To Hammelburg

On 6 April 1945, CCB was put under  command of the 3rd Infantry Division. The next objective was the POW camps in a major military installation south of Hammelburg. But before CCB could move out, the main road through Gemünden had to be cleared with bulldozers. According the operations plan, 47th Tank Battalion had to take the camp from the north, and 19th Armored Infantry Battalion had to secure all road south and east of it.  

At Hessdorf three of 47th Tank Battalion tanks were knocked out by German tanks. Tank destroyers from B-636 were called up and they destroyed two of the German tanks. The 47th Tank Battalion left the Reichsstraße 27 and went cross country in high speed towards the prison camps. At about 13:45 h they spotted one and reported to CCB HQ.  

The column of the 19th Armored Infantry Battalion moved out from Gemünden in the following order of march: 1-B-94, A-47, A-19, 1-B-125, the rest of the 19th Armored Infantry Battalion and Trains. Just two miles out of Gemünden they hit a road block. Infantrymen of A-19 had to dismount to clear it. The scheduled route was: Gemünden, Hessdorf, Bonnland, Hundsfeld – Lager Hammelburg. The column moved on, but the lead elements missed the turn to the east on the northern edge of Hessdorf, and so the column moved into Höllrich. At Höllrich anti-tank guns opened up from a ridge on their left side. The guns in the column returned the fire and A-10 had to dismount again, and assaulted to clear the ridge.  

 

Just before the column pulled out from Höllrich to get back on the correct route, they received fire from enemy tanks. Artillery support was called, and the tanks of the 47th Tank Battalion and the tank destroyers of 636th Tank Destroyer Battalion encountered the fire. The enemy tanks were knocked out, and when the soldiers came up to investigate, they discovered that they were captured American Sherman tanks. The tanks must have been the rest of Task Force Baum´s serviceable vehicles captured on morning of 28 March 1945 at the Reussenberg.

 

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