The fight for Lohr

Later in the day, after a 75 mile drive, the leading elements reached the town of Lohr. The Division history says the drive had been like a honeymoon  – but “the honeymoon ended at Lohr”. On the morning of 27 March 1945, Captain Abraham Baum´s Task Force of 55 vehicles had come through Lohr and met almost no resistance. But now it was different. Lohr war prepared this time.

All defensive activities were under the command of the “Kampfkommandant” (combat commander) Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant-Colonel) Wilhelm Trenk. He had received this assignment just a few days prior. Just one day before, his garrison consisted of more than 500 soldiers. On Easter Monday his force consisted of the local Volkssturm, an undefined number of regular Army soldiers, a battery of 105 mm howitzers, and three assault guns.

Because the US-Army was heading south of Lohr towards the city of Würzburg, the town had no longer a major tactical purpose. It was just a small bridgehead at the Main river for the withdrawal of the remainder of the 416. Infanteriedivision (416th German Infantry Division) to the east. Lohr lay in the deep valley of the Lohr creek. The only possible way to make it through the town was to follow the main highway, Reichsstraße 26, right through the middle of the town. There was no way to bypass it.

 

When C-47 , with infantrymen of C-19 riding on the tanks, reached the town, they had to stop, because they received heavy small arms fire. The infantrymen dismounted and attacked at about 17:00 h, but they encountered extremely stubborn resistance. C-47 lost three medium tanks by Panzerfaust hits. C-47 with accompanying infantry made slow progress in the outskirts of Lohr. D-47 was ordered with its light tanks to find a bypass around the town. Elements of the company managed  to move around the German flank, and entered the town from the rear.

 

By night the town was burning from the shelling of all types of artillery weapons. More and more infantry of the 19th Armored Infantry Battalion moved up. The town was under fire the whole night from artillery, mortars and assault guns.

The next attack began on the morning of 3 April 1945. A-19 and B-47 went straight down the main street, while B-19 and C-19 with tank support held the flanks. The fighting in the main street was pretty hard. Some tanks were knocked out by Panzerfausts and blocked the street. After  hard fighting with heavy losses, CCB made it through Lohr.

2005 © Copyright Peter Domes -  Date of last change: 2005-06-06