17 March 1945-At 0645 hours the battalion began displacing from positions at Longerich, Germany. The battalion marched 14 miles and at 1100 hours the battalion had completely closed in positions 3/4' miles southeast of Bottenbroich, Germany. The remainder of the day was spent cleaning the buildings and area. The battalion continued its period of rest and maintenance and prepares for the coming operation.
During the early morning hours the battalion fired 4 missions: 1 on a factory, 1 on a strongpoint, 1 on mortars, and 1 on a storage tank. Total rounds expended this date-139.
The Pfc took a long drag on the bottle and set it back on the table. His feet were propped up on another chair, the Stars and Stripes was in his hands. On a card across the corner o f the room hung a row o f O. D. drawers, shirts, handkerchiefs, etc. A fire burned comfortably in the other corner. Cologne was the
best town yet for booze, be mused. Wondered what was happening down in the Remagen bridgehead.
"O. K., off your keister and let's go for chow, buddy," from the corporal, kicking the door open.
18 March 1945
The battalion remained in assembly positions 3/4 miles southeast of Bottenbroich, Germany. The day was spent cleaning the buildings and area, and in the maintenance of vehicles.
19 March 1945
The battalion remained in assembly positions 3/4 miles southeast of Bottcnbroich, Germany, conducting rest and maintenance. The battalion prepared training schedules to include maintenance of vehicles and equipment, periods of athletics, and movies. This date the battalion movie was put in operation showing three shows daily.
This date in the afternoon the battalion showers were put into operation and times were provided in the training schedules to permit showers during the day.
The Rose Pocket
VII Corps moved down into the Remagen bridge head and with the 1st and 78th divisions enlarged it to permit the armor to operate.
On 25 March, the First U. S. Army launched its attack to burst out of the bridgehead. The 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division passed through the 1st and 104th in four columns, closely followed by the supporting infantry, and despite difficult terrain, minefields, and enemy fire from small arms, self-propelled guns, and tanks, made good progress. Using strong forces of tanks and infantry from reinforcements rushed into the threatened area, the enemy unsuccessfully attempted to stem our advance. Eight enemy divisions were identified on our front. The first days drive netted 20 kilometers. Another day 35, and the Corps had 97 mile front stretching from the Rhine eastward.
Once more we had achieved a breakthrough. Marburg was captured and cleared, almost undamaged. From Marburg our armor rushed northward and in a single day by the- road advanced a record of 102 miles-the greatest advance ever made in force in military history. Behind the 3rd Armored Division the 78th, 1st, 8th, 9th, 104th Divisions and the 4th Cavalry Group were in our path forming the iron ring around the Ruhr, richest prize of the war, the greatest center of German industry.
As the 3rd Armored Division closed on Paderborn, increased resistance from enemy strong points, roadblocks, and defended villages was encountered. While First Army was breaking out of its bridgehead, troops of the Ninth U. S. Army had crossed the Rhine north of the Ruhr and were driving east to Paderborn. A link up would isolate the Reichs largest industrial area and cut off thousands of troops. And so thousands of SS troops, the elite of the Wehrmacht were thrown into the battle as the enemy attempted to stabilize his defenses and to hold Paderborn's important road center and to keep his Ruhr escape gap open.
On March 30th, the U. S. Army lost one of its greatest battle leaders when Major General Maurice Rose, commanding the 3rd Armored Division was killed in action near Paderborn. General Rose had commanded the division since the Normandy breakthrough and it was under his leadership that it had earned the nickname of the "Spearhead Division." The great work and brilliant success of the division reflected the ability and spirit of its leader. Because of the importance of the attack in which he was leading his division when he lost his life and to honor his personal courage in battle, VII Corps and First Army adopted the name of "Rose Pocket" for the operation which isolated the Ruhr.
After securing Paderborn, an armored task force from the Spearhead Division made a firm junction with elements of XIX Corps, the 2nd Armored and 3rd