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  • Paul Mann III
    replied
    Originally posted by The Purist View Post

    Despite Pieper's defeat the Germans were still able to push through 505/82nd as St Vith was abandoned and the 82nd was moved westward to Werbomount. So,....you grandpa certainly did not chase the German back into Germany from Cheneux. It would be late January before the Germans were forced back to their start lines in the Ardennes.
    They didn't run straight to Germany, but they did run from the 504th. According to my grampa's notes, they attacked until after January. His noted put him in St. Vith before he stopped marching...

    The 505th fell back on Werbomount because Gavin's CP was exposed by the armored division that retreated without notice, and he ordered them back rather than depend on what he had.

    Originally posted by The Purist View Post

    You have posted some good material on the 504 PIR in the Cheneux action Paul but do not ignore the rest of the fighting that took place in that area. Resorting to your typical biased views concerning the 82ns Abn Div is charming but easily countered by accessing even the most basic resources on the Ardennes battle.
    I don't ignore the rest of the fighting, I just follow the Blair logic that the 82nd was a critical unit in the first days of the Bulge.

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  • The Purist
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
    ...As it was, he didn't have to try to stop them, as they faded out. My grampa and his 18-man company (5 in his platoon) moved out and chased the Krauts back into Germany.
    The truth is that Pieper never planned on using the Cheneux route as the road was ill-suited to the heavy kit he had. that is why he planned on moving past Stoumont and Roua to the bridge over the Ambleve further west.

    Despite Pieper's defeat the Germans were still able to push through 505/82nd as St Vith was abandoned and the 82nd was moved westward to Werbomount. So,....you grandpa certainly did not chase the German back into Germany from Cheneux. It would be late January before the Germans were forced back to their start lines in the Ardennes.

    You have posted some good material on the 504 PIR in the Cheneux action Paul but do not ignore the rest of the fighting that took place in that area. Resorting to your typical biased views concerning the 82ns Abn Div is charming but easily countered by accessing even the most basic resources on the Ardennes battle.

    Cheers.

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  • Paul Mann III
    replied
    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    That was my first thought. By this date even commanders at Tuckers level understood they were facing a large scale offensive, the situation was chaotic, and new German attacks could be expected soner rather than later.
    Tucker was a man of decisive action, as he demonstrated at Salerno. While some have their doubts about the reasoning for his attack at Cheneux, I have none. He could either try to stop an armoured column after they crossed the bridge, or he could take the bridge away and try to stop them from the town.

    As it was, he didn't have to try to stop them, as they faded out. My grampa and his 18-man company (5 in his platoon) moved out and chased the Krauts back into Germany.

    Last edited by Paul Mann III; 16 Nov 08, 19:50.

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  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
    ... Tucker could have waited for better support, but at what cost? On the night of the 19th nothing was certain...
    That was my first thought. By this date even commanders at Tuckers level understood they were facing a large scale offensive, the situation was chaotic, and new German attacks could be expected sooner rather than later.
    Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 17 Nov 08, 06:24.

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  • Paul Mann III
    replied
    Originally posted by The Purist View Post

    The Germans were not attempting to push down the road from Cheneux as Pieper's main effort was farther north. Both artillery and a pair of TDs were available and a minor delay in order to prepare a suported assault would have netted the same result without such heavy casualties.
    The diary excerpt, from a senior Kraut-NCO, that I have uploaded several times, says that Cheneux was secured in an effort to run a large amount troops over the bridge there. Had the 504th not taken Cheneux a good bridge would have been available to Peiper with nothing to stop him. The Kraut NCO seemed surprised that so much effort was coming his way, but they were prepared to turn Cheneux into a useful river crossing until a bunch of crazy paratrooper yelling like Rebels came running at them.

    As a side note, Company B brought an artillery piece, a captured Kraut S.P., with them (and used it quite well), and expexted heavy weapons support from Regiment that was not in place until too late. A minor delay would have given the Krauts a better chance to secure Cheneux, and time was of the essense due to the bridge in Cheneux. Tucker could have waited for better support, but at what cost? On the night of the 19th nothing was certain...

    Since a whole armored division had already retreated without notice, I'm not suprised that Tucker chose not to wait for more support. He would've been over-run and wiped out if he hadn't gone into Cheneux before Peiper's column started streaming through. The only reason Peiper didn't put more force in the Cheneux direction is that the 504th took and held the town with decisive action.

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  • The Purist
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
    By the end of December 20th the Krauts from Peiper's column were running from the 504th PIR out of Cheneux. 30th was a big help, but doesn't deserve all the credit, the 82nd was on the line first and farther up, and as far as US armour, that tank division who disappeared from supporting the 82nd was really cool...
    The US paras at Cheneux (504 PIR) did an excellent job as they managed to savage a Pz Gr Bn and its supporting kit (aa halftracks and the like) on the 20th. However the attack was ill-conceived and the cost of 23 dead and 202 wounded was unnecessary. The Germans were not attempting to push down the road from Cheneux as Pieper's main effort was farther north. Both artillery and a pair of TDs were available and a minor delay in order to prepare a suported assault would have netted the same result without such heavy casualties.

    The main effort that stopped Pieper was made by CCB 3rd Arm' deploying three TFs (Jordan, McGeorge and Lovelady), the 30th divs 119th and 117th inf regiments plus the Shermans of the 740th Tank Bn (as well as various TDs and engineer units). These units engage Pieper's main force between Stoumont and Stavelot from Dec 18th onward.
    Last edited by The Purist; 16 Nov 08, 10:30.

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  • The Purist
    replied
    Originally posted by johnbryan
    ....Bastogne was not relieved and was still under siege from Von Luttwitz's 47th Panzer Corps, consisting of the Panzer Lehr, 2nd Panzer and 26th Volksgrenadier Divisions, soon followed by the 15th Panzergrenadier Division....
    I'm not sure what you mean by this but yes Bastogne was still surrounded when 3rd Army attacked. Various divisions stepped off between the 22nd and 24th of Dec and the cordon around the defenders was breached on the 26th.

    Originally posted by johnbryan
    ... Panzer Lehr and 2 Panzer were not KG's. They had been rebuilt after the bloodletting in Normandy....
    Yes they were but they only left battlegroups behind at Bastogne while the remainder of the divisions moved west. When Noville fell, von Luttwitz wanted to turn his tanks south and take the town but Manteuffel refused, "Forget Bastogne and head for the Meuse". Pz Lehr left a PG reg't and continued west asdid 2nd Pz. Second Pz was later stopped at Celles (the furthest advance) and shot to pieces by the US 2nd Arm'd.

    Originally posted by johnbryan
    I'm not sure about the 15th PG Division that had fought and was freshly arrived from Italy. Bastogne was not fully relieved until 26 December, although the 101st Airborne Division still maintains that they were never remotely in any need of relief.
    You are also forgetting the Fuhr Begleit Bde, the Fuhr Gren Reg't, a much reduced 3rd Pz Gr Div, and a battlegroup from 1st SS Pz also transfered to the Bastogne front once the relief was accomplished. All of these units arrived after the relief. The threat to the town was greater at the very end of Dec and the first few days of January than it was before Christmas.
    Last edited by The Purist; 16 Nov 08, 10:29.

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
    In the case of Cheneux it was not momentary contact, it was a horrible two day battle that got 225 troopers killed or wounded. Much the fighting was done over a 400-yard flat spot, with zero cover, in the pitch black of night.

    The rest happened between a maze of barbed-wire and town with a bridge.

    A forest would have been nice..., those guys in Bastogne knew how to live...
    Speaking of desperate engagements, I read some accounts awhile back from a number of US Soldiers who told of roads being held by a single AT gun in defilade who knocked out the first German recon vehicle that came into sight. After that, the attached platoon laid down a field of covering fire so that the AT gun could be limbered up to its mover and hauled away to another site farther down the two track road, with the platoon hot on their heels.

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  • Paul Mann III
    replied
    Originally posted by johnbryan View Post

    Yeah, it's funny to see how fluid the situation really was, with units making momentary contact before bouncing off, especially in such a closed, forested area with so few roads and with so much snow and lousy weather.
    In the case of Cheneux it was not momentary contact, it was a horrible two day battle that got 225 troopers killed or wounded. Much the fighting was done over a 400-yard flat spot, with zero cover, in the pitch black of night.

    The rest happened between a maze of barbed-wire and town with a bridge.

    A forest would have been nice..., those guys in Bastogne knew how to live...

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    My great-Uncle was on Patton's Staff and it's amazing to hear how he viewed it all happening all around him and in real time.

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
    By the end of December 20th the Krauts from Peiper's column were running from the 504th PIR out of Cheneux. 30th was a big help, but doesn't deserve all the credit, the 82nd was on the line first and farther up, and as far as US armour, that tank division who disappeared from supporting the 82nd was really cool...
    Yeah, it's funny to see how fluid the situation really was, with units making momentary contact before bouncing off, especially in such a closed, forested area with so few roads and with so much snow and lousy weather.

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  • Paul Mann III
    replied
    Originally posted by The Purist View Post

    It is worth noting that 30th inf and US armour stopped Peiper at Stoumont and La Gliese and began counterattacking before Patton got his three divisions moving. By the 19th or 20th the German advantage in the Ardennes had been eradicated as US divisions and corps were re-directed.
    By the end of December 20th the Krauts from Peiper's column were running from the 504th PIR out of Cheneux. 30th was a big help, but doesn't deserve all the credit, the 82nd was on the line first and farther up, and as far as US armour, that tank division who disappeared from supporting the 82nd was really cool...

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  • Patton 7079
    replied
    well, Nothing against Monty, however the Operation as flawed at the start. perhaps if they gave it more time or scrubbed the operation all together.

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by The Purist View Post
    C'mon John, when Patton's three divisions stepped off on Dec 23rd the main opposition consisted of a single parachute infantry division backed up by 12 assault guns. The attack organised at Patton's behest was little more than a frontal assault and it suffered accordingly. Bastogne was relieved long before major reinforcments reached the Germans at Bastogne and 4th AD had a tougher fight after lifting the seige than before. Those elements (except for the 26th inf, the Germans only had KGs at Bastogne) of the German divisions surrounding Bastogne were actually outnumbered and outgunned by defenders inside the seige lines.

    As noted, Patton began moving divisions out of the line and realigning them for most of a week before they actually moved off to attack the German flank. Patton was forced to call off his own attack on the Saar but he was by no means fully committed and the myth that he pulled out of an attack and wheeled 90 degrees before attacking north is not supported by the facts. This takes nothing away from what Patton actually did but he was doing nothing that 1st and 9th Armies were not doing in the north when they pulled no less than three armoured divisions plus two or three more infantry divs out of the line to block the northern flank.

    It is worth noting that 30th inf and US armour stopped Peiper at Stoumont and La Gliese and began counterattacking before Patton got his three divisions moving. By the 19th or 20th the German advantage in the Ardennes had been eradicated as US divisions and corps were re-directed.



    By the time the allies were ready to cross the Rhine the German army in the west had all but been destroyed. The Rhineland battles fought by US 9th and the Cdn 1st Armies drove the final nails into OB West's coffin and the few remaining formation were, indeed, in the north. Further south the German army consisted of little more than a screen and the US 1st, 3rd, 7th and French 2nd Armies had little trouble kicking in the door and bringing about the total collapse in the south. After that it was all open field running and Patton was able to show his true talent in organising a pursuit that carried his army to the borders of Czechoslovakia and thus completely disrupting the south of Germany.

    Up north, once the Ruhr was encirlced it was much the same except for some odd tough scrapes against the few remaining German divisions that still managed to field some strength. Bouncing the Rhine was no great accomplishment by any of the allied armies. It was the denoument to the Bulge and Rhineland.
    Yes, it's funny how some kamphgruppes and a single Airborne Division defending the Saar can cause such consternation with the opposition and with the right terrain and support at their disposal. Monte Cassino comes to mind.

    I would in no way call Patton's attack to relieve Bastogne in the time he alotted as a "myth." Patton's 3rd Army stepped off on 21 December, not the 23rd. Admittedly the attack suffered heavily because it was nothing more than a frontal assault upon prepared positions, with no time to plan for the niceties of alternate routes, nor changes of tactics.

    Bastogne was not relieved and was still under siege from Von Luttwitz's 47th Panzer Corps, consisting of the Panzer Lehr, 2nd Panzer and 26th Volksgrenadier Divisions, soon followed by the 15th Panzergrenadier Division. Panzer Lehr and 2 Panzer were not KG's. They had been rebuilt after the bloodletting in Normandy. I'm not sure about the 15th PG Division that had fought and was freshly arrived from Italy. Bastogne was not fully relieved until 26 December, although the 101st Airborne Division still maintains that they were never remotely in any need of relief.
    Last edited by johnbryan; 14 Nov 08, 22:48.

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  • The Purist
    replied
    Originally posted by johnbryan
    ...Re: "No Opposition in front of him." Pattons 3rd Army was shooting at somebody and not just burning up ammunition. You seem to be unable to grasp or come to terms with the fact that the 3rd Army successfully disengaged from actively fighting on one front, in order to attack in a wholy different direction within 48 hours of Patton's issued order.
    .
    C'mon John, when Patton's three divisions stepped off on Dec 23rd the main opposition consisted of a single parachute infantry division backed up by 12 assault guns. The attack organised at Patton's behest was little more than a frontal assault and it suffered accordingly. Bastogne was relieved long before major reinforcments reached the Germans at Bastogne and 4th AD had a tougher fight after lifting the seige than before. Those elements (except for the 26th inf, the Germans only had KGs at Bastogne) of the German divisions surrounding Bastogne were actually outnumbered and outgunned by defenders inside the seige lines.

    As noted, Patton began moving divisions out of the line and realigning them for most of a week before they actually moved off to attack the German flank. Patton was forced to call off his own attack on the Saar but he was by no means fully committed and the myth that he pulled out of an attack and wheeled 90 degrees before attacking north is not supported by the facts. This takes nothing away from what Patton actually did but he was doing nothing that 1st and 9th Armies were not doing in the north when they pulled no less than three armoured divisions plus two or three more infantry divs out of the line to block the northern flank.

    It is worth noting that 30th inf and US armour stopped Peiper at Stoumont and La Gliese and began counterattacking before Patton got his three divisions moving. By the 19th or 20th the German advantage in the Ardennes had been eradicated as US divisions and corps were re-directed.

    Originally posted by johnbryan
    Patton and Hodges both quietly jumped the Rhine River several days in advance of the accepted "main thrust" while another general was still lining up poses for his publicity photographs and holding long, endlessly droning monologues about what they were still facing on the far side of the river.
    By the time the allies were ready to cross the Rhine the German army in the west had all but been destroyed. The Rhineland battles fought by US 9th and the Cdn 1st Armies drove the final nails into OB West's coffin and the few remaining formation were, indeed, in the north. Further south the German army consisted of little more than a screen and the US 1st, 3rd, 7th and French 2nd Armies had little trouble kicking in the door and bringing about the total collapse in the south. After that it was all open field running and Patton was able to show his true talent in organising a pursuit that carried his army to the borders of Czechoslovakia and thus completely disrupting the south of Germany.

    Up north, once the Ruhr was encirlced it was much the same except for some odd tough scrapes against the few remaining German divisions that still managed to field some strength. Bouncing the Rhine was no great accomplishment by any of the allied armies. It was the denoument to the Bulge and Rhineland.
    Last edited by The Purist; 14 Nov 08, 19:42.

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