134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment Website

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

137th Infantry Regiment

137th Infantry Regiment Crest

Moselle River Crossing - September 11 - September 14, 1944

The evening of September 9, 1944, the 35th Infantry Division recieved an order to attack on September 11, with the high ground west of the Moselle River southeast of Nancy, France as the objective. Thanks to Jerome Leclerc of the Association of Espace de Memoire Lorraine 39-45 for the following maps, photos and description of that battle.

Moselle River Crossing 9/11 - 9/14/1944

Moselle River Crossing

(source: Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment, World War II)

Map, Nancy France and south

The area today



Historical Division, United States Army - Map 08, (35th Infantry Division, 10 - 21 September 1944)



Historical Division, United States Army - Map 10, (4th Armored Division, 11 - 14 September 1944)

map - Moselle River crossing

(source: Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment, World War II)

map - Moselle River Crossing
map - Crevechamps, France  map - Crevechamps, France 

Right on Map 08:  Crevechamps on the West side of the Moselle River

Wrong on Map 10:  Crevechamps on the East side of the Moselle River

map - Crevechamps, France
Moselle River between Crevechamps and Velle  canal at Crevechamps, France 

The Moselle River between Crevechamps and Velle, from the west bank near where the 137th made its initial crossing.  ("le pont de Velle-sur-Moselle" the bridge from Velle-sur-Moselle, Crevechamps is not on the Moselle river but on the west side of the canal)

Where the 2nd Battalion dug in along the east bank of the canal at Crevechamps, France near the Moselle crossing.  (source: Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment, World War II)

Le pont de Velle-sur-Moselle, 6 September 1944

Le pont de Velle-sur-Moselle, 6 September 1944, photo Henri Reveille

German machine gun position overlooking the Moselle River

German machine gun position overlooking the Moselle River.  (source: Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment, World War II)
Knock-out German tanks east of the Moselle

Knock-out German tanks east of the Moselle River.  (source: Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment, World War II)

Note: the tanks are French tanks "Somua S-35" captured in 1940, and used by the Germans

The S-35 was designed in response to a request made by the French armored cavalry for a new medium tank.  SOMUA's prototype was chosen in 1935, and it entered service in 1936.  At the time of Germany's invasion, the S-35 was considered the best tank in France's arsenal, and around 250 were available for frontline service.  However, the tank's effectiveness was reduced since it was usually used in small numbers to support infantry, which lead to them being overwhelmed by the German's numbers.  After France was defeated, some S-35s went into German service as the PzKpfw 35-S 739(f).  (source: http://world-war-2.wikia.com/wiki/SOMUA_S-35)


September 1944, Velle-sur-Moselle (35th Infantry Division)


September 1944, Velle-sur-Moselle (35th Infantry Division)


September 1944, Velle-sur-Moselle (35th Infantry Division)

CANAL DE L'EST - Crevechamps, France

River: Moselle River (CANAL DE L'EST), Location: Crevechamps, Date: 12 September 1944, Lenght: 30' - 150th Engineer Combat Battalion

Crevechamps (VELLE-sur-MOSELLE)

River: Moselle River, Location: Near Crevechamps (VELLE-sur-MOSELLE), Date: 13 September 1944, Length: 372' "A" Company, One of the first crossings of the Moselle River - 150th Engineer Combat Battalion

Crevechamps (VELLE-sur-MOSELLE)

River: Moselle River, Location: Crevechamps (VELLE-sur-MOSELLE), Date: 13 September 1944, 1300 hours, Length: 372', Done under 88MM Airbursts until 0030 - 150th Engineer Combat Battalion

Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment World War II

Transcribed by Roberta V. Russo, Palatine IL


We never knew how just was our cause until we entered the rotten interior of Germany and beheld for the first time the unbelievable results of Nazi greed and cruelty - the shallow, quick lime graves - the feeble thanks and tears of joy of the emaciated walking dead - the slave laborers, who were former free men in Europe - miserable wretches whose plight might well have been the lot of our own loved ones had we not succeeded.

May this history, then, be dedicated to those who died inconspicuously, but not in vain, that freedom might live.


This history has been prepared through the joint collaboration of the following officers and enlisted men:

Captain Jack L. Smith - Representative of Regimental Headquarters and Special Units.

Major Robert L. Stephenson - Representative of First Battalion

Lt. Col. George T. O'Connell - Representative of Second Battalion

Lt. Col. Albert M. Butler - Representative of Third Battalion

M/Sgt. Chester V. Jackson - Regimental Operations Sergeant.

All officers and non-commissioned officers listed above were with the Regiment during the entire action and have religiously edited and compiled all available sources of material to insure a correct and accurate history of the action of the 137th Infantry during World War II.

We would also like to express our appreciation to 1st Lt. William Beasley for the work he did in checking and correcting the proofs for this book.

Much credit is due the members of the Regimental and Battalion Operations sections who are no longer with the Regiment for the vast amount of fragmentary information recorded during the heat of battle, which has helped immeasurably in the compilation of this history.


. . .

On September 10 the XII Corps was to advance into a position to attack on the next day, with the high ground west of the Moselle River southeast of Nancy as the objective. The 134th Infantry was to attack to the north, and in the 137th Infantry the 3rd Battalion was to attack on the right and the 2nd Battalion on the left. The 1st Battalion was to remain in reserve, prepared to move on order.

The Regiment moved out at 0800 on the 10th, and the 2nd Battalion encountered the first enemy fire - intermittent artillery at 0915 east of Houdelmont. They continued to move forward, and by 1300 crossed the north-south highway between Ceintrey and the Benney Forest. A half-hour later the 2nd Battalion was in the Benney Forest itself, and two miles south the 3rd Battalion had reached Lemainville. At that time the 1st Battalion was at Ville sur Moselle (Madon) and by 1500 had moved into the woods south of Ormes et Ville. By 1700, 137th was in its objective for the 10th and occupied the high ground west of the Moselle River, in position to attempt to establish a bridgehead on the following morning. The only casualties reported on the 10th were two men wounded. With the German forces withdrawn to positions across the Moselle, only one prisoner was taken.

The Regiment jumped off at 0500 on September 11, with the 2nd Battalion attempting to cross the river near Crevechamps and the 3rd Battalion near Neuviller sur Moselle. The 1st Battalion remained in reserve in the Ormes Forest. First across the Moselle at that point was 1st Lieutenant Joseph S. Giacobello, holder of the Silver Star and already recommended for the Oak Leaf Cluster for heroic action in previous engagements. With fifteen men of Company F he crossed the river, and was soon out of communication with the rest of the battalion. The remainder of Company F was pinned down most of the day on an island in the river below Crevechamps (Velle-sur-Moselle).

The crossing proved difficult, as the Germans had blown all bridges across the Moselle from Flavigny south, and they held strong positions on the east side of the river, with machine gun emplacements on the steep bluffs overlooking the river, and artillery positions to the rear. The canal running parallel to the river's west bank was an added barrier. The 2nd Battalion was never able to put additional forces across the river in the Crevechamps (Velle-sur-Moselle) vicinity during the day. Lieutenant Giacobello and his men were the only American troops across the river at that point for a day and a half, and were believed to have been lost, in the face of almost hopeless odds.  The Battalion eventually abandoned a crossing at that point and withdrew to attempt a crossing farther south. Elements of the 3rd Battalion crossed the river in its sector during the day, but were pinned down until late in the afternoon. At 1730 the 1st Battalion was committed, and a coordinated attack launched by all three battalions, with the 2nd on the left, the 1st on the right, and the 3rd between them. With heavy artillery support, the 1st and 3rd Battalions each got two companies across the river by 1845 in the vicinity of Lorey and St. Mard. The strong enemy resistance of Crevechamps (Velle-sur-Moselle) forced abandonment of the construction of a treadway bridge across the river at that point.

The attack continued during the night, and by the morning of September 12, the 1st Battalion had cleared all enemy resistance in the area around Lorey. The 2nd Battalion, to the north, got across the river early in the afternoon, the worked back up the east side of the river and was rejoined by Lieutenant Giacobello with his party intact. In the 3rd Battalion sector, dug-in concrete pillboxes were located. Four of these were knocked out by means of artillery, bazookas, and grenades. The 2nd Battalion also reported concrete pillboxes near Crevechamps (Velle-sur-Moselle). At 0915, the 3rd Battalion captured a former enemy command post and a large quantity of German equipment left behind in the  area. The  equipment was of excellent quality, indicating superior troops in the area.

With the way cleared by the 1st Battalion, it was possible to put a ferry into operation across the river at Neuviller, and shortly afterward a treadway bridge was completed at that point by the Engineers. By the afternoon most of the Regiment was across the river.

The 1st Battalion moved as far as Lorey, where the Germans launched a counterattack with armor and infantry in a desperate effort to save ammunition stores in that vicinity. With the support of Company B of the 737th Tank Battalion, Company C broke up the counterattack, then moved in to destroy an ammunition dump at Domptall. Racing to the left, they cleaned out the hills east of the river, then swung in between the 2nd and 3rd Battalions. By 2100 the 2nd Battalion took Crevechamps (Velle-sur-Moselle), after a large part of the town had been set afire, and the Regiment was in a position to turn the attack to the north.

On September 13 the 137th Infantry attacked toward Gayviller, on the east bank of the Moselle, with the 320th Infantry on the Regiment's right. Jumping off at 0700, no resistance was encountered until shortly after 0900, when the 2nd Battalion, on the left, contacted the enemy at Tonnoy. A few minutes later the 3rd Battalion, on the right, reported opposition east of Tonnoy. The 3rd Battalion pushed past Tonnoy on the right at 1400, but the 2nd Battalion was held up until 1800, receiving heavy artillery fire from German positions in the woods south of Coyviller.

Breaking past Tonnoy, the 2nd Battalion advanced rapidly, and shortly after 2100 both 2nd and 3rd Battalions were on the objective, occupying the high ground between Saffais and Coyviller, with assault guns and tanks of the 737th Tank Battalion in position to protect the left flank against attack from the direction of Flavigny, from which city the Germans had been withdrawing to the east, across the river and into the Flavigny Forest. The 1st Battalion was held up by an illuminated roadblock near Rosieres. Here again the tanks were called upon, shortly after midnight, and at 0159 the 1st Battalion was one kilometer from the objective. At 0200 the high ground half a mile southwest of Rosieres was gained, in position to attack that town at dawn.

At 0630 on September 14 the 1st Battalion, with men riding the tanks, captured Rosieres, thereby establishing the Regiment on a line from Moselle to the Meurthe River. The morning of the 14th the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were ordered to hold their positions, and the 1st Battalion was ordered to put a reconnaissance force across the Meurthe River strong enough to hold a position on the east bank. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions cleared out the wooded areas in their sectors during the morning, and at 1400 further orders were issued for these battalions to advance on a broad front, the 2nd to the high ground in the vicinity of Azelot, and the 3rd to the high ground north of Manoncourt. The 1st Battalion now received orders to advance on the left of the Meurthe River to St. Nicolas, seizing any bridgehead possible.

Jumping off at 1600, all battalions advanced to their objectives with little resistance. The Germans had already withdrawn most of their forces from the area between the Meurthe and Moselle Rivers. At 1730 the 3rd Battalion had taken Manoncourt, where the Germans left a large store of 120mm mortar ammunition and well dug-in positions. By 1830 the 2nd Battalion had moved to within a mile of Azelot, and at 1900 entered the town. By 2100 the 1st Battalion had taken St. Nicolas. At both St. Nicolas and Azelot it was learned that the enemy had withdrawn earlier in the day. French civilians reported that the Germans were withdrawing all along the Moselle River, from Richardmenil, Messein, and other points. Information gained from prisoners taken and from civilians indicated that the Germans had withdrawn one Division from that area. At St. Nicolas, between 500 and 600 of the enemy force had been withdrawn.

At the close of four days' fighting the 137th Infantry had suffered 221 casualties in crossing the Moselle River and pushing the enemy beyond the Meurthe as far north as St. Nicolas.  On the 11th one man was killed and 23 wounded.  On the 12th, four were killed and 61 wounded.  A total of 13 killed, 51 wounded, and eight missing were reported on the 13th. On the 13th the Regiment also lost 1st Sgt. Warren P. Schrader of Wichita, Kansas, popular topkick of Headquarters Company, the first First Sergeant of the 137th Infantry to give his life in the present war. On the 14th 12 were killed, 11 wounded, and ten missing in action. 1st Lt. Vernon W. Pickett, after having been captured by the Germans on July 15 and later escaping from a prison train to rejoin the 137th on August 30, met his death on the 14th. The Regiment also lost its second First Sergeant in two days, Claude L. Appelgate, efficient Company I Sergeant.

There were 68 prisoners taken on the 12th, 47 on the 13th, and 36 on the 14th. Prisoners were identified as from the 104th Regiment of the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division from Saarbrucken, from the 1120th Regiment of the 553rd Division, and from the 2nd Parachute Regiment. Many of the prisoners reported themselves to be Paratroopers, and some were formerly in the Air Corps, having been pressed into infantry service from the Luftwaffe.

At this time the 320th Infantry continued to operate on the right of the 137th, and had crossed the Meurthe River. Task Force T - composed of the 2nd Battalion of the 134th Infantry, 35th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, and 127th Field Artillery Battalion - was protecting the west bank of the Moselle River from Fort De Pont St. Vincent south. The remaining two battalions of the 134th Infantry were attached to Task Force S, which was operating in the Forest de Haye and closing in on the city of Nancy from the west. North of Nancy, the 80th Division was holding Mousson and the high ground in the vicinity.

On September 15, Task Force S moved into the city of Nancy, and on the same day elements of the 137th Infantry began to cross the Meurthe River. During the morning of the 15th, the Regiment had driven out all hostile resistance in their sector south of the river, cleaning out the Germans from the Flavigny Forest.

On the morning of the 15th, with the 1st Battalion already on the river at St. Nicolas, the 2nd Battalion moved through Lupcourt to the high ground just east of the Canal de l'est Emb't de Nancy at 0930. They then moved north to the Meurthe River. The 3rd Battalion moved from Manoncourt to the vicinity of Laneuville, putting all battalions in position to cross the river. The Germans had generally withdrawn from the south of the Meurthe to positions across the river, from which our 1st Battalion received machine gun, mortar and artillery fire during the day. Casualties reported on the 15th were five killed, 47 wounded, and 19 missing, some of which had occurred prior to this date but had not been reported. There were 25 prisoners taken.

map - crevechamps, france

Crevechamps, France

Crevechamps - (source: Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment, World War II)


Neuviller-sur-Moselle - (source: Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment, World War II)

Lorey, France

Lorey - (source: Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment, World War II)

Domptail-en-l'Air, France

Domptail-en-l'Air - (source: Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment, World War II)

Thanks to Jerome Leclerc of the Association of Espace de Memoire Lorraine 39-45 for this information.

Return to Top of Page

Return to History Index

Sign Guestbook

View Guestbook


134th Infantry Regiment Home Page

Send Email to me