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US Army

Action at Sadzot with the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion

Action at Sadzot with the

509th Parachute Infantry Battalion.

 
Combat Interview

By Captain Robert C. Healey

Information & History Service

NARA documents (1945)

 
The enemy was succeeding in his drive towards Manhay and had overrun or isolated numerous positions to the south.  He had reached by evening of 27th December a line running Manhay, Grandmenil, La Fosse and along the Aisne River.
 
The 75th Infantry Division had been rushed down to man a MLR on these points but a gap in the lines between Forge al Plez (476867) and Haie du Pouhon (487868) was discovered by the enemy and quickly exploited.  Further exploitation would cut the lateral communications road.
 
The 509th Battalion was alerted at 0300 hours on 28 December in its bivouac area at Erezee (451903) to move on Sadzot (474894), 400 yards off the main road which had been overrun by an enemy Battalion – a mixed group of Hitler Jugend, SS and paratroops.  The town was attacked by a pincer movement, Company "C" coming down Clerheid( 474908) and Company "A" from Erezee.  Line of departure was the main road.
 
The companies joined up at 0600 hours and proceeded to clean out the town.  By noon 33 PW's had been taken and there were 30 known enemy dead.  In early afternoon Company "B", brought back to Battalion, came up to man the defenses of Sadzot while the other two companies prepared to move on to close the gap.
 
At 0834 hours on 29 December, they moved forward, supported by three medium tanks and three lights, discovering quickly that a fresh Battalion had been thrown against them.  They met this new Battalion and the remnants of the one which had penetrated to Sadzot in a firefight which was the fiercest some of the men claim they've seen.  There was violent small arms resistance, and the enemy had managed to move through the gap two 76mm antitank guns to (4888) which knocked out one light and one medium tank.
 
Extensive enemy mine fields had already been laid.  In the face of heavy resistance the companies pivoted to the left.  In the 2-day action the companies already under strength had losses of 120.
 
The CG of the 75th Infantry Division sent in the 1st Battalion of the 112th Infantry Regiment to clear the sector and close the gap.  As the Battalion moved in, the 509th took over patrol duty, clearing out remnants in the woods south and east.
 

Commemorative's plaque at SADZOT
(Photo H. Rogister)
 

Source: Combat Interview from NARA: National Archives = 1945

 

By Captain Robert C. HEALEY

509th Parachute

Infantry Battalion

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium