To the Elbe and Victory
While troops attacked to shrink the Rose pocket, the 3rd Armored Division, now commanded by Brigadier General Doyle O. Hickey, launched a new drive to the east. The Weser river was readied and crossed. In relinquishing the ground west of the Weser, the enemy seemed to be concerned with delaying only long enough to permit withdrawal of his troops. He fought bitterly from village strong points, destroying bridges and underpasses whenever possible.5 April 1945
On April 9th, the division attacked out of the Weser bridgehead to gain 20 kilometers. The next day, 50 kilometers fell before the onslaught of the tanks.
The capture of the city of Nordhausen opened our eyes to the sort of people we were fighting and showed us why Germany's surrender must be complete and unconditional. Thousands of slave laborers, men and women, displaced from Russia, Poland, France, and other conquered areas were kept here to operate the huge V-Bomb factory built deep into a hillside a short distance out of town. The inhumanity of their living conditions was appalling. The dead far outnumbered the living. Thousands of bodies were discovered in the partially destroyed barracks, lying in the fields, or stacked at the crematory, waiting to be burned. Bodies were found where their owners had died, or were crammed into rooms set aside for the dead and so full that the bony remains tumbled out when the doors were opened. It was no a pretty sight. Most of the dead had died of starvation. The living were practically dead, lying in the same rooms, the same pallets with their dead and dying comrades, too weak to move. Troops seeing this hellhole needed no urging to get back in the fight against a race that could care so little for human life. Those unfortunates still living were carried to the best homes in Nordhausen where our medical authorities did everything in their power for them. All the male citizens of Nordhausen were made to dig graves on a hillside over looking the city and to carry and bury all the martyr bodies in this cemetry which will always bear evidence to the brutish sadism of the Nazis.
Indications of an enemy stand in the Hartz Mountains became more apparent as resistance stiffened considerably along the south western fringe of the wooded area. All approaches into the mountains were actively defended by enemy tanks and self-propelled guns. Bypassing the Hartz area, our attack advanced another 45 kilometers eastward against light resistance.
The Spearhead Division continued its advance eastward to the Saale River while the remainder of the Corps cleaned up behind in the Hartz Mountains. The 3rd Armored moved on to seize a crossing of the Mulde River and to seize Dessau on the Elbe. On April 15, the Mulde and Elbe Rivers were designated as the restraining line for our advance, and the Spearhead Division withdrew its bridgehead over the Mulde and after consolidating in the area, turned its sector over to the 9th Infantry Division.
Operations Memorandum 37, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 5 April 1945, ordered CC "B" to send reconnaissance forward rapidly to seize and secure the high ground vicinity of Gieselwerder. Bridges over the Weser River at Gieselwerder and Carlshaufen were reported intact. An attempt was made to secure them.
Task Force Welborn attacked east from vicinity of Dahl at 12oo hours. The high ground in the vicinity of Herbram and Schwaney were secured by 1615 hours against no opposition. Task Force Lovelady also attacked at 1200 hours from the vicinity of Eggeringsen and secured his sector of the objectives against no opposition. Operations Memorandum 38, Headquarters Third Armored Division, 5 April 1945, ordered CC "B" to continue the advance east to seize and secure the high ground vicinity of Bilshausen and the high ground vicinity of Rollshausen. Both task forces continued the attack at 2120 hours and for the night Task Force Welborn held positions vicinity of Siddesen and Task Force Lovelady held positions vicinity of Willegassen.
The battalion displaced with the attack of Task Force Welborn at i2oo hours and closed in firing position near Herbram about 1700 hours. The battalion