SECOND UNITED STATES CAVALRY – A HISTORY
Compiled, edited and published by Historical Section, Second Cavalry Association
Maj. A. L. Lambert and Cpt. G. B. Layton, 2d Cavalry
1 – 6 March, 1945
The 76th Infantry Division and the 2d Squadron were fighting their way across the Sauer river to the north, while Troop B of the 42d, supported by Sgt. Ange’s section of Troop E near Mompach (map 34), were trying to flush the Krauts out of Mertert (map 34) across the Sauer river.
One pillbox in particular, situated on the high ground about 500 yards east of Mertert, always gave B Troop patrols a hot time whenever they attempted to cross the river. As there were generally a few Krauts in the vicinity, Troop E was called on to burn them out, and started hammering away. The Jerries all scattered as the first shells zoomed in, disappearing into various holes and bunkers.
All that is, except one, who was evidently a guard or lookout. He dropped into a foxhole outside the pillbox, but remained visible all during the shelling. After about a half hour of this pounding, with the foxhole blotted out occasionally by the smoke of the HE burst, it began to seem like the guy must be wearing armor. Finally when the smoke cleared away from a shot that looked particularly close, the Kraut had disappeared.
“Got him!” the observer shouted jubilantly, and a little prematurely, for in the next instant, the little guy across the river popped out of his hole and with several sweeping waves of a little red flag, gave E Troop a Maggie’s Drawers for the day.
On the 2nd the Group was relieved of all attachments and attached to the 76th Division. The 2d Squadron crossed the Sauer river in the vicinity of Steinheim (map 34), and pushed south in the western half of the 76th Infantry zone between the Kyll and Sauer rivers, clearing enemy from south of Newel (map 34). Enemy resistance was light, consisting mostly of road craters and lightly defended road blocks. The 42d sent A Troop across the river at Moersdorf to establish a bridgehead. One platoon reconnoitered Grewenich (map 34), Mesenich (map 34), and Langsur (map 34). They received machine gun and small arms fire from one pillbox. Another platoon took the high ground of Langsur and sent back four prisoners.
The next day the 2d Squadron continued to push into it’s assigned zone along the Kyll and Moselle rivers. Troop A and B, each reinforced with a platoon of assault guns and a platoon of tanks, were in line. In the Troop A zone, one underground fort continued to resist even though isolated. Troop C cleared Eupen (map 34) against light resistance.
The 2d Squadron completed it’s screen on the 4th, with the Troops on the line Igel (map 34), Liersburg (map 34), Kordel (map 34), and Hofweiler. One enemy fort continued to resist in A Troop’s area. The next day we reached Orenhofen (map 35). The one fort that was still resisting surrendered after the Group Commander entered the fortification (Capt. Cunningham was standing on the fort dropping grenades down the ventilating shaft, to no effect. Our 90mm TD’s punched holes in the heavy steel turrets, but hurt no one) and assured the enemy commander that further resistance was useless and that he was completely cut off. The fort yielded two officers and 46 men.
By the 6th, Troop A, 42d Squadron, with two platoons of tanks and one platoon of assault guns, was concentrated in the vicinity of Orenhofen for an attack on Zemmer (map 35), which was being reconnoitered.