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Batalha de North Point

Batalha de North Point


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Em 11 de setembro de 1814, o vigia de uma torre de observação em Federal Hill, em Maryland, avistou uma frota britânica se aproximando de North Point. Quando o general Samuel Smith, comandante das defesas próximas de Baltimore, ouviu a notícia, ele imediatamente despachou o general de brigada John Stricker e 3.200 milícias para North Point. Smith havia adivinhado que se Baltimore fosse atacada, os britânicos provavelmente pousariam em North Point primeiro. Conforme a frota britânica se aproximava de North Point, também foi observado de uma cúpula no telhado da Todd House, localizada a cerca de uma milha de onde o As tropas britânicas desembarcaram. Os cidadãos haviam organizado um sistema de cavaleiros montados para manter as forças americanas informadas sobre os movimentos do inimigo. Pouco antes do amanhecer de 12 de setembro, mais de 4.500 soldados britânicos começaram a pousar na ponta de North Point. O general Robert Ross começou a liderar suas tropas em uma marcha de 12 milhas até Baltimore. O general Ross foi considerado um dos principais comandantes militares da Inglaterra, com ampla experiência e vitórias em guerras por toda a Europa. Antes de vir para a América, Ross havia servido sob o duque de Wellington e recebera uma menção escrita favorável do duque. Ross decidiu cavalgar à frente do corpo principal de tropas com uma guarda avançada. Ele não sabia que o General Stricker, com seus 3.200 homens, estava a apenas três quilômetros de distância com seus seis canhões posicionados na Long Log Lane (North Point Road) esperando pelos britânicos. O Almirante George Cockburn avisou Ross que ele e sua escolta estavam chegando muito à frente do resto da força. Eles foram creditados com a morte do General Ross. O corpo foi levado para a nau capitânia do vice-almirante Sir Alexander Cochrane e colocado em um barril de rum para preservação. Igreja de Paulo em Halifax. Os túmulos de Dan Wells e Henry McComas são marcados por um monumento na esquina das ruas Aisquith, Gay e Monument em Baltimore. A morte do General Ross foi um golpe desmoralizante para as forças terrestres britânicas. Brooke era inexperiente e seria uma decepção para as tropas. Na tarde de 12 de setembro, as forças britânicas avançaram para onde puderam observar os seis canhões americanos bloqueando o que hoje é conhecido como North Point Road na Trappe Road. Pouco depois de sua chegada, os dois lados trocaram tiros de canhão e a batalha começou. À medida que os britânicos avançavam, os americanos disparavam metralha, pregos, ferraduras velhas, fechaduras, pedaços de mosquetes quebrados - qualquer coisa que pudesse ser enfiada na boca de um canhão. Os americanos já haviam atrasado o inimigo - conforme planejado pelo general Smith. A luta continuou de um lado para outro durante a tarde, com as forças americanas recuando lentamente. Em vez disso, eles dormiram no campo de batalha perto da capela metodista, que estava sendo usada como um hospital onde cirurgiões operavam feridos de ambos os lados. No final das contas, a batalha de um dia em North Point provaria ser a última batalha terrestre. * Na manhã de 13 de setembro, os britânicos avançaram lentamente ao longo da pista quando Brooke viu as impressionantes fortificações de "Rodgers 'Bastião. " Ele não podia acreditar em seus olhos. À medida que as tropas britânicas se aproximavam, eles logo perceberam que não poderiam passar pelo Bastião de Rodgers sem pesadas perdas. Então, eles se retiraram e deixaram Baltimore ilesos.Em 1839, 25 anos após a batalha, Jacob Houck doou um acre do campo de batalha ao Estado de Maryland por um dólar. Hoje, aquele terreno sagrado, chamado Battle Acre, é cercado por uma cerca de ferro, com o monumento no centro. Hoje, no Parque Patterson, há uma bela fileira de canhões que estavam no Bastião de Rodgers na época em que ocorreu o confronto em 1814. Eles estão localizados em frente ao famoso pagode do parque.


* Em 13 e 14 de setembro, a frota britânica atacou o Forte McHenry de Baltimore depois que o ataque terrestre parou. O fracasso do bombardeio, e avistar a bandeira americana ainda hasteada, levou Francis Scott Key a compor "The Star-Spangled Banner". Veja Batalha de Baltimore.


North Point - 12 de setembro de 1814

Após o incêndio de Washington, D.C, as forças britânicas na área da Baía de Chesapeake voltaram sua atenção para a cidade portuária de Baltimore, Maryland.

Em 12 de setembro de 1814, cerca de 4.500 soldados e fuzileiros navais britânicos desembarcaram na península criada pelos rios Back e Patapsco. Esta força foi comandada pelo veterano major-general Robert Ross. Para enfrentar essa ameaça, uma força de 3.200 americanos comandados pelo general John Stricker marchou para interceptar as forças de Ross. Utilizando os riachos, colinas e pântanos da área para proteger sua linha, Stricker avançou uma força de atiradores americanos em direção aos campos britânicos, na esperança de atrair o inimigo para a batalha no terreno de sua escolha. Os americanos tiveram sucesso inicial e até conseguiram derrubar Ross. Mortalmente ferido, o comandante britânico entregou o comando ao coronel Arthur Brooke.


Guerra de 1812: A Batalha de North Point, 12 de setembro de 1814

Durante a Guerra de 1812, Baltimore foi a terceira maior cidade dos Estados Unidos. Lá residiam 40 mil pessoas, incluindo oito mil escravos. A cidade foi um importante alvo comercial e militar, principalmente por causa de seu estaleiro, que construiu e manteve alguns dos corsários mais rápidos e poderosos da guerra.

Quando os britânicos incendiaram Washington em 25 de setembro de 1814, os residentes de Baltimore puderam ver a luz das chamas no céu noturno. Eles sabiam que sua cidade seria o próximo alvo do inimigo e estavam decididos a defender suas casas.

Baltimore prepara suas defesas

Dois dias após a destruição de Washington, voluntários de Baltimore, bem como de Maryland, Pensilvânia e Virgínia trabalharam para fortalecer as fortificações da cidade. A defesa de Baltimore estava sob o comando geral do Major General Samuel Smith, 62, um herói da Guerra Revolucionária e líder talentoso. Seus cerca de 9.000 homens incluíam a Brigada de Baltimore do Brigadeiro General John Stricker com 5.000 milícias e 40 peças de artilharia. Após o fiasco na Batalha de Bladensburg, os homens do General Winder recuaram para a Virgínia, mas agora estavam em Baltimore com uma brigada mista de tropas regulares, milícia e cavalaria. O Comodoro Rodgers comandou baterias de costa naval tripuladas por 1.200 marinheiros, e o Major George Armistead e 1.000 soldados regulares guarneceram o Forte McHenry.

No domingo, 11 de setembro, a frota britânica navegou até o rio Patapsco com 50 navios de guerra e mais de 6.000 soldados e marinheiros a bordo, com a intenção de atacar Baltimore, Maryland. Naquela noite, o general Smith enviou o general Stricker e 3.200 soldados ao sul para fazer um reconhecimento e atrasar o inimigo enquanto Baltimore continuava a fortalecer suas defesas.

The British Land em North Point

Bem cedo na manhã de 12 de setembro, a infantaria britânica pegou seus barcos e desembarcou em North Point, quinze milhas ao sul de Baltimore. Às 7 horas, o major-general Robert Ross e o contra-almirante Cockburn estavam em solo de Maryland novamente, desta vez com 9.000 soldados, consistindo de 5.000 soldados de infantaria, 2.000 fuzileiros navais e 2.000 marinheiros.

A frota da Marinha Real preparou-se para atacar o Fort McHenry, enquanto o exército terrestre britânico marchava para o norte. O general Ross e o almirante Cockburn estavam confiantes, presumindo que as forças de Baltimore seriam tão fáceis de derrotar quanto a milícia de Bladensburg. Enquanto isso, mulheres e crianças inundaram as estradas em direção ao norte da cidade.

Depois que os britânicos desembarcaram, o general Stricker se preparou para atrasar sua marcha para Baltimore. Ele posicionou três linhas de defesa em Long Log Lane (agora North Point Road) com a direita ancorada em Bear Creek e a esquerda protegida por um pântano nas margens do Back River. Sua primeira linha defensiva consistia em seis canhões de 4 libras em Long Log Lane, com o 5º Regimento de Baltimore à direita e o 27º Regimento de Maryland à esquerda, uma força de aproximadamente 1.100 soldados. Trezentos metros atrás da primeira linha estava uma segunda linha com cerca de 900 homens em mais dois regimentos, e meia milha atrás dela estava um regimento de reserva de cerca de 620 homens.

General Ross está morto

Para desacelerar a marcha do inimigo, o General Stricker avançou uma pequena força de 150 infantaria, 70 fuzileiros, um pequeno canhão de gafanhoto e alguns cavalaria. Eles encontraram os britânicos a sete milhas de Baltimore e começaram a lutar com os elementos principais. Este confronto teria sido um preâmbulo sem sentido para a batalha, exceto que um atirador conseguiu atirar no General Ross, que morreu logo depois. Em menor número, os escaramuçadores voltaram às linhas americanas.

Como oficial sênior, o coronel Arthur Brooke agora assumia o comando da força de invasão britânica.

A batalha de Baltimore começa

Encontrando seu caminho bloqueado pela milícia de Maryland, o Exército Britânico mudou de suas colunas em marcha para as linhas de batalha. Eles começaram a luta com um bombardeio de artilharia furioso que incluiu foguetes Congreve. Ao contrário de Bladensburg, os soldados civis não fugiram.

Enquanto uma brigada britânica ocupava toda a extensão da linha de frente do General Stricker, o coronel Brooke enviou um regimento à direita, em direção ao Rio Back, em uma tentativa de flanquear a esquerda dos americanos. Para conter essa ameaça, o General Stricker avançou ambos os regimentos de sua segunda linha. Ele usou o 39º Regimento, com dois canhões, para estender sua esquerda. Ele então posicionou o 51º Regimento, uma unidade de milícia inexperiente, em ângulos retos para combater a manobra de flanco britânica.

Depois de duas horas de combates pesados, sem que nenhum dos lados pudesse ganhar vantagem, os britânicos atacaram toda a extensão das linhas americanas. Diante de um ataque frontal e ameaçado de um ataque de flanco, o lado esquerdo da linha americana desabou. O 51º Regimento disparou uma rajada irregular e fugiu. O vôo deles causou pânico em uma parte do 39º Regimento, que também quebrou e fugiu. O restante do 39º, 27º Regimento de Maryland e o 5º Regimento de Baltimore resistiram por quase outra hora, entretanto, com seus homens agora em menor número pelo inimigo e sua linha flanqueada, o General Stricker ordenou uma retirada. A milícia americana recuou em boa ordem para os arredores de Baltimore pouco depois das 4 horas da tarde. Os britânicos acamparam no campo de batalha durante a noite, descansando e se preparando para continuar o avanço pela manhã.

Resultados da Batalha de North Point

Os britânicos sofreram aproximadamente 46 mortos e 295 feridos. As baixas americanas foram 24 mortos, 139 feridos e 50 capturados.

Esse confronto inicial da Batalha de Baltimore foi uma vitória tática para o Exército Britânico, porque ele manteve o campo de batalha depois que os americanos se retiraram. A Batalha de North Point, no entanto, foi uma vitória estratégica para a milícia de Maryland. Eles haviam matado um dos líderes mais competentes da Grã-Bretanha, o general Ross. Mais importante, eles haviam bloqueado a estrada por tempo suficiente para evitar que a infantaria britânica participasse do ataque ao Forte McHenry.


Rescaldo da Batalha do Cabo Norte

A perda da Batalha do Cabo Norte abalou a frota alemã. Dönitz se esforçou para entender por que Bey interrompeu a primeira luta do dia quando, em seu julgamento, ele tinha o poder de dominar Burnett e seus cruzadores. “A coisa certa a fazer. . . teria sido continuar a luta e acabar com as forças britânicas mais fracas, especialmente porque estava claro que elas já haviam sido duramente atingidas ”, escreveu ele. “Se isso tivesse sido feito, seria uma excelente oportunidade. . . foram criados para um ataque bem-sucedido ao comboio. ” Por que, quando ele fugiu após o segundo confronto, ele não usou sua vantagem de velocidade e peso para dirigir um curso de oeste em direção ao vento e ao mar pesado que teria tornado muito difícil para os cruzadores e destróieres britânicos de construção leve manterem contato ? A resposta nunca seria conhecida. Bey e Hintze foram engolidos pelo mar de Barents.

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Esse O artigo é parte de nosso recurso maior sobre a guerra das Marinhas da 2ª Guerra Mundial. Clique aqui para ver nosso artigo abrangente sobre as Marinhas do WW2.


A trilha

Em Boston, Massachusetts, a oposição à escola ordenada pelo tribunal & # 8220busing & # 8221 torna-se violenta no dia de abertura das aulas. Os ônibus escolares que transportavam crianças afro-americanas foram bombardeados com ovos, tijolos e garrafas, e a polícia em equipamento de combate lutou para controlar os manifestantes brancos furiosos que cercavam as escolas.

O juiz distrital dos EUA, Arthur Garrity, ordenou o transporte de alunos afro-americanos para escolas predominantemente brancas e de alunos brancos para escolas negras em um esforço para integrar as escolas públicas geograficamente segregadas de Boston. Em sua decisão de junho de 1974 em Morgan v. Hennigan, Garrity afirmou que a segregação escolar de fato em Boston discriminava as crianças negras. O início do ônibus forçado em 12 de setembro foi recebido com protestos massivos, especialmente em South Boston, o principal bairro católico irlandês da cidade. Os protestos continuaram ininterruptos por meses, e muitos pais, brancos e negros, mantiveram seus filhos em casa. Em outubro, a Guarda Nacional foi mobilizada para fazer cumprir a ordem federal de dessegregação.

1609 e # 8211 O explorador inglês Henry Hudson navegou pelo que agora é conhecido como o rio Hudson.

1814 & # 8211 Durante a Guerra de 1812, a Batalha de North Point foi travada em Maryland.

1916 & # 8211 Adelina e August Van Buren terminaram o primeiro tour transcontinental de motocicleta bem-sucedido realizado por duas mulheres. Eles começaram na cidade de Nova York em 5 de julho de 1916.

1918 e # 8211 Durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial, na Batalha de St. Mihiel, o pessoal do Exército dos EUA opera tanques pela primeira vez. Os tanques foram construídos na França.

1938 & # 8211 Em um discurso, Adolf Hitler exigiu autodeterminação para os alemães dos Sudetos na Tchecoslováquia.

1943 & # 8211 Durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, Benito Mussolini foi levado por pára-quedistas alemães do governo italiano que o estava detendo.

1953 e # 8211 O senador norte-americano John F. Kennedy casou-se com Jacqueline Lee Bouvier.

1953 & # 8211 Nikita Krushchev foi eleito primeiro secretário do Partido Comunista da União Soviética.

1974 & # 8211 O imperador Haile Selassie foi tirado do poder pelos militares da Etiópia & # 8217s após governar por 58 anos.

1980 & # 8211 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini listou quatro condições para a libertação de reféns americanos tomados em 4 de novembro de 1979. As condições foram o descongelamento dos bens iranianos, a devolução da riqueza do xá ao Irã, o cancelamento das reivindicações dos EUA contra o Irã e uma promessa dos EUA de não interferência nos assuntos internos do Irã.

1992 & # 8211 Dra. Mae Carol Jemison se tornou a primeira mulher afro-americana no espaço. Ela era a especialista em carga útil a bordo do ônibus espacial Empreendimento. Também a bordo estavam o especialista da missão N. Jan Davis e o tenente-coronel da Força Aérea Mark C. Lee. Eles foram o primeiro casal a voar juntos no espaço. E, Mamoru Mohri se tornou o primeiro japonês a voar para o espaço.


Vítimas [editar | editar fonte]

O relatório oficial de baixas do Exército britânico, assinado pelo major Henry Debbeig, indica 39 mortos e 251 feridos. Destes, 28 mortos e 217 feridos pertenciam ao Exército Britânico 6 mortos e 20 feridos pertenciam aos 2º e 3º Batalhões da Royal Marines 4 mortos e 11 feridos pertenciam aos contingentes de Royal Marines destacados da frota de Cockburn e 1 morto (Elias Taylor) e 3 feridos pertenciam à Royal Marine Artillery. E 2 de HMS Madagáscar e HMS Ramillies respectivamente) e 15 feridos pelos Royal Marines destacados dos navios da frota naval. & # 9113 & # 93 Um retorno de vítima subsequente de Cochrane para o Almirantado, datado de 22 de setembro de 1814, dá 6 marinheiros mortos, 1 desaparecido e 32 feridos, com baixas de fuzileiros navais reais de 1 morto e 16 feridos. & # 9114 & # 93 As perdas britânicas totais, conforme relatado oficialmente, foram 43 mortos e 279 feridos ou 42 mortos e 283 feridos, dependendo de qual dos dois retornos de baixas foi exato. O historiador Franklin R. Mullaly dá ainda outra versão das baixas britânicas, 46 mortos e 295 feridos, apesar de usar essas mesmas fontes. & # 9115 & # 93 & # 9116 & # 93 & # 9117 & # 93 A perda americana foi de 24 mortos, 139 feridos e 50 feitos prisioneiros. & # 913 & # 93


Batedores do Terceiro Exército dos EUA a pé e em veículos blindados se aproximaram cautelosamente da cidade de Luneville, no lado leste do rio Mosela, nas colinas onduladas do nordeste da França em 15 de setembro de 1944. Como o carro blindado M8 líder da Tropa C O 42º Esquadrão de Cavalaria alcançou os arredores da cidade envolta em névoa, um projétil disparado de um canhão alemão de 88 mm se chocou contra ele. Os americanos assustados fugiram rapidamente da área.

Embora ninguém soubesse na época, o tiro marcou o início da Batalha de Arracourt, uma luta blindada de 11 dias entre o Terceiro Exército do Tenente-General George S. Patton e o General Alemão das Tropas Panzer Hasso von Manteuffel do Quinto Exército Panzer .

Nos quatro dias seguintes, a 4ª Divisão Blindada do XII Corpo do Major General Manton Eddy lutou contra a 15ª Divisão Panzergrenadier do Generalleutnant Eberhard Rodt pelo controle de Luneville. Em 16 de setembro, os americanos atacaram vigorosamente a cidade pelo sul, com a oposição feroz de panzergrenadiers que haviam sido reforçados um dia antes por seis tanques e igual número de armas antitanque. Os alemães foram expulsos da cidade e os americanos formaram um cordão defensivo ao redor da cidade.

Em 17 de setembro, os alemães fizeram um esforço concentrado para recuperar Luneville. Seus esforços foram frustrados pelas tropas de cavalaria, tanques e infantaria blindada do Comando de Combate R, 4ª Divisão Blindada dos EUA. A luta pela cidade esquentou em 18 de setembro quando dois grupos de batalha da 111ª Brigada Panzer do Coronel Heinrich von Bronsart-Schellendorf, apoiados por unidades da 21ª Divisão Panzer do Generalleutnant Edgar Feuchtinger, atacaram Luneville pelo sudeste. Ao mesmo tempo, a 113ª Brigada Panzer do Coronel Erich von Seckendorf atacou os americanos pelo nordeste. Por volta do meio-dia, reforços do Comando de Combate A, 4ª Divisão Blindada na forma da Força Tarefa Hunter, que compreendia uma companhia de tanques, infantaria e caça-tanques, chegaram e expulsaram os alemães de Luneville e arredores. No entanto, a luta pela cidade continuou em 19 de setembro, quando a 15ª Divisão Panzergrenadier voltou para cobrir a retirada das forças alemãs da cidade.

Um artilheiro assistente reabastece os projéteis do tanque.

Na luta pelo controle de Luneville, 1.070 alemães foram mortos ou capturados e 13 veículos blindados de combate foram destruídos. As perdas americanas totalizaram várias centenas de soldados mortos e feridos e a perda de aproximadamente 10 veículos blindados de combate. Com Luneville assegurado, o Terceiro Exército de Patton planejou usar toda a 4ª Divisão Blindada como ponta de lança em um rápido avanço em direção à fronteira alemã.

No quartel-general do Terceiro Exército dos EUA, a reação americana ao ataque alemão em Luneville em meados de setembro foi pouco preocupante. O esforço inimigo foi tão fraco e desarticulado que os americanos acreditaram que se tratava apenas de um contra-ataque local mal coordenado. Embora a inteligência do Terceiro Exército soubesse da presença da 111ª Brigada Panzer na área, não sabia do paradeiro da 113ª Brigada Panzer, nem tinha qualquer evidência concreta de que um grande ataque blindado inimigo estava planejado para o futuro imediato.

Ativado em abril de 1941, o 4º Blindado foi enviado para a França em julho de 1944 e foi comandado pelo major-general John S. Wood. As principais unidades de combate da divisão eram três formações do tamanho de uma brigada, conhecidas como Comando de Combate A, B e R (que significava reserva). Cada um foi organizado em torno de um único batalhão de tanques composto por 53 tanques médios Sherman M4 e 17 tanques leves Stuart M5A1, um batalhão de infantaria blindado de três companhias totalizando 1.000 homens transportados em meias-pistas blindadas M2 e M3 e um batalhão de artilharia de campo blindado com 18 canhões automotores de 105 mm. A 4ª Divisão Blindada foi aumentada pelo 704º Batalhão de Destruidores de Tanques independente. Esta unidade controlava três empresas com um total de 36 caça-tanques M18 Hellcat. Um esquadrão de reconhecimento divisionário composto por quatro soldados em 48 carros blindados M8 deu às divisões blindadas americanas um sólido recurso de reconhecimento, que em 1944 era melhor do que os batalhões de reconhecimento muito reduzidos anexados às divisões panzer e panzergrenadier alemãs.

Embora os americanos não soubessem disso, o avanço pretendido da 4ª Divisão Blindada nos próximos 11 dias seria interrompido e bloqueado por um contra-ataque blindado alemão que perdia apenas para a Batalha de Bulge em dezembro de 1944 como a maior competição blindada entre os EUA e Exércitos alemães no teatro de operações europeu. As batalhas blindadas de Lorraine provaram ser combates de encontro clássicos em que ambos os lados conduziam simultaneamente manobras ofensivas sem nenhum dos lados possuindo qualquer vantagem numérica ou defensiva distinta significativa. Os comandantes do Terceiro Exército dos EUA não perceberam, no início da terceira semana de setembro, que a luta por Luneville armada pelos alemães ocorreu porque era lá que a ofensiva alemã na Lorena deveria ser lançada.

A prolongada batalha blindada em Lorraine seguiu o colapso da resistência da Wehrmacht na França e na Bélgica e o rápido avanço resultante das forças da coalizão ocidental em toda a extensão da França após a fuga de Patton da cabeça de ponte da Normandia em 30 de julho. O Exército em direção à margem oeste do Reich era o mais impressionante, o Alto Comando Supremo do Exército Alemão (Oberkommando des Heeres, ou OKH) estava mais preocupado com a velocidade de iluminação do Terceiro Exército de Patton.

Apesar da terrível escassez de combustível que retardava periodicamente seu progresso, o Terceiro Exército conseguiu dirigir 400 milhas da Normandia até a margem oeste do rio Mosela. As forças inimigas que defendiam Lorraine ao longo da linha de Mosela pertenciam ao Primeiro Exército do General das Tropas Panzer Otto von Knobelsdorff, que compreendia seis infantaria e três divisões panzergrenadier. Em sua maior parte, essas divisões foram reabastecidas com substitutos mal equipados e mal treinados. O Primeiro Exército possuía menos de 200 veículos blindados de combate de todos os tipos. As unidades da Luftwaffe que apoiavam o Primeiro Exército tinham apenas 110 aeronaves.

Enquanto operava em Lorraine, o Terceiro Braço de Patton era composto pelo XII Corpo de exército de Eddy, o XX Corpo do Major General Walton Walker e o XV Corpo do Major General Wade Haislip. O Terceiro Exército trouxe para a luta de Arracourt oito divisões bem equipadas, incluindo três batalhões de tanques blindados e quatro anexados. O Terceiro Exército tinha 933 tanques, dos quais 672 eram tanques médios M4 Sherman e 261 eram tanques leves M5A1 Stuart. Além disso, o Corpo Aéreo do Exército dos EUA apoiou o Terceiro Exército com 400 caças e bombardeiros de seu XIX Comando Aéreo Tático.

O Capitão J.F. Brady, comandante da Companhia A, 35º Batalhão de Tanques recebeu a Estrela de Prata por sua bravura durante Arracourt. Ao contrário dos alemães em Arracourt, ele e seus companheiros petroleiros eram bem apoiados por unidades de artilharia orgânica, logística e engenharia.

Em conformidade com os desejos do Comandante Supremo Aliado General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Patton foi instruído a libertar Lorraine e então violar as defesas da Linha Siegfried que guardavam a fronteira ocidental da Alemanha. Uma vez que esses objetivos assustadores fossem alcançados, o Terceiro Exército deveria cruzar o Rio Reno e capturar as cidades de Frankfurt e Mannheim. Esta facada fatal na Alemanha garantiria a captura dos Aliados da região de Saar, que fornecia carvão e aço para a máquina de guerra de Hitler.

Patton ordenou sua 4ª Divisão Blindada em direção à fronteira alemã em 19 de setembro.
de acordo com esse plano, o CCB da divisão deveria avançar da área de Delme-Chateau-Salins, 16 milhas ao norte de Luneville, para a cidade de Saabrucken, enquanto o CCA avançaria de sua localização em Arracourt, que ficava 10 milhas ao norte de Luneville e conquiste a cidade alemã de Saareguemines.

Para lidar com a ameaça representada pelo Terceiro Exército de Patton, Hitler ordenou que Manteuffel lançasse um contra-ataque ousado. Manteuffel provou sua habilidade em lidar com forças panzer na Frente Oriental, onde comandou a 7ª Divisão Panzer do Grupo de Exércitos Centro durante seu avanço em direção a Moscou em 1941. O ataque de Man- teuffel, que teve início provisório em 5 de setembro, teria origem a oeste das montanhas de Vosges e atravesse o planalto de Langres em direção ao rio Moselle. No entanto, isso se mostrou impossível, uma vez que o quartel-general do Quinto Exército Panzer não foi capaz de se redistribuir do setor norte da frente na Holanda para Estrasburgo até 9 de setembro.

Além disso, Manteuffel tinha a enorme tarefa de reunir suas três brigadas panzer e três granadeiros panzer de uma variedade de regiões diferentes. Esta foi uma tarefa complexa, visto que alguns deles foram implantados na linha de frente. Por causa do rápido avanço de Patton, o ataque alemão foi adiado para 15 de setembro.

Frustrado com a série de atrasos, Hitler ordenou que a ofensiva começasse, independentemente de todas as forças designadas terem chegado à área de preparação. Percebendo totalmente o calendário irrealista para o ataque e as forças inadequadas a serem cometidas, Manteuffel estava profundamente cético quanto ao sucesso de seu ataque. Com tão poucas divisões panzer dignas de batalha no setor de Lorraine da Frente Ocidental, o ataque alemão ao Terceiro Exército dos Estados Unidos teria que depender das novas brigadas Panzer que haviam sido formadas no final do verão de 1944. Quase todo o Terceiro A produção de tanques de Reich naquela época foi desviada para equipar as novas formações blindadas. Muitas das novas brigadas Panzer foram escaladas para o serviço na Frente Oriental. Indeed, Hitler had established the panzer brigade program in an effort to keep pace with the Soviet Union’s robust tank pro- duction. However, the concept of these new panzer formations on which Hitler placed such great hope was deeply flawed.

Rather than a balanced combined arms unit, such as that fielded by the German Army’s panzer divisions deployed at the outset of World War II, the new panzer brigades contained mostly tanks and panzergrenadiers. They sorely lacked sufficient artillery, engineer, and logistical assets. Designed for quick counterattacks, they were ill suited for sustained periods of frontline combat.

The first of these brigades were numbered 101 to 110. They actually were similar to a reg- iment in strength and had only one tank bat- talion. Their armor included 36 PzKpfw Panther medium tanks and 11 Pz IV/70 tank destroyers. These brigades’ infantry component consisted of 2,100 panzergrenadiers in six companies transported in SdKfz 251 half-tracks that mounted 20mm cannons.

In response to the shortcomings of the first series of panzer brigades, a second series desig- nated 111 to 119 was fielded in August 1944. These contained two battalions of tanks, one of which had 36 Pz.Kpfw V Panthers and the other of which had 36 Pz.Kpfw IVs. The infantry complement was expanded to a regi- ment of two panzergrenadier battalions of three companies each, as well as a heavy weapons company. In addition, each brigade had one armored reconnaissance company, assault gun company, and engineer company. Due to the shortage of SdKfz half-tracks, most of the 4,800 troops in these brigades had to travel in trucks, which severely limited the cross-country capability of the brigade.

Manteuffel, tasked with using Panzer Brigades 106, 111, 112, and 113 in the attack against
Patton’s forces in Lorraine, was particularly concerned about the combat reliability of these units. He had little confidence in their fighting ability due to the absence of any artillery in the brigades, a lack of radio equipment for communications, and insufficient armored recovery and maintenance services. He also pointed out that the men in the new panzer brigades had not been trained in combined- arms tactics.

Lieutenant General Walter Kruger, who led LVIII Panzer Corps, was deeply critical of the battle worthiness of the new panzer brigades. “Panzer Brigades 111 and 113 … were makeshift organizations,” he wrote. “Their combat value was slight. Their training was just as incomplete as their equipment. They had been given no training as a unit and they had not become accustomed to coordinating their subunits.” His disgust for the caliber of troops sent to the front from rear-echelon formations was evident in his description of them as “barrel-scrapings.” The concerns of the senior panzer leaders involved in the forthcoming mission about the usefulness of the panzer brigades to be employed did not bode well for its success.

Knobelsdorff was so alarmed in early September by the approach of Patton’s Third Army to the Moselle River that he wanted to launch an immediate spoiling attack against Walker’s XX Corps before it could cross the river. Knobelsdorff intended to send Colonel Franz Bake’s 106th Panzer Brigade against Maj. Gen. Raymond McClain’s 90th Division on the extreme left flank of Third Army. But before he could send the 106th Panzer Brigade into action, Knobelsdorff had to promise Hitler that he would return it to First Army’s reserve within 48 hours.

The 106th Panzer Brigade, which was organized in two groups, moved under cover of dark- ness on the night of Sept. 7-8 toward the American flank. With the arrival of darkness, the attack groups split up at Audun-le-Roman. The first attack group drove northeast toward Landres, and the second attack group turned southeast toward Trieux.

Having failed to reconnoiter the enemy’s position, at 2 AM the first attack group rumbled past McClain’s headquarters, which was situated on a wooded hill south of Landres. Curious as to the nature of the traffic, a member of the crew of a Sherman tank guarding the headquarters realized after an hour that it was a German column. He alerted nearby artillery crews. The Americans knocked out a half-track, but one of the German Panthers blew up the Sherman. A number of American artillerymen were killed in the sharp firefight. The first attack group disengaged and continued south.

McClain immediately issued orders to his infantry battalions to engage the Germans. The U.S. 712th Tank Battalion started up its Shermans and they caught up with the back of the first attack group column and fired on it. Meanwhile, U.S. bazooka teams from a tank destroyer platoon prepared to engage the Germans at first light.

Much to the consternation of the Germans, the Americans stood their ground rather than retreating. A battle unfolded at dawn when the first attack group split up to attack the town of Mairy from two directions. The town was vigorously defended by the 1st Battalion, 58th Infantry, which had 3-inch antitank guns. Additionally, the Americans were supported by 105mm howitzers. The panzer grenadiers attacked into the town on halftracks, but they could not dislodge the Americans.

After nearly three hours of hard fighting, the Germans began to disengage. One half of the attack group was able to retire, but the other half was targeted by the U.S. artillery where it was positioned in a sunken road west of Mairy and completely destroyed.

A German Panther carries panzer grenadiers into action at Bures south of Arracourt. Newly established panzer brigades were committed piecemeal in Lorraine against General George Patton’s Third Army only to be mauled by the Americans.

The second attack group pushed west from Trieux toward Avril, but the Americans were at Avril in force. They used their antitank guns to repulse a half-hearted attack by the Germans probing their positions. The defeat of the 106th Panzer Brigade in the Battle of Mairy left it badly crippled and of limited use during the forthcoming Battle of Arracourt.

Four days later, elements of Brig. Gen. Holmes E. Dager’s CCB, 4th Armored Division and infantry from the 35th Infantry Division crossed the Moselle south of the railroad hub of Nancy. The following day, September 13, Combat Command Langlade, named after its commander French Colonel Paul Girot de Langlade, part of Haislip’s XV Corps, foiled a spoiling attack at Dompaire by Panzer Brigade 112.

After its defeat at Dompaire, the 112th Panzer Brigade was in no shape to engage in combat for the time being. In addition, the 107th and 108th Panzer Brigades were withdrawn from Lorraine and placed in reserve to help defend the German city of Aachen against an imminent attack by the U.S. First Army. These events would seriously weaken the offensive Hitler had envisioned to serve as a hammer blow to Patton’s Third Army.

Not only were the forces marked to participate in Manteuffel’s main attack altered, but the scheme itself was changed just before it was to be launched. With Patton’s tanks in control of Luneville and the German forces assembled northeast of the town, Manteuffel aimed his assault against the American southern flank toward the town of Arracourt, which lay 10 miles north of Luneville. Hitler’s ambitious panzer attack of mid-September had devolved from its ambitious objectives of striking Patton in the flank, cutting his lines of communication, and destroying him to the much lesser goal of eliminating the spearhead of the U.S. Third Army.

On September 14, the foot soldiers of the 80th Infantry Division of the XII Corps spilled over the river to the north of the city. That same day, 4th Armored Division’s CCA, led by Colonel Bruce Clarke, reached the east bank of the Moselle just below Nancy. Eddy asked Clarke if he felt it was safe to cross his CCA to the east bank. Clarke passed along the query to Lt. Col. Creighton W. Abrams, who commanded the 37th Tank Battalion attached to CCA. “That is the shortest way home,” said Abrams, pointing to the east bank.

Clarke approved the order and Abrams’ tank battalion crossed the river. Once across it continued its lightning advance and by nightfall had driven 20 miles into the German rear. The American advance beyond the Moselle threatened to create a breach between the German First Army and General of Infantry Friedrich Wiese’s Nineteenth Army to its south. This would enable Patton’s tanks to race across the German border and into the Saar Basin. OKH realized that the unrelenting pressure from Patton would require an immediate and vigorous counterstrike against his army.

By mid-September 1944, Wood’s 4th Armored Division had a complement of 163 tanks supporting its 15,000 troops. The well-trained division, which had only been in combat since late July, had been fortunate not to have sustained heavy casualties. The 4th Armored Division had encountered few German tanks since it broke out of Normandy and sped across France. This was because it had not faced determined German panzer units until it reached Lorraine. As a result, the 4th Armored’s troops had no real experience facing German tanks.

On September 19, Manteuffel finally unleashed the armored offensive in Lorraine that Hitler had been demanding since late August. The morning of the attack dawned as it had the last several days with intermittent rain and thick fog in the low-lying areas. The terrain around Arracourt was agricultural, with gently rolling hills and tracts of woods. While the hills were not particularly high, some of them offered good vantage points for surveying the surrounding farmland. These vantage points would play an important role in the coming fight.

Fifth Panzer Army’s strike on September 19 took the form of two simultaneous thrusts. One thrust consisted of the 113rd Panzer Brigade advancing northwest from the town of Bourdonnay along the Metz-Strasbourg road toward Lezey-Moyenvic. The other thrust involved the 111th Panzer Brigade striking the Third Army’s center by way of the Parroy-Arracourt axis.

The objective of the operation was to link-up with Colonel Enrich von Loesch’s 553rd Volks- grenadier Infantry Division north of Nancy at Chateau-Salins, thus closing the breach the Americans had previously opened between the German First Army and the Nineteenth Army to its south. Barring the Germans’ way was Clarke’s CCA, which had deployed in 4th Armor’s southern sector around Arracourt. The division’s northern zone near Chateau-Salins was covered by CCB.

When the German tanks began to roll on the morning of September 19, CCA’s main components were the 25th Cavalry Squadron, 37th Tank Battalion, and the 53rd Armored Infantry Battalion. CCA was understrength since Task Force Hunter, amounting to one third of the combat command’s strength, had been detailed the day before to aid the fight for Luneville. Clarke’s command post was at the Riouville farm a half mile east of Arracourt. Guarding the command post was a platoon of Hellcats, two battalions of M7 105mm self-propelled howitzers, and a battalion of tractor-drawn 155mm artillery pieces.

CCA’s left flank was shielded by B Company, 37th Tank Battalion and C Company, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion. This small task force linked CCA with CCB to its west. CCA’s center consisted of the balance of the 53rd Armored Infantry Battalion, which was deployed on the southeast ridge of the Bezange Forest overlooking Moyenvic. The right margin of the combat command consisted of the unit’s headquarters company and C Company, 37th Tank Battalion, which held the village of Lezey. At the village of Moncourt, on the eastern por- tion of CCA’s zone, stood a platoon of Stuart tanks belonging to D Company, 37th Tank Battalion. Screening CCA’s front was a line of out- posts manned by the troopers of the 25th Cavalry Squadron. Near the center of CCA’s position was the 166th Engineer Battalion.

The first contact CCA had with the enemy near Arracourt occurred at 7 AM when fire from a Stuart light tank destroyed a German half- track near Moncourt. Shortly afterward, five Panther tanks emerged from the fog and forced D Company to retreat to the main 37th Tank Battalion assembly area near the hamlet of Bezange-la-Petite. The Americans spotted another column of German armor moving along the Metz-Strasbourg road.

Notified of the enemy’s advance, Colonel Clarke ordered Captain William Dwight, 37th Tank Battalion’s liaison officer, to take a platoon of tank destroyers and establish a blocking position on Hill 246 approximately 800 yards from the village of Rechicourt-la-Petite. It was 7:45 AM when Dwight, with four M18 Tank destroyers under Lieutenant Edwin Leiper, reached the summit of Hill 246. No sooner had the crews assumed firing positions than they saw a single Ger- man tank emerge from the woods at the base of the hill.

The lead tank destroyer, commanded by Sergeant Stacey, opened fire, striking the enemy tank with its first shot. More German tanks were seen, and Stacey destroyed a second target in quick succession. A third German tank hit Stacey’s Hellcat, which caused injuries to the crew, but it was able to move under its own power back to Arracourt. Another Hellcat destroyed the Pz IV that had disabled Stacey’s gun. Two more German tanks were knocked out as they tried to reverse into the wood.

As the German armor withdrew, so did Leiper’s three remaining M18s, which rumbled onto a neighboring height. Leiper noticed a string of German tanks on a road running along the hills between Rechicourt and Bezange-la-Petite. The Americans unleashed a fusillade of armor-piercing shells at the new target. To make sure the tanks were completely destroyed, they called in an artillery strike from nearby M7 105mm guns. The torrent of American artillery shells destroyed five Pz IV tanks.

The fog and occasional rain had thus far prevented American airpower from coming into play however, some help from the sky was forthcoming. Major Charles “Bazooka Charlie” Carpen- ter, the head of the 4th Armored Division’s reconnaissance aircraft detachment, was flying in the area. He dove in his L-4H single-engine reconnaissance airplane on German tanks trying to work their way around Leiper’s position. Although he was unable to hit the tanks with his 2.36-inch rockets, he alerted Leiper to the threat to his rear.

The German Panther outclassed the American Sherman tank in nearly every respect except speed. Introduced in 1943, the Panther boasted a high-velocity 75mm gun and its thick, sloped frontal armor stopped rounds from Shermans and M18 Hellcat tank destroyers.

Reacting to the German threat, Leiper pulled one of his vehicles around and hit two German tanks. But a third German tank destroyed two Hellcats in quick succession. Leiper withdrew toward Arracourt with his remaining Hellcat. As he did, he was joined by three Sherman tanks sent by Abrams. While mopping up an enemy infantry platoon, one was hit by a panzergrenadier armed with a panzerfaust.

As Leiper battled south of Arracourt that morn- ing, farther north C Company, 37th Tank Battalion, commanded by Captain Kenneth Lamison, engaged German armor along the Metz-Strasbourg road. In the initial contact, Lamison and his fellow tankers disabled three Panthers that emerged from the thick fog. Recoiling from that loss, the Germans withdrew south of the highway.

Lamison hurriedly sent a platoon of Shermans to a commanding ridge near Bezange-la-Petite to trap the retreating foe. The American tankers sprung the ambush. From a flanking position, they knocked out four enemy tanks. Then, the Shermans hid on a reverse slope before their opponent could return fire. Due to the fog, the Germans could not pinpoint the origin of the fire. As they looked around anxiously, the Shermans popped up over the crest of the ridge and finished off the four remaining Panthers. As the action on the ground escalated, Bazooka Charlie again entered the fray, this time successfully striking two German tanks with his rockets from an altitude of 1,500 feet.

At 9:30 AM another German tank column approached CCA’s command post. CCA’s command center had ordered B Company, 37th Tank Battalion to shift to CCA’s command center. B Company arrived at its destination 45 minutes later. To deal with the developing threat, C Company, 37th Tank Battalion deployed on a ridge 500 yards from the command post. Sending salvos of 75mm armor-piercing shells at their antagonists, the Shermans knocked out several enemy tanks.

A German force of 14 tanks neared CCA’s headquarters at 12 PM. This was the southernmost assault of the day. Although it is not known exactly which German unit made the assault, it likely was the 111th Panzer Brigade. In a series of quick engagements, the platoon of Hellcats assigned to shelter the headquarters knocked out eight Panther tanks. The remaining Panthers withdrew rapidly.

At mid-afternoon, A Company, 37th Tank Battalion, which was part of Task Force Hunter sent to Luneville the day before, returned to Arracourt. Clarke and Abrams immediately paired A Company with B Company. “Dust off the sights, wipe off the shot, and breeze right through,” they instructed the company leaders. The two tank units then swept across the zone east of Arracourt. Leaving a single tank platoon from A Company to guard CCA’s command post, Hunter formed up southwest of Rechicourt with 24 Shermans and Dwight’s Hellcats.

Within minutes, the American tankers were hitting the remaining enemy armor in the area from front and flank, resulting in eight German tanks knocked out and approximately 100 German infantry casualties. The Americans lost three tanks. This was the last major engagement of the day. The U.S. forces engaged reported losing a total of five Shermans, three Hellcats, and six killed and three wounded.

As night fell, the 113th Panzer Brigade withdrew to Moncourt having suffered the loss of 43 tanks, mostly Panthers, and approximately 200 infantry. Due to its late disengagement at Luneville on September 18, coupled with its late arrival at its staging point for the attack on Arracourt on the following day, the 111th Panzer Brigade played virtually no part in the battle on September 19. As a result, the 113th Panzer Brigade attacked alone and unsupported. Nevertheless, OKH ordered Manteuffel to continue the attack the next day.

Although outnumbered 130 tanks to 45, Manteuffel instructed Kruger’s 58th Panzer Corps to attack from Arracourt toward Moyenvic on September 20 using the 111th Panzer Brigade. If repulsed, the Germans were to draw the Americans back to the Marne-Rhine Canal where flak guns and tanks from Panzer Brigade 113 awaited them.

American opposition on that day included not only the 37th Tank Battalion and some tank destroyers, but also the 35th Tank Battal- ion, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, 53rd Armored Infantry Battalion, and three field artillery battalions.

On the morning of September 20, in accordance with Patton’s orders of the previous day, 4th Armored Division advanced toward the German border. The Americans advanced in the early morning in two columns. Abrams led the 37th Battalion and Lt. Col. Charles Odems led the 35th Tank Battalion.

Trailing the American columns was Clarke’s command post, which was attacked by the lead elements of the 111th Panzer Brigade. The threat was relieved by the lively fire from the towed guns of the 191st Field Artillery Battalion, which fired its 155mm howitzers at a range of only 200 yards. After two tanks were hit, the rest of the German force withdrew. U.S. forces sent to assist the headquarters destroyed five Panther tanks that day.

By late morning, the two U.S. task forces had traveled six miles from their start line. Fearful that more German forces were in the Parroy Forest sector and might attack the division’s rear, Wood returned both task forces to Arracourt to clear that region of the enemy.

After returning to his launch point, Abrams sent a team composed of tanks and armored infantry to the north of the Parroy Forest. When C Company, 37th Tank Battalion crested a rise near the town of Ley, it was met by a German ambush containing tanks and 75mm Pak 40 antitank guns. The first German volleys destroyed six Shermans. In return, the Americans knocked out seven German tanks and three enemy antitank guns.

Later in the day, A Company, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion and A Company, 37th Tank Battalion took Moncourt. They did this by ini- tiating the assault with tanks and following up the armored attack with an infantry assault. By day’s end, the Germans had lost 16 tanks, 257 dead, and 80 captured. The 111th and 113th Panzer Brigades had only 54 tanks left from the 180 with which they started the offensive. The U.S. 4th Armored Division lost 18 Shermans.

Under continued pressure from his superiors to halt Third Army’s advance, German Fifth Panzer Army commander Hasso von Manteuffel ordered Panzer Brigades 111 and 113 to launch a two-pronged attack toward the town of Arracourt on September 19. Poor reconnaissance and map reading by the Germans contributed heavily to the failure of the attack.

The 4th Armored Division rested on September 21, and the Germans reinforced their strike force at Arracourt with elements of Generalleutnant Wend von Wietersheim’s 11th Panzer Division from the Alsace area. Unfortunately for the Wehrmacht, the 11th Panzer Division, to which the 111th Panzer Brigade was attached, had a tank strength of just 40 Panthers and Panzer IVs.

In the predawn hours of September 22, the 11th Panzer began its mission to seal off the 4th Armor’s penetration by gaining control as far west as the Bezange Forest-Arracourt Blois de Benamont area. The attack was redirected to seize the village of Juvelize and then push north through Lezey. A supporting thrust was to be made by the 113th Panzer Brigade toward Ley.

The first encounters of the day occurred around 9:15 AM in thick fog between light Stu- art tanks of the screening D Troop, 25th Cavalry Squadron and German panzergrenadiers aided by 12 tanks, which quickly destroyed four American Stuarts. Hellcats from B Com- pany, 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion, responded to the German assault and knocked out three Panthers before withdrawing. In response, B and C Companies of the 37th Tank Battalion deployed between Juvelize and Lezey and beyond the latter town.

By noon, elements of 111th Panzer Brigade had occupied Juvelize, while the 113th reached Lezey. During their advance, American ground attack aircraft struck both panzer brigades. To block the enemy’s move any farther south, Abrams established a defensive line consisting of tanks from two of his companies, supported by infantry, on Hill 257 just northwest of Juvelize. As German armor continued to advance, American tanks on Hill 257 fired on them at ranges from 400 yards to 2,000 yards, destroying 14 tanks and effectively stopping the enemy’s attempt to reinforce the town. Abrams then ordered his B Company, together with A Company, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, to take the town. They successfully achieved their objective. The 111th Panzer Brigade subsequently withdrew from the area.

German casualties at Juvelize amounted to 16 tanks, 250 men killed, and 185 captured. The U.S. forces engaged lost seven killed and 13 wounded. As for equipment, the Americans lost seven Stuarts and one Sherman tank.

On September 23, the Germans licked their wounds and waited for the remainder of the 11th Panzer Division. As for the Americans, Patton’s desire to continue his advance toward Germany was frustrated by a lack of supplies, which were being funneled to the Allied forces engaged in Operation Market Garden in Holland. As a result, Eisenhower ordered Patton to switch to the defensive.

On September 24, the 11th Panzer Division advanced on the lightly defended town of Moyen- vic. Over the next few hours the Germans conducted small battalion-sized probes supported by a few tanks against the Americans, but each probe was repulsed. The Germans lost 10 tanks and 300 troops.

The following day, the 11th Panzer Division made a minor attack from Moyenvic. Larger assaults were made at Juvelize, Lezey, and Ley. By this time, the 4th Armored was in the process of shortening its defensive line by pulling back to Rechicourt-Arracourt. That day, CCA and CCB reported destroying 10 enemy tanks and killing 300 enemy soldiers, while suffering 212 casual- ties. The fighting on September 26 was limited due to bad weather. However, the two sides exchanged artillery fire.

The tempo picked up on September 27 when Manteuffel sought to secure Hills 318, 265, and 293 on the southern flank of 4th Armored guarded by CCB. These hills overlooked the German positions in the Parroy Forest and placed any German movement there under the threat of American artillery and tank fire.

The 224 men of A Company, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, who were deployed between Hills 265 and 318, put up a spirited defense of their position that day. They held their ground in the face of repeated assaults by tanks and infantry from the 11th Panzer Division throughout the long day.

U.S. infantryman fires a machine gun at Germans on a rural French farm. The tenacious resistance of the U.S. infantry stunned panzer troops, who believed they could easily overrun U.S. infantry lacking close armor support.

Meanwhile, the 110th Panzergrenadier Regiment supported by tanks from the 11th Panzer Division attacked C Company and a platoon of tank destroyers holding Hill 265. A German battle group took Hill 318 from elements of the U.S. 51st Armored Infantry Battalion in heavy fighting, which sparked continuous fighting over the next 24 hours. The struggle for neighboring Hill 265 was almost as intense with the Americans barely holding the high ground. They were able to hold on primarily because of strong artillery support.

In preparation for a last-ditch effort to capture Hills 265 and 318, Wietersheim sent reinforcements to the German units deployed opposite CCB’s positions on the two strategic hills. On September 29, the 111th and 113th Panzer Brigades, as well as portions of the 110th Panzergrenadier Regiment, made a coordinated assault on the objectives. The early morning attack, in dense fog that limited observation to a few dozen yards, pushed the 51st Armored Infantry back 500 yards. This gave the Germans control of the forward crest of Hill 318 by late morning.

In the final days of Arracourt, American armored crews received assistance from P-47 D-25 Thunderbolts proficient in tank hunting. The Germans called them Jabos for jager-bomber, which means fighter-bomber.

In response, Clarke sent a company of Sherman tanks from the 8th Tank Battalion to retake the hill, and the fighting reached a new level of intensity. The fog lifted just in time for P-47 Thunderbolts of the U.S. 405th Fighter Group to foil the next German attack. The air strikes forced the German tanks into the clear where they were systematically picked off by American artillery and tank fire.

In the afternoon, the Germans were forced to retreat from Hill 318 after a loss of 23 tanks. At Hill 265, the Germans pushed the Americans back to the reverse slope, but the Americans held on. With no reinforcements expected, the Germans abandoned the height.

The fighting on September 29 marked the last major attempt by the Fifth Panzer Army to cut Third Army’s armored spearhead near Arracourt. The failed effort of the previous four days cost the Germans 36 tanks, 700 killed, and 300 wounded.

The end of September 1944 found the fighting in Lorraine at a stalemate. Deprived of supplies, Patton could not switch to the offensive. As for the German Army, its panzer force had been so badly mauled that it was incapable of further offensive action against Patton’s Third Army.

Patton’s next challenge was to capture fortress Metz on Third Army’s left flank. After Metz fell to the Americans on December 13, Third Army advanced toward the Siegfried Line. Before Decem- ber was over, Patton’s Third Army would be engaged in another great armored clash, known as the Battle of the Bulge.


Battle of Guilford Courthouse

Em 15 de março de 1781, as forças americanas e britânicas entraram em confronto por várias horas perto do Tribunal de Guilford. A batalha foi o culminar de vários meses de dura campanha pelos exércitos de Nathanael Greene e Lord Charles Cornwallis. A estratégia britânica se concentrava em conquistar o Sul, destruindo o exército de Greene. Cientes desse plano, Greene e outros líderes americanos se recusaram a dar a Cornwallis uma luta tradicional e, em vez disso, envolveram os britânicos em várias escaramuças e retiradas estratégicas. Antes do Tribunal de Guilford, a estratégia americana resultou na derrota de dois destacamentos do exército principal de Cornwallis: um liderado por Patrick Ferguson em King’s Mountain em outubro de 1780 e o outro liderado por Banastre Tarleton em Cowpens em janeiro de 1781.

Depois de Cowpens, Greene retirou-se para a Virgínia no que ficou conhecido como a "Corrida para o Dan". Cornwallis queimou sua bagagem no Moinho de Ramseur no interesse da velocidade, mas sem sucesso perseguiu Greene até o Dan. Seus homens lutaram em várias escaramuças com os homens de Greene na Torrence's Tavern e Cowan's Ford, onde o líder Patriot William Lee Davidson foi morto. Os britânicos cruzaram o Catawba em Vaus dos Beatties e Cowan, e o Rio Yadkin em Shallow Ford. As forças de Greene cruzaram o rio Dan pouco antes da chegada dos homens de Cornwallis, levando com eles todos os barcos ao longo da margem sul. As chuvas recentes inundaram o rio, tornando os vaus locais inutilizáveis, salvando o exército de Greene da destruição. A “corrida” custou a Cornwallis um número insubstituível de homens à deserção e pequenas escaramuças, e deixou seu exército de 2.000 homens completamente destituído de suprimentos. Um oficial britânico descreveu posteriormente seus homens, muitos dos quais estavam descalços, como vivendo de "milho verde e carniça".

Incapaz de esperar que os rios baixem sem suprimentos, Cornwallis recuou da fronteira da Virgínia enquanto o exército de Greene se reabastecia com comida e munição e recebia reforços. Em 22 de fevereiro, os 4.400 homens de Greene cruzaram novamente o rio Dan e começaram a perseguir os britânicos para o sul. Os dois exércitos travaram várias escaramuças dentro da área, incluindo combates no Moinho de Weitzell e Moinho de Clapp. Com sede em High Rock, Ford Greene, com suprimentos reabastecidos e com uma vantagem de dois para um em homens, decidiu oferecer a batalha aberta que Cornwallis havia perseguido por quase três meses. Em 14 de março, os exércitos estavam a dez milhas um do outro perto do Tribunal de Guilford, uma área densamente arborizada que consistia em algumas pequenas casas, o tribunal do condado e vários pequenos campos arados.

Na manhã de 15 de março, Greene implantou seu exército em três linhas, cada uma com aproximadamente 400 metros de distância uma da outra. O primeiro consistia em quase 800 milícias da Carolina do Norte dispostas na beira de um campo com "seus braços apoiados em uma cerca". Os milicianos da Carolina do Norte incluíam William R. Davie, Benjamin Williams, Nathaniel Macon, James Turner e David Caldwell. Quase 850 milicianos da Virgínia ficaram como uma segunda linha dentro de florestas densas na retaguarda dos Carolinianos do Norte. A terceira linha consistia nos regulares de Greene, os soldados continentais de Maryland e Virgínia. In addition, on the right and left flanks of the first line, Greene posted veteran Virginia and North Carolina riflemen, as well as Continental dragoons and infantry led by William Washington and Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee. Among the riflemen stood Joseph Winston, Jesse Franklin, and Richard Allen. Marquis De Bretigny lead a small detachment of North Carolina militia dragoons attached to Washington’s force. Greene posted artillery at both the first and third lines, with those along the first having orders to fall back after the fighting began. Greene, following the example of Daniel Morgan at Cowpens earlier that year, ordered the North Carolina militia to fire two volleys and then fall back behind the Virginians.

Taking Greene’s bait, Cornwallis's army marched out from its camp at Deep River Meeting House in the early morning hours. Several clashes erupted between British and American advance parties led by Banastre Tarleton and Light Horse Harry Lee at the New Garden Meeting House several miles south of Greene’s main army. At one point, Tarleton’s dragoons withdrew across the grounds of present-day Guilford College. British forces drove back the Americans, and by noon, Cornwallis was in striking distance of Greene’s army.

Cornwallis’s men advanced on Greene’s first line after a thirty-minute artillery barrage by both sides. The British broke through the first and second lines relatively quickly, but suffered severe casualties in the advance, particularly along the Virginia militia line. One American noted that, after his regiment fired a volley, the British “appeared like the stalks of wheat after the harvest man passed over them with his cradle.” Despite their losses, Cornwallis’s army pushed on to the American third line, where they engaged the Continental regulars in both small arms fire and hand-to-hand combat. After the war, a story developed which had it that Cornwallis ordered his own artillery to fire into the melee, despite being warned he would kill some of his own men. Recent research has proven this story completely apocryphal. The artillery did fire into the group, but only after American cavalry had entered the fray and threatened the British guns.

Unwilling to the risk the destruction of his army, and realizing that he had inflicted massive casualties on the British, Greene withdrew his army to Troublesome Ironworks nearly fifteen miles away. The battered British army did not pursue. Although Cornwallis’s army held the field, the Americans had punished them severely. Twenty-seven percent of Cornwallis’s army lay dead or wounded on the field. The Foot Guards battalions, considered the finest troops in the entire British army, suffered fifty-six percent casualties, including nearly all of their officers. By comparison, Greene lost only six percent of his force, the majority of whom were North Carolina and Virginia militiamen who had fled shortly after the battle began and been counted as missing in action. In a letter to Samuel Huntington, the president of Congress, Greene described the engagement as “long, obstinate and bloody.”

After the battle, Cornwallis withdrew his army first to Ramsey's Mill and then through southeastern North Carolina to the British base at Wilmington, where he resupplied his army. British Parliamentarian Charles James Fox told the House of Commons, “Another such victory would ruin the British army.” Fox’s assertion would be borne out in the following months. In late April 1781, Cornwallis marched north from Wilmington, focusing his strategy on Virginia instead of the entire South. Despite skirmishes at Swift Creek, Peacock Bridge, and Halifax, he and his men crossed into Virginia in mid-May. Five months later, Cornwallis surrendered his army to George Washington at the little seaside village of Yorktown, effectively ending major fighting in the southern colonies, and speeding along American victory in the war.

References and additional resources:

Babits, Lawrence Edward, and Joshua B. Howard. 2009 Long, obstinate, and bloody: the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Rankin, Hugh F. 1976. Greene and Cornwallis: the campaign in the Carolinas. North Carolina bicentennial pamphlet series, 10. Raleigh: Dept. of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History.

Image Credits:

"Photograph [of an engraving of a portrait of General Nathaniel Greene], ca. 1910-1930, Accession #: H.19XX.331.94." 1910-1930. North Carolina Museum of History. (accessed June 6, 2014).


Battle of North Point - History

When Griffin’s Division reached Jericho Ford on the North Anna River the afternoon of 23 May 1864, the troops found the crossing undefended so Griffin immediately ordered Sweitzer and Ayres to cross their brigades. After a brief skirmish with a South Carolina brigade picketed there, both brigades advanced into the woods to their front. Moving to positions well into the stand of timber, the two brigades halted and immediately began chopping trees and digging entrenchments and were soon followed by the rest of the V Corps.

About 5:30 p.m., Union pickets reported heavy dust being kicked up on the road to Hanover Junction. Suddenly, a great rebel yell pierced the evening air and gunfire exploded to the Regulars’ front. Peering to the far side of the wood, they could see a huge gray line heading right for them. The troops of Sweitzer’s and Ayres’ brigades, unstacked their weapons, leapt to their works, and commenced a heavy fire against Brown’s South Carolinians, and Brig. Gen. James H. Lane’s North Carolinians. To the rear, Cutler’s 4th Division scrambled to grab their rifles and set out to reach the high ground on the corps’ right where it should have been all along. But as the division deployed to advance, the two brigades forming Wilcox’s left wing crashed into the Pennsylvania Bucktails, and the “Iron Brigade,” driving them back toward the river. On the Federal right, only one brigade held. Sweitzer’s brigade also fell back, though in good order. Only Ayres now held in the center.

The attack had interrupted the men’s evening meal, which upset them in no small way. According to one account, the Regulars, angry over their lost suppers, “waited until the Confederate line came within point-blank range and then opened fire with a vengeance.” Back on the Union right, three batteries pulled into position amidst the shaken 4th Division. The presence of the artillery heartened the men and soon, many stragglers who had fled to the bluffs gathered their courage and returned to the fight. Having sustained heavy casualties in their own assaults at Saunder’s Field and Laurel Hill, the Regulars now had the grim satisfaction of dishing out the punishment for once. As the rebels retreated to Noel’s Station, Federal officers led a rousing cheer which echoed through the woods “in a tremendous roar of victory.” The steadfast performance of the regiment earned the men of the 11th Infantry a note of congratulations in Gen. Meade’s order of the day.


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