XIX CORPS COMBAT CHRONOLOGY
29th Infantry Division passes to army reserve but remains in München-Gladbach. 2nd Armored Infantry Division, reinforced by the 379th Infantry Regiment of the 95th Infantry Division, continues north over the Cologne Plain. From Niederbruch-Krefeld Oppum area, CCA pushes through Viertielsheide, CCR is attached to CCA and moving through eastern outskirts of Krefeld, heads for Kaldenhausen, halting southwest of town upon order. CCB fights bitterly for west approach to Uerdingen bridge, which is weakened by explosion but still intact. 3rd Battalion, 330th Infantry Regiment of the 83rd Infantry Division reaches bridge at Oberkassel, which enemy destroys. 331st Infantry Regiment mops up until relieved by the 329th Infantry Regiment. 95th Infantry Division gets into position for attack
95th Infantry Division to which the 379th Infantry Regiment reverts from attachment to 2nd Armored Division, begins attack toward the Rhine River on the northern XIX Corps flank. 378th Infantry Regiment drives through Uerdingen to the Rhine and clears part of north Uerdingen. Efforts of the 379th Infantry Regiment on the south to reduce pocket near Adolf Hilter bridge are only partially successful as German rear guards put up determined resistance. 2nd Armored Division concludes its Cologne Plain operations, capturing Kaldenhausen and mopping up Uerdingen, Kaldenhausen, and Viertielsheide areas.
95th Infantry Division overcomes negligible resistance west of the Rhine River within its zone, concluding corps’ part of Operation Grenade. While 378th Infantry Regiment, supported by the 377th Infantry Regiment, drives northeast from Uerdingen to Rheinhausen, where bridges are destroyed, 379th Infantry Regiment eliminates pocket near Adolf Hilter bridge in southern Uerdingen. The Division outposts the Rhine from Uerdingen north to Essenbrug. 95th Infantry Division relieves CCA, 2nd Armored Division which withdraws to assembly area. CCB, leaving Reconnaissance Company of the 67th Armored Regiment, reinforced, to defend the Rhine River line, begins also movements to assembly area.
XIII Corps becomes responsible for XIX Corps sector and takes operational control of 95th Infantry Division (less 377th Infantry Regiment) and the 113th Cavalry Group. 377th Infantry Regiment is attached to the 2nd Armored Division. XIX Corps prepares to move to new zone on northern flank of the Ninth Army.
2nd Armored Division, begins passing through XVIII Airborne Corps sector and relieving the 17th Airborne Division.
17th Airborne Division is placed under command of the XIX Corps at 06:00 hours. Corps reverts to First Allied Airborne Army at same time and its zone is divided between British 8th Corps and U.S. XIX Corps.
CCB, 2nd Armored Division, drives southeast to Lippstadt and makes contact with 3rd Armored Division of the VII Corps, First US Army, closing noose about the Ruhr. CCA, 2nd Armored Division takes Cologne – Berlin autobahn pass through Teutoburger Wald but cannot gain passages near Oerlinghausen and Augustdorf. 83rd Infantry Division and 15th Cavalry Group, driving East across Muenster Plain, mop up bypassed resistance and protect the right XIX Corps flank along Lippe River. 8th Armored Division is attached to the XIX Corps for drive on Paderborn. 30th Infantry Division assembles in Drensteinfurt area, between Muenster and Hamm, 113th Cavalry Group is attached to it at 24:00 to protect the left flank.
2nd Armored Division continues battle for Teutoburger Wald passes, hampered by terrain, blown bridges, and roadblocks CCA, assisted by elements of CCR, cuts main road from the autobahn to Bielefeld and gets elements to outskirts of Oerlinghausen. CCB moves forward through Teutoburger Wald along Detmold road to Hiddesen area. 377th Infantry Regiment reverts to 95th Infantry Division from attachment to the 2nd Armored Division. 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, is attached to the 2nd Armored Division. 83rd Infantry Division continues clearing the XIX Corps right flank along the Lippe River and maintains and strengthens small bridgehead at Hamm. 30th Infantry Division less 119th Infantry Regiment starts toward Teutoburger Wald to relieve 2nd Armored Division units. 8th Armored Division continues east against scattered resistance, CCB is vigorously engaged at Neuhaus, northwest of Paderborn.
XIX Corps begins attack on Ruhr pocket. 30th Infantry Division relieves 2nd Armored Division of positions in Teutoburger Wald, 117th Infantry Regiment taking over passes formerly held by CCR and CCA on the left and 120th Infantry Regiment relieving CCB units west of Hiddesen and clearing part of Forst Berlebeck, which extends southeast from Teutoburger Wald. 2nd Armored Division gets into position for drive east to the Weser. CCR column drives southeast to Mackenbruch and cuts Oerlinghausen – Lage road. One CCA Task Force attacks southeast in evening through Osterheide to Lage while others overrun Oerlinghausen, assisted by CCR’s flanking movement, and clear region about Pivitsheide. CCB advances through Forst Berlebeck and seizes Berleback. 83rd Infantry Division which releases the 15th Cavalry Group to the 95th Infantry Division and takes control of the 113th Cavalry Group (less 125th Cav Rcn Sq) from the 30th Infantry Division, continues to clear along Lippe River on the XIX Corps right flank relieves elements of the 8th Armored Division in Neuhaus and mops up that town, turns over positions generally west of the 30th Infantry Division north south grid line, including Hamm bridgehead to the 95th Infantry Division. In the afternoon, 8th Armored Division opens assault against Ruhr pocket, driving southwest with CCA and elements of CCR. CCA moves along Paderborn – Soest highway to Erwitte area. CCR closing in Lippstadt area, sends Task Force Walker to Elsen to relieve pressure on CCB and moves Task Force Artman to Weckinghausen. 95th Infantry Division begins relief of the 83rd Infantry Division and prepares to join in assault on the Ruhr pocket.
2nd Armored Division progresses rapidly on the left, where one CCA column advances from Lage to Lemgo and thence to approaches to the Wesser and another clears Pivitsheide and continues to the vicinity of Gross Berkel. CCB slowed by terrain and opposition, advances from Berlebeck to Kreuzenstein. 30th Infantry Division, protecting XIX Corps left flank, maintains defensive positions; in limited attacks overuns Hiddesen and Detmold. On the right 83rd Infantry Division makes main effort with Task Force Biddle and employs the 329th and 331st Infantry Regiments close behind it to mop up. 330th Infantry Regiment defends Lippe River line from Lippstadt westward. 95th Infantry Division begins assault on Ruhr pocket, attacks south across Lippe River and Canal in Hamm – Lippborn area with the 379th and 378th Infantry Regiments, forward elements reach Dinker. 15th Cavalry Group screen Lippe River along the divisions right flank. 8th Armored Division continues assault on Ruhr pocket, one CCA column thrusts south to Mohne River line while another clears Erwitte and drives toward Androchte. CCB overruns Overhagen, Stripe, Norddorf, Ebbinghausen and Voellingshausen.
2nd Armored Division reaches the Weser south of Hameln and establishes bridgehead with 4 Task Forces and 2 artillery battalions. On left one CCA Task Force crosses in assault boats in vicinity of Ohr and, when bridge is completed, is followed by another. CCB drives to the Wesser in Emmern – Grohnde area, crosses one column in assault boats near Grohnde and another in sector of CCA. By the end of day CCA bridgehead extends from Rohrsen to Voremberg. CCB holds Hajen, Frenke, Brockensen, and Heyen. 83rd Infantry Division continues northeast toward the Weser to right of 2nd Armored Division, clearing many towns. Aided by air strikes, 95th Infantry Division expands and strengthens its bridgehead south of the Lippe against diminishing resistance. 377th Infantry Regiment attacks south across the Lippe toward Soest in afternoon, passing through 379th Infantry Regiment, and reaches positions beyond Wiltrop. 8th Armored Division, reinforced by 194th Glider Infantry of the 17th Airborne Division continues west toward Soest. CCA columns converge on Altenmellrich. CCB attacking through CCR reaches line Weslarn – Lohne. 95th Infantry Division and 8th Armored Division prepare for concerted assault on Soest.
CCA of the 2nd Armored Division thrusts northeast to the Leine River at Schulenberg and takes bridge intact. CCB clears Harderode, Esperde, and heights south of Heyen. CCR crosses the Weser River at Grohnde and drives northeast toward Brugstemmen, reaching Elze. 30th Infantry Division with the 117th Infantry Regiment on the left and the 120th Infantry Regiment on the right, speeds eastward behind the 2nd Armored Division, clearing north flank of the XIX Corps to the Weser River. Takes responsibility for Weser bridges sites, crosses 2 battalions of the 117th Infantry Regiment over the Weser River at Ohr and a battalion of the 120th Infantry Regiment crossed the Wesser river at Grohnde. 83rd Infantry Division gets forward elements to the Wesser in the Bodenwerder – Holzminden area to the right of the 2nd Armored Division. 3rd Battalion, 329th Infantry Regiment, crosses at Bodenwerder and clears Halle. In Ruhr pocket sector, the 377th Infantry Regiment of the 95th Infantry Division begins clearing Soest. The 378th Infantry Regiment secures portion of Hamm east of Hamm – Soest railroad in 2- pronged assault from Hamm bridgehead and from the northeast. CCB of the 8th Armored Division reaches Ost Oennen, southwest of Soest.
2nd Armored Division, ordered to halt upon reaching general line of Sarstedt – Hildesheim road, attains objective and suspends offensive operations. 83rd Infantry Division clears its zone west of the Weser except for small portion in Polle area and makes rapid progress east of the Weser. 330th Infantry Regiment rejoins division. Continuing operations against Ruhr pocket, 95th Infantry Divisions 377th Infantry Regiment finishes clearing Soest by 0730 hours and attacks toward Werl until pinched out; 379th Infantry Regiment pushes into Werl; 378th Infantry Regiment finishes clearing Hamin and several suburbs. Task Force Twaddle ( Major General Harry L. Twaddle, 95th Infantry Division Commanding General) is formed to complete action against Ruhr pocket in conjunction with XVI Corps. The Task Force consists of 8th Armored and 95th Infantry Divisions plus their attachments and supporting forces. Task Force Twaddle organizes Task Force Faith under Birgadier General Don C. Faith, composed of the 377th Infantry Regiment, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment and supporting units, and gives it mission of clearing region between Ruhr and Mohne Rivers, protecting left flank of Task Force Twaddle, and maintaining contact with friendly forces on the left. CCB, 8th Armored Division columns, drive on Werl in afternoon, reaching West Onnen and positions near Gerlingen. CCA clears and holds sector along Mohne River southeast of Soest. CCR starts from Lippstadt to Soest area.
2nd Armored Division improves defensive positions in limited attacks and regroups for future action. 30th Infantry Division continuous to follow armor eastward. 83rd Infantry Division continues east on right flank of the XIX Corps, crossing the Leine at several points in Alfeld -Greene area, and reaches assigned objective, line Gandersheim – Westfeld, south of Hildesheim. 331st Infantry Regiment starts across the Weser, 3rd Battalion crossing at Heinsen and clearing Bevern. Task Force Twaddle continous operations against Ruhr pocket. Task Force Faith clears region between Mohne and Ruhr Rivers east of line Allengen – Hirschberg – Meschede. CCB, 8th Armored Division, drives west through Werl and captures Ost Buederich. CCR clears westward toward Werl – Wickede road. 95th Infantry Division continues west in region between Hamm and Unna – Soest rail line, clearing numerous towns.
XIX Corps is relieved of responsibility for Ruhr pocket by XVI Corps, which takes command of Task Force Twaddle, and prepares to renew its eastward drive.
From Ninth Army history:
On 10 April Ninth Army units took Hanover, on the following day Bochum and Goslar. On 17 April troops of the 9th Army took Magdeburg on the Elbe (already on the 14th they had liberated the camp Guard Set), on 21 April, the last resistance ended in the Ruhr pocket. After the formation of bridgeheads across the Elbe requested by General Simpson permission to further advance on Berlin was not granted for political reasons. On 2 May Ninth Army had reached the limits on its entire front of the agreed demarcation line with the Red Army. After the German surrender the Ninth Army occupied large parts of central Germany until it was withdrawn in June 1945.