134th Infantry Regiment
"All Hell Can't Stop Us"
Headquarters III U.S. Corps
3rd Information and Historical Service
23 January 1945
Transcribed by Roberta V. Russo, Palatine IL, August 30, 2011
134th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division
26 December 1944 to 12 January 1945
At 1300 on the 26th of December, the 134th Infantry Regiment closed in the vicinity of Merzig (P7638). On the 28th it moved to Warnach (P5652), where at 1300 oral fragmentary orders were received from Division directing that the 3rd Battalion be alert to relieve the 1st Battalion 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division which had been holding the right flank, covering the thrust by the 4th Armored Division to relieve Bastogne (P5557).
The Battalions were to attack at 0800 on the 29th formed in a column of battalions, 3rd, 1st, and 2nd. Company A 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion, the 161st Field Artillery Battalion, and Company A 60th Engineer Combat Battalion were in direct support of the attack. A platoon of the attached Tank Destroyer Company was directly supporting each battalion. An Engineer platoon leader and a Tank Destroyer platoon leader were with each battalion CO. The Regimental objective was Neffe (P5857).
At this time the Regimental headquarters was at Sainlez (P5448) where it had moved on 29 December. On the same day the 3rd Battalion moved to (P553510) preparatory to the jump off northward. Earlier the same day the 1st and 2nd Battalions made a covered march to the vicinity of Sainlez. At this time the 3rd Battalion 137th Infantry Regiment was at (P572493).
At 290800 the attack started. The orders directed that any opposition be pushed to the right and contained while the next battalion in the column bypassed the containing force and continue to the northeast. The 3rd Battalion in the lead marched northward up a valley and swung to the northeast to occupy Lutrebois (P5653). The 1st Battalion moved past on the left and occupied and outposted the high ground south of Marvie (P5755). By 1530 on the 29th the 1st Battalion had reached Marvie, and had established contact with the 101st Airborne Division around Bastogne. At 1415 the 2nd Battalion was committed on regimental order to fill the gap existing between the 3rd Battalion 134th Infantry Regiment, and the 137th Infantry Regiment on the right.
At Lutrebois the 3rd Battalion ran into enemy opposition. Company L fought into town while Companies I and K occupied the high ground south of town. From a captured map it was learned that the town of Lutrebois was close to the boundary between the 167th Volksgrenadier Division and the 1st SS Panzer Division. The 3rd Battalion captured prisoners from the 167th while the 2nd Battalion on the right took men from the 1st SS.
The difference in prisoners from the two divisions is worthy of note. Although physically there was not too great a difference, the older replacements were to be found in the 167th. The 1st SS received a good type of replacement. But it should be emphasized that there were many excellent soldiers in the ranks of the Volksgrenadier outfit. More deserters come from the 167th than from the 1st SS. However, after surrender, the SS men were more meek, probably in anticipation of retribution. At least they were not arrogant. There were complaints by the men that their officers had withdrawn in time of danger leaving them to hold the positions. In some cases, men had not seen their company commanders for two days. Possibly a selective withdrawal had taken place.
Poles, Czechs, and Romanians were among the prisoners. After the officers had deserted their units, leaving the physical misfits and older men, the foreigners were willing to surrender. Not so, with the Germans. Often when the Germans were captured on patrol or as messengers, they sought to give the impression that they had been on their way to surrender. However when they counter-attacked they were tough and tenacious. This did not last however. Some prisoners appeared excessively thirsty, others hungry. On the other hand, some stated that their food had been good.
On the 30th at ?445 the enemy counter-attacked. From a captured map the enemy plan was indicated. One force was to attack southwest from the high ground south of Lutrebois (P5653) and move west to cut the Arlon (P55) - Bastogne (P5557) highway, and then swing northward to Bastogne. A second force would make a larger envelopment by cutting the secondary road, beyond the main highway, the Bastogne and then moving north paralleling the advance of the first force.
The enemy initially attacked with infantry, out at 1025 enemy tanks were reported moving northwest from Lutremange (P5851) along the Lutremange - Lutrebois (P5653) road. More than 25 tanks were counted along this road. One proceeded as far as (P555583). Enemy infantry reached within 150 yards of the chateau at Losange (P555516). Parties of the enemy filtered through the gaps existing where the 2nd Battalion was thinly spread. No enemy reached the main highway. Company E was dispatched to aid the 3rd Battalion, and became involved in the fight west of Lutrebois (P5653). This company after working with armored infantry from Combat Command A 4th Armored Division rejoined the 2nd Battalion on the evening of the 30th.
By evening 30 December the counter-attack had been stopped. The regimental lines had not been pushed back, but enemy tanks and infantry had infiltrated through gaps caused by the lengthening of the lines. More than twenty enemy tanks were knocked out that day by the combined action of tanks, tank destroyers, artillery, and anti-tank units. Of these, some were probably retrieved by the Germans (opinion of Major Carroll).
The Fire Direction Center was at Honville (P5547). Company C, 3rd Chemical Battalion in support of the regiment was put in direct support of the 3rd Battalion. Companies I and K directed artillery fire on enemy tanks along the Lutremange (P5851) - Lutrebois (P5653) road.
The night of the 30th the line was composed from south to north as follows: Companies I (137th Infantry Regiment), E, F, K, I, L, the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion, and Company A, 24th Engineer Combat Battalion. Company L had been partially cut off in Lutrebois and the town had been abandoned to the enemy.
At 310800 the attack was continued by the 2nd and 3rd Battalions. Five enemy tanks were observed in Lutrebois. The 3rd Battalion again tried to move through the town, but enemy in the wooded high ground northeast of town held up progress. Meanwhile, the 2nd Battalion was holding on the north and the 2nd Battalion remained on the right flank of the regiment maintaining contact with Company I 137th Infantry Regiment. These positions were held during the 31st of December and the 1st of January.
On 2 January, the 2nd Battalion closed with the 3rd Battalion thereby drawing in the regimental right flank. Company F remained at (P568513) covering the gap. The 3rd Battalion renewed its attempts to take Lutrebois (P5653) and succeeded in occupying half of the town.
On the same day the 1st Battalion received orders to attack a road junction at (P588552). Companies A and B jumped off at 1330 while Company C remained to hold the high ground south of Marvie (P5755). At the end of the day, Company A on the left and Company B on the right were along the line (P586555 - 592554). The 2nd Battalion was on high ground southeast of Lutrebois, and the 3rd was holding half of that town. The 1st Battalion had established contact with the 6th Armored Division on its left, south of Wardin (P6456).
The attack was continued on the 3rd of January. The 1st Battalion took the road junction. While the 2nd Battalion remained on the high ground to the southwest, the 3rd Battalion strove to make its way through the rest of Lutrebois. Company F on the right flank was relieved by the 2nd Cavalry Squad and reverted to the 2nd Battalion.
On the night of the 3rd preparations were made to move the 1st Battalion back through Marvie to an assembly area prior to the continuation of the attack at 040830. The battalion spent the night of the 3rd at (P561551).
At 0700 on the 4th the 1st Battalion jumped off, companies abreast to take the road junction at (P569533). The same morning at 0745 the 3rd Battalion resumed attacking the northeast portion of Lutrebois and by 1045 was in complete occupation of the town.
The 1st Battalion with Company B on the left, Company C on the right and Company A in reserve pressed its attack to the southeast. Company C overran its objective and ended up at (P577527). Company B succeeded in capturing a Battalion CP north of Lutrebois (P5653). As yet there was no contact between the 1st and 3rd Battalions.
The night of the 4th the 3rd Battalion was holding the town, the 2nd still on the high ground to the southwest, and Companies A and B in contact. Radio contact was maintained with Company C which drew back to rejoin the rest of the Battalion. Only 50 men succeeded in getting back.
On the 5th the 3rd Battalion continued the attack and succeeded in getting two companies into the woods northeast of Lutrebois. These were promptly counter-attacked and withdrew.
At 1400 on the 5th, the 1st Battalion 320th Infantry Regiment was attached to the 134th Infantry Regiment, and Company B was place on the left flank of the 1st Battalion 134th. Enemy had infiltrated at (P573534) in a northern direction. Apparently the enemy was being pushed to the north from the 137th Infantry Regiment sector in the vicinity of La Tannbrie (P5750) and Lutremange (P5851).
The morning of the 6th, the 1st Battalion 320th Infantry Regiment attacked to the southeast toward the high ground due north of Lutrebois. By evening, Companies A and B were within 100 yards of Lutrebois Trail. The disposition of forces from the northeast to southeast was as follows: Company B 320th, Company B and remains of Company C, 134th, Company A 134th, 1st Battalion (minus Company B) 320th, Companies I and K in Lutrebois, and Company L on high ground south of town, Companies G F and E, a task force made up of the MP platoon, Anti-tank Platoon, and the I & R platoon, all of the 134th.
On the 7th the attack was pressed. On the right the 1st Battalion 320th abreast of the 134th's 1st Battalion, followed by the 3rd Battalion, with the 2nd Battalion covering the right flank and rear was the formation. The 3rd Battalion having insufficient space to follow the lead battalions, stayed in town. The attack continued through the 7th and 8th of January.
On the evening of the 8th, the 1st Battalion 134th Infantry Regiment relieved Companies A and B of the 320th.
On the 9th the 1st and 2nd Battalions pushed northward while the 3rd Battalion 134th and the 1st Battalion of the 320th assembled at (P570546). A Task Force from the 6th Armored Division moved to the vicinity of Sews (P ) to strike an enemy strongpoint in the woods at Martaimont (P582555).
On the 10th the two battalions abreast with the Task Force from the 6th Armored Division attacked in a southeastern direction. The 2nd Battalion 320th Infantry Regiment was attached to the Task Force. On the 11th the attack turned to the left and moved up the Lutrebois trail in a northeastern direction. The formation was as follows: 2nd Battalion 320th on the left of the trail, 3rd Battalion 134th on the right, 1st Battalion 320th echeloned to the right rear followed by 1st Battalion 134th echeloned in like manner. On the 11th the lead battalions reached a line along the road (P584547 - 593538).
On the 12th the objective (Neffe P5857) was reached. The 2nd Battalion 320th had been detached from the 6th Armored Division and attached to the 134th Infantry Regiment. In the twelve days of the move, more mortar ammunition had been fired than in the whole French campaign.
Source - Major Carroll, S-3, 134th Infantry Regiment
Interviewer - 1st Lt. William J. Dunkerley, T/Sgt C. J. Angulo (notes).
Date of Interview - 16 January 1945
Map Reference - GSGS 4041 - Sheets Bastogne NE and SE, 1:25,000
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