ARDENNES - ALSACE CAMPAIGN
DRIVE TO THE SIEGFRIED LINE
The first of March saw Allied forces attacking all along the front. The American 1st and 9th Armies reached the Rhine River in the central section, and on 7 March the Remagen Bridge was seized before it could be blown and American troops poured across the Rhine. Pattons 3rd Army reached the Rhine and turned south, hemming in a large German force in the Saar-Palitinate area. The 36th Division began to drive northward through Mietsheim on 15 March. It broke the German Moder River defenses, cleaned out the western part of the Hagenau woods, and bridged the Moder River. As the Divisions momentun increased it crossed and bridged the Zintel and the Sauer Rivers. The 142nd was then motorized for a swift thrust to the Siegfried Line. Relieving the 143rd at Gunstett on the Sauer River, the 142nd by noon on 19 March had captured Wissembourg, the last major bastion before the Siegfried Line. And by early afternoon the 36th Division had entered Germany and was before the Siegfried Line.
During the drive from the Moder River Line to Wissembourg the U.S, 36th Division found itself face to face with the German 36th Division and soundly defeated it at Gunstett and the three river crossings.
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