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

During the balance of October, Santa Fe men, though in defensive positions in Gremecy Forest, and handicapped by rains from the heaviest storms in 100 years, were able to take turns so that no more than a third were gone at any time, and slip back by trucks in small groups to Nancy to enjoy a hot shower, clean clothes, a hot B Ration meal, a movie and a few hours in an undamaged French city away from the shelling at the front. Some of the troops were able to use houses in the Lorraine shell torn villages.

The 26th Infantry Division, a National Guard unit, arrived in October and was assigned to Gen. Eddy’s XII Corps, relieving the 4th Armored Division and going into the line to our immediate right. Though fresh from the States, this division would prove to be a good one after it could be battle tested. During October and early November, fresh bread and roasted coffee and captured German beef were added to Company menus. New tanks were brought up to replace the 223 which Third Army had lost in the past seven weeks. Rifles, machine guns, B.A.R.’s, vehicles, half-tracks, artillery – all were cleaned, and repaired or replaced and the division brought up to its T/O strength of over 14,000 men. Gas rationing caused M.P.s to arrest vehicle drivers on “unauthorized trips”. Gen. Patton restored the “spit and polish” discipline to the chagrin of most G.I. Joes. Field artillery was sparingly used. Blankets, overcoats, some raincoats and woolen clothing and socks were issued. Overshoes were few and practically worthless in the rain and soaked ground and deep puddles. There was planning and training toward breaching the “West wall” and in the use of Bailey bridges to cross rivers. A large dam near Dieuz which impounded an artificial lake and which could flood a large area and impede the coming American offensive was opened by P-47's using 1,000 pound bombs and the waters released, flooding areas to a depth of 5 feet. The big American offensive was ready, but not all units were. XII Corps was to go at 0600 on November 8th. The other corps and armies would start one or two days later.

The road to Saareguemines lay ahead. The infantry regiments moved up during the night into the front lines. It had been raining continuously for 24 hours and it was black and a sea of mud. To our left was the 80th Division, to our right, the new, untried 26th Division. Behind were the 4th and 6th Armored Divisions, ready to break through and out when an opening occurred. In the 35th Division, the 137th Infantry was on the left, the 320th Infantry on the right, and the 134th Infantry in reserve. The entire corps front extended 30 miles. The artillery preparation was for 3½ hours. Over that 24 hour period and the ensuing attack, 21,933 rounds were fired, mostly time fire, obliterating German trenches and positions. Yet some strong points, as around Fresnes, were barely touched by the bombardment and German grenadiers took heavy tolls on the Santa Fe infantrymen and stopping the attackers cold at some places. Forcing costly frontal assaults or time taking flanking maneuvers. Jalloucourt and eventually, Fresnes were taken and after four days, the Foet de Chateau Sallins. Groups of prisoners were taken and the Town of Viviers captured. Then lost, and then retaken. In spite of the rain and mud, the exhausted riflemen moved forward among countless instances of heroism. One such was a squad leader with the 2nd Battalion of the 134th Infantry, Staff Sergeant Junior J. Spurrier from Bluefield, West Virginia, who on November 11th single handedly killed 20 Germans and captured 20 at a little town called Achain. Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Morhange was a major town with a permanent German Army barracks and a large supply center, with 88 artillery piece, 28 tanks, 15 half tracks and huge amounts of ammunition and rifles, surrendered on November 14th, with 2,000 prisoners. Bistroff taken in a sharp action where the 3rd Battalion, 137th Infantry turned back a German counter-attack and won a distinguished unit citation in a valiant attack on Hill 315. One small village or town after another forced deployment and attacks as the Germans desperately threw in troops to try to stop the combined infantry and tank attacks. But the G.I.s moved steadily forward, in spite of heavy casualties. In seven days, they had advanced twelve miles. And the road led on.

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

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