Major Robert F. Burns

90th Division, U.S. Army

 

War Letters from Europe

Normandy to Germany

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358th Infantry Typed History

July 9, 1944
July 10, 1944
July 11, 1944
July 12, 1944
July 13, 1944
July 14, 1944
July 15, 1944
July 16, 1944
July 17, 1944
July 18, 1944
July 19, 1944
July 20, 1944
July 21, 1944
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July 23, 1944
July 24, 1944
July 25, 1944
July 26, 1944
July 27, 1944
July 28, 1944
July 29, 1944
July 30, 1944
July 31, 1944

358th Infantry Typed History

July 9-July 31, 1944


10 July 1944

HISTORY - 358th Infantry

At 0025 Capt. Stotler, 1st Bn, informed the CP that two of the "short" arty concentrations were prearranged spots. They were to be used only if the 1st Bn fell back. At 0055 the Regiment was informed that the artillery was going to "Serenade" the enemy at 0130, 0300, 0400 and at 0430. All units were notified of this by Capt. Shipe. At 0140 G-3 phoned and stated that "B" and "C" Co's, Engineers would stay in place until the 359 passed through. He suggested that our 3d Bn reorganize "a bit". At 0150 Capt Shipe was notified by Division that the Division Artillery had Polish and Russian propaganda shots. At 0245 Defensive Fire Plans were received from the Division Artillery. At 0300 the current situation was relayed to Division.

2nd Bn, 359, reported artillery fire from an azimuth 178 and the Ln O. for the artillery, Capt Danovsky, took care of the message. 1st Bn reported that everything was quiet, with the exception of some mortar and occasional artillery fire. The OP was warned to be especially alert at daybreak.

At 0600 Capt Falvey was informed that 1st and 3d Bns of the 121st (8th Div) were in position in rear of the 359. This information was passed on to those concerned.

A PW stated he could not understand why we didn't keep on advancing, since the Germans were "on the run".

At 0930 the artillery concentration firing for the day was discussed and determined as to where they would fire and the procedure of calling for fire was determined. Lt. Flynn returned from the 357--they think there is an attack on the left flank and is considering moving its CP due to the shelling of the previous night. Smoke was observed south of La Butte. At 0945 Lt. Clark, Ln O., arrived from Division with routine reports which were immediately distributed.

At 1000 hours a Training Program was received from Division. This program related to Replacements. The Regimental CO conferred with Capt. Steckla in regards to a new CP. He cautioned him not to place Cml Mortars near CP as they draw heavy counter fire.

1030 and Lt. Col. Clarke stated 8th Div will attack at 1050 today! Major Davis, GRO, stated Germans are taking French civilians with them and making them bury the German dead!

At 1050 G-3 called and asked about Lt. Col. Gorton's patrols. Patrols came in at 1000, but no report at that time was issued. Capt Schultz reported that the radio operator, reported killed yesterday by Capt Burns, was not one of his men.

At 1110 the Commanding General phoned Lt. Col. Clarke and discussed the patrols of the 2nd Bn 359 (attached to 358). The General was concerned about receiving an attack in the woods after dark. At this time, the following named officers were appointed Company Commanders: Fogel - G Co; Rosenbaum - E Co; Nickerson - H Co. The 8th Div had come up to the 359.

From now on plans were made for the coming attack. Reports from patrols were carefully worked into the plans. Units on the right and left were contacted so as to coordinate every angle of the coming battle. (details of the battle attached) [Note: not found with these documents]

At 1200 units were issued a Warning Order and instructed that the 358 might attack without waiting for the 359 or the 357. The Engineers would support by fire but would make no movement. The bulk of the Division artillery would support the Regiment. H-Hour would be announced later. Photo maps were assembled, reference points put on them and they were then sent to units concerned.

1200 and 3d Bn Patrols returned and stated "no enemy visible." (It was later learned that the enemy wore cleverly made camouflage suits that made them practically invisible!)

At 1345 H-Hour was announced for 1500. All units concerned were immediately notified. At this time some were of the opinion that the enemy was making a general withdrawal. The next three days proved how wrong they were!

1st Bn was still holding the Nose of the Hill and was receiving constant firing. At 1400 Lt. Col. Clarke ordered a forward OP established. Artillery coordination was arranged for all assault units.

1500 - H-Hour! (For minute details of the ensuing battle, see attached papers on the 31 July) [Note: not found with these documents]

From both the forward OP and the Rear CP, Lt. Col. Clarke kept in close contact with the battle. He used all information received to the fullest advantage. This is well evidenced by the plans he drew up for the battle. During the battle, Division was informed of all details. Tanks were obtained to assist our 3d Bn and also "F" Co., under the personal direction of Lt. Col. Loomis, went forward to [Note: sentence is missing on bottom of page]

The 2d Bn, 359, which was attached to the 358, moved forward slowly and, for the whole day, was to the rear of the 3d Bn, 358.

Positions of adjacent units were kept up to date by the alert Liaison Officers, Lt.'s Flynn and Donahue.

The 3d Bn, 358, with the 2nd Bn, 359 on its left, met very heavy resistance, but had "come out on top" as far as the battle had progressed.

At 2150 the cry to 1st Bn was "we must take the Hill!" In fact, the General ordered that it be taken tonight.

At 2250, Lt. Col. Gorton was informed of mine fields to his front. The Commanding General phoned to state "Resume the attack at 0600!" He was given the complete disposition of the 358 units. "A" and "C" Co's were on the east end of the hill and were confident they would take it before dark.

At 2315 Lt. Col. Bealke was directing artillery on the strong enemy positions. The artillery also had twelve (12) guns firing into Lastelle.

At 2330 Lt. Col. Clarke and Major Wallace started work on plans for tomorrows attack.

And so the 358 again ended a day - a day of History making!



11 July 1944

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