Raid On Rehlingen

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

WWII19 – 20 January 1945

Troop C, 2d Squadron

The Troop outposted the town of Machtum (map 33) until the 19th of January, when it pulled a raid on Rehlingen (map 33), Germany, across the Moselle, which we thought was one of our smoothest operations.

Lt. Little was put in charge and after a days preparation and reconnaissance, 30 picked men, 10 from each platoon, proceeded at 1700 to Ahn (map 33), the jump off point. At 1800 we started across the river in six man groups and assembled on the other side. Of course at this critical moment the ‘536’ radios refused to work, but the mission continued regardless. The evenings job was to clear the town, capture a prisoner and withdraw. Not knowing the strength of the enemy we used a different method of attack than we ordinarily used, and it proved successful.

Immediately after the artillery concentration lifted to the high ground in back of the town, the patrol entered, firing all it’s small arms, using flashlights, throwing grenades and blasting with TNT. We must have looked and sounded like a full scale Regimental attack. Without wasting any time in scouting around we proceeded right through the town, which turned out to be considerably larger than originally reported, and reached the last house in town before the enemy began to react. We received small arms fire from the house, and because of it’s location had to use up some valuable time in surrounding it. During this fight one of our best soldiers, Sgt. Beecher Gates, was killed. When we broke into the house, we captured the man who had killed Sgt. Gates and found one man dead from the effects of the artillery barrage.

We proceeded back with the prisoner and the body of Sgt. Gates, and when we reached the river bank we came under the heaviest enemy artillery concentration we had yet encountered. Approximately 250 to 300 rounds came into our immediate area within an hour, making the return crossing a little rough. At about 2400 we were back in friendly territory again with another very successful mission under our belts.

On the 20th our TD’s emplaced on the heights overlooking the sloping ground across the river, reported that they had fired on six Mark V tanks, destroying one, crippling one and forcing the rest to withdraw. Our old enemy of the Luneville (map IV)(map 25)(map NS) days, Lt. Graf von Hoyos, being on the receiving end of this fire, had a slightly more accurate picture of the actual happenings.

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