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

The 35th Division, two miles North of Nancy and contacting the 80th Division, now turned in a northeasterly direction and found itself confronting elements of the German First Army consisting of the 553rd and 559th Volks Grenadier divisions and the 106th Armored Regiment and 11th Panzer Division. Sixty miles to the northeast lay the iron and coal rich Sarre area, and many of the factories that supplied Hitler’s war machine. Little did we know that that journey would take over three months and so many lives, so much rain and mud, freezing and miserableness, so many ways to die. Gov. Orval Faubus, in his book “In This Faraway Land”, reports that the 35th Division during the war suffered 15,406 battle casualties. The larger part of these occurred during these next ninety days of continuous front line duty. And many were in the same battlefields where occurred the fighting in 1914.

On September 22, 1944, Gen. Eisenhower, now in direct command of all Allied armies, ordered a discontinuance of offensive operations by Third Army. A decision had been made that Gen. Montgomery, and the American First Army were to be the main effort of the Allies and were to receive priority in supplies and munitions. Gen. Patton had already, on September 20th, shifted into the defensive, anticipating a major German counter offensive. Five days later, the 35th Division was ordered to seize the Foret de Gremecy sector, about fifteen miles northeast of Nancy, and to occupy a 12 mile front. On September 26th, German artillery opened up on the Santa Fe defensive lines. The German plan was to break through the 35th lines to allow Gen. Mantauffel’s Fifth Panzer Army to retake Nancy.

For four days intense fighting waged back and forth through the wooded terrain, causing heavy casualties on both sides, aggravated by tree bursts which killed many. In the confusion, darkness, rain and intermixing of the combatants, our companies and battalions, decimated and forced back from some position, held on and refused to be driven out of the Gremecy Forest. On the edge of disaster, the 35th G.I.s with the support of the 6th Armored Division, mounted a final counter-attack, at the insistence of Gen. Patton, and drove the last of the Germans out of the woods and cleared nearby villages to the North and East. An example of the ferocity of the fighting was illustrated by the Third Battalion of the 137th Infantry Regiment. It entered Gremmecy Forest with over 900 men. Four days later only 484 were left.

The Germans having failed in their break through attempt, withdrew to the North and East of Gremecy and set up defensive lines a mile away at Fresnes and in both the forest and town of Chateau-Salin where the front lines, except for one line straightening attack on October 8th, were to remain until November 8th. During those several weeks, the Germans were busy constructing strong defensive positions which were to cost the division heavily in lives and equipment a month later. Meanwhile the Allies along the English Channel worked feverishly to overcome the German defenses which blocked ocean traffic from reaching Antwerp, a large Belgian seaport capable of receiving all the supplies necessary for the Allies to mount a successful drive to the Rhine and on to Berlin – the same Antwerp which would later be a target for Von Runstedt’s winter offensive.

Continue to Page 3 of 5


Quick Facts

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

DedicationYearly ReunionMembershipVisitors BookDiscussion ListSite MapContact UsCreditsHome