movement of the East to seize that key terrain feature, BASSE KONTZ, which dominated the
area for miles around. [Page 9]
Visual reconnaissance of the East bank of the MOSELLE River by the 358th Infantry had
disclosed prepared positions and strong enemy garrisons. Report of our organic and attached
Cavalry units operating in the direction of BASSE KONTZ revealed similar enemy strength East
of the MOSELLE in this area. The mean of all intelligence reports placed at least an enemy
division opposite us. As the Corps had disapproved the plan of crossing wide and East of
THIONVILLE a decision was made to establish this bridgehead at THIONVILLE.
13 SEPTEMBER 44
2nd Battalion assisted by the 1st Battalion operating to its North, cleared THIONVILLE of
enemy to the river, consolidating its position and immediately initiating reconnaissance for
crossing sites. The single remaining bridge had been blown during the previous night.
359th Infantry dispatched 3rd Battalion to FORET DE CATTENOM with the mission of
patrolling to the river between MALLING and KIESELRAU, making an obvious display of
force in that area.
90th Reconnaissance Troop and 43rd Cavalry Squadron continued reconnaissance toward the
river line East and North of the 359th Infantry. Although enemy elements prevented their actual
approach to the river they were able to establish a series of OPs which kept both banks of the
river under continuous surveillance.
The Division plan contemplated initiation of the bridgehead operation the following morning
with the 358th Infantry making the main effort crossing at THIONVILLE. 3rd Battalion 357th
Infantry and 3rd Battalion 359th Infantry were prepared for the execution of feints in the vicinity
of UCKANGE and CATTENOM respectively. That portion of THIONVILLE East of the
MOSELLE was strongly garrisoned and the approaches difficult. Faced with a major operation
in the face of strong resistance and because reconnaissance had been inadequate and plans
incomplete, the division commander [General McLain,] postponed the operation for 24 hours.
The operation never materialized for XX Corps issued instructions shortly before midnight for
the 90th Division to extend southward, relieving those elements of the 7th Armored Division and
5th of Infantry Division facing the German defenses West of METZ.
14 SEPTEMBER 44
The revised mission of the Division read as follows:
a. Contain THIONVILLE and vicinity with minimum force, vigorously patrolling line of
the MOSELLE River within zone in conjunction with 43rd Cavalry Squadron. [Page 10]
b. Relieve the 7th Armored Division within the zone by 142000B. Priority of relief to
2nd Infantry Regiment (at this time attached to 7th Armored Division). Relief in the form of
coordinated attack to prevent disruption of position. Main effort on the South.