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"Heilbronn: Going House to House in World War II" Topic


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385 hits since 12 Feb 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0112 Feb 2018 11:56 a.m. PST

"Following its swift advance to the Rhine, the American 100th (Century) Infantry Division resumed its pursuit of retreating German forces. On the morning of March 31, 1945, elements of the division crossed the Rhine between Ludwigshafen and Mannheim and headed straight into the heart of Germany. The war in Europe was in its last throes, but there was still plenty of action to come.

After passing through Mannheim, the division fanned out to the south. The 399th Infantry Regiment, on the right flank, headed toward Hockenheim to establish contact with the II French Corps. On the left was the 397th Infantry, with the 398th Infantry in reserve. The 10th Armored was out in front of the division, with the French coming up on the right. The units moved with all possible speed to prevent German forces from reorganizing. Roadblocks and blown bridges formed the only appreciable German resistance

The advance continued on April 2, rolling toward Heilbronn, a city with a pre-war population of 100,000. Located at the head of the Neckar valley, Heilbronn was well situated, with roads leading south to Stuttgart and east toward Ulm, the much-vaunted German "National Redoubt." On April 3, the Germans relinquished the town of Neckargartach, on the west bank of the Neckar River just north of Heilbronn, to the 10th Armored after a stiff rear-guard action. The Germans withdrew across the river into the city's factory district, blowing the bridge over the river after them. Since the French advance was lagging behind, the 399th was detailed to guard against a possible counterattack on the exposed right flank and rear…."
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