Joining with the armored infantrymen, the engineers took their places in the bridgehead. According to Steve Zaloga's book; U. S. Armor Camouflage and Markings 1917-45, the marking on the side of the hull indicates that the tank belonged to 2nd Platoon, Company B, 43rd Tank Battalion, 12th Armored Division. Most … Museum Newsletter Operations were limited to sending out patrols, repulsing enemy probes, and engaging in sharp artillery duels. House-to-house fighting has always been a risky venture. The 12th Armored Division was now a part of the XV Corps under Maj. Gen. Wade Haislip. On January 17, 1945, as Allied forces prepared to descend on Germany itself and put an end to the war in Europe, an American tank battalion disappeared. [2] [b] While at Camp Barkeley, the 44th Tank Battalion was sent to th… Intelligence reports later added to solving the mystery of the lost battalion. Tour of Museum The division consisted of approximately 11,000 soldiers, and was composed of tank, field artillery, motorized infantry battalions and other support units. Staff Sergeant Charles F. Peischl was first to notice that the Germans had become suspicious. Next the door was kicked down and the basement investigated as the GIs worked their way to the top floor. The German plan was to strike in Alsace and force an American withdrawal, delaying the Allied advance into Germany and giving German scientists more time to develop the so-called “wonder weapons,” which would change the course of the war in Germany’s favor. A prisoner reported that the companies in Herrlisheim had been wiped out. That evening orders came for the division to withdraw to the west side of the Zorn to coordinate with a general withdrawal of VI Corps. The report went on to state that it appeared from tracks and other indicators that perhaps four American tanks had been captured intact and removed by the Germans. As dawn broke over Herrlisheim American medium tanks appeared in town. Shown here are troops from the 314th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Infantry Division supported by Shermans from the 43rd Tank Battalion and 714th Tank Battalion Combat Command B of the 12th Armored Division with support of their own 56th Armored Infantry Battalion. Continuing on, he found two more groups of destroyed American tanks in the area. As they resumed their advance, several more enemy tanks were observed approaching. Both of Seventh Army’s armored divisions, the 12th and 14th, were rushed to VI Corps. That bridgehead remained static throughout January 10, with enemy fire so heavy that any movement out of the protecting houses was impossible. Rumors of a pending massive attack circulated, including the probable dropping of German paratroopers behind American lines. Oral History Videos Company C, 56th Armored Infantry Battalion, with a full complement of 251 officers and men, moved off to protect the flanks of the attack and join up with the French once Herrlisheim had fallen. Under the command of Lt. Gen. Alexander (“Sandy”) M. Patch, the Seventh Army was pushing north and east to reach the Rhine River, the traditional boundary between France and Germany. Each tank company consisted of three platoons of five tanks each, with a headquarters section of two additional tanks. With no tanks of their own on this side of the Zorn River, the infantrymen were in trouble. These units were being pulled out to move north to attack the flank of the massive German offensive through the Ardennes that had hit the First U.S. Army hard. On the flank, Combat Command B made no headway against the Germans. January 1945 February 1945 April 1945 May 1945. Shortly after the battalion entered the town, some garbled but seemingly desperate messages were received by Combat Command A from Colonel Hall. Attached to the 79th Infantry Division, Combat Command B attacked Herrlisheim from the north on the morning of the 8th, while to the south French troops were to attack Gambsheim. Mission Statement 12th Armored Division Association Timeline-Lise Pommois How You Can Help Gift Shop Reunion Info Reunion Photos Cemeteries Contact Us Unit History of the 43rd Tank Battalion Cover: 1: Notes & Preface: 2 - 12: Chapter 1 - Dark History: 13 - 42: Chapter 2 - Acitivities Headquarters Company: 43 - 58: Chapter 3 - … Infantry Division, to clear the zone ground attack was repulsed by artillery and mortars Herrlisheim. There was anyone left to rescue, the infantrymen were in Austria, moving on,! Arrival of reinforcements and supplies was halted, and Jim Matthiesen and continued Camp. 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