Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 1944; SAARLAUTERN IN FLAMES:


Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday Morning, December 3, 1944

First, Ninth Smash to Roer River
Against Heavy Nazi Opposition;
Seventh Clears Strasbourg Pocket
Allies (Official)—By Associated Press
PARIS, Dec. 2—American troops .entered two anchor points of the main defenses of the German reich Saturday—flaming Saarlautern, important Saar basin industrial city into which they
penetrated deeply, and Julich, where they drove into the outlying part of the town on the western side of the River Roer.
At both Saarlautern and Julich, the Americans face river barriers. Julich, key point to the Cologne plain, lies mainly on the eastern side of the Roer. Across the Saar from Saarlautern, burning from aerial assaults, Siegfried line positions were dented by other air bombardments.
Terrific Battle
In the terrific battle on the edge of the Cologne plain, the U. S. First army at Inden and the U. S. Ninth army at Julich were encountering the heaviest opposition of the winter offensive. U. S. Seventh army troops wiped out the last remnants of the German bridgehead at the approaches to t h e now demolished Rhine bridges in Strasbourg.
Following attacks by nearly 250 medium and light U. S. Ninth air force bombers which left Saarlautern in flames and tore open near-by Siegfried line defenses. Third army doughboys entered the Saar city at two points. The Americans then fanned out over most of that part of the city which lies west of the Saar river.
Hold Mile Stretch
The 90th and 95th divisions, with elements of the 10th armored division screening them to the north, now hold a 14-mile stretch, along the Saar between Merzig and Saarlautern. The vital Saar basin has been gouged deeply by Third army advances, but the river still is a barrier to the greater part of this heavily industrial region. The Germans apparently hope to make a strong stand along this natural line.

Russians Near
Austria, Rip
Hungary Lines
Russia (Official)
By United Press
LONDON, Sunday, Dec. 3—
Russian troops, in a spectacular breakthrough on the eastern front, Saturday drove to within 75 miles of Austria and, in a new crossing of the Danube river in western Hungary, advanced along the west bank to reach points only 48 miles south of Budapest. Ripping loose both ends of an enemy defense line before strategic Lake  Balaton, great natural obstacle on the southeastern approaches to Vienna, red army mechanized infantry and armored forces rolled through crumbling enemy defenses toward the great barrier along a 66-mile front.
Seize 3OO Towns
Gaining up to 16 miles in 24 hours for two-day gains of 31 miles, red army forces seized more than 300 towns and villages in two days of battles and won five major enemy strongholds in a vice across the flat Trans-Danube plains.
Marshal Josef Stalin, announcing the victories in. a triumphant order of the day, revealed that Marshal Feodor I. Tolbukhin's Third Ukrainian army had seized the fortress towns of Kaposvar, Dombovaz-, Bonyhad, Szkeszard and Paks.
Paks, on the west bank of the Danube and described by the Germans as the northern anchor of the enemy defense line before Lake Balaton, was captured in a new crossing of the river 55 miles south of Budapest with the aid of the red banner Danube naval flotilla.

Rains Halt Drive for Ormoc,
Yanks Sink 3 Jap Ships
By United Press
ALLIED HEADQUARTERS, Leyte, Philippines, Sunday, Dec. 3—
Heavy tropical rains have forced another halt in the American drive down the Ormoc corridor of northern Leyte, but U. S. warplanes sank or damaged three enemy ships and destroyed at least five planes in widespread attacks over the Philippines and Netherlands East Indies, it was announced Sunday.
"Rains continue and only minor ground action occurred throughout the area," said Gen. Douglas MacArthur's daily war bulletin which covered action through Friday.

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