Moselle Crossing: Preparing to Cross

The Division CP had moved to Bad Bertrich to prepare for the river crossing. The swift advance of the first few days had stretched supply lines, necessitating a long haul for vehicles until supply units moved up; ammunition requirements were being filled at battered Bitburg or Mamer, far to the rear. The 5th Division, on the 89th's left, had established a bridgehead near Tries on March 14, while on the right the76th Division was protecting the Corps right flank. The 89th was ordered to establish a bridgehead across the Moselle, continue the attack southeast parallel to that of the 5th, and protect the Corps' right flank south of the river as well as maintain contact with XX Corps. The order called for crossings at three points by each Combat Team.

The Moselle at this point flowed through a U-shaped canyon and the hillsides on either bank were terraced with vineyards. The river was on an average about two hundred yards wide and the current was slow. Assault boats were unloaded from trucks and concealed along the waterfront. Patrols from all three regiments paddled across to feel out the German positions on the eastern bank. One 353rd squad was fired on while slipping up the bank. After a brief fire fight the squad pushed into Neef, captured a guard and roused the town Burgermeister, who signed the surrender terms dictated by 1st Lt. Theodore S. Anderson. The capture of Neef enabled 1st Battalion to cross the river without causalities twenty-four hours later.

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