SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS
1-5 January 1945
The turn of the year disclosed little change in the Division's activity. With 3rd Cavalry Squadron
attached, the 90th covered a sector from the NIED to the SAAR. All units continued to probe
with patrols enemy defenses in depth, harassing their positions with artillery fire and limited
objective attacks. An extensive obstacle barrier containing 14,402 antitank mines, 477 AP
mines, 120 flares, 136 craters, 50 bridges, and 27 debris prepared for demolition and 13 craters,
five bridges, and 9 debris blown for a total of 55,338 pounds placed and 5,835 pounds of
explosive blown, had been arranged. Delaying positions had been reconnoitered in event of any
attack in strength.
Although the Division was offensively situated, the Division Staff had for some days been
preparing plans for an attack to the confluence of the SAAR and the MOSELLE Rivers through
the SEIGFRIED switch position. These had been developed to the extent of conferences with
the Commanding General and Staff of 10th Armored Combat Command "A" which was to be
attached. Personnel of this Combat Command reconnoitered assembly positions. Regimental
Commanders were oriented as to their probable employment of three regiments abreast in order
357, 359, 358 from left to right on a narrow front and had begun reconnaissance of their areas.
All PW information was carefully sifted as were patrol reports for indications of enemy defenses
and strength. A march table was prepared for redispositions. Engineers experimented with
methods of bridging AT ditches. Then without warning, on night of 5 January, Corps phoned a
cryptic message: "Be prepared for movement." Nothing more. All patrols were canceled and
plans for attack were scrapped.
6 January 1945
At 0230A Corps ordered one RCT moved at 1200 with the rest of Division to follow on the 7th.
As yet there was no indication of destination or employment but 357th Infantry was alerted to
move while the Division Commander went to Army Headquarters to receive his orders.
It developed the mission of the 90th was to cut off an enemy penetration Southeast of
BASTOGNE and entrap and destroy the enemy forces which were being contained by 26th, 35th
Infantry and 6th Armored Divisions. The units of III Corps had forced back the enemy and had
fought for several weeks. Now they were thinly spread and lacking in force to make the
necessary drive. By regroupment and introduction of another division it was felt the job could be
quickly accomplished and the threatening salient cut off at its base. [Page 1]
By by 1230 plans were finally agreed upon: the 90th would assemble in rear of the 35th and 26th
Divisions and attack through the 26th on 9 January.
Meanwhile 357th Infantry was ordered to move without yet knowing their destination. But they
were directed to pick up III Corps guides at SAUEL in LUXEMBOURG and the CT cleared the