The Final Crisis: Combat in Northern Alsace, January 1945
The Final Crisis is a rare account and insightful analysis of the fierce combat in Lower Alsace during Operation 'Nordwind' in January 1945, one of the last major German counterattacks during the war. From an hour before the last New Year's Day of the war until late January, this quiet corner of northeastern France was rent by a vicious attack intended to physically and politically split the French from the western Alliance. Ultimately involving 5 German and 2 American corps, some of the finest remaining German formations were thrown into this last toss of the dice against American units ranging from the highly-experienced 45th 'Thunderbird' Infantry Division to the completely green all-infantry task forces of the 42nd, 63rd, and 70th Infantry Divisions. Dangerously overextended to facilitate the adjacent Third Army's drive to relieve the pressure in the Ardennes 'Bulge', some Seventh Army units held, many bent, and an exceptional few even broke as the savage German drive came painfully close to driving a geographic and political wedge between the Americans in the north and their French allies in the south. In terrain varying from the crags and deep ravines of the frozen Vosges Mou
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The NORDWIND Challenge to Freedom
Approching the Final Effort
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12th Armored Division 17th AIB 1st Platoon 21st Panzer 232d Infantry 2d Platoon 3d Battalion 79th Division 79th Infantry Division After-Action Alsace ammunition antitank Army Group artillery assault attack barrage battle began bridgehead Captain cellar combat command Company Corps defense Drusenheim east edge Eisenhower enemy field fighting fire flank foxhole front Gambsheim German German tanks ground Haguenau Haguenau Forest Hatten headquarters heavy Herrlisheim Hitler ibid Infantry Division Infantry Regiment Ingram January January 18 jeep Kaltenhouse Kilstett Landgraben Lieutenant Bulkley Lieutenant Colonel Low Vosges machine gun Maginot Moder River morning mortar mountains moved Neubourg night NORDWIND Offendorf Ohlungen orders outpost patrol pillbox platoon positions railroad reported Rhine rifle Rittershoffen road Rohrwiller Saverne Schweighouse sector Sergeant Sessenheim Seventh Army shells side snow squad Story Strasbourg Tank Battalion tank destroyers town troops units weapons Weyersheim Wissembourg withdrawal wounded Zorn