Moselle Crossing: Well Done
While some small unit combat continued, this ended the first phase of the Division's operations. Original plans called for the Rolling W to cross the Rhine in the level country south of Mainz but this assignment was given instead to the 5th Division. On March 23, the 89th was transferred to the VIII Corps under command of Maj. Gen. Troy H. Middleton. In a press conference, General Bradley, 12th Army Group commander, said: "The order of General Eisenhower to destroy German armies west of the Rhine has been almost completely carried out."
In the ten days since it had been committed, the Division had speeded this great German route. Fighting over rough wooded terrain, the 89th had opened up a vital supply route over the Moselle, taken more than five thousand prisoners, cleared more than 100 towns and several hundred square miles of territory, suffering in all less than two hundred casualties. In a message to General Finley, Maj. Gen. Manton S. Eddy. Commanding the XTT Corps, wrote:
"The 89th Infantry Division takes with it our admiration for the commendable manner in which it so quickly acquired the spirit of veterans in its first major engagement. Your advance to the Moselle River, followed by your notable assault river crossing at Bullay, established a new route vitally essential to the successful operation of this Corps. The courage of your troops in their baptism under fire, and the promptness with which your staff and combat leaders grasped their new responsibilities, surely mark the beginning of a gallant record for you Division. Please let me express to you and to all the members of your command my appreciation for your splendid performance with the XII Corps."
Page 1 |
Page 2 | Page 3 |
Page 4 | Page 5 |
Page 6 | Page 7 |