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The U.S. Army at the Siegfried Line, October 1944

On 3 October 1944 elements of the U.S. Army 2nd Armored Division and 30th Infantry Division launched the attack on the Siegfried Line (Westwall) in the vicinity of Geilenkirchen, Waurichen and Alsdorf. When the offensive concluded on 7 October the Americans had advanced seven kilometers.
On 8 October more than 100 armored vehicles belonging the 2nd Armored Division's two Combat Commands (CCA & CCB) could be seen at bridgeheads.

The plan of attack called for the 2nd Armored Division to operate north and southeast of the starting point in the direction of Waurichen and Baseweiler and the 30th Infantry Division to operate to the south, in the direction of Alsdorf (Map). The 8 October imagery covered most of the battlefield from the border fortifications south-southwest of Geilenkirchen to bridgeheads on the outskirts of Immendorf and Oidweiler. Signs of battle, including evidence of vehicular movement and artillery shelling could be seen throughout the area.

U.S. Army 2nd Armored Division Geilenkirchen Waurichen

The attack was launched between Geilenkirchen and Übach-Palenberg. Fixed fortifications with wire, anti-tank ditches and pillboxes had been supplemented with new personnel and anti-tank trenching (Graphic 1). On 8 October, 73 tanks belonging to CCB were observed between Geilenkirchen an Waurichen. Two groups of tanks were deployed in arcs that defined the front lines: 15 tanks from CCB Task Force 1 were deployed immediately south of Geilenkirchen and 11 from Task Force 2 were east of Waurichen (Graphic 2). Twenty-two other tanks near the latter group were deployed in defensive formations. Most of the tanks deployed near the front were deployed in prepared revetments.

U.S. Army 2nd Armored Division tanks
U.S. Army 2nd Armored Division Geilenkirchen tanks at Waurichen

To the south, 36 tanks belonging to CCA (Task Force A) could be seen deployed near the front line between Baesweiler and Alsdorf. This group, just outside Oidweiler, had encountered an anti-tank ditch that had been crossed by eight tanks while others waited on the other side (Graphic 3).

U.S. Army 2nd Armored Division Baesweiler map
U.S. Army 2nd Armored Division tanks at Baesweiler

The European Theater of Operations: The Siegfried Line Campaign, Chapter XI; A Set Attack Against the West Wall (pages 251-269); published by the U.S Department of Defense (1963).

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