HEADQUARTERS 106TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO # 443, U. S. Army
SUBJECT: Report After Action
TO : The Adjutant General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.
SECTION I - AUTHORITY
In compliance with paragraph 10, AR 345-105, as changed by changes #4, this report by the 106th Infantry Division for 1 May 1945 - 9 May 1945, inclusive, is submitted.
SECTION II - INTRODUCTION
1. Command. During the time covered by this report the 106th Infantry Division operated under the following headquarters and commanders:
2. Composition of the 106th Infantry Division:
b. Organic (Attached to 66th Infantry Division as of 15 Apr 45)
c. Attached (As of 16 Mar 45)
d. Attached (Effective 30 Apr 45)
e. Attached (As of 9 May 45)
3. This operation report covers the activities of the 106th Infantry Division during the period 010001 May 1945 to 092400 May 1945.
The following maps were used:
GERMANY Road Map, scale 1:500,000
CENTRAL EUROPE, scale 1:100,000 GSGB 4416-S1, S2, T2
GERMANY, scale 1:250,000 GSGB 4346-K51, K52
SECTION III - REPORT AFTER ACTION
Activities of the 106th Infantry Division from 010001 May 1945 to 092400 May 1945.
During the period 1 May 1945 to 9 May 1945, inclusive, the 106th Infantry Division, less reconstituted units attached to the 66th Infantry Division, was engaged in the mission of guarding prisoners of war in Germany under the Fifteenth United States Army, and operationally attached to the Communications Zone.
The reconstituted units of the 106th Infantry Division, namely the 422d and 423d Infantry Regiments, 589th and 590th Field Artillery Battalions and the 106th Reconnaissance Troop, and a small training cadre, continued to train in the vicinity of COETQUIDON, FRANCE. These units also assisted the 66th Infantry Division in receiving the surrender of the German forces in the ST NAZAIRE and LORIENT pockets.
GUARDING OF PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMANY.
The mission of guarding prisoners of war in Germany was started in the month of April during which month the enclosures in the vicinity of BUDERICH, REMAGEN, BAD KREUZNACH and MANNHEIM, GERMANY, were assigned to the division. These enclosures contained a total of 165,272 prisoners at the beginning of May. The mission continued from 1 May through 9 May 1945. Progress in taking over the Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosures, receiving prisoners, improving the conditions in the enclosures and accomplishing the prescribed mission is outlined below:
1 - 3 May: The 106th Infantry Division CP was located in STROMBERG, GERMANY. Three provisional guard battalions were attached to the division (effective 30 April) to increase the number of personnel available to guard the enclosures under division control. Preparations were made to move the 106th Infantry Division Headquarters and Division Troops to BAD EMS, GERMANY, by motor. Preparations were made for the regrouping of elements of the division in accordance with the plan of Advance Section, Communications Zone for the locations and capacities of the Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosures. The 3d Infantry, (less two battalions), was moved by motor to the vicinity of LINTFORT, GERMANY, on 3 May, in accordance with FO #15, this headquarters, 2 May 1945 (Annex #6, attached). Battalions were moved to take over and operate the enclosures to conform with the flow of prisoners from the Armies. By 032400 May 1945, the division was operating prisoner of war enclosures as shown on situation map, 106th Infantry Division, 032400 May 1945 (Annex #7, attached.)
4 May: The 106th Infantry Division, less the 3d, 159th and 424th Infantry, the 106th Division Artillery, and the reconstituted units, moved to BAD EMS, GERMANY, in accordance with FO #14, this headquarters, 2 May 1945, (Annex #5, attached). This centrally located headquarters and service area facilitated control within the division and aided the service units in accomplishing their mission.
5 - 8 May: The division continued to operate and improve the enclosures and to receive, segregate and screen the prisoners of war sent back by the Armies. New enclosures were taken over and opened, generally before completion, in order to take the enormous flow of prisoners arriving by train and motor.
9 May: As of this date, the 106th Infantry Division, less reconstituted units, was located as shown on situation map, this headquarters 10 May 1945, (Annex #7, attached). At the cessation of hostilities the division had taken over the following enclosures:
The number of prisoners on that date was 780,200, with the flow still continuing.
Some of the special problems encountered in accomplishing this mission and steps taken to solve them were :
1. The dispersion of the division over a front of 275 airline miles: This difficulty required decentralizing many activities which are normally more closely controlled. The displacing of the division command post and service area to a more central location, as northern enclosures were taken over, eased this problem to some extent.
2. Insufficient transportation: All division transportation was utilized to the utmost not only in supplying the scattered units of the division, but also in supplying the enclosures, since Communications Zone agencies were unable to supply satisfactorily and otherwise service all enclosures. The establishing and delivery of fuel and other supplies direct to some enclosures, and the gradual equipping of the enclosures with necessary facilities, eventually eased the transportation load. Some additional Trucks had been supplied by Advance Section 9 May.
3. Inadequate medical facilities: The 331st Medical Battalion allocated its own and borrowed medical personnel and facilities so as to take care of the first enclosures turned over to the division. Additional medical personnel, ambulances and field hospitals were requested, received, and utilized.
4. Lack of critical items of supply and equipment: The service elements of the division contacted all agencies involved, and collected as much material as could be transported. Equipment was collected by the units assigned to the enclosures and other equipment was shipped in by Advance Section. Currently this problem is greatly alleviated.
5. Necessity for taking over and utilizing camps prior to their completion: Construction was continued by Communications Zone engineers after occupancy, and was also carried on by prisoner of war in the enclosures. The 81st Enginner (C) Battalion of the division assisted in this construction program with all of its own troops and equipment, and by supervising the prisoner labor.
6. Rapid and unpredictable flow of prisoners into the various enclosures: Advance Section, Communications Zone, attempted to maintain contact with the Armies so as to alleviate this difficulty as much as possible. Continental Advance Section managed to regulate very well the flow of prisoners from the Sixth Army Group. This remained a critical problem and required the shifting of subordinate units to meet the flow and created a most difficult situation in receiving, segregating and screening the prisoners.
7. Difficulties of communication resulting from the extent of the area covered by the division: The use of liaison officers between this headquarters and other organizations and agencies concerned and with subordinate units, helped until wire communications could be established. The liaison planes of the Division Artillery enabled a rapid messenger service to be put in operation. Two motor messenger runs per day to all units were established. The Division Signal Company repaired cables destroyed in combat and installed wire communications to the extent of its capacity. Adequate wire communication was still lacking at the end of this period, but progress was being made in tying in all units. Radio communication was utilized extensively. The establishing and maintaining of adequate communications over such an extensive area is normally beyond the means of a division and will remain a major problem. However, by the utilization of all facilities and the continued effort of the communications personnel, the communication problem had definitely improved by the end of the period.
FOR THE COMMANDING GENERAL:
F. I. AGULE,
Lt. Colonel, A. G. D.
|Contributed by Roger Myers
Page last revised
James D. West