Kriegsende in Eichlinghofen, Menglinghausen und Hombruchs Süden/Englischer Originaltext

Aus Westmärker Wiki
Zur Navigation springen Zur Suche springen
Advance of 75th Infantry Division 6-13 April 1945 (from 75th INFANTRY DIVISION IN COMBAT)
Vormarsch der 75. Infantrie-Division 6.–13.4.45 (aus 75th INFANTRY DIVISION IN COMBAT)

On April 9th another unit from the 291st was allowed to take the town of Castrop-Rauxel, while Fox advanced toward Lutgen-Dortmund. Here the 291st Infantry relieved the 289th Infantry Regiment. Fox spent the night in Lutgen-Dortmund, which was a pile of rubble caused by constant bombing by the Americans during the day and the British at night.

Fox continued the attack south on April 10th. Fox attacked the town of Eichlinghofen meeting little resistance. We were consolidating our forces when a civilian came to Cox and reported that there was a bunch of armed soldiers up at the City Hall. Cox was getting a group of men together to check out the report when LT Jones volunteered to lead the group. Jones always wanted to be in the middle of the action. Soon Jones was back loaded down with lugers, P58’s and an assortment of weapons. He reported the soldiers turned out to be the whole police force, waiting to give themselves up. Everyone got their choice of a souvenir weapon. Later that evening Fox had a little fire fight over the small town of Menglinghausen and spent the night there.

On April 11th, Fox was moving southward, meeting little delaying action now and then. We had learned how to deal with these things. S/Sgt Porter of the 60mm mortar section, Weapons platoon had the reputation of being able to drop a 60mm mortar shell into a gallon bucket at 200 yards. The Germans were retreating so fast they did not have time to dig in so a mortar shell close to their position would cause them to high tail it out of there. Mission accomplished!

We were in a mining area, where we would pass a high hill of stuff that a mining company piles up when they dig deep into the ground. We stopped for the night. We had the word that we would be soon be pinched out by other units. That night LTC Drain ordered LT Stegen’s 1st platoon to be attached to K Company of 3rd Battalion 291st Infantry Regiment for the next day's attack.

LT Bob Stegen tried for several hours to find Company K but never linked up with them. For about 4 hours Stegen did not see enemy in front of him, so he lead his platoon across an open area of about 30 yards with the goal of getting to a rail road embankment. The Germans fired rounds from a 20 mm canon used to shoot at aircraft. Stegen was wounded and PFC Kay Edge, who was behind Stegen, was killed. Sgt Shea was also killed. Stegen was hit in the upper leg. Stegen laid on the battlefield for some time before a medic used a fireman’s carry to get Stegen to an aid station." He would rejoin Fox two months later at Camp Baltimore, France.

On April 12th Fox was moving into town of Persebeck when Cox got a report that one of our men had seen Germans in strength digging in near a large house. Cox went into a two story civilian operated hospital and climbed the stairs to the second floor. Cox had a good view of the whole area. There were railroad tracks running east west about 400 yards in front of the hospital. About 600 yards further to the southwest was the house. We could see the Germans digging in. Their helmets were shining in the sun. S/Sgt Porter was setting up his mortars on the north side of the railroad embankment. Cox told him when he was ready to commence firing. The light machine guns were also setting up on the railroad embankment. Cox could see everything through his field glasses, The first two rounds fell short. The Germans stopped digging and ran into the house. Cox reported the situation to LTC Drain and he said it was Fox’s target so we should take it.

LT Denton advised Cox that we were using a civilian hospital for directing military operations and that we should move on. There were a lot of old patients in the hospital, all watching us. A couple of doctors were there too but they did not complain.

Cox could not see much of the town from the hospital window. But after we moved on we could see it was a fairly good size town. LT Jones and his 2"d platoon moved through the town to sweep out whatever opposition he encountered. Cox moved under an overpass to a house overlooking the German strong point. Cox observed an 8 man German patrol moving up a road away from their house, toward the other end of town.

Cox called Jones on the radio and advised him of the patrol. Jones called back that he sighted the patrol and would set up an ambush. Cox watched through his field glasses as the German patrol got closer.

Then Cox saw the Germans scatter and hit the ditches. Cox knew someone had fired too soon or they had spotted the Americans. Some of the men later said LT Jones jumped out into the middle of the road and started firing. Jones knows now that he should have let them get a lot closer. The 8 man German patrol made it back to their cover.

In the mean time Fox was getting ready to attack the strongpoint. The Germans had an artillery piece somewhere to the rear of their house. Every few minutes they would fire a round but they never got close to us. Most would land way behind us.

The road, that ran by Cox`s position and on by some other houses, was a sunken road where we could move around unobserved by the Germans. The house next to our house was about 75 yards away. Every once in a while, the Germans would fire a 20mm automatic weapon and the rounds ricochet off the wall of the nearby house. None of us got hurt by that weapon but we got a kick out of watching the 20mm shells hitting the wall.

Sgt Moss was acting 3rd Platoon Leader with LT Thompson wounded and LT Chitwood still recuperating in an Army hospital. 3rd platoon moved into an assault position, Moss asked Cox to go with them and Cox said yes. Cox had been calling for smoke to screen their movements several times. But the artillery always said they had a prior mission.

Our tanks were not available yet so Cox asked the FO to call for Fire on the house using point detonating fuse instead of Pozit fuse (which burst in the air). The artillery still said they had a prior mission.

Cox climbed up in the attic to get a better look at the terrain around the house. There was a large hole in the front part of the roof. Cox had to get in the prone position to get close enough to see what he wanted to see. Just when he was settled down he heard a shell coming incoming. Cox knew it was going to be close. In fact he thought it would hit the roof and he would be a goner.

There was a tree right beside the house. The shell hit the tree. Sgt Moss and a number of his men were under that tree. The tree burst mortally wounded Russell Cross and killed William Ford instantly. It wounded 4 or 5 men. Ed Letourneau was one of the wounded. Cox was told about Cross and that he was lying under the overpass hit bad. Cox was down out of the attic very fast and went to Cross. He turned him over and saw a big hole in his back. A piece of shrapnel had hit him. It seemed he was breathing through that hole. Cox knew he was dying so he tried to comfort him telling him he was gonna be ok. Cross died as Cox was holding him.

Sgt Moss was shaking and almost crying. Cox knew he was shell shocked. Moss said he could not lead his men in an attack anymore. Cox sent him to the Battalion aid station. He rejoined Fox at Erndtebruck three weeks later.

Cox called LTC Drain and advised him of the situation. Stegen was attached to another unit. Jones was engaged in a different part of town and Fox did not have enough men to sustain the attack. Drain understood and turned the job over to Easy Company. The tanks had arrived and started blasting at the Germans house with direct fire from two 76mm cannons. Then low and below, after about 20 minutes of cannon fire, here came the artillery smoke to screen Easy Company’s advance.

Out came the White flags and the Germans surrendered. Easy Company marched about 30 prisoners out in front of us. Cox was so mad he almost fired on them. He would have but was concerned he would hit one of the soldiers marching them out. It all seemed so useless because the war was almost over.

The next day we learned President Roosevelt had died on April 12th.

2nd Battalion continued to attack to the Ruhr River. The Regiment defended the north bank of the Ruhr River until on at 1700 hours, April 14th the Regiment was relieved by elements of the 79th ID.

A total of 1018 Germans were captured by the 291st Infantry Regiment in the Ruhr since April 1st.

By now the German Army was pushed south of the Ruhr River and was surrounded again. Most of the Allied Army had by-passed it and had attacked to the east to the Elbe River. The German Army Group Commander, General Model told his forces to try to break out to the east. But most of his Army was surrendering. Unwilling to surrender, Model shot himself.

Source / Quelle

Edgar “Ted” Cox and Scott Adams: The Men of Fox Company. History and Recollections of Company F, 291st Infantry Regiment, Seventy-Fifth Infantry Division. iUniverse Inc., Bloomington 2012


Main article with more background information / Hauptartikel mit mehr Hintergrundinformationen: Kriegsende in Eichlinghofen, Menglinghausen und Hombruchs Süden