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Operation Annie - December 18, 1944

Recorded Sound | RG Number: RG-91.0512

1:28: Front News: German units are infiltrating the American front line through gaps, the Reich is investing its last resources in these counterattacks, overrunning American footholds. Tank divisions have been trained and mobilized from other areas of the Reich. The first convoy is being led by the SS tank divisions, leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and Hitlerjugend. The second convoy is being led by the 2nd and 116th tank divisions. New methods and strategies are being used: many members of the tank divisions are now wearing American uniforms, their tanks and trucks depict a white star. These Special Forces should be recognizable by their swastika arm-ties. They were instructed to fight day and night. Especially Tank Grenadiers are instructed to attack at night as they will not have to fear a Jabo (Jagdbomber) attacks at dark. During the day the Luftwaffe will support their efforts. Messages by Generalinspekteur Generaloberst Goderian and Oberbefehlshaber West have been announced. They are saying that what you (the troops) will lose in sweat today, you will save yourself in blood. According to the latest reports the tank convoys have only been subject to minor resistance, there have not yet been noteworthy attacks. German Jabo Divisions have been attacking American defense positions yesterday. There has been a lot of air combat between the American bombers and the German Jabos along the frontline. Around 250 German Jabos have been attacked by American air fighters. The weather is clear today, and the convoys are under attack by the nightly air fighters. The German infantry is pushing up against the American lines. An infantry attack over the Sauer brought German divisions to Esternach and Berdorf (Luxembourg). 20km northeast of Luxembourg the Americans started heavy counterattacks. The battle is still ongoing.
5:23: Pfalz Front: The Americans are now completely in control of the Lautertal. The City of Weissenburg and the Villages Schweigen and Rechtenbach fell. Further in the West, Notweiler Wowental have been taken by the Americans. Americans are now infiltrating through the Westwall. Many Units have been cut off by the rapid advances.
6:22: Saarfront: The Americans are making progress in their march towards the Saar. The Germans have lost a lot of ground in the Area. Artillery fire has destroyed two rail transports on the Vorbach-Trier route. The Airstrikes are continuing. Tonight Airstrikes have destroyed 45 motor vehicles that were in a convoy.
7:30: Roehrfront: north of the German breakthrough the American continue their attack on Duehren. Roelsdorf and Lendersdorf have both been evacuated by the Germans. The Americans are now standing in a 23km Front along the Ruehr (between Juelich and Kuferath). The fights in Kesternich are still ongoing.
8:41: Villages now taken over by the Americans: Dueren: Roelsdorf, Lendersdorf, Saar Pfalz fronts: Notweiler, Botental, Rechtenbach, Schweigen, Scheibenhart, Weissenburg.
9:50: Names of the Villages under Threat: Dueren: Dueren, Juelich, Saar Pfalz fronts: Bundenthal, Erlenbach
11:00: eyewitness report of the new German offensive: Sunday before dawn German troops lined up at the Sauer waiting for orders to cross the river in order to take over Esternach and Berdorf. The attack was initiated by heavy artillery fire, forcing the Americans out of their outposts. Using artificial fog, German troops (battalions of the 212th Volksgrenadier division) then crossed the river in dinghies (around 10 men per boat). Upon docking on the side of the river, German troops then had to cross minefields. Although many lost their life the reinforcement was able to continue the attack on Esternach and Berdorf, leading to melee combat. American counterattacks are in progress. The preparations for this attack were overall very secretive. It was not until the very evening before that the regiment’s commandeur made his announcement to the troops. As a security measure troops then had to hand in flashlights, matches and candles as the operation called for complete darkness. The troops knew how serious the situation at hand was, was they were only instructed to carry ammunition and rations for two days, leaving behind gas masks and some weaponry. All this was part of the plan for the big offensive. The troops were told to fight day and night, and to not stop until they reached the Spanish Pyrenees.

1944 December 18
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:00:05
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