Viel Pak

From:
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

WWII20 January 1945

Lt. Hoyos, 11th Panzer Division

The 11th Panzer Division pulled into the Saar Moselle Triangle through Merzig (map V) after the Ardennes Front failed. My tank Company was composed only of Mark IV’s; we had no more of the beloved Panthers.

We had orders for the Division to smash the American bridgehead at Nennig (map 33)Thorn (map 33) and drive them across the river.

(note: The Germans were mistaken here as it was not a bridgehead in this area but an extension of the 94th Division’s flank which had been pushed up from the south)

So on 20 January my tank Company, 4 Mark IV’s, moved from Sinz (map 33) to Hill 300 where we went into position defilade and engaged the American fire positions above Remich (map 33) to find their defensive set-up. We drew some artillery fire but it was not effective.

We started down toward the Nennig AT ditch. Suddenly a great number of American Pak (anti-tank) guns opened fire and instantly knocked out my two flank tanks. I dove out of my tank just before it and the remaining tank were hit. The Division fought it’s way to the AT ditch in much schwer (heavy) fighting, hand to hand combat, but we were finally repulsed. We had high losses; 30 tanks were destroyed that day. It was the worst for the panzers. The 11th Panzer never fully recovered from that fight.

2d Cavalry note: The same day heavy artillery fire on Kleinmacher (map 33) forced our OP there to change positions. Six inches of snow covered the ground, and being hard packed on the roads made driving very dangerous. Engineers diverted men and equipment to work on the roads. Patrolling continued, a patrol on the 21st to Palzem (map 33) encountered 30 to 40 enemy, killed several and withdrew without casualties or prisoners.

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