VI. Battle of Mons

With the Allies fast moving offensive both to the north and the east proving a serious threat to its rear, the German 15th Army began pulling out of its defensive positions along the English Channel and moving back to man the prepared defenses of the Siegfried Line.

Our first contact with this fleeing army came in the vicinity of Laon, France, where an enemy column was surprised and countless enemy were slaughtered in a fast-moving battle. This proved to be the prelude to the "Battle of Mons".

On the night of September 2 elements of the enemy's forces moving from west to east had cut in behind the Third Armored Division, cutting off the division command post from the combat teams. One platoon of Company "C" was sent North along the Maubege-Mons road along with on battalion of the 26th Infantry Regiment to serve as a reserve force for the Third Armored Division. At Bettigmes the force ran into opposition which began the fast-moving series of clashes which resulted in the decisive outcome.

On September 3, tanks of the 745th Tank Battalion were moving north on parallel routes with one platoon of tanks forming the spearhead for each battalion of infantry and began hitting the German columns broadside as they continued their headlong flight to the east. Company "B" was on the left in vicinity of Bavai with the 18th Infantry Regiment; Company "C" was in the middle along the Maubege-Bettigmes-Mons road with the 26th Infantry Regiment, and Company "A" and Company "D" were on the right, moving from Maubege to Givry and then to Mons with the 16th Infantry Regiment.

There have been varying estimates of the size of the enemy force, but the First Infantry Division G-2 report dated October 31, 1944, states that a total of five enemy divisions were completely destroyed. These were the 6th Parachute, 18th GAF, 47th Infantry, 275th Infantry and 348th Infantry. Other estimates said that about 30,000 men and 1,500 vehicles were involved.

When the magnitude of the German force became apparent, an air support mission was called, and dive bombers arrived to bomb and strafe the roads. Following the air attacks and even during them, the tanks of the 745th moved in to complete the slaughter of any troops showing willingness to fight and capturing many others who were too dazed and confused to resist.

There was no front. The Third Armored Division was to the north of the main body of enemy troops, and the First Infantry with the 745th was to the south of the main elements. However, after their vehicles had been shot up and the roads choked with wrecks and debris, innumerable groups of the enemy began wandering around in all directions, thoroughly disorganized. Moreover, additional columns following the original column continued to arrive in the area and make the situation even more confusing. Tanks and infantry would mop up an area and then a few hours later receive a report that a new mass of enemy had been sighted in the same locality.

There were enemy hiding in every woods, every village and every possible hiding spot. It was only through the firepower and mobility of the tanks of the

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