Battle of Wingen-sur-Moder: Operation Nordwind
by Wallace Robert Cheves, Colonel, Infantry, Army United States, Retired
Revised Edition Edited by Steven K. Dixon
Merriam Press World War II History
eBook not available
Paperback - ISBN 978-1435757387 - $14.84
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This is the story of the battle of Wingen-sur-Moder, an important village leading to the Alsatian Plain. If German forces had captured this town in the early days of Operation Nordwind, and had been able to release their reserve Panzer divisions into the plain, the war might have been lengthened.
Colonel Cheves commanded the U.S. forces involved in the battle. The 2nd Battalion of the 274th, along with troops from the 276th and supporting elements, defeated two battalions of the battle-hardened 6th SS Mountain Division (Nord). This book, along with Seven Days in January by Wolf Zoepf, gives a complete picture of this important battle.
Operation Nordwind, launched December 31, 1944, was Hitler's last major offensive. Its' objective—take Alsace Lorraine, split the U.S. Seventh and Third Armies, link up with the Germans in the Colmar Pocket and continue south, routing the French Army.
On December 31, 1944, 2nd Battalion of the elite 6th Mountain Division attacked Wingen-sur-Moder in Alsace Lorraine and took some 200 POWs, members of the 45th Division. At that time the 275th and 276th Infantry Regiments of the 70th Division were committed to halt the German advance, re-take Wingen and free the American GIs. The 274th Infantry Regiment of the 70th moved in to fill the gap between the 275th and 276th, on 4 January 1945. On 5 January they advanced to the edge of Wingen-sur-Moder and on 6 January began an attack of the German forces.
On the evening of 6 January, the Germans launched a counterattack, which was repulsed by G Co., 274th.
On the morning of 7 January, the 200+ American prisoners were freed and Wingen-sur-Moder cleared of all German soldiers, and the German offensive in that area brought to a halt.
The 2nd Battalion, 274th Infantry was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its' actions in Wingen—almost unheard of for a unit in its initial combat.
This is a completely revised edition of Col. Cheves' work originally entitled L'Operation Nordwind et Wingen-sur-Moder (first published privately in 1978 and again in 1979). The book was originally photocopied or mimeographed and distributed to 70th Division veterans. The pictures did not look good and text sometimes ran off the margins. With the help of computer technology, the text, pictures and maps have all been enhanced.
Foreword to New Edition by Steven K. Dixon
Foreword: The American Perspective by Fred Cassidy, CO, G/274
Foreword: The German Perspective by Linus Maier and Karl Neumer
The Battle for Wingen-sur-Moder
Infantry Attacks Through the Village
The Final Day
Aftermath and Reconciliation
Report by Samuel B. Conley, CO, 274th Infantry Regiment
Distinguished Unit Citation: 2nd Battalion, 274th Infantry Regiment
Killed in Action (KIA), Wingen-sur-Moder, 2nd Battalion, 274th Infantry
Wounded in Action (WIA), Wingen-sur-Moder, 2nd Battalion, 274th Infantry
Unit Report, 2-4 January 1945
Unit Report, 6-7 January 1945
242 6x9-inch pages;
Bibliography, Select Reading List, References, 15 photos, 5 illustrations, 6 maps, 2 tables, foot-notes
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