749th Tank Battalion

749th Tank Battalion
Hank Peters A/749th

My Tk Bn the 749th was attached to the 70th from February 15th until March 3rd. At the time...March 3, 1945 battling for Forbach...opposing forces, enemy units in contact...347thVGD, 860th VGD, 347th Div Arty Regt, elms of the 486 Panzer TD Bn, Assult Bn GHQ 1st Army, 347th (BG Zweibrucken Volkstrum) 559th VGD, 1 Bn 1186th VG Regt ,1 Bn Assult un Bn, 2 Mtn Div, 67 Mtn Recon Bn, Misc. units from the 17th SS PGD.

On the 70th Inf Div and the 749th Tk Bn right flank was the 63rd Inf Div with my company A Co. of the 749th attached. A Company with the 63rd Inf Div were fighting through AUERSMACHER. Weather and Visibility; excellent to good but cold and clear with scattered snow flurries. "A" company plus the Assult Gun from Hq Co. attached to the 253rd of the 63rd Inf Div moved out 0600 GROSBLIEDERSTROFF, south approx 3 miles to cross the SARRE River on a pontoon bridge and then moved into AUERSMACHER. The tanks jumped off at 1405 from KLIENBLITTERSDORF while the Infantry jumped off from front line in vicinity of Bubingen. Tanks passed friendly Infantry in their advance to the objective which was HAHNBUSCH WOODS and the ground generally to the North. Air mission was successfully completed on GUDINGEN, FECHINGEN, AND BOIS DE FECHINGEN and P-47s reported they destroyed 6 enemy tanks or assault guns.

New M-4A3E8 tank on bridge that collapsed with weight of vehicle during operation against Grosblieberstroff on the Saar. Tank is from 749th Tank Battalion. Dated February 18, 1945. Archive Number 111-SC-233735.

As A Co of the 749th reached HINTERWALD WOODS and the ground West of the woods, smoke was placed on HAHNBALUSCH and the small woods further North. Wind blew smoke South, leaving the tanks in a smoke screen as tanks moved out from the woods leaving them in the open. Anti tank guns of the enemy held the advantage as the smoke cleared their position first and as the tanks moved out to attack in wedge formation 2 tanks were hit by Anti Tank fire simultaneously. A Co had advanced 500 yards when they were fired on by 3 enemy Anti Tank guns. Enemy locations not spotted due to smoke. 1 tank broke a clutch as a cable tangled around the track. 6 A Co. tanks hit by Anti Tank fire; 3 are known to have burned; remaining 3 might be recovered. 2 complete crews MIA: 6 enlisted men MIA, Sgt Price, Cpl Mace, T/5 Faust, Pfc Caldwell, Pfc E.E. Cox, and Pfc Leitwein. 4 other crew members KIA; 1 EM KIA Sgt R. B. Jackson, 6 EM LIA: S/Sgt McLemore, Cpl Lang, Pfc Wilkering, Pfc Lopez, Pfc Cherne and Pfc Bader. 4 Em SWA and evacuated. Cpl Addis, S/Sgt Mosca, Cpl Osso, T/5 Buljalske. A Co withdrew to hull defilade position at the attack position. Inf continued the assault to wipe out Anti Tank weapons supported by fire from hull defilade positions. 9 enemy MG nests wiped out. A Co and HQ Assault Gun then were attached to the 274th for diversionary attack right flank. Orders relieving A Co from the 63rd control and attached to the 101 Cav Group. A Co moved out to ST. Avold... A Co and the 101 Cav Group move to the left to St Avold made A Co an orphan again...such is the life of Independent tank battalion tanker... A Company certainly got clobbered... the taking of Forbach was quite a chore for all those involved... The 749th stayed with the 70th until being relieved to assist the 71st Inf Div. Then went to work with the 42nd for 6 days March 21-27).

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