After Action Report 4th Armored Division
26 March 1945 (Monday)
CC “A” continued to hold a small bridgehead over the MAIN River at GROSSAUHEIM although they were forced back to the bridge by the arrival of a train load of enemy reinforcements on the previous night. Enemy planes made several attempts during the night to destroy the already damaged bridge over the river but were unsuccessful. At 05:30 h, CC “A” repulsed an enemy counterattack of 50 infantrymen supported by artillery fire. The attack was repulsed by machine-gun and small arms fire. A task force composed of one company from 35th Tank Bn and one company from 51st Armd Inf Bn was sent to ZELLHAUSEN to be prepared to reinforce CC “A” in the event their situation became route. Accurate enemy artillery fire hampered the work of the engineers who were trying to construct a bridge over the MAIN River so tracked vehicles could cross. At 14:00 h, a combat team from the 26th Inf Div moved through CC “A” positions to clear GROSSAUHEIM. CC “A” supported this attack and it was necessary to rout the enemy from cellars with the use of hand grenades. The 8th Tank Bn awaiting construction of the bridge, outposted the towns of HAINSTADT, SELIGENSTADT, and ZELLHAUSEN and captured a large supply depot southwest of HAINSTADT which contained an estimated 2 ½ million dollars worth of medical supplies and 10.000 tires. Sporadic artillery fire from across the river fell on the towns outposted by the 8th Tank Bn.
The bridgehead of CC “B”, south of ASCHAFFENBURG, was attacked by enemy planes early in the morning but no damage was done to the bridge. These air attacks were followed by an enemy counterattack of 11 self-propelled guns and 2 tanks. Three of the self-propelled guns were destroyed by fire from the 37th Tank Bn, and the remainder of the force withdrew to the south. Orders were received during the day that CC “B” would be relieved by the 26th Inf Div and would be prepared to enlarge the bridgehead at HANAU and attack toward GIESSEN.
A special task force from CC “B” was organized with Captain Baum, 10th Armd Inf Bn, in command with the mission of freeing approximately 900 American prisoners at a camp south of HAMMELBURG. The camp was approximately 55 miles behind enemy lines. The force was composed of A/10, C/37, Plat D/37, AG/10, and Rcn/10. B/37 and B/10 attacked SCHWEINHEIM at 21:00 h from their bridgehead over the Main with the purpose of clearing the main street for the task force to pass through the town and get started on its mission. The 22nd, 66th and 94th placed heavy barrage on SCHWEINHEIM, after which B/37 and B/10 entered the town. Resistance consisted of bazooka and small arms fire. B/37 had one tank knocked out by bazooka fire but by 22:30 h the route was cleared and the task force started out on its mission. B/37 and B/10 returned to their original positions of outposting the bridgehead south of ASCHAFFENBURG. (See History file for complete report of task force commander.)
The units of Reserve Command moved from DIEBURG at 16:00 h and closed in BABENHAUSEN at 19:45 h.
Enemy losses inflicted during the day included 608 prisoners, 215 wounded, 189 killed, 12 – 88mm guns, 14 – 20mm guns, 1 locomotive and 6 railroad cars destroyed. The 489th AAA (AW) Bn shot down 1 JU-88 and 3 HE-111 as they bombed and strafed bridgehead positions. The 25th Cav Rcn Sqdn captured a German concentration camp, between OBER-RODEN and NIEDER-RODEN, with over 1.200 political prisoners and a train load of rations.
4th Armd Div casualties were:
Killed Wounded Missing
Officers 2 5 0
Enlisted Men 13 67 12
Copy from the US National Archives
Corrections of German place-names and
geographical names by Peter
2002 © Copyright Peter Domes - Date of last change: 2005-03-17