Hill 192

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Peter H
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Hill 192

Post by Peter H » 19 Apr 2008 05:57

Hill 192

http://www.germanwarmachine.com/fallsch ... 194445.htm

Gradually the Americans fought their way forward, suffering heavy losses in the process, until they were on the outskirts of St. Lô itself. The key to the town was Hill 192, a commanding height 4.8km (three miles) to the east. The defence of this feature was initially in the hands of the 3rd Battalion, 9th Parachute Regiment, and the 1st Battalion, 5th Parachute Regiment. Following a heavy artillery barrage, the US attack began at 06:00 hours on 11 July. Resistance was its usual fanatical self, and soon the Germans were feeding in new units to hold their positions: the 12th Parachute Gun Brigade, 3rd Parachute Reconnaissance Company and 3rd Parachute Engineer Battalion. However, all the Fallschirmjäger units were badly mauled in the fighting, and by the next day the 3rd Parachute Division was desperately scraping together its last reserves to form a new defence line south of the St. Lô-Bayeux highway. The nature of the fighting for the hill is described by a para who fought there, and shows that even élite troops have their mental and physical limits: "Carried my machine gun through the enemy lines into a slightly more protected defile and crept back again with another fellow to get the wounded. On our way back we were covered again with terrific artillery fire. We were just lying in an open area. Every moment I expected deadly shrapnel. At that moment I lost my nerve. The others acted just like me. When one hears for hours the whining, whistling and bursting of shells and the moaning and groaning of the wounded, one does not feel too well. Our company had only 30 men left (out of 170)." In three days of fighting the 3rd Parachute Division had lost 4064 men. By 14 July II Parachute Corps had no reserves left, and Meindl informed Rommel that, as he had received no replacements, he could not hold his present positions. But hold the paras did, at least until 27 July when US forces finally broke through at St. Lô. The "Battle of the Hedgerows" cost the US First Army 11,000 dead, wounded and missing between 7-22 July.


viewtopic.php?t=96533

The Enemy

Of more importance than the terrain was the enemy that defended Hill 192. In the first days of the fighting south of Omaha Beach, the enemy had been for the most part members of the static coast defenses, including Russians. As Hill 192 was approached, however, a new brand of opposition developed. These new defenders all wore mottled camouflage suits and all seemed to be armed with automatic weapons. They were’ soon identified as members of the 9th Parachute Regiment, 3d Parachute Division, who had been rushed from Brittany to halt this American penetration of the Normandy defenses.
They were clever, tenacious foes. They fired their “Burp’’ guns from trees, hedgerow corners, and buildings. During the period from 17 June to 11 July, while the Americans awaited the order to resume the attack, the paratroopers converted each hedgerow on the northern slope of Hill 192 into a maze of dugouts and firing positions. Tunnels were dug through the base of each hedgerow to afford apertures.
Firing pits dug along the tops of the hedgerows were zigzagged for greater protection. Machine guns as well as towed and selfpropelled antitank guns fired from prepared positions throughout the defended area. Movement laterally and to the front was covered by the hedgerows themselves and the many orchards and tree-lined trails throughout. Mortars were emplaced in countless positions covering every american position and avenue of approach. The Germans’ greatest asset was the caliber of the troops themselves.
They were always in the next hedgerow. Our patrols sent out at night were shot up hardly or gobbled up entirely. If we withdraw a hedgerow or two to bring down fire on their positions, they followed us back and were there again—in the next hedgerow. I watched as a group of paratroopers was being questioned after the hill had been captured. One ragged, bearded survivor expressed the spirit of the 3d Parachute Division when he was asked what he thought of the Americans now.
Looking, fixedly at his questioner he answered without hesitation: “Germany will win!”




The Attack on Hill 192, 11 July 1944

http://webpages.charter.net/lindacovington/hill192.htm


"A German Soldier's Last Letter":Hill 192

http://www.texasescapes.com/WorldWarII/ ... Letter.htm

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Peter H
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Re: Hill 192

Post by Peter H » 19 Apr 2008 06:07

Major Kurt Stephani,commander FJR9,awarded RK for his defence of Hill 192.

Photo from Kurowski

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Fallschirmjäger
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Re: Hill 192

Post by Fallschirmjäger » 19 Apr 2008 06:14

A realy interesting battle and wish i could see more pictures and maps maybe too of it,thanks for all the info Peter.

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Peter H
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Re: Hill 192

Post by Peter H » 19 Apr 2008 06:21

Photos from: ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-A-StLo/index.html

"View North from Hill 192"

Image

"German Machine-gun position"

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Peter H
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Re: Hill 192

Post by Peter H » 19 Apr 2008 06:27

GI with captured StG44 from Hill 192,poster yannick

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ ... ntry120896
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Peter H
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Re: Hill 192

Post by Peter H » 19 Apr 2008 06:45

Relics from Hill 192--FJ helmets

http://www.lerenfort.fsnet.co.uk/page124.html

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Fallschirmjäger
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Re: Hill 192

Post by Fallschirmjäger » 19 Apr 2008 07:00

Thanks Peter,and forgot this link or site i had,like there are quiet a few out there on the net too,the americans in the northern rhineland battles etc..Well just found the Ardennes-Alsace one which i did not have im shure.
And that 2nd link in the first post has some nice pictures of the area in 2002,and also see others for normandy,the rhineland,ardennes etc...,thanks

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/100-13/st-lo_0.htm
Lots of info,maps and pictures to im shure.
ST-LO/(7 July - 19 July 1944).

http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/r ... neland.htm
Rhineland/(15 September 1944-21 March 1945).
This may be as close as i get to the northern rhineland battles,unless others out there on the net dont know of?.

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Dan E. Moe
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Re: Hill 192

Post by Dan E. Moe » 20 Apr 2008 12:48

Did every FJ division include a Fallschirm-Aufklärungs-Kompanie? If so, which unit was it subordinated to?

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RFPB
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Re: Hill 192

Post by RFPB » 29 Apr 2008 22:44

I absolutely love that. "Germany will win!"

sonofsamphm1c
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Re: Hill 192

Post by sonofsamphm1c » 24 Feb 2009 19:43

My uncle was a battalion commander who led an assault of Hill 192 in June, 1944. The were to follow a rolling barrage. The assault failed. My uncle was badly wounded, but continued to lead his men until he had successfully extracted them from a messy situation. He was decorated for gallantry. Because of the severity of his wounds, he never returned to the war. He did remain in the reserve until retirement. When he reported to his superiors that they were up against German paratroops, they did not believe him - not at first anyway. One night he disarmed a large number of his men and sent their rifles, along with a stash of French wine they had discovered, to the beach where they were traded for Thompsons. The Thompsons arrived back at the front just before dawn. It was a big psychological lift for his men to have the Thompsons among their ranks.

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