ALPEN ( ALPON) Germany. Op „Blockbuster“ and „Veritable“ Feb.-March 1945
Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:47 AM
Hello. I´m am searching for Photos. Documents and facts from my Town ALPEN ( ALPON) in Germany or other nearest Towns ( Veen, Bönninghardt incl.Field Airport, Forest the LEUCHT, Menzelen, Issum, Sonsbeck and so on.) Inv. Units: 3 British Div , 53rd Welsh Div, 52nd Lowland Div, Guards Armd. Div,4th CDN Armd. Div, 4/5th RSF,6/7th Cameronias, or other units from 16th US Corps( 30th Inf Div, 119th.Thank you very much.
Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:51 AM
Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:31 AM
My handicap is my bad english. If you like you can translate it for everybody.
Oder hat ALPON taktische Gründe? Damit man sich nicht durch den deutschen Begriff „die Alpen“ (Das Gebirge) irritieren lässt. Es gibt ja sehr viele deutsche Wörter die sich auf „die Alpen“ beziehen z.b.: Alpenvorland, in den Alpen, Hochalpen etc. Und das ist wahrscheinlich nicht so leicht sinngemäß zu übersetzen. Als Beispiel: London is not in the Highlands, not nearby the Highlands, and not in the Lowlands. Das ist logisch und leicht zu übersetzen. Aber wie würdest Du übersetzen: Alpen ist nicht in den Alpen, nicht in der Nähe der Alpen, und nicht im Alpen Vorland? Alpon is the village, Alpen are the hills. Maybe? It is only an idea.
It easier to found something in WWW if you wrote ALPON than Alpen.
The map I found it in the WWW. By research. Under ww2+Alpon+Blockbuster+march 1945
Posted 16 December 2011 - 11:26 AM
I had found the ammunition ca. 25 years ago in Bönninghardt.I had sandblasted it and preserved with clear varnish. Total height : 385 mm, diameter at coppering ca. 90 mm. On the top a scale from 0-22 and in the middle: SAFE
What ammunition is it? I think that is something for Philip,
Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:37 AM
It begins with a joke under view friends, all deal with the history of Alpen, by drinking a lot of bier, and the idea to dig out this bunker. Most of us play inside as young boys. In meanwhile the bunker is filled with earth. One of these guys works in our municipal administration and as soon as possible he got the allowance to dig out. (Mad as a hatter)
If you like to be present I´ll contact you.
@ all : Merry Xmas and a happy new year.
Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:40 PM
On the way to Alpon the Battalion liberated a monastery and my father and Jack Rafferty further liberated eight bottles of Communion wine from its cellars. They moved to the outskirts of Alpon and dug in. Rafferty and my dad shared a slit trench, or a fox hole as the yanks so aptly named them, and decided they would have a bottle, etc., etc., etc. until finally they couldn't give a monkeys about Von cluck. Suddenly they were shelled heavily, and a large piece of shrapnel tore a tree in half a foot away from their heads. Needless to say they sobered up immediately, and never touched another drop. Rafferty says this was probably due to the fact that they had drunk it all anyway! The Battalion suffered several casualties during the mortar fire. However peaceful the scene of the moment may seem, hell could envelop the Battalion at a split second's notice and be sustained for hours. Once trouble had commenced it was too late for the improvident ones to make up for their laziness, and the penalties could be drastic. The old hands who had survived with the Battalion so far were the most diligent in their care of excavation and choice of site of their slit.
The assault on Alpon began in the early hours of the 9th March with a slow descent from the plateau of Bonninghardt at the same time as the 4/5th R.S.F. were making a wide sweep to the left. Then enter the town at its north-west corner. The 6th Battalion Cameronians were to enter at the north of the town, always keeping on the left flank of the 4/5th Fusiliers. In support, the divisional artillery worked out an elaborate fire plan partly designed to conceal from the enemy the point at which the 4/5th R.S.F. would enter the place. At the last minute though this had to be abandoned because it was reported that the Americans had taken Huck, less than a mile to the south. As a result the Fusiliers and Cameronians had almost certainly tougher fighting in and around Alpon. The first objective allotted to D Company was a strongly fortified group of farm buildings just north of Alpon station occupied by German paratroops. The boche put up a determined resistance, fighting to the last. JackRafferty and my dad thought their last days had come. They weren't the only ones to think that on that day. Out of a complement of 100, 34 were killed or wounded that morning in hand to hand battle with the paratroops. The Company was awarded the Military Cross, two Military Medals, a mention in dispatches, and a Divisional Commanders Certificate.
In one pocket, Jack Rafferty, Jimmy Reading, Peter Conelly, Joe Lockhead, and my dad, were trapped behind an outhouse, and to get past it they had to move out into a Spandau machine guns line of fire. Jimmy Reading tried it, only to get a burst of machine gun fire right across his chest. He fell at their feet, screaming for his mum. Rafferty, my dad, Peter Connely, and Joe Lockhead grabbed him and carried him back to safety. They never saw him again but did hear that he made it home. It was dawn on the 9th March before the 4/5th R.S.F. had got well round the town, and not before they had suffered severely. The 7th Cameronians had got to their objective without undue difficulty, but on the left the sister Battalion, the 6th, had run into grievous trouble. In the last of the battles for the Wesel pocket the Battalions casualties were 4 officers and 169 other ranks. It was somewhat galling for the troops involved to hear on the BBC that night that the town of Alpon had been successfully captured by the Americans.
The night of the 9/10th March was the last night of fighting the Wehrmacht on the Western bank of the Rhine. That same night was spent by the divisional staff in planning another immediate advance towards Menzelen, which happened to be a bloodless victory. From Alpon the 156th Brigade moved forward to defensive positions on the West bank of the Rhine between Wesel and Xanton at the towns of Gest and Veen, awaiting the build-up to the crossing of the Rhine on the 24th March. It was at this time that the 7th Cameronians were transferred to the 157th Brigade.
Posted 11 January 2012 - 02:21 PM
The Wesel Pocket
The Battalion, having embussed in TCVs, set off dead on time from Twisteden for Issum. It was an uneventful run and, on the way, we passed through the fair-sized town of Geldern which had received a terrific pounding from the air. We though it was bad enough but, in fact, it was nothing to what we were to see later. At Issum we took over from the 1st Ox and Bucks and, as we were in a semi reserve rôle, all troops were put into billets. The nearest enemy was reckoned to be at Alpon, a mile or two away. The following day we were instructed to take over from the 7th Cameronians who were in the woods south of Alpon and were thought likely to be involved with the 4/5 Royal Scots Fusiliers in the contemplated attack on Alpon. To this end reconnaissance parties with the Commanding Officer left Issum at 8.45 a.m. to clear up the position.
The Battalion had been warned to be ready to move off by march route but the entire position was obscure - by late afternoon the 7th Cameronians had not yet received orders to move. The reconnaissance parties accordingly returned to the Battalion. Brigade were still of the opinion that at least two companies of the Cameronians would become involved but that no move was likely before 5 p.m. This uncertainty was dispelled at 9.30 p.m. when two of our companies, C and D, were ordered to take over from their opposite numbers forthwith. The remainder of the Battalion got their marching orders and hour and a half later.
The march wasn't at all pleasant. The noises of war were audible everywhere and the blackness of the night in conjunction with our progress along muddy tracks through thick woods gave an extreme feeling of eeriness. The whole area had been a supply point for the Siegfried Line and was literally stacked high with all sorts of German ammunition. However we arrived at Battalion Headquarters of the 7th Cameronians without undue worry and were there met with the unwelcome news that, after all, the Cameronians were not to move that night. This meant the fixing of a Battalion concentration area and rapid digging-in if we were to get any sleep-shells were known to land in the area! Luckily the soil was sandy and digging was not difficult. Everyone set to work with a will and in a very short time all men were below ground.
At 7.15 a.m. the Cameronians reported that their C and D Companies were to be placed under command of the 4/5 Royal Scots Fusiliers. Our own C and D Companies were therefore ordered to take over the vacated positions at 8 a.m. Within an hour it was intimated that the whole Battalion was to take over from the Cameronians and this move was reported to Brigade as having been accomplished successfully by 11.50 a.m. The area was not a pleasant one - it was all heavily wooded and brought back unpleasant recollections of the time we had spent in the Geilenkirchen area a few months earlier. The enemy was not content to sit back and do nothing- shells were landing continuously without doing very much damage although A Company were unfortunate in this respect in that they suffered three splinter casualties. Work was commenced right away on the improvement of the existing trenches. Dug-outs were made as habitable as possible and were roofed with tree trunks which were in plentiful supply. It might almost be said that these dug-outs we made were the finest ever constructed by the Battalion. We had plenty of experience now! As things turned out, however, we never really occupied them and all our prodigious labours were for nothing.
At 3 p.m. the Colonel received the information that the Battalion was likely to be on the move by 8.30 that evening to take over from the Coldstream Guards somewhere in the area of Menzelen and that he was to attend a Brigade 'O' Group immediately. Prior to leaving the Battalion, the Colonel summoned his 'O' Group and instructed it to move forward to meet him if ordered. There was an air of tension about the whole proceedings which augured no good. At 4 p.m. the 'O' Group was ordered forward to Headquarters Scots Guards to be there by 5 p.m. It was here we learned that we were definitely to take over from the Coldstreams that night, the positions having been captured by them during the afternoon after a bloody battle. This battle had most definitely not subsided for the company areas were reconnoitred under a storm of shot and shell such as we had seldom had to suffer. 88mm shells were whizzing overhead, Spandaus were firing and that instrument of death, the nebelwerfer was landing its bombs just as fast as the Boche could fire it. We had always been a lucky Battalion and never had our luck been more evident than it was that night for the sky itself was pitch black but the whole area was vivid with the light of burning houses and exploding shells and nebelwerfer bombs and yet withal the Battalion got into position with only three casualties - one officer wounded (Lieutenant Stinson of B Company), one man killed and one man wounded. The furious cannonade by the enemy continued through the night and only stopped at about 5 o'clock in the morning. He had thrown in the sponge and retired across the Rhine over the Wesel bridge which he later demolished.
At the time we were not definitely aware of this withdrawal although the unusual quiet seemed to suggest it. At 10 a.m. we were informed that Brigade was taking no chances and had ordered 7/9 Royal Scots to put in an attack on Rill. At the time of receipt of this message the Royal Scots were halfway to their objective without opposition. On Rill being taken we were to move forward. Simultaneously a patrol was ordered to move north east along the railway line a few hundred yards beyond Menzelen. The patrol duly left and returned shortly afterwards with five German deserters who declared that Menzelen was clear. It was becoming increasingly evident that our suspicions regarding the enemy withdrawal were proving true and the Commanding Officer ordered A and B Companies to move forward. At 11.20 a.m. we were advised by Brigade that the 1st Glasgow Highlanders, whose task it was to occupy Menzelen, had encountered opposition and that A Company was not to move meantime but that B Company was to be allowed to proceed. By 11.20 A Company was also on the move, having been instructed to act as cut-off to any enemy trying to escape from Menzelen. An hour after midday B Company reported themselves in position without difficulty and that several R mines had been encountered en route. The Pioneers were sent forward to deal with these. Enemy deserters were now being brought in and, in no time at all, we had accumulated a batch of forty two. By the evening the whole Battalion had moved forward to a new area east of where we had spent that fearsome night.
The night of 10/11th March produced no excitement whatsoever and the troops were able to get a good rest. The whole morning of the 11th was quiet and by 12.25 we had been informed that the whole west bank of the Rhine was clear and that we were to take over a stretch of the river in the area of Marienbaum which was north west of our present position. We were to be at two hours notice with effect from 1 p.m. Reconnaissance parties under command of Major Bell left at 1.15. The rest of the Battalion waited, enjoying the quiet and rest after the unwonted noise, until the Commanding Officer was summoned to an 'O' Group after 5 o'clock. On his return the two hours notice was reduced to one hour. TCVs had been ordered up and by midnight we were off on our travels once more.
But again no images. Regards Uwe
Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:20 AM
Is it possible to get somewhere a Photo from the top of the church tower in Alpen, with Eisenhower and Simpson? I found that:
822nd Military Police Company
The Forgotten “Supporting Cast” of the Ninth Army :
On this same day, there was an air drop at Wesel, Germany, which dropped over 14, 000 troops, along with vehicles, weapons and ammunition. From a church tower in Alpen, General Eisenhower and General Simpson watched the airborne assault.
Best regards Uwe
Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:33 AM
on scandoc 008 you can see:
Photo #1 – Coal mine at Lintfort 23 Mar.
#2 – Church at Alpon
#3 – Coal mine at Lintfort
#4 – Gen. Eisenhowwer’s Jeep in front of Hotel (Divisiion Hq) 24 Mar 1945 Alpon
#5 – Church in Alpon with B-26 returning from parachute jump across Rhine on 24 March
#6 – View of Alpon from hill E of town 3/24
Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:47 PM
134th Infantry Regiment Combat History Table of Contents
As mentioned the US 30th Infantry Division staged near Alpen for Operation Plunder. It appears the 3d Battalion of the 119th Infantry was nearest Alpen. A very brief mention of Alpen was made by the Executive Officer of "L" Company in his memoir which can be found here:
David Knox Journal
(see section 8 for the preparations for the Rhine crossing)
Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:12 AM
@ Earthican. The last month I had a few interesting Mail contacts to these units. But they also had no more information’s or images for me. The last weeks I work together with the 137/35 Association and the 784th Tk Bat. They sent me her AAR´s and I locate there fighting points on a Today Map.
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