The specific missions assigned the 90th Division were:
a. Advance in zone behind elements of the 7th Armored Division.
b. Destroy him all enemy within zone.
c. Capture THIONVILLE and establish bridgehead over the MOSELLE River.
d. In conjunction with 43rd Cavalry Squadron, protect North flank of Corps.
e. Maintain contact with V Corps.
The enemy had been given a breathing spell while we were immobilized for want of gasoline.
He, the Boche, had been faced West on the threat of death on the line of the MOSELLE and was
in force to our front and our North. The Division zone was 30 odd Kilometers in width. We
were faced with two alternatives; (1) we could advance deliberately on a wide front, clearing
zone as we advanced or (2) we could drive a wedge rapidly in the direction of THIONVILLE.
The Division adopted the former plan. V Corps, with whom we were to maintain contact, was
60 Km to our rear and the enemy was in between. To further complicate the Division's problem
it was soon ascertained that no elements of the 7th Armored Division were operating in our zone.
7 SEPTEMBER 44
In the early hours of the morning a German reconnaissance in force moving South from
LONGUYON drove elements of the 90th Reconnaissance Troop out of the town of
SPINCOURT and presented a serious threat to the left flank of the Division. 358th Infantry was
ordered to retake the town in the morning at daylight, utilizing not to exceed 1 Battalion.
Meanwhile Div Arty concentrated its fires on the town. At daylight and 90th Reconnaissance
Troop pushed reconnaissance elements into SPINCOURT and reported that the enemy had
withdrawn to the North after receiving heavy Artillery fire.
The Division attack order called for the capture of the high ground West of the MOSELLE River
as a preliminary operation to the capture of THIONVILLE and the forcing of a bridgehead
across the MOSELLE River. [Page 3]
357th Infantry, operating on the right to the Division, advanced at 0900 on the general axis
ETAIN-BRIEY, the 1st Battalion on the left, 3rd Battalion on the right, 2nd Battalion following
in trace of 3rd Battalion. The 1st Battalion moving cross-country, advanced without opposition
to the TRIEUX-AVRIL Road, occupied Hill 313 and pushed reconnaissance to the East towards
the regimental objective. The 3rd Battalion encountered enemy resistance West of BRIEY
which it disbursed after a sharp fight. It then swung to the Northeast, marching on AVRIL,
while the 2nd Battalion continued the advance on the town of BRIEY proper, with the intention
of leaving one company there as a flank block when it too veered to the Northeast in accordance
with the Regimental plan. However a sharp fight developed on the West outskirts of BRIEY and
the 2nd Battalion made only slight progress for the remainder of the day. Prisoner reports
indicated that the heights of the town were garrisoned by a complete German Battalion. By
nightfall the 1st and 3rd Battalions had linked up at AVRIL prepared for continuation of the
advance of the following day.