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Advance To The Saar


From the 80th Division G-2 report:


"On 1 November, the 319th Infantry Regiment launched an attack eliminating the enemy pocket south and west of the Seille River between Abaucourt and Letricourt.  The attack caught the Germans off guard and only a few succeeded in escaping across the river to their own lines; 120 prisoners were captured.


[NOTE:  The G-3 report for this period states that 162 prisoners were captured, 149 enemy were killed; 21 machine guns, 130 rifles, 1 anti-tank rifle, 7-80 mm mortars and 2 anti-tank guns were also captured.]


Interrogation of the prisoners captured in this operation revealed the strength and dispositions of the 48th Division which was responsible for the bulk of the enemy lines on the 80th Division front.  The 126th Regiment of the 48th Division previously unlocated, was found to be in the process of reforming, while holding a front line position.


As a result of this reorganization, which was in progress, many of the P.W.’s did not know to what unit they belonged, but it soon became apparent that the 49th Division Fusilier Battalion had been adopted by the 126th Regiment as its 1st Bn.  It was also determined that 1431st Fortress Battalion was under control of the 48th Infantry Division holding the sector to the North and West of Nomeny.


With their last foothold west of the Seille River gone, the enemy shortened their line by occupying the high ground in the Bois de Secourt, the high ground around Graincourt and tying their left flank in with elements of the 559th Division in the vicinity of Lemoncourt.  In the Northern sector of the 48th Division, held by the 1431st Fortress Bn., the MLR (Main Line of Resistance) ran along the east bank of the Seille River, tying in with the 38th SS Regiment of the 17th SS Division at Eply.  This was the enemy disposition on the front of the 80th Division on November 7, 1944."


According to the 702nd Tank Battalion A.G.O.  records:


"November opened with the 702nd Tank Battalion still attached to the 80th Infantry Division, supporting the Division in its mission to extend and defend its bridgehead over the Moselle River.  On the first of the month, an operation, the objective of which was the liberation of the towns of Litricourt and Abaucourt, was planned. Combat Team 319 was charged with the execution of the plan, and Companies 'C' and 'D' of this battalion, plus the Mortar Platoon were attached for the offensive operation.  H Hour was 1:00 P.M., 1 November, 1944.


Two platoons of Company 'C', plus one platoon of Company 'D', under the command of Captain James B. Johnson, were involved with the infantry in the assault of Abaucourt.  The Mortar Platoon supported this attack.  On the East, the remaining platoon of Company 'C', plus two platoons of 'D' Company assaulted Letricourt in support of the 2nd Battalion. Captain James F. Grimm commanded the tanks in this phase of the operation.  The operation was uneventful, resistance was light, and all action was completed by 7:10 P.M.


One of the 'C' Company tanks bogged down in October, was recovered, the other was found to be damaged beyond repair.  There were no casualties. Opening the month of November, 1944, the S-2 Journal: November 1; "Weather clear, with a heavy frost overnight.  8:00am-Germans digging in at U963315.  German observation post at U850377.  Five rounds of artillery received at U8436.  10:00am-seventy-five rounds of German artillery received at Bois le Jure(U9128).  1:30pm-S-2 moved to inside quarters in chateau.  9:00pm-"D" and "C" Companies attacked the Germans from Letricourt to Abaucourt as of 1:00pm, when the attack started."



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