hooker. Eugene, Ore,. Co. C, and Capt. Raymond Garino, Passaic, N.J., Co. B, hooked their outfits into Merken from the northeast.

"We have nine houses along the northeast edge of town," radioed Co. C. "Co. B holds 11 houses," was the next report, followed by: "Dug-in 88s giving trouble." Reports of progress followed the moving hands of anxiously consulted watches. At 1700 came, "Two thirds of the town is in our hands. Prisoner total 168. Streets littered with more than 200 enemy dead."

A routed foe pulled out of Merken.

The next few weeks were spent mopping up the area west of the Roer and sending patrols across the river to the enemy-held east shore. Then, as all the world knows, the Germans launched their heavy offensive which struck south of the 104th sector.

While the fighting in the Bulge waxed and finally waned, the division waited word for the drive to the Rhine and Cologne. Orders came in late February and Timberwolves ripped all the way to Cologne within 11 days to climax its second campaign that had begun March 22 near Aachen. Proof of sound training was evident. A late starter, the division was contributing vitally to the defeat of the Wehrmacht.

The 104th was whelped back in 1921 as an infantry division of organized reserves to draw its personnel from Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada.. Charles Livingstone Bull designed the now famed shoulder patch in 1924, the same year that the 104th began calling itself the Timberwolf division.

Came World War II and reserve units were activated. The 104th waited awhile — then, Sept. 15, 1942, the Big Grey Wolf came into being at Camp Adair, Ore.

Men came from every corner of the nation to join the division in December. With the men came the rains. During that wet Oregon winter, fillers became soldiers, sloshing through mud the like of which was to greet them later in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Mid-summer 1943, the 104th moved to the high desert of Oregon for division and Corps maneuvers.

After taking preliminary desert training in the California-Arizona Maneuver Area, the 104th paused briefly at Granite, Calif., before shoving off early in March 1944 for Camp Carson, Colo.

For the next three months, Timberwolves developed the tricks of night fighting. Excitement of going overseas mounted throughout July. Destination guesses ranged from Inner Mongolia to the docks at Hoboken. Transportation was to be by dog sled, glider, roller skates, and, of course, by foot.

The blue chips went down Aug. 9 when advance parties suddenly were alerted. The 413th and 415th were recalled from the field. The advance party pulled out on two hours' notice with everybody wondering just what he had packed and where he had packed it. By Aug. 15, the entire division was aboard trains, headed for the POE. Trips averaged four days and featured poker, blackjack, "calihoostics," engine grime and heat.

With the embarkation hour set, Timberwolves rolled their 12 long tons of equipment into horseshoe rolls, packs, duffle bags and pockets, then marched to trains taking them to ferries and finally aboard ship. By Aug. 27, the division was underway.

Life aboard ship was easy and lazy in the clear, balmy weather. When the ship rolled, some boys lost their lunches; when the bones rolled, others regretted their hunches.

The destination was unknown, but latrine pilots had the division landing in Liverpool, Glasgow, Calcutta and Providence, R.I. One guess did click — Cherbourg — and the 104th became the first American troops to land there directly from the States.

The division moved on to a staging area where it awaited its first assignment. At Barneville, provisional truck companies composed of more than 2500 Timberwolves helped roll the famed "Red Ball" as it performed miracles of supply. Under the supervision of the artillery, including drivers from every unit, these truck companies earned the praise of Lt. Gem John C. H. Lee, who wrote Gen. Allen:

...The superb performance you, your officers, your men and your trucks have given us will always be remembered as a great service in time of great need. The magnificent manner in which you went about and have completed your mission reflect highest credit to the 104th and its Commander who never fails. Now you're going forward again on a special mission — also of highest importance to the Allied Forces. Our devoted best wishes go with you...

After a short stay at Barneville, the Wolves shoved off again — anxious, ready to begin their prowl. It was in Belgium where the 104th first met the Germans.

First Fight — "Battle of the Dikes"

NTWERP'S giant cranes and miles of docks now are stevedoring millions of tons of "what it takes" from ships for the journey to front line troops. This shortened supply line was instrumental in bringing Nazis to defeat.

Timberwolves played a vital role in wresting control of the great seaport from the foe. Thrown into the thick of the fight near the Netherlands border, in a land as flat as a billiard table and criss-crossed with innumerable canals, the division went to work. There began the "Battle of the Dikes."

Oct. 23, 1944, 1700 hours: Wolves dug in on a line near Wustwezel facing the mighty Maas River, 22 miles to the north, after relieving the British 49th Division.

Originally assigned a defensive role that was to last only a few hours, the division instituted vigorous patrolling. The first PW was captured by a Co. E, 414th, patrol led by Lt. Herman C. Kramer, Mt. Vernon, N.Y.

It was a chill, overcast day as the regiments mudded toward Holland, meeting only slight resistance and chalking up a considerable advance. By nightfall, the division had crossed the Netherlands frontier, and preparations were made for the first of attacks which were to gain the Timberwolves their impressive reputation as night fighters.

While the 385th FA battered the enemy, 413th doughs squished forward just before midnight. As the advance continued next day, Pfc Beverly Tipton, Wineheath, Ky., Co. L, inched within six feet of a chattering machine gun that pinned down his squad. Firing point blank with his BAR, Tipton silenced it.

First and 2nd Bns., 414th, strangled the Breda-Antwerp highway. Although casualties were suffered as intense machine gun fire sprayed its front and flanks and mortars and 88s rained down incessantly, 2nd Bn. rallied, plunged on. To the left, the 415th carved a 1600 yard salient.

As the 413th right-hooked Zundert, the 414th jabbed the center and the 415th uncorked a powerful left. Zundert took the count and its citizens decked their homes and streets with long hidden Netherlands' flags and "Welcome to Our Liberators" signs.

The tempo quickened. The 414th sped toward Breda, swallowing Rijabergen, while the 415th in a fast-moving and deadly night strike stormed 5000 yards to break an enemy position near Sprundel.

The 414th slammed forward Oct. 29, hitting a solid German block at the Vaart Canal. The breakthrough was forced mainly through the work of Capt. Dar Nelson, Laramie, Wyo., Co. L commander. Moving far forward to an exposed position, the captain directed artillery fire so effectively that the enemy was forced to pull out. The battalion then advanced 1000 yards beyond the canal. A grim-faced enemy waited along the Breda-Roosendahl road but the 415th broke through after mined approaches were cleared.

"Push on tonight and force a crossing of the Mark River in the vicinity of Staanddarbuiten," was the order. First Bn., 415th, complied by thrusting a beachhead across the stream before astonished Germans could act. Angry counter-attacks and aroused artillery made reinforcement of assault forces too perilous, so Corps ordered a withdrawal. A crackling wall of fire on the north shore cut off two officers and 65 men from Cos. A and B with no weapons other than their rifles. Here began one of the gallant stands of this or any other war.

Three days later, Staanddarbuiten literally was blasted to rubble by a stunning, earthquaking artillery concentration which lasted an hour. Then, at 2100 on Nov. 2, the 413th and 415th assault-boated the Mark. Just 50 minutes later, four infantry battalions were picking Staanddarbuiten's bones. One of the most difficult of military maneuvers had been achieved with the smoothest precision; it was an accomplishment worthy of the best troops:

The courageous band of isolated men under Lts. Ernest D. Fox, Salt Lake City, and George K. Squires, Portland, Ore., was rescued from the thin, pocked crescent which it had held for three nightmarish days against jabbing German tanks, infantry and whining 88s. The men had subsisted on turnips and beets, had treated their own wounded, had killed many enemy, had refused to quit. Later, Platoon Sgts. James H. Ferguson, Downers Grove, Ill., and Edward R. Arbogast, Norton, W. Va., were awarded battlefield commissions and Silver Stars.

By the next day, the 329th Engrs. had completed two bridges across the river, working constantly under deadly accurate artillery and mortar fire. Three Germans who directed the fire from the abutment of the old bridge were ferreted out. This explained repeated hits that caused constant reconstruction.

Attacking by night, by day, but always attacking, Timberwolves crossed dike after dike, flooded field after flooded field, took town after town. Second and 3rd Bns., 415th, converged on Zevenbergen. Patrols of 1st Bn., 414th, dipped into the Maas River and sent a bottle of its water to Gen. Allen. These patrols were the first Allied troops to reach this river.

Nothing in Hell Has Stopped Timberwolves

NE of the world's longest bridges spanned the Maas at Moerdijk. The division was assigned the mission of taking the town in conjunction with the Polish 1st Armored Division, which had been operating on its right.

When orders arrived the same day shifting Timberwolves to the Aachen vicinity where they were to become a part of First Army, 2nd Bn., 444th, and the 386th FA were left to continue the Moerdijk operation.

It was here that T/Sgt. John A. Cronin, Mauchunk, Pa., left his covered position to go to the aid of a fire-raked platoon. Moving from man to man, he administered first aid while under constant fire. Later, he supervised evacuation of 21 wounded. His devotion to duty exemplifies the actions which have earned aid men the respect of the doughs.

Just before the Timberwolves retired from the "Battle of the Dikes," which helped to free Antwerp, Lt. Gen. G. G. Simonds, First Canadian Army Commander, passed on the following letter from Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, 21st Army Group Commander:

Now that the operations designed to give us the free use of the port of Antwerp are nearly completed, I want to express... my admiration for the way in which you have all carried out the very difficult task given to you. The operations were conducted under the most appalling conditions of ground — and water — and the advantage in these respects favored the enemy. But in spite of great difficulties you slowly and relentlessly wore down enemy resistance, drove him back, and captured great numbers of prisoners. It has been a fine performance and one that could have been carried out only by first class troops.

The Canadian Army is composed of troops from many different nations and countries. But the way in which you have all pulled together, and operated as one fighting machine, has been an inspiration to us all...

Gen. Simonds then answered:

On behalf of First Canadian Army will you kindly express to the Commander-in-Chief, 12th Army Group, my appreciation of the services of 104th U.S. Infantry Division while under this command. I realize that it is not easy for a division to have its introduction to battle in an ,Army other than its own. Nevertheless, once the Timberwolves got their teeth into the Boche, they showed great dash, and British and Canadian troops on their flanks expressed the greatest admiration for their courage and enthusiasm.

During the time the 104th Division has served in the First Canadian Army, relations have been most cordial and we have received the utmost cooperation from General Allen, his Staff and all commanders. I am sorry that they are leaving us and feel sure that when they again meet the Boche "All hell cannot stop the Timberwolves."

Lt. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges, First Army Commander, in commending the division, wrote:

Field Marshal Montgomery recently forwarded to the Commanding General, 12th Army Group, the attached copy of a letter from Lt. Gen. Simonds, First Canadian Army, expressing the latter's appreciation of the splendid services of the 104th Infantry Division while under his command.

I am very pleased to learn of the high esteem in which both the British and Canadian troops hold your Division, and am confident that it will continue to maintain the high standard of battle conduct it has established.

The story of the 104th Division is the story of how a team trained conscientiously and then made that training pay off in battle — in battle where green troops smacked battle-wise veterans from the very outset.

Many victories were achieved by employing Gen. Allen's favorite maneuver — the night attack. Casualties were held to a minimum because of good headwork.

One correspondent wrote after the division's first few engagements: "It is already possible to say that it is a very good division. And that, in such fast company as we have here on the First Army front, is a real compliment."

By its actions, the 104th has lived up to its battle slogan and

Nothing in hell must stop the Timberwolves.


From way up north in Oregon to
Southlands far away,

We've moved across the desert sands
a-fighting all the way.

We'll climb the highest mountains in
any state or land.

We will swing along by combat-team
a-fighting hand to hand.


Oh, this is our night to howl boys,
just follow us with will,

The Timberwolves are on the prowl,
we're closing in to kill.

We're a helluva gang to fight with,
just follow us and see,

The 104th will lead the way from hell
to victory.

Photos: U.S. Signal Corps
Printed by Curial-Archereau, Paris

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