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Operation Annie - December 13, 1944

Recorded Sound | RG Number: RG-91.0508

0:00: intro music
1:54: 1212 broadcasting, daily from 2 to 6. This is 1212 with news for the Rhineland. News from Front and Homeland for the citizens of the Rhineland and Saar-Pfalz. We will bring you the names of the villages that have been occupied by the enemy in the past 24 hours.
2:18: Front news:
Pfalz-Front: As the fights are approaching the borders of the Pfalz, the citizens of Karlsruhe, Raststatt and Ettlingen are already hearing the cannon fire through the winter air. Not even 20 kilometers South, American troops are standing on the west shore of the Rhine, just across from Raststatt. Across the river, first shots are being exchanged. North of Seltz which had to be evacuated by the Germans yesterday, American troops are chasing German troops that have to retreat into the Westwall. On a 23 kilometer front between the Rhine and the Blies there is an ongoing evacuation into the Westwall and the Pfalz. Only in some parts of the Maginot Lines the Germans were able to initiate retreat fights. In most case they were flanked by the Americans. Groups of grenadiers in the cut-off villages between Niederbronn and Wörth surrendered the fight. Wörth is now under American control.
Saar-Front: Blies area: The Americans are standing, today, on the German border north of the Blies. With a surprise attack at night, they advanced forward into Habkirchen, occupied it, and erected a bridge head. River downwards a second American bridge head was erected. By taking control over these two areas, the Americans are already in 20 kilometers range of the Westwall. Due to heavy losses and insufficient ammunition the SS had to quickly retreat under heavy fire. All streets from Saargemünd into the North are now under American control.
4:22: Saarlautern: In the Northeast of the town fights are still going on. The Americans are trying to proceed river downwards to Dillingen. The Streets in Saarlautern and Rhoden are wreckage fields. American grenadiers have to destroy house after house until they can fight the infantry in basement entryways and stairwells. The Americans are trying to make a path through the town towards the mainroad. The Germans are trying to stay in the safety of the houses. It is the same down the River in Dillingen. The bloody fight inside the Westwall has now been going on for 5 …*cut in audio*… is in cover, one house after the other has to be conquered in melee battle, especially at night bitter fights are going on. Sometimes flamethrowers are lighting up the streets towards the contested train station. The batteries of the Westwall that cannot participate in the street fights, are firing on the occupant’s outposts and the water splashes up high in the river bed and shore.
5:30: According to latest reports, the German counter attacks are dwindling under the attack of new American tank troops.
5:40: Düren-Front: the key position Düren is now under immediate threat from the North. In Woven and Mariaweiler, the Americans are not even 2 kilometers of the town border. Because of this advance from the North, due to growing pressure in the south, German troops are now driven out of the streets. From both flanks the artillery fire and bombs are hailing down close to their rows. Counterattacks are being destroyed by American Jabos. In the South the Germans hate to evacuate Schlicht and Derichsweiler to adjust their rows. They were able to cause the American troops heavy losses as those had to deal with minefields and heavy artillery fire. The heavily contest village of Pier is now occupied by the Americans, the Americans came out of the forest and took Gaidt(?). On the east shore of the Rühr new defense posts are being dug.
6:49: Air Combat: 1250 American bombers attacked shunting train stations at Hanau, Darmstadt and Leuna (?)
7:05: 1212 broadcasting. End of the front news, in the following broadcast we will report about the Panzer-Lehr-Division (Tank Training Division).
7:30: Report about the Tank Training Division: Throwing the Americans back over the Saar; Cutting them off on the other shore, ending the entire Saar offensive – Until 2 days ago that was the mission of the Tank Training Division. Over the hill sight of Saargemünd and Bitche, deep into Lothringen tanks and tank grenadiers should have lead an advance. At Avringe(?) at the Normandi the rest of six tank divisions were brought in. Here at the Saar only the Tank Training Division was left. That was 14 days ago. It was just missing the arrival of the 12th tank division “Hitlerjugend”. The plan was: for the 902nd tank grenadier regiment hold a line southeast of Saarunion, as meanwhile the 901st regiment would cross the river at Saarunion. When the Americans would then advance over the Saar, they should have been stopped by the Packs(?) of the 902nd. Then the 901st tank grenadier regiment would have advanced through the American advance road to separate the American tanks from their infantry. This would then destroy the vanguard of the 3rd American army. Meanwhile the Saar shore has only been defended sparsely. One expected the arrival of the announced “Hitlerjugend”, that was the plan. It was simple, plausible and effective, and its implementation, like then at the Normandi, was joyfully anticipated.
This was deemed an important operation, the officers even said: “When we are done with the Americans, we will go back home to Heilbrunn and Pforzheim.” The further defense of the Saar would then be left to the “Hitlerjugend”. Then came the execution. Before the Division could even reach their deployment. The Americans had already reached Saarunion and the other Saarshore, the Tank Training Division had to go into battle right then and there. The half trained tank units had to face the trained tanks of the 3rd army face to face. Again and again they were fought back, 2 kilometers daily, further and further from the Saar, over which the Americans brought more reinforcement. It took 10 days. The men were told every day: tomorrow or at the latest the day after that the “Hitlerjugend” must arrive.
And then yesterday, the rest of the Tank Training Division retreated. Entered the Westwall 25 kilometers from the Saar. Two thirds of their tanks are out of combat, the 901st and 902nd tank grenadier regiments lost 50% of their crew. None of the officers are now speaking of a calm training period behind the lines, in Heilbronn and Pforzheim. They are now only speaking of the planned evacuation into the Westwall, and the Saar offensive continues.
1212 brought you a report about the Tank Training Division.
11:20: transition music
11:39: names of the villages occupied by the enemy in the past 24 hours:
1212 broadcasting, in the past 24 hours a number of villages fell into the hands of the Americans:
In the Düren region: Pier (on the Street Altenhofen-Düren), Schlisch, Gey, Derichsweiler
In the Saar region: Habkirchen, Wiesbrück, near Saargemünd: Kleinräderschingen, Siersthal, Lambach about 6 kilometers West of Bitche
Following up we will provide you with the names of cities and villages that are under immediate threat:
In the Düren region: Hoven and Mariaweiler which are already being contested, Düren and Jülich
On the Saar-front: the cities Merzich, Saarbrücken and Dillingen; furthermore the villages of Ensdorf, Wiesdorf and Roden at Saarlautern which are already being contested. The garrison city Bitche is under threat of occupation too.
In the Pfalz region: Pirmasens, Herrlisheim a few kilometers off the Rhine
14:10: 1212 has been broadcasting the names of cities and villages that are under threat. In a couple of minutes we will bring you news for the Wehrmacht.
14:54: further villages that fell into the hands of the Americans are now being reported:
On the Rhine-Pfalz Front: Würth, Buntstätt, Dürenbach (north of Hagenau) and the city Hagenau.
15:14: 1212 is now broadcasting news for the Wehrmacht:
On the entire front the sky had been overcast yesterday with light rain, heavy snow fell on the Saar-front. In the foggy weather the troops fought in the mud of the Düren-front. Overall the temperatures were mild.
Yesterday, general field marshal of Rundstätt celebrated his 69th birthday. Oberbefehlshaber Wess is currently in Koblenz.
In the fights over the Saar the 1st German army lost over 73000 men. An estimated 31000 of them are no believed to be prisoners of war. The following divisions had made the most severe losses: the 559th Volksgrenadier Division that had just been created 4 months ago in Bitche, the 553rd Volksgrenadier Division, the 361st Volksgrenadier Division, and the 17th SS tank Division that recently had to be reinforced by a regiment from Hungary and Slovakia, the Tank Training Division that had to abort their training to participate in the defense fights against the Americans. The 486 A tank battalion lost 205 of its 480 men in the street fights in Ensdorf at the Saar. Many of them lie buried dead in the ruins of their bunkers the Americans destroyed.
17:14: end of news, this is 1212
17:28: transition music
18:08: in half an hour 1212 will bring news and music for the Rhineland and the Saar-pfalz, we are broadcasting daily from 2 to 6 every full hour.
18:30: transition music

Date
1944 December 13
Language
German
Credit
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
 
Record last modified: 2021-07-13 13:08:10
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn722555