US troops located just south to CCA of US 5AD

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US troops located just south to CCA of US 5AD

Dr. Chuang
Dr. Chuang

March 22nd, 2003, 5:10 pm #1

I have been studying the engagement of German 106th
armor brigade "Feldherrnhalle"(106FHH) between various
US troops in Lorraine and Luxembourg during 8th and
9th September 1944. The engagement happened in
Lorraine on 8th September 1944 was well documented by
both sides and the US troops was US 90th infantry
division. However, the engagement happened in
Luxembourg on 9th September 1944 was still largely
unknown. According to the German record the 106FHH
destroyed 26 tanks and 8 armor scout vehicles due west
of Dippach, Luxembourg at 1400 on 9th September 1944.
The original document is as below:

1330 Meldung des Panzerspähzuges: Anmarschierende
starke feindliche Panzerverbände aus SW mit Spitze bei
"Oberkorn". (1330 hour messages from armor scout
platoon: strong enemy tank group marched up from south
west side of Oberkorn)

1400 Der eigene Panzerverband stößt W Dippach auf den
Feind. Nach hartem Kampf werden 26 Panzer und 8 Panzer
Späh wagon vernichtet. (1400 hour our tank group
engaged with enemy due west of Dippach. 26 tanks and 8
armor scout vehicles were destroyed after heavy
fighting.)

However, I can not identify this unfortunately US
armor troop. I have received G-2 periodic report of US
5th armor division (5AD) from NARA recently. The G-2
periodic report states CCA from 5AD met retreating
German mechanized column in the afternonn on 9th
September 1944 but there is no any mention about
engagement or combat loss in the report. Comparing the
after action report on your website
(http://www.5ad.org/09_44.html):

At 1645 CCA was fighting enemy tanks just East of
BASCHARAGE, with more tanks reported coming from
LUXEMBOURG.

According to the G-2 report, the CCA of 5AD passed through Aubange-Petange-Bascharage to Luxembourg City. The main thrust road passed right through Dippach. Oberkorn locates just 5 km south to Petange, around Differdange. The German record mentioned US artillery and aircraft attack on German 106FHH after the engagement. The personal account from CCA also mentioned they called aircraft to bomb the Panther tanks and artillery to fire on the Panther tanks. It is highly possible that the German 106FHH ambushed a US armor troops at Oberkorn-Dippach road at around 2PM on 9th September 1944. After the engagement the German 106FHH retreated through Bascharage-Dippach road and the rear gaurd Panther tanks met the CCA on the road at around 4-5PM in the same afternoon.

So can anyone identify this US armor troops just located south to CCA of US 5AD in Luxembourg on 9th September 1944? Please help me to solve this problem. Thank you very much!

Dr.Chuang, MD and MSc
Taipei, Taiwan
http://www.geocities.com/mdx.geo/
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Steve Zaloga
Steve Zaloga

March 22nd, 2003, 7:12 pm #2

There was no large armor formation south of CCA/5th Armored Division on 9 Sep 44. The CCA/5AD was the extreme right flank of V Corps/First US Army and the area south of the unit was the Corps/Army boundary with Patton's Third US Army. Often, the corps/army boundary would be patrolled by a corps cavalry unit, but the V Corps cav unit (102nd Cavalry) was ordered late on 8 Sep to pull back and in any event was operating further north with 4th Infantry Division. (I have the V Corps history and corp order of the day for 9 Sep 44.)In theory, Dippach was in the XX Corps/Third Army sector, not in the V Corps/First Army sector, though it was very close and these boundaries weren't cut in stone. The 12th AG HQ daily tank status report does not indicate any significant change in strength in 5AD in this time frame.

In the neighboring XX Corps/Third Army, the 90th Infantry Division was the northern-most unit and theoretically, Dippach was in their sector. They had an attached tank battalion (712th). However, there is a history of the 712th TB but it doesn't mention any big fight on 9 Sep or any big action near Luxembourg City, and the daily tank status report to 12th AG HQ does not indicate such losses. The strength of the 712th TB at 2200 on 8 Sep was 51 M4 operational, one in repair, there's no report on 9 Sep and at 2200 on 10 Sep their strength was 48 M4 tanks. (I suspect that the discrepency in numbers is due to the losses suffered in the first fight with PzBde 106.)

The only large armor formation south of this was the 7th Armored Division, but they never got anywhere near Luxembourg City at this time. Their left flank was held by CCA/7th AD and it never got north of Talange on the Moselle river. In any event, they weren't very active on these days as the division was partly re-equipping with M4A3 (76mm) at the time after their abortive foray into Metz.

Is it possible that the PzBde 106 account refers to their own losses?
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Dr. Chuang
Dr. Chuang

March 24th, 2003, 12:37 pm #3

Thank you for your detail information. I don't think the 106FHH had another 26 tanks and 8 armor scout cars to loose after the fighting at Mairy on 8th September 1944. The AOK 1 did pass a warning message to 106FHH for the incoming US tanks but the 106FHH simply responsed they had been taken cared in the afternoon on 9th September 1944. This was recorded on the KTB of various German units. Is there any possible some US cavalry squadron or recon team attached to 90ID ran into this trouble?

Dr.Chuang, MD and MSc
Taipei, Taiwan
http://www.geocities.com/mdx.geo/
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Dr. Chuang
Dr. Chuang

March 24th, 2003, 1:21 pm #4

There was no large armor formation south of CCA/5th Armored Division on 9 Sep 44. The CCA/5AD was the extreme right flank of V Corps/First US Army and the area south of the unit was the Corps/Army boundary with Patton's Third US Army. Often, the corps/army boundary would be patrolled by a corps cavalry unit, but the V Corps cav unit (102nd Cavalry) was ordered late on 8 Sep to pull back and in any event was operating further north with 4th Infantry Division. (I have the V Corps history and corp order of the day for 9 Sep 44.)In theory, Dippach was in the XX Corps/Third Army sector, not in the V Corps/First Army sector, though it was very close and these boundaries weren't cut in stone. The 12th AG HQ daily tank status report does not indicate any significant change in strength in 5AD in this time frame.

In the neighboring XX Corps/Third Army, the 90th Infantry Division was the northern-most unit and theoretically, Dippach was in their sector. They had an attached tank battalion (712th). However, there is a history of the 712th TB but it doesn't mention any big fight on 9 Sep or any big action near Luxembourg City, and the daily tank status report to 12th AG HQ does not indicate such losses. The strength of the 712th TB at 2200 on 8 Sep was 51 M4 operational, one in repair, there's no report on 9 Sep and at 2200 on 10 Sep their strength was 48 M4 tanks. (I suspect that the discrepency in numbers is due to the losses suffered in the first fight with PzBde 106.)

The only large armor formation south of this was the 7th Armored Division, but they never got anywhere near Luxembourg City at this time. Their left flank was held by CCA/7th AD and it never got north of Talange on the Moselle river. In any event, they weren't very active on these days as the division was partly re-equipping with M4A3 (76mm) at the time after their abortive foray into Metz.

Is it possible that the PzBde 106 account refers to their own losses?
I check the German records again. Strong US armor group came from Redange. I think the possible route for this US armor group is Redage-Oberkorn-Dippach. I think the 106FHH met this US armor group in Oberkorn-Dippach road and later met CCA of 5AD in Bascharage-Dippach road later.

Dr.Chuang, MD and MSc
Taipei, Taiwan
http://www.geocities.com/mdx.geo/
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