A series following the story of my father in World War II 75 years ago. He was in Europe with the 10th Armored Division's 80th Armored Medical Battalion.This updates the series Following the 10th Armored that I did five years ago.

#51- With Skill and Daring

    •    Monday 19 February
Got up at 9.30. Gee it is so lonesome. So I am not doing much. Wrote to Buddy and Dora.
Diary, Beula Keller Lehman

Field orders # 11 and 16 were now implemented. The 10th Armored and the 94th Infantry Divisions were set to make their coordinated attack. The 10th had been at Metz for nine days. The headquarters would not remain that long in any place again until the end of the war. By the 19th were in Apach, FR, just across the French/German border from Perl. They were to take the Saar-Moselle Triangle.

On Monday, 19 Feb 1945: In spite of some of their numbers on furlough in Paris, the advanced troops left at 1800 that evening and some raced as much as 75 miles to begin the attack the next morning at 0700. The 94th had already done its job and all was set for the 10th to roll through.

    ✓    Company C Morning Report
    ✓    20 February 1945

Left Metz, France, at 0001 via motor convoy. Traveled 25 miles to Metrich, France. Arrived 045. Supporting CC B. Billeted troops (MR)
 This movement of Company C was overnight, six hours behind the first troops of the Tenth, in order to be in position. They would be 7 miles from Perl as the attack began at 0700 on 20 February- just shy of three hours after Company C arrived in Metrich.

Nichols in Impact! says:
Now the preliminary rounds were over. In the course of the next few days, the 10th Armored Tigers were to overrun the Saar-Moselle Triangle- one of the most heavily fortified areas in the world- and capture the important supply and communications center of Trier, oldest city in Germany. This battle operation was performed with skill and daring, and it brought praise to the Tigers from all quarters as General George S. Patton, in open admiration, termed this battle “one of the war’s most audacious operations.”
Company C was assigned to Combat Command B (CC B) at this point and much of the first attacks appear to have been made by CC A and CC R. Company C remained at Metrich on the 20th and then moved into Germany the next day.

    ✓    Company C Morning Report
    ✓    21 February 1945
Convoy departed Metrich 1015 and traveled 7 miles to Perl, Germany. Arrived 1325. Entered Germany 1320. Set up clearing station and billeted troops. Roads muddy. Weather clear. Morale of troops excellent. (MR)
Also on the 21st according to Nichols, General Patton visited the Division HQ. He studied the maps and the situation and ordered them to “cross the Saar and take Trier.” Nichols continued

When Patton returned to his Third Army Headquarters that night, he phoned SHAEF and got permission to do what he had already done, in committing the Tenth Armored Division across the Saar.
By the end of the day on 21 February, the Tenth had penetrated “northward almost to the junction of the Saar and Moselle.” The press communique, written originally by Nichols, goes on:
During the two days, the 10th Armored Division has captured 23 towns and approximately 1250 prisoners and has occupied approximately 85 square miles of German soil.
Resistance encountered in the second day of the 10th Armored’s drive consisted of mine, roadblocks, small arms fire, and craters in the road.
    •    Thursday, Feb 22
Got up at 10-. Did not do much. Wrote to Buddy. Ruth called. Baked a cherry pie.
Diary, Beula Keller Lehman

Province, in Patton’s Third Army, lists the work of the 10th during this time:
2/22 Reducing Moselle Triangle and destruction of German artillery
2/23 Expanded bridgeheads
2/24 Building bridges and increasing size
Both CC A and CC B managed a quick crossing at Taben, in essence bringing the Saar-Moselle Triangle to an end. In his communique on 25 February Nichols told the press:
The Tenth Armored completely cleared the Saar Moselle Triangle in four days of slashing attacks, thus setting the stage for new offensives east of the Saar.
Halted temporarily at Ayl, above Saarburg, where enemy fire repeatedly prevented construction of a pontoon bridge, the Tenth Armored nevertheless resumed its offensive. Elements of age Tenth were ferried across the Saar Thursday night [22 Feb], under heavy artillery, machine gun and sniper fire. … During the late afternoon and night on Saturday, [24 Feb] three armored infantry battalions of the Tenth had been transported across to the vicinity of Ockfen.
More action will occur as the Tenth heads to capture Trier over the next several days. The Tenth was in Germany and would remain there for the rest of the war.

    •    Saturday, Feb 24
Got up at 9.30. Went to the store. Did not do anything all day.
Diary, Beula Keller Lehman

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