NormandyNorthern FranceRhinelandArdennesCentral EuropeOfficial Site of the 35th Infantry Division Association
Welcome to the official site of the 35th Infantry Division in Europe during World War IIUnitsGeneral Paul BaadeAwards and DecorationsCasualties
Welcome to the official site of the 35th Infantry Division in Europe during World War II

On To The Vire River

On July 27th, Gen. Baade secured permission from Gen. Corlett to attack Hill 101 following a 10 minute artillery barrage. At 1500 hours the entire division launched a frontal assault and took the ridge line before dark, catching the Germans initiating a limited withdrawal. The 2nd Division had started an attack toward Vire, some twenty miles to the South, and the 35th Division found itself assigned to V Corps to complete the assault under Gen. Gerow. Until August 5th we attacked every day against the parachute regiments who used the rough terrain to fight skillful delaying actions from a series of well placed defensive positions surrounded by mined roads and swamps. It was fire and movement all along the line with casualties marking the way to Torigne-Sur-Vire which we took on July 21st. The division was ordered to attack continuously, even through pitched darkness, finally crossing the Vire River on August 5th. The British were attacking so as to narrow the front of the 2nd Division which then pinched the 35th Division out of the line. For the G.I.s on the line, this created no hard feelings and the division moved quickly into an assembly area behind the front lines for a short relief, food, rest, Sunday church services for some, well attended, and the ritual of counting costs. In those eight days of the Vire offensive, we lost another 600 casualties. Gen. Gerow on August 5th wrote to Gen. Baade. It was a letter of commendation citing the excellent performance of the division against difficult odds met in that offensive which had covered 27 kilometers against heavy and determined resistance. Gen. Baade had employed effectively the regimental task forces including Task Force S led by Gen. Sebree, Assistant Division Commander, and including the 137th infantry and its attachments capable of handling promptly almost any situations.

The break only lasted a few hours and the division was transferred to the Third Army and assigned to XX Corps, loaded on 2 ½ ton trucks and ordered to move to Rennes to join one of Patton’s spearheads. Third Army had been activated on August 1st and the 35th Division, already acquiring a reputation for a good dependable unit, was requested. The only problem was that the 7th German Army was between the 35th Division and Rennes. A circuitous route had to be found to avoid German troops. Starting the evening of the 5th, the convoy moved through the night, going 10 miles northwesterly to Portforcy, then southwest 11 miles passing Villedeux, continuing on to Ponts, another 11 miles with sight of Avranches on the Mont St. Michel Bay, then turning due East for 11 miles to Brecey, then turning South 11 miles right through burning St. Hilaire du Harcourt to an assembly area South of town. German bombers had attacked St. Hilaire and elements of our 134th and 137th regiments as they pulled off the road. We had traveled 52 miles to arrive at a point just 22 miles southwest of where the convoy had started near the Vire River, and about eight miles West of a little town called Mortain. We had literally been thumbed off the road, reassigned to the First Army and made a part of the VII Corps which included the 30th Division which had moved into Mortain the night before. We had landed right in the way of the big German counter-offensive in Normandy.

Continue to Page 4 of 5


Quick Facts

By Maj. Norman C. Carey, Company A-320th Inf. Regt.






H Co, 137th, Nancy, France
Sgt. Burnett Bartley
137th Infantry Regiment
35th Infantry Division
Photo taken Nancy, France while on 3 day pass. November 1944. Age 20 yrs.

DedicationYearly ReunionMembershipVisitors BookDiscussion ListSite MapContact UsCreditsHome