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12th Armored Division >> General Discussion >> Dec 11, 1944 at Petit Rederching near Bitche and Maginot Line
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Author Topic:  Dec 11, 1944 at Petit Rederching near Bitche and Maginot Line
heathde
Junior Member
Member # 56

Posts: 2
From: Kenosha, Wisconsin
Registered: 2/17/2005
posted 2/17/2005 4:42:10 PM    Click here to view the profile for heathde  Click here to email heathde  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
I am looking for any 12 AD vets who took part in the battle at Petit Rederching Dec 10-11, 1944.

Petit Rederching is located between Rohrbach and Bitche, France less than a mile from the Maginot Line.

Dave Heathcott
heathde@krlynk.com


MikeWoldenberg
Junior Member
Member # 16

Posts: 884
From: University at Buffalo (NY)
Registered: 6/1/2004
posted 2/17/2005 9:39:37 PM    Click here to view the profile for MikeWoldenberg  Click here to email MikeWoldenberg  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Dear Dave, I have borrowed the Pictorial History of the 493d Armored Field Artillery
Battalion. This contains a battle diary.
The Battalion supported the attack on Rohrbach-les Bitche which was captured on
Sunday Dec. 10, 1944 at 1500. On Monday Dec. 11 the Battalion was headed north a couple of miles to attack Guising. Petit
Rederching lies between the two places.
Thus the 493d must have been there.
This Battalion was part of Combat Command
A (I think). So, if you or I can figure out the battalions in Combat Command A, then these are the men you should contact. Of course other battalions just might have been involved. Eventually you can contact the
unit representatives of the battalions involved.
Mike Woldenberg: geomike@buffalo.edu

heathde
Junior Member
Member # 56

Posts: 2
From: Kenosha, Wisconsin
Registered: 2/17/2005
posted 3/24/2006 7:33:01 PM    Click here to view the profile for heathde  Click here to email heathde  edit/delete post  Reply w/Quote
Mike

I just saw your response (dated 02/17/2005) on the 12th AD web site.

Here's my post and your reply:

"I am looking for any 12 AD vets who took part in the battle at Petit Rederching Dec 10-11, 1944.

Petit Rederching is located between Rohrbach and Bitche, France less than a mile from the Maginot Line.

Dave Heathcott
heathde@krlynk.com "

Dear Dave, I have borrowed the Pictorial History of the 493d Armored Field Artillery
Battalion. This contains a battle diary. The Battalion supported the attack on Rohrbach-les Bitche which was captured on
Sunday Dec. 10, 1944 at 1500. On Monday Dec. 11 the Battalion was headed north a couple of miles to attack Guising. Petit
Rederching lies between the two places. Thus the 493d must have been there. This Battalion was part of Combat Command
A (I think). So, if you or I can figure out the battalions in Combat Command A, then these are the men you should contact. Of course other battalions just might have been involved. Eventually you can contact the unit representatives of the battalions involved.
Mike Woldenberg: geomike@buffalo.edu

I didn't know you had replied. I assumed the web site would notify me if someone responded.

Here's what is written in the After Action Report of the 749th Tank Battalion:

"At 1200A, 10 tanks reported in the zone of the 26th Infantry Division near Rimlimg [2 miles north of Guising]. 12 enemy tanks attacked the 12th Armored Division along railroad northeast of Rohrbach. One enemy tank knocked out, 11 tanks withdrew to vicinity northhwest of Petit Rederching. At 1345A 11 tanks seen at Bettviller [2 miles east of Guising, 2 miles NW of Petit Rederching]. At 1618A 6 tanks seen firing into Petit Rederching.

At 1145A Company B [of the 749th TB] jumped off from Meierhoff objective Petit Rederching supporting 324th [battalion of 79th ID]. The 12th Armord Division flushed 2 Tiger Mark VI tanks north of Petit Rederching. Attack delayed one hour while Tank Destroyers attempt to knockout enemy tanks. Our TD knocked out by Tigers."

That's the end of the quotation from the AAR. My uncle was in the Company B platoon that faced off with the Tiger Tanks on the southeast side of Petit Rederching. These Tigers not only knocked out our TD but three of the tanks in my uncle's platoon. My uncle survived (he was the tank commander), but was taken from the field injured. Two in his tank were killed.

One of the 749er's I talked to was another Tank Commander standing outside on the back of his tank directing the TD fire - the TD was located right next to his tank on the southeast side of Petit Rederching.. The German tank shell missed him by 2 feet and hit the 749th Battalion Commander - standing on the TD - in the left hip before it bore through the TD turret and killed everyone inside and the Battalion Commander as well.

I don't know if any of this detail will help identify any particlar elements of the 12th ID. Maybe so.

By the way, if you're interested, I have a web site on the 749th at

http://personal.pitnet.net/heathde/749

Dave