7-AD (Actions in Germany), 1-16 Dec 1944

464-ORD-9A-Geilenkirchen-Dec-1944

Subject : After Action Report, 7th Armored Division
Period 1-16 December, 1944
To : Adjutant General, Washington, 25, DC (Thru Channels)

Situation

After nearly a month of rest, training, and maintenance, the 7th Armored Division was in position astride the Holland – German – Belgian borders in the general vicinity of Heerlen-NL to Geilenkirchen-GER, preparatory to participating in the 9th Army’s drive deeper into Germany. The division itself remained in the XIII Corps reserve although component units were committed under attachment to other divisions. During the first half of the month, the division moved East of the Wurm River and prepared to attack to the East, Northeast, or North. Extensive plans were formulated for the seizure of Brachelen-GER, but all operations beyond the Roer River, were dependent upon the seizure or destruction of the Roer River Dams, South of Düren-GER. In German hands, these dams could be used to flood the entire Roer River Valley, and cut off or destroy any forces therein. Unsuccessful attempts to destroy these dams by aerial bombardment were made each day that the weather permitted, starting on December 3 1944. The combat forces of the division were in Germany awaiting destruction of the dams when, on December 16, the entire division was alerted to move into the area of the VIII Corps of the 1st Army. Early in the morning of December 17, the first elements of the division began the move southward. Upon arrival in the new area, CCB-7AD, established a defensive line to the East of St Vith-BE. CCA-7AD, and, CCR-7AD took up positions in the vicinity of Beho-BE and South of Recht-BE, respectively. Little definite information was obtainable about the situation and the movement forward was delayed by the traffic of retreating troops that jammed the roads.

WLA-Palenburg-Oct1944

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