Flat Tires

Compiled, edited and published by Historical Section, Second Cavalry Association
Maj. A. L. Lambert and Cpt. G. B. Layton, 2d Cavalry

old-computer-ii-259Carter N. Catlett, Troop A, 42d Squadron

6 – 10 March, 1945

Remember Orenhofen (map 35)? The night before we hit Zemmer (map 35), TF Cherry of 10th Armored rolled into town (it was about midnight), and broke out in a rash of Nebelwerfers. Sweet sounding little thing that wailed like a banshee and went off like a volcano burping. They just couldn’t seem to run out of them, and kept us warmed up for the attack all night.

It was a good thing we were making the attack dismounted, for there wasn’t a wheeled vehicle in A Troop that would run, come morning. 57 flat tires, and one armored car setting smack on top of a jeep.

Then too, there was one of those ugly 8 inch babies sticking into the ridge of our house (one of those still standing) waiting for one of us to cough. We went out of that place on our tiptoes. Yes, I remember it pretty well.

The remainder of the Squadron began crossing the Kyll river by the Speicher bridge (map 35) on the night of 6 – 7 March, moving to Priest (map 35).

Zemmer was attacked the morning of the 7th and overrun by 1030. 10 Germans were killed, one officer and 60 men taken prisoner during the street fighting. Three AT guns were destroyed. Troop C attacked and enveloped Schleidweiler (map 35) at 1400 and captured the town and 16 prisoners by 1830. Buck Harris, S/Sgt. Garo and Pfc. Jake Klegar entered the town of Schleidweiler under a flag of truce, to convince the enemy that they were greatly outnumbered and to continue the fighting was hopeless. The enemy, though well armed and seemingly in a fighting mood, permitted the approach of the three men, and so fearlessly did they advance and so convincingly did they present an overwhelming tactical picture, that the defenders were convinced that resistance was hopeless and surrendered the town.

Some fighting continued for a while around Zemmer the next morning. 15 more prisoners were taken during the mopping up. B Troop attacked east at 0600. Heavily wooded and muddy terrain, road blocks and mines slowed the advance. Greverath (map 35) was finally captured at 1820 after an advance of 6 kilometers. 11 prisoners were taken, and an attack immediately launched on Gladbach (map 35), which fell at 2200.

The attack progressed rapidly to the east, town after town falling to the Second Cavalry, and by the 10th the 42d Squadron made contact with the 10th Armored at Wittlich (map V)(map 35).

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