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Our Observation Post In Luxembourg
During The Battle Of The Bulge
Jack Cunningham
1st. Lt. Jack Cunningham

C Bty, 29th FA Bn, WW2

During the Battle of the Bulge I shared duty at an observation post in Luxembourg with Bill Cole which we used from mid-December, before the German attack began, to mid-January, 1945. The OP was near the edge of a high bluff overlooking the Sauer River and the Siegfried Line pill boxes across the river, from which the enemy looked back at us. The position was held by a single squad of infantry and the ground behind us was empty, not occupied, for a distance of about a mile. Bill and I exchanged letters in 1993, when he was trying to spot the OP on a map. He has written a story about his radio operator, Sgt. Glenn Warren who was wounded at the OP. That story is accompanied by maps showing the overall situation. For that story, click here.

I will borrow from my letter of December 15, 1993 in the account which follows:
    I remember going through the town of Lillig on the way to the infantry at the front so the battery must have been located to the west or southwest of that town. My first visit to the OP was with Capt. Jim Hurst. We drove to the point where the road was nearest to the OP and then had a half-mile walk to the infantry outpost there, which consisted of only three or four men at that time. The last quarter-mile of that walk was through a clearing which made us uncomfortable because we felt exposed. The outpost was above a big canyon through which the Sauer River flowed near its confluence with the Moselle. There were pill boxes across the river and when we exposed ourselves for any length of time the Germans fired their rifles at us, but the distance was so great that the odds of a hit were terrible. I don't think we depended on the odds very often.

    At a later date I was on duty at the OP when Jim Hurst and the division artillery commander, Gen. Blakely, along with the division artillery staff officers, came to the OP to fire and observe the bursts of new shells having "proximity" fuses which exploded in the air just before impact would have occured, producing air bursts which were very effective. Later the fuse proved to be very successful in night interdiction fire on Trier which was just over the hill about ten or fifteen miles from our OP.

    During the Battle of the Bulge there was a prolonged period of bad weather which prevented the Air Corps from bombing Trier or helping the ground forces. When the weather cleared the American and British bombers would come over us and bomb Trier. As I stood at the OP I could see shock waves coming through the air and my pants legs would quiver from the concussion. I was very glad I wasn't in Trier.

    Before the Bulge started I believe we went back to the battery at night but when things heated up we spent nights at the infantry command post at either Moesdorf or Mompach. Every night two guys came into the village with a jeep and trailer and yelled "Champagne Call". They "liberated" the stuff in Grevenmacher which had big warehouses of champagne aging and the area was not occupied by us or the enemy. The stuff we got was very "green" and not very good, but it tasted a bit like the finished product and contained some alcohol. I took some of it back to the battery when I had a bit of a break from duty and drank some one evening. I didn't try it again. It was three days before my system returned to normal.

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