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The 808th Tank Destroyer Battalion

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December 1944 After Action Report

December 1

 According to the After Action Reports "Battalion was relieved of attachment to the 80th Division" on December 1, 1944. "Battalion reverted to battalion control with mission of AMczd defense and commenced relieving the 610th TD Battalion on line."

December 2 - 3

Completed relief of 610th TD Bn, providing AMczd defense in 80th Division sector. Captured 9 prisoners during period.

December 4

On December 4 the battalion supported an attack of the 318 Infantry to seize the high ground N and E of Pfarrersviller. On the night of the 3rd 16 3" guns from A and B companies were put into position on the high ground W and SW of Pfarrersviller with the help of light tanks of the 702nd Tk Bn. 12 Cal .50 MG's from B and C companies were also dug in to deliver supporting fires.

The battalion and each company established OP's and a forward observer team, from each A and B companies equipped with SCR 610 radio, was attached to the attacking infantry. Fires were scheduled and coordinated by the 314th F/A Bn, the D/S Bn. Overlay of concentrations issued by division artillery was used by all units to designate targets and locations. A 15 minute preparation was fired (direct fire) from H -15 to H hour by the 3" guns and a 30 minute preparation from H - 15 to H + 15 by the 50s . Thereafter targets of opportunity were fired on call. Requests for fire were radioed from OPs and observers to a forward CP (Command Post) and cleared immediately by telephone (direct line) with the arty (artillery). In one instance approximately 25 Germans were observed retreating over a hill. Our guns could not fire on the target and our observer called for an adjusted arty fire with excellent results. Information of the progress of the attack and advanced elements was forwarded immediately to the arty which relayed it to the CT and division headquarters. Because of our communications such information reached the Battalion CT considerably ahead of reports of their own units. A total of 897 rounds HE and 55 rounds APC, and 4,500 rounds of cal .50 were fired.

December 5 - 6

Companies provided AMczd defense in division sector, 1 company in support of each CT: "A" with 318th, "B" with 319th, "C" with 317. Captured 2 prisoners.

December 7 - 16

On December 7th the battalion was released from its mission of AT defense and ordered into rest area, each company being quartered with a CT: "A" company at MERLBACH  with the 319th, "B" company with the 318th at NIEDERHOMBURG and "C" company with the 317th at ST AVOLD. The Battalion command post remained at ST AVOLD. It was the first time the Battalion had been of line and out of contact with the enemy for 72 days. The period was devoted to rest rehabilitation of personnel and maintenance of weapons and equipment. All MGs and small arms in the battalion were test fired and training in assault of a fortified area was conducted with the CTs.

On December 11 one section of "A" company took up AMczd positions to protect and exposed position via MERLBACH. A different section alternated on the positions each day. On December 11 and 12 "C" company test fired the SHELL, ILLUMINATING, 3" MK24, NAVY (MOD 1).

December 17 - 23

THIS IS WHEN GEN. PATTON TURNED THE ENTIRE 3RD ARMY NORTH

On December 17th the 80th division issued orders for the division and attached units to march to assembly area via BINNING prepared to take up positions on south flank of 3rd army. The companies marched with the CT's, the CP and HQ co. and division HQs. "C" company closed in area on December 17th (and) remainder of Battalion on December 18. Distance from ST AVOLD to BINNING, 39 miles. "A" and "B" companies reconnoitered (recon) areas and "A" company occupied AMczd positions on December 19. Division issued orders for division and attached units to move north via LUXEMBOURG. Again the companies marched with CTs, CP and HQ company with division HQ. Left evening 19th arriving morning of 20th, a distance of 119 miles. Both marches were made without incident.

On the 20th companies occupied AT positions in accordance with Reserved Battle Position Plan of Division.

On the 21st VOCG XII corps battalion relieved of attachment of 80th division and attached to 5th infantry division and 5th artillery division: "A" company in support of 2nd division infantry regiment and mobile reserve, "B" company in support of 11th infantry regiment, "C" company the 10th infantry regiment which was attached to 4th infantry division. All companies occupied AMczd positions in regimental sectors. 1st Rcn attached to "B" co, 2nd Rcn attached to "C" co. 10th infantry attacked supported by "C" company.

December 24 - 31

On order of the XII Corps battalion (less co "C") relieved of attachment 5th infantry division and attached to 2nd division cavalry group (task force reed) with mission of protecting right flank of corps along MOSELLE RIVER between KONTZ and WASSERBILLIG "approx". "C" co remained attached to 5th infantry. "A" and "B" companies assigned sectors of defense in sectors of 2nd and 42nd cavalry squadron respectively.

Positions reconnoitered and positions occupied on December 24th, one platoon of each company taking up indirect positions under fire control responsibility of 276th Armored FA Battalion initially. Alternate positions were reconnoitered and dug with help of engineers bull dozers, each company preparing, at least 2 alternate positions per platoon per gun. First recon platoon attached to "B" co operated armored parachute troop patrol; 2nd recon platoon attached to "A" co, manning OPs and providing security.

On Dec 29, "C" company relieved of attachment to 5th infantry division and returned to battalion control. With the 5th division it had provided AMczd  defense within division sector. On return to battalion "C" co occupied indirect fire positions under fire control responsibility of 255th FA battalion, which relieved 276th FA battalion. Reserve platoon of "A" co released from indirect fire position. "B" co reserved platoon remained in direct fire position.

During period a total 508 rounds HE were fired on 7 registrations and 14 missions.       

 

The After Action Report is not available for January.                   

 

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