The Rhineland Reoccupied
Moving back into Germany, the Third Armored Division awaited the crossing of the Roer and refitted. On the 26 of February the armor was committed and the drive the first day gained 5 miles despite poor roads, heavy mud and enemy resistance. Across the Erft canal and the German troops defended every
foot of the way to the maximum extent of their abilitv, using all their known available forces west of the Rhine in a desperate final defense of the approaches to Ruhr.Cologne and the
Elements of the 3rd Armored Division reached the Rhine on 4 March and swung south to fight into Cologne on the 5th. Backed against the Rhine and forced to yield the high ground which was the last natural barrier before the river, the enemy who had fought so. tenaciously to defend the approaches to Cologne were unable to prevent our entry into the city. Now a pile of rubble from thousands of tons of Allied bombs, this had once been the Queen of the Rhine, the third largest city in Germany, and was the largest German city to fall to the attack of British or American forces in this war.7 February 1945
Suddenly, the military world was electrified by the news that on March 7, elements of the 9th Armored Division (III Corps) had seized intact a crossing over the Rhine-the Ludendorff railway bridge at Remagen, a few miles south of Bonn.
Home to Stolberg! The battalion started displacing and recrossed the border into Germany at Geminick. The troops occupied almost the same billets as in December. Rest, rehabilitation and maintenance followed with the Red Cross trucks and the VII Corps theatre providing some relaxation.
Back home at Stolberg. Winter quarters like a circus. The old chateau, Schloss now, the steaming, hot Stadtbad. But there would be no more dancing as there was at Durbuy, frozen, beautiful Durbuy. Well, war had some compensations, didn't it? Only the cognac was expensive and tasted like kerosene. Here, the well turned fraulein walked past, her curves plainly visible, a half smile in her eyes. No, it's too expensive to talk too. But, hell, we know the bastards are no good for us, but we just won't-O. K., Ike, it's non-fraternization!
23 February 1945
The battalion was placed on a 6 hour alert and began preparations to move across the Roer on a new Third Armored "Spearhead" Division attack.
25 February 1945
After an all night march crossing the Roer River, the position area was reached at Ellen. At 0530 hours CCB attacked to seize Elsdorf and Angelsdorf. Task Force Welborn secured the southern edge of the objective and organized it for the night.
26 February 1945
Starting at 1000 hours the battalion displaced to Morschenich. At 143o an unknown number of unidentified bombers unloaded on the battalion through the overcast. Six casualties resulted.
Well, we're on our way, "Spearheading" again. And this time, we won't stop until we get Cologne. Pretty rough though, getting bombed by our own airplanes. Guess they can't help making a mistake once in awhile. Everybody's
feeling good though and the weather's not bad; compared to the Bulge, this is a picnic. It's good to be moving again. Let's get this show on the road and get it over with. Sure like to be home this summer. Wonder what my kid looks like ?!
27 February 1945
Task Force Welborn attacked at 0700 hours to clean out Elsdorf. Resistance was heavy but the town was cleared by 1800. Forward observer tank No. 2 was knocked out but the crew was not hurt. Captain Peters was wounded by artillery fire and died on reaching the 45th Medical Battalion treatment station. Lieutenant Poulsen, forward observer No. 2, was killed by artillery at the same time and place.
28 February 1945- Task Force Lovelady and Welborn remained in place and the battalion moved to Elsdorf.
1 March 1945- The battalion remained in position near Elsdorf in direct support of CC "R", Third Armored Division.
2 March 1945-Task Force Flogan attacked at 0700 hours from LD across the Erft Canal about 1000 yards northeast of Glesch and immediately came under mortar and small arms fire. After advancing about 600 yards the tanks were delayed by an anti-tank ditch. When the advance was resumed, anti-tank fire was received from Wiedenfeld. Resistance in Wiedenfeld was overcome and the town secured. At 1800 hours a heavy smoke screen was laid down by this