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Daily Newspaper of U.S. Armed Forces
in the European Theater of Operations
SATURDAY Dec. 9, 1944
Third Army troops pushed 1 1/2 miles into the Siegfried pillbox belt four miles north of Saarlautern yesterday as the battle along the 30-mile Saar front increased hourly in intensity.
Making their advance into the Siegfried Line under heavy-artillery and smallarms fire, 90th Infantry Division men later threw back a German counterattack launched by tanks and infantry. Last night they were locked in heavy fighting north of Dillengen.
Other Third Army troops who fought their way into Forbach, four miles southwest of Saarbruecken, launched a new assault to cross the Saar River southeast of Sarraguemines.
Tighten Saarbruecken Ring
The closing ring on Saarbruecken itself, heart of the industrial Saar region, was tightened by American spearheads three miles west and five miles south of the city. More than 150 Ninth Air Force fighter-bombers hit pillboxes south of Saarbruecken to pave the way for the Third Army attack.
As the Germans claimed that the U.S.
First and Ninth Armies had almost completed regrouping movements for a big new offensive, First Army men near Bergstein seized Hill 600, which dominates a stretch of the Roer River, and beat back two German counter-attacks.
On the Ninth Army front the Germans continued to use smoke in an effort to conceal their defense preparations on the east bank of the Roer. Men of the infantry regiment who fought their way into the Julich sports stadium were still up against opposition that indicated the Germans were determined to fight to the last man to prevent a push through Julich and across the Roer.
Third Captures 30,136
Quake, B29s Hit Japs;
New Landing on Leyte
Three great blows—two by American forces and one by nature—struck the Japanese Thursday, the third anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Gen. MacArthur broke the Leyte stalemate by an amphibious assault against the enemy's rear on the west coast of the island, splitting the Jap forces. Simultaneously, U.S. warships and Superfortresses plastered Iwojima Island, in the Bonin group 500 miles south of Tokyo, unopposed by fighters or flak. The third shock was a natural a heavy earthquake which rocked the Japanese home islands.
A surprise assault by the 77th Division of the 24th Corps broke the Leyte stalemate, landing on the west coast of the island, three miles south of resisting
Ormoc. John Henry, Reuter correspondent, said the landing was almost unopposed.
After seizing the center of the Japs' Yamashita Line from the rear, thus splitting the defending forces before Ormoc, the Americans were driving northward
MacArthur also revealed that another Japanese convoy, racing to bring reinforcements to Yamashita, was wiped out by U.S. planes with a loss of 13 ships,
4,000 troops and 62 planes.
For the Saipan-based Superfortresses Thursday's was their first raid on Iwojima.