1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

Operations of the 22nd Inf Regiment in the Hürtgen Forest

 

   

Map of Europe showing
the front lines,
December 1944.
In green is the area of
the Hürtgen Forest,
astride the German border
south of the city of Aachen.

Map copyright ©
Akhil Kadidal

Used with permission
of the artist.*

 

*****

 

The battles for the Hürtgen Forest area of Southwestern Germany began
on September 19, 1944 and effectively ended on February 10, 1945.
In November the 4th Infantry Division entered the battle, and participated
in some of the most horrendous action of the US Army during the war.
Either all or part of ten different US Divisions took part in the battles
during the above time frame. Casualties were extremely high.
US losses were at least 24,000 dead, wounded, and missing, along with
9,000 non battle casualties caused by trenchfoot, frostbite and exhaustion.

The German artillery fire was devastating. Every part of the forest was pre-zeroed in
by German artillery plotters. Tree bursts rained down not only steel shrapnel on
the Americans, but also wood splinters from the trees became deadly shrapnel as well,
along with falling tree trunks which could crush a man.

A German howitzer fires against an American attack in the Hürtgen Forest, November 22, 1944.
It appears to be a 10.5cm (105mm) leFH 16, and the photo has captured the barrel in full recoil.

Photo from the German Federal Archive (Bundesarchiv)

 

 

The 4th Division was so badly affected by casualties
it had to be pulled from the front lines to recover and rebuild.
The 22nd Infantry Regiment sustained the highest number of casualties
of any single Regiment involved in the campaign.
Estimated figures for the 22nd Inf were put at 2,678 casualties of all types.
This included 233 killed and 1,730 wounded.
These casualties were incurred during a period of 18 days.

 

Three Soldiers of the 4th Division received the Medal of Honor for their actions
in the Hürtgen Forest. One of these Soldiers was Macario Garcia,
a member of Company B, 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry.

 

The following account of the 22nd Infantry Regiment's participation
in the Hürtgen Forest battles was written by Major Frederick T. Kent,
who served as the Regimental S-4 during the period covered.
This monograph by Major Kent is part of the permanent collection
of the US Army Center of Military History.

 

The attack by the 4th Infantry Division into the Hürgten. The three Battalions of the 22nd Infantry
assaulted the German positions at Grosshau, taking the town on November 29.
*

 

**********************

 

 

 

* Maps courtesy of the artist, Akhil Kadidal
copyright © 2011 by Akhil Kadidal

For more WW2 resources see the artist's website:

Hermes' Wings

 

 


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