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armored infantry

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  1. Camp near Siegberg Germany?

    Hi Christoph, Thanks for the link. The History of the 46th Tank Bn. is typical of those written by units of armored divisions. Since we know CCB was busy, we are talking about CCA. The Order of Battle for CCA, as described in the History of the 46th Tank Bn. is as follows. The primary combat units of Combat Command A are the 67th AIB, 46th Tank, and apparently the 498th AFA Bn. Two task forces were created, each built around the headquarters of the 67th AIB and 46th Tank. CCA and its task forces also had Cavalry (Mechanized) Armored Engineers, AAA units, Medical Detachments, Trucking Companies, Service Companies, etc. which are not mentioned in the history. Task Force Satt was built around the headquarters of the 67th AIB, and consisted of A and B Companies of the 46th Tank along with A and B Companies of the 67th AIB. Task Force Delinore was built around the headquarters of the 46th Tank and included: C Company 67th AIB and C Company 46th Tank, along with additional units of the types listed above. D Company 46th Tank was probably not in CCA "Reserve," but were used as flanking units and security operations withing the combat command's interior line of communications. Why? Because D was a light tank company which was poorly suited to act as any sort of reserve, but perfectly capable of carrying out the types of missions I mentioned. Besides no commander worth his salt would keep a company of light tanks as the reserve for a combat command. The 498th AFA Bn. belonged to CCA headquarters, and Armored Force doctrine and tactics required batteries of the supporting AFA Bn. to travel far forward in each column with other batteries farther back. On 10 April, TF Delinore received A Company 124th Armored Engineer Bn. and a platoon of the 630th Tank Destroyer Bn. Task Force Delinore was then broken down into two sub-task forces, TF Sheffey and TF Feldman. A few days later we see TF Delinore augmented by the return of two tank companies, A and D, and A Company of the 67th AIB. These were combined arms units in the purest sense, and were tailored by higher headquarters to best fulfill the mission given them. So as you can see, it is not possible for any individual unit of CCA to honestly claim credit for liberating any camp they may have come across. Hope this helps. Jim
  2. Camp near Siegberg Germany?

    Christoph, The camp at Bonn-Hardthöhe/Hardtberg was liberated by the 1st Infantry Division between 7 and 10 March 1945, not April. This action eliminated German resistance west of the Rhine in the First Army area of operations. The 46th Tank Battalion was organic to the 13th Armored Division. Any task force of an armored division was made up of the combined arms. To clairfy, this means the liberators of Rösrath: Stalag VI G Arb-Kdo 281 included units of the division other than the 46th Tank Battalion. Any attempt to determine the specifics of the liberation would require an examination of the reports and journals of those units, as well as the 46th Tank Battalion, and the combat command to which it was attached. Since CCB was refitting and reorganizing in the Dunnwald area on 11-12 April, the liberating parent unit was most likely CCA.
  3. Camp Roosevelt 1945 - Do you remember?

    SonofaMP, Sissonne is about 25 miles north of Reims. This fits with the information you provided. Jim
  4. Camp Roosevelt 1945 - Do you remember?

    AlaskanGal, Camp Washington was near Sissonne, France. The USAMHI collection has a photograph of Quartermaster Truck Companies taken at Camp Washington in 1945. Given the camp's location, I suspect it was an assembly area for units that were waiting their turn to ship out. Undoubtedly there is more information about Camp Washington at NARA, although it is probably buried in the masses of COMZ materials that to date have been largely unexplored.
  5. CIB's being awarded to com engs

    I appreciate your comments, but have to say I'm of the opinion that not everyone always did their share. If that were the case there would have been fewer court martials, no black market in the rear areas, and more senior commanders who would have been up in the front lines where the shooting was more often than they were. To me, at least, this makes the CIB all the more important since it signifies (for the most part) that the man who really earned it did his share without any doubt whatsoever. Here is one of the best descriptions I've seen of what the CIB means to those who really earned it. In his widely acclaimed book War In A Time Of Peace, David Halberstam comments on the Combat Infantry Badge as follows: What the military in its codes valued more than anything else was honor; serious military men always knew which of their colleagues had served their time in combat and could be counted on. That was why in private, when they were in uniform among each other, army men often did not display all their ribbons but instead wore the Combat Infantry Badge. It was the army’s true badge of honor, and wearing the CIB without other ribbons—even the Silver or Bronze Star—was part of the culture’s secret language, the way real army men spoke to each other, deliberately understated. It said in effect that the recipient had been there and done it, and for anyone else who had also been there, that was all you needed to know. And if you hadn’t been there, it didn’t matter what you thought. Of course, this description rightly places me among those whose thoughts on the subject simply do not matter. However, I am more than satisfied (and honored) with just having known such men. Jim
  6. CIB's being awarded to com engs

    Army mules ... you got to love them. After all, despite our increasingly mechanized force, they had a job to fulfill during the war, and they did it biting, kicking, and being generally fractious all the way...... kinda like our combat infantrymen. Perhaps Rocky can attest to the mulishness of your average combat infantryman. One wonders if immediately following the successful charge of Grant's Mule Brigade the Confederates did not hurriedly set about forming a Mule Brigade of their own. I can see it now. Ol' Stonewall turns to an aide and says, send in the Mule Brigade against the enemy's left flank..... that should throw 'em back. Jim
  7. CIB's being awarded to com engs

    Rocky, You bet. It is a shame the powers that be (were?) did not come up with the CEB and CTB as you suggest. That way everybody who saw combat could have had their own badge, although the War Department would have had to add a Combat Artillery Badge (CAB) and probably some others I can't think of at the moment. Oh, .... a Combat Signals Badge (CSB) for those poor linemen who were always out fixing the broken lines to the front lines. I've yet to talk with one of these guys who wasn't out under enemy artillery fire splicing wires so the guys up front (not too far away I'm sure) could call back and get the artillery on target or ask where the he?? the tanks were. Speaking of infantry in the mountains. General Devers, short on infantry, ordered a couple of battalions of armored infantry into mountain top positions in the French Alps, and when SHAEF found out what he had done he had to write a justification for his decision. According to my sources the real fun began when these "mechanized" armored infantrymen had to pack their mules, and lead them into the mountains. Apparently the mules caused more damage and injuries than the Germans. (Maybe they were secret weapon German mules specially bred by Adolph himself just for this purpose?) On a more serious and less generous note, I have to wonder if the CIB would be less attractive to the non-infantry types if it did not carry the BSM with it. Jim
  8. CIB's being awarded to com engs

    Robert, After some reflection on this matter of awarding the CIB to engineers, I came up with a few questions for you. Both Infantry and Armored divisions routinely created Task Forces to meet the changing demands of the battlefield. Often these task forces were built around an infantry battalion or infantry regiment, and were under the control of the battalion or regimental commanding officer. These task forces frequently included armor and engineers (organic and otherwise). These units supported the infantry's advances by direct fire. In other instances, the infantry might cross a waterway with tanks and engineers providing direct fire support and even crossing the waterway in the company of the infantry. According to your interpretation of the criteria for the CIB, the members of each of these supporting units, including the engineers, would be eligible for the award. So here is the question. Would the CIB be recommended only for the officers of the supporting units? Would it be necessary for a senior officer like Truscott to recommend the CIB before it could be awarded? Or would the members of each of these supporting units automatically be eligible for the CIB because they were engaged in combat alongside of and while attached to an infantry unit? If this is the case, in part or in full, then every soldier (assuming that you are wrong about the officers being eligible when the NCOs and enlisted men are not) who engaged in combat while in direct support of an infantry unit to which they were attached at the time in question, would be eligible for the CIB. Would you limit the CIB to just engineers or would the artillery FO be eligible? What about the tankers whose tank was knocked out and were forced to take refuge with (and fight alongside) the infantry they were supporting? Would the Forward Air Liaison be eligible if he opened fire on the enemy with his personal weapon? Once you start handing out the CIB to men in non-infantry units, where does it stop? In other words, what is the cut-off point, assuming there is one to be found within the model you have constructed? I look forward to reading your answers to these perfectly legitimate questions. Jim
  9. CIB's being awarded to com engs

    Robert, We have always spoken via telephone so I do not understand your reference to blocking my emails. I think you have me confused with someone else. Please note there is a tremendous difference in being assigned to an infantry unit and being attached to one. They are not the same thing. Do you not find it odd in the extreme that only the officers of the 540th were awarded the CIB? Were there not more than a few NCOs and enlisted men enrolled in this regiment? Did they not fight too? Why only the officers? The answer is rather obvious. This would certainly not be the only time that someone managed to slip one over on the guys in the War Department, now would it. And this is a pretty clear instance in which the officers managed to get some extra points on their service records while giving the enlisted men and NCOs the shaft. Please check the "Ethics Papers" at the CGSC Library for some insight regarding the ongoing problems with unethical recommendations and awards of military decorations. As to the Truscott letter,... he may very well have had good reason to request an exemption in the case of the 36th Engineers. However, the very fact that he is requesting such an exemption is proof that non- infantrymen were prohibited by the existing regulations from receiving the CIB, and that such an award to non-infantrymen required said exemption, and was probably quite rare. I look forward to seeing the contents of the reply you are expecting to receive from what I assume is an authoritative source. Jim
  10. CIB's being awarded to com engs

    Robert, You are mistaken. The requirement for the Infantry MOS listed above was included in Army Circular 186-1944. Jim
  11. CIB's being awarded to com engs

    Marion, As you know I represent veterans who served in engineers, signal, armored, infantry, artillery, supply and so on. This responsibility requires me to take a broader view of things than those who focus on only a single branch or corps or service. This provides me with an entirely different, and more balanced, perspective than might otherwise be the case. I think it dangerous to attempt to censor legitimate historical discussion on the award of the CIB to engineers, especially since you have "pinned" the thread at the top of the page to call attention to it. If your father met the requirements for the CIB, then he has a right to wear it. Is it listed on his DD214? Jim
  12. CIB's being awarded to com engs

    Robert, Although I respect your efforts to honor WWII veterans and to make certain they receive the awards and decorations they earned under Army Regulations I cannot agree with your contention that engineers be retroactively awarded combat infantry badges when they did not meet the contemporaneous official requirements for the award. The requirements for the CIB were rather straight forward, and attempts to revise them some 65 years after the fact do a disservice to those who actually met those requirements. Here is what Circular 286-1944 says regarding the eligibility requirements for the CIB according to the US Army Board for Corrections of Military Records. 10. War Department Circular 186-1944 provided that the CIB was to be awarded only to infantrymen serving with infantry units of brigade, regimental or smaller size. Additionally, World War II holders of the CIB received a monthly pay supplement known as combat infantry pay and holders of the EIB were entitled to expert infantry pay. Therefore, soldiers had economic as well as intangible reasons to ensure that their records were correct. Thus, pay records are frequently the best available source to verify entitlement to this award. The Awards Branch, Total Army Personnel Command, has advised in similar cases that, during World War II, the CIB was normally awarded only to enlisted individuals who served in the following positions: Light machine gunner (604); Heavy machine gunner (605); Platoon sergeant (651); Squad leader (653); Rifleman (745); Automatic rifleman (746); Heavy weapons NCO (812); and Gun crewman (864). This is pretty clear cut. It would, in my opinion, be better to stop trying to bend/stretch the regulations at such a late date, and consider obtaining recognition of the combat engineers in a different and more appropriate manner. Perhaps you might begin a campaign to have the US House of Representatives honor these combat engineer units in a House Resolution. That way the units in question receive the credit they are due without having to "go after" something they were not entitled to 65 years ago. Best Regards, Jim
  13. CIB's being awarded to com engs

    Robert, The letter is unsigned, undated, and carries no official letterhead. It would be very helpful if you could supply this information. As someone who deals with non-infantry veterans wanting a CIB, I can attest to the controversy such requests raise among infantry veterans who earned the award. As Gen. Marshall said, it was the only special thing the infantryman could hold up and say was his, so I am not generally in favor of handing out the award to men who fought as infantrymen for a few days, or in some cases, weeks. For example, on my bulletin board is a photo of an infantryman who first entered combat in N. Africa, and was fortunate enought to have survived Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, S. France, Nordwind, and so on with only a couple of Purple Hearts to show for his troubles. He told me his CIB means more to him than anything else the army gave him, and I think he earned it fair and square. I am equally certain there are special exceptions that should be honored by the Army, but sincerely hope they are kept to the bare minimum in order not to dilute Gen. Marshall's original intent. Robert, How goes your campaign to obtain Purple Hearts for former POWs who became ill or were injured during captivity? Jim
  14. Here is a little holiday gift for our friends and veterans of the VI Corps Engineers. (I don’t know if this is new information for most of you, or not, but thought to share it just in case.) Seventh Army Operations Instructions 24 November 1944 Number 19 Effective 0600A, 25 November 1944, the units listed below will be prepared to move on six (6) hours notice to an area or areas designated by CG VI Corps: 540th Engr Regt © with the following attached units: 85th Engr Bn (Hvy Ponton) 424 Engr Dump Truck Co Co “A”, 84th Engr Bn (Cam)(-Det) 69th Chem Smoke Gen Co 40th Engr Regt ©, with the following attached units: 1553rd Engr Bn (Hvy Ponton) Co “D”, 378th Engr Bn (Sep)(DT) 78th Chem Smoke Gen Co Det, Co “A”, 84th Engr Bn (Cam) Hqs & Hqs Det, 147th QM Bn (Mb1) with the following attached units: 829 Amphibious Trk Co 830 Amphibious Trk Co 831 Amphibious Trk Co 832 Amphibious Trk Co 3340 QM Trk Co (DUKW) Looks like these guys were getting ready to go somewhere. The date coincides with 6th Army Groups plans for VI Corps to cross the Rhine north of Strasbourg. Too bad Eisenhower stopped them since it is readily apparent that the German offensives in the Ardennes and Alsace would have been short-circuited by an entire American army group conducting a major offensive into the German heartland. Jim
  15. Rifle on the CIB?

    Thanks Marion. I sent Mr. Horton a message, but since he doesn't know me I was worried he might not take it seriously. As you probably noticed the link I provided takes you to the official webpage about the CIB on the US Army Insitute of Heraldry website. This is the official source of information regarding awards, decorations, and other devices worn by members of the US Army. Best Regards, Jim