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5.  Wind-up of the Palatinate Campaign
Sweeping eastward from the Nahe, XII Corps' forward units burst out onto the plain of the Rhine
and headed for two important German cities on the West Bank of the river, – Mainz and Worms.  It also
headed for a certain little village, Oppenheim, fated to be more important to the Muse of History than
either of these.
"Although the enemy attempted to throw up a line of defense west of Mainz," says the Third
Army After Action Report "to form a bridgehead for the withdrawal of his troops across the Rhine, he
never succeeded.  What was intended to be an organized withdrawal quickly became a rout, the enemy's
fleeing columns being attacked constantly from the air and cut to ribbons by the Third U.S.  Army's
armor.  Infantry mopping-up teams of followed closely behind the tanks, taking thousands of prisoners
in the wake of the charging armor.  The German First and Seventh Armies were decimated, with a loss
of 81,692 prisoners of war, and all territory to the Rhine River as far south as Speyer was cleared."
The two critical days which saw the end of this campaign were 20-21 March 45, and from the
Corps After Action Report comes details of who captured what, when and with which:
"20 March 1945. a.  The 362nd Group, XIX TAC, flew 16 missions with excellent results
reported.  The XII Corps continued the advance to the east with infantry clearing the enemy from the
zone, following the advancing armor.
b.  CCB, 4th Armored Division, attacked at 0600A.  It cleared Offenheim, but ran into an enemy
force of 4 SPs, one tank, and 100 infantry at Waldheim.  The resistance collapsed quickly and at 1200A
CCB had cleared Freimersheim and was passing through Alzey.  At 1720A it entered Worms and spent
the rest of the day mopping up.  At 1730A contact was made with the 11th Armored Division.  CCA
also moved out at 0600A, cleared Flonheim, Albig, Monsheim, moving through Alzey.  Resistance was
light.  The 10th Infantry, moving in rear of these two columns, opened its regimental CP at Alzey and
assembled in that vicinity.  CCR move to Wendelsheim.  The 4th Armored Division CP opened in Frei-
Laubersheim.  The 90th Infantry Division jumped off towards Mainz at 0700A.  No opposition was
received until troops reached the high ground overlooking the city.  The 3rd Battalion, 358th Infantry, at
1700A was in the Oberulmer woods and moved off from the high ground northeast of Mainz.  The 2nd
Battalion took Schwabenheim and Gros Winterheim.  The 359th Infantry moved without opposition
until the 3rd Battalion entered Nieder Oln where it was subjected to small arms fire and 88 mm fire.  At
1215A an artillery concentration was placed on the town and at 1600A the town was secured.  The 2nd
Battalion met and overcame opposition in Zarnheim, and at 1700A was in Ebersheim.  The 357th
Infantry moved up and assembled the 1st Battalion in Vendersheim, the 2nd Battalion at Wolfsheim, 3rd
Battalion at Parenheim.  At 1300A the division CP opened at Spendlingen.  Enemy in the 5th Infantry
zone still consisted of small disorganized groups.  The 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry, marched from Bad
Kreuznach to Worrstadt.  The 1st Battalion was in Rommersheim.  The 2nd Battalion occupied
Spiesheim and Enscheim.  The 2nd Battalion and three Battalions of the 2nd Infantry moved out north of
the Nahe River from Sobernheim and cleared their zone from Rehborn south and east to Oberhausen. 
The 2nd Battalion was assembled near Hallgarten.  At 0900A, CCB, 11th Armored Division moved out
from the high ground east of Rockenhausen and by 1200A had entered Dreisen.  The column there
turned south, clearing Collheim and several small towns, reaching Offsteind by 1750A against light
resistance.  By dark the column was near Klein Niedesheim.  CCA cleared Marienthal and Dennenfels
where it received some AT fire and mortar fire.  It reached Driesen at 1500A.  Here CCA turned north
and took Albisheim, Marxheim, and at 1730A advanced through Monsheim.  There was considerable
enemy air activity over the zone of the 11th Armored Division; three planes were knocked down by the
AA units.  The division CP opened at Winnweiler at 1545A.  CCR assembled at Rockenhausen.  At
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