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The 808th Tank Destroyer Battalion

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The 808th TD Attached to 65th Infantry

April 5 - May 9

 By the time the 808th TD joined with the 65th Infantry. German offense was practically non-existent and their defense was usually a white flag. Here is a rundown of the events leading to the end. As was the norm for the 808 and the entire third army, don't let up. Keep pounding them; and they did all the way across Germany.

Langensalza fell on 5 April (the day the 808th joined the 65th).

Continuing the advance against crumbling Nazi opposition, they crossed the Danube 4 miles above  Regensburg on 26 April and seized Passau 3 May. (This is a correction from the "below" that was previously here and a date correction from 27 April to the corrected 3 May from records obtained in Germany by a historian in Passau.)

The 808th with the 65th Infantry fought in Passau Germany, pushing German troops back, in the city of Passau.

They crossed the River Inn, 4 May, and occupied Linz, Austria, on the 5th. Germans surrendered en masse.

On 7 May, hostilities officially ended in Europe.

Victory at Struth to Linz, Austria

The 808th Tank Destroyer Battalion from the Danube to the Enns. (It is the River Inn) Compiled by Tim Byars with corrections made by Anna Rosmus, the historian from Passau, Germany.

"Many units can claim credit for part of the victory of Struth...Fighter bombers, coming in at 0900, bombed and strafed enemy infantry and tanks near the town along with the 808th Tank Destroyer Battalion. They accounted for eleven enemy tanks (of an estimated sixteen), a large part of the air tally obtained as the tanks retreated northeast form the battlefield about 1300."

"On 2 May, the 2nd Battalion, 261st infantry, entered the River Danube town of Passau (Passau is on the DANUBE (in Bavaria , not at the Enns in Austria). There, the joint action the the 868th Field Artillery, the 546 Antiaircraft Artillery, and the 808 Tank Destroyer Battalion was instrumental in destroying the 300 SS troops and three Mark IV tanks which had held the town."

Struth, Germany - Panzer counter attack: "Tanks should advance by bounds, from cover to cover, in the rear of the infantry. They will only be exposed when the situation demands their intervention. In such cases they will attack in close association with the infantry." --- General George S. Patton

mapGerman counter attack was repulsed at Struth and the area east of Bad Soden was cleared. Enemy forces of about 1500 troops reinforced with tanks and self-propelled guns was completely destroyed 7-9 April 1945.

 To a TD parked beside "K" Company's CP, however, goes the honor of revenging the most dramatic enemy gesture. During the morning, a self-propelled gun rumbled up to the 3rd Battalion CP, 261sr Infantry, to fire point-blank at the building indicated by Struth citizenry. The 808 TD made certain that the enemy gun never attacked another American CP.

The battle of Struth, which started out as all infantry engagement ended as a striking example of the power of combined arms.

And so the 65th Infantry story goes...always thankful the 808 tank destroyer battalion was there to increase their strength and force the German army into submission.

 

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