HEADQUARTERS 106th INFANTRY DIVISION
APO #443, U. S. Army
1 July 1945
SUBJECT: Report of Activities
TO : Commanding General, 106th Infantry Division, APO #443
U. S. Army
SECTION I - AUTHORITY
This report is submitted at the direction of the Commanding General, 106th Infantry Division. It is prepared as a record of the activities of the division, for the period 1 - 30 June 1945, for such future use as may be desired.
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. Attached (As of 16 Mar 45).
d. Attached (As of 9 May 45)
e. Attached for operations only (Effective 16 May 45)
f. Attached (effective 2 June 45)
g. Attached (Effective 18 June 45)
h. Attached (Effective 24 June 45)
i. Attached (Effective 11 May 45)
j. Attached (Effective 2 June 45)
k. Attached (Effective 16 May 45)
l. Attached (Effective 23 May 45)
3. This operation report covers the activities of the 106th Infantry Division during the period 010001 June 1945 to 302400 June 1945.
The following maps were used:
GERMANY, (VIRNBURG), scale 1:25,000
GERMANY Road Map, scale 1:500,000
CENTRAL EUROPE, scale 1:100,000, GSGS 4416-S1, S2, T2
GERMANY, scale 1:250,000, GSGS 4346-K51, K52
ESSEN MANMHEIM road map, 1:500,000, Sheet #4
REPORT OF ACTIVITIES
ACTIVITIES OF 106 INFANTRY DIVISION FROM 010001 JUNE 1945 TO 302400 JUNE 1945
During the period of this report the 106th Infantry Division was engaged in four missions, namely:
1. Performing prisoner of war duty as directed by the Commanding General, Communications Zone, and (after 23 June 1945) as directed by the Commanding General, Fifteenth United States Army.
2. Training reconstituted units of the division.
3. Readjustment of personnel between the organic and attached units of the division in different categories and between this division and the 26th Infantry Division and the 35th Infantry Division under the provisions of the Redeployment Program.
4. Operating Recreation Centers at DUPEN and NAMUR, BELGIUM.
PERFORMING PRISONER OF WAR DUTY
The mission of guarding prisoners of war in GERMANY, including the operation of Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosures and receiving, discharging, and evacuation of prisoners of war, which started during the month of April, continued through the period covered by this report. The progress in accomplishing this mission is outlined below:
1 - 6 June - 106th Infantry Division's command post was located at BAD EMS, GERMANY. Subordinate units of the division continued to operate Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosures at the following locations: A-4 BUDERICK, A-1 RHEINBURG, A-9 WICKRATHBERG, A-2 REMAGEN, A-5 SIMZIG, A-11 ANDERNACH, A-10 KOLENZ, A-12 HEIDESHEIM, A-7 BEIBELSHEIN, A-6 WINZEMHEIM, A-3 BAD KREUZNACH, A-8 DIETERSHEIM, A-16 ZAHLBACH, A-17 HECHTSHEIM, C-3 HEILBRONN and C-4 HEILBRONN. As of 1 June 1945 the number of prisoners of war in these enclosures was 803,907.
7 - 8 June - 2d Bn, 424 Inf moved from HEIDESHEIM to DIETERSHEIM as the prisoner population at PWTE A-12 was evacuated. The equipment from this enclosure was transferred to other enclosures in the area. Engineer material was reclaimed.
9 June - PWTE A-12 HEIDESHEIM was officially abandoned. PWTE A-4 at BUDERICH was closed and the prisoner of war population of that enclosure was transferred to PWTEs A-1 and A-9.
10 - 12 June - Orders were received on 10 June from higher headquarters to turn over to the British those enclosures in the British zone of occupation. These were the enclosures in the Red Area. Accordingly, on 12 June, PWTEs A-1 and A-9 with a total prisoner of war population of 179,158 were turned over to the British. Prior to the transfer of the enclosures, most of the prisoners residing in the British zone were transferred to A-1 and A-9. Likewise, the prisoners residing in the American zone were moved to the extent practicable to other enclosures, operated by the Division.
13 - 19 June - The 3d Infantry moved to WEISBADEN, GERMANY, and took over four semi-permanent enclosures, namely: A-18 SIERSHAHM, A-19 LIMBURG, A-20 BABENHAUSEN, A-21 DARMSTADT, east of the RHINE RIVER, preparing them for the reception of non-dischargeable prisoners of war. Approximately 1,000 prisoners of war were sent to each of these enclosures to be used as labor in completing the construction of the enclosures and preparing them for the reception of other prisoners.
20 June - PWTE A-16 at ZAHLBACH, which had a population of 6,137 Russians, was emptied but remained in operation under a skeleton crew. The Russians were evacuated to LEIPZIG, GERMANY, for eventual repatriation.
21 - 22 June - PWTE A-2 at REMAGEN and PWTE A-3 at BAD KR?UZNACH were cleared of prisoners and officially closed. The provisional guard battalions which were guarding these enclosures under attachment to the 106th Infantry Division reverted to the control of Advance Section Communications Zone.
23 June - On this date, the 3d Infantry was relieved from attachment to the division and was assigned to Seventh United States Army. Seventh United States Army also assumed responsibility for PWTEs 18, 19, 20 and 21, east of the RHINE RIVER, which were being operated by the 3d Infantry. The orders effecting these changes were dated 6 July 1945, so that actual operation of hese enclosures continued under division control during the month of June. At the same time, the Fifteenth United States Army took over from Advance Section, the responsibility of all enclosures west of the RHINE RIVER. The division continued to operate these enclosures with the same organization and methods as employed under Advance Section.
On this date also, Seventh United States Army assumed responsibility for PWTE C-3 and PWTE C-4 at HEILBRONN, at which time, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 106th Division Artillery, the 591st and 592d Field Artillery Battalions were attached to Seventh United States Army and the 401st and 627th Field Artillery Battalions were assigned to Seventh United States Army. The two latter battalions were later attached to the 106th Division Artillery. The operation of C-3 and C-4 continued under the 106th Division Artillery as heretofore when Continental Advance Section was responsible for these enclosures.
24 - 29 June - The division continued to operate all Prisoner of War Temporary Enclosures west of the RHINE as directed by Fifteenth United States Army. The screening, discharging and evacuation of prisoners of war continued to the end of the month. Seventeen Military Intelligence Teams were used for the screening so as to determine the eventual disposition of the various categories of proisoners.
30 June - The evacuation of the prisoners from PWTE A-7 BIEBELSUEIN to other enclosures was completed, and the enclosure maintained thereafter on a stand-by basis.
At the end of the month, the division was operating eithe enclosures with prisoner populations as follows:
The special problems encountered in the past in accomplishing this mission of the division, were somewhat reduced during the month of June. In general, improvement of enclosures, better weather conditions, experience gained in processing, discharging and evacuating prisoners of war, greatly facilitated the operations of the division. The communications difficulties which had been a serious problem during the preceding month were greatly alleviated despite the large area occupied by the division. Wire and radio communications supplemented by motor and air liaison continued to improve. During the month, several MP escort guard companies and detachments were attached and relieved from attachment to the division in accordance with the need for such units to deliver discharged prisoners to their homes or to evacuate them to other areas. In this connection, transportation proved a major problem. The delivery of discharged prisoners and those to be evacuated was dependent on the amount of transportation that could be allotted for those purposes by higher headquarters. Additional trucks were made available for short periods by Advance Section. The rail transportation situation improved during June. By the end of the month, trans could generally be obtained when needed.
The medical attachments to the division were relieved from attachment as the total prisoner population was reduced and enclosures were abandoned.
TRAINING THE RECONSTITUTED UNITS OF THE 106TH INFANTRY DIVISION
The training of the 422d and 423d Infantry Regiments, 589th and 590th Field Artillery Battalions and the 106th Reconnaissance Troop, which had been interrupted during the month of May because of their employment in connection with the surrender of the German forces in the ST NAZAIRE and LORIENT pockets in FRANCE and their movement to GERMANY, was resumed in June after adequate training areas and training facilities had been proved in the MAYEN area in GERMANY. The progress in accomplishing this mission is outlined as follows:
1 -3 June - The reconstituted units occupied and improved their bivouac areas and continued the construction of ranges needed for the completion of the prescribed training program. Final plans for the continuation of the training of those units and for the subsequent use of the range facilities by other units of the division for field training and exercises were completed.
4 - 10 June - The third week of training as prescribed by Training Memorandum #10, this headquarters, 8 April 1945, was resumed. Combat firing and tactical training of the company were in progress during the week.
11 - 17 June - Company tactical training continued as prescribed for the fourth week of the training program. Combat firing proficiency tests were conducted for all units.
18 - 25 June - Training in accordance with training program as scheduled for the fifth week of the program was conducted. Terrain exercises and battalion firing problems began during this week.
26 - 30 June - The sixth week of the program progressed according to schedule. Battalion tactical training, terrain exercises and battalion firing problems were continued. As the month ended, the training was in accordance with revised schedule. The training area was perfect for this type of training. The training facilities wee excellent and the morale and interest of the officers and men were high. The results of the four weeks of training were excellent.
Some problems were encountered in accomplishing the training mission of the division during June. Inclement weather for short periods interfered with the time schedule to some extent. Compliance with theater policy on sending the maximum number of officers and men on leaves, furloughs and passes took personnel away from training. From the point of view of this mission alone, this was detrimental to training, but was considered essential for the morale of the units. Some difficulty was experienced in meeting all transportation needs for the units in training. Trucks for furloughs and passes was a serious drain of the transportation available. A few additional trucks from other organizations were loaned to these units.
ANNEX #4, (Military Government)
To : Ltr Hq 106 Inf Div
Subject: "Report of Activities"
PERIOD 1 JUNE 1945 - 30 JUNE 1945 (Incl.)
REPORT OF MILITARY GOVERNMENT SECTION FOR THE PERIOD 1 - 30 JUNE 1945
During the month of June this section was almost entirely occupied with problems relating to Prisoner of War temporary enclosures. One Officer and one Enlisted Man continued to act as liaison between units of the Division and local authorities. No unusual problems developed and throughout the period local government administration continued to make steady progress.
Discharge and evacuation of Prisoners of War were the major responsibilities of this section. At the opening of the period, the discharge of prisoners of war required coordination between four (4) American Armies and two (2) Allied Nations. Unfortunately each of the American Armies had different requirements to be met before prisoners could be released into their areas. The most difficult problem encountered was with Fifteenth U. S. Army, which required a report of 24 hours in advance of the number of prisoners coming into its area. This report had to be made by kreise and by labor category. This problem was doubly important because all of the enclosures operated by this Division lay in Fifteenth Army area.
Initially, local release areas were established for each camp, representing roughly a circle fifty miles in radius around each group of enclosures. Within these areas release of prisoners was effected by the groups, using transportation available to the group commanders. Transfers were effected between groups, of prisoners to be released, by means of a shuttle train which ran every other day. Local transportation was also used when available. During the same period of time all Russian special nationals were concentrated in A-16 at Zahlbach, preparatory to turning them over to the Russian national authorities. There were slightly in excess of 6,000 Russians ultimately delivered. Also all Czechs were concentrated in A-17 at Hechtsheim. There are approximately 22,000 Czechs and as yet none have been released or turned over to national authorities.
Third, Seventh and Ninth U. S. Armies elected to establish discharge reception centers to which prisoners destined for their areas would be sent. Due to the impending transfer of territory to the British and Russian Governments, it was decided to ship all possible prisoners to Ninth U. S. Army discharge centers. Emphasis was placed on the provinces of Thuringia and Sachsen. The change in jurisdiction between Seventh and Ninth U. S. Armies fortunately did not affect this plan.
During the same time, prisoners were being discharged into Seventh and Thrid Army areas, and preparations were being made to transfer control of the camps in Red Area - vicinity of Lontfort - to British control. Group commanders were instructed to ship, without processing, all n their enclosures whose homes were n the British area of control to the camps in the Red Area. Under this plan, 68,000 prisoners were moved from the Blue (424th Infantry, vicinity of Bingen) and White (159th Infantry, vicinity of Andernach) to the Red group (3rd Infantry, vicinity of Lintfort). At the same time the Red group transferred 16,086 prisoners to the White and Blue groups. The Red area was turned over to British control at 2400 hours, 12 June 1945. 179,158 prisoners were turned over to the British with these enclosures.
Evacuation for labor continued to be made to various areas in the zone of communications. The evacuations were made against requisitions, and transportation was principally by rail.
Under this program, 59 trains carrying prisoners departed the enclosures of this Division, carrying 95,000 prisoners.
A total of 8 discharge center were set up by the various Armies and used by this Division during the month of June. For the most part rail was used to transport prisoners to these centers. Trucks were used to effect releases into the local release areas. However as the enclosures were emptied of prisoners destined for kreise within the various local release areas, trucks came to be used to effect longer shipments to the discharge points. In all, 243,120 prisoners were discharged during the month of June. For this purpose 46 trains were run from the Division enclosures, and an average of 4 Quartermaster, 2 1/2 ton truck companied were utilized. This section was augmented during the period by one Transportation Corps Officer and one Enlisted Man, for the purpose of aiding in the coordination fo transportation.
The period opened with 665,068 prisoners in the enclosures supervised by this section, and closed with 182,726 prisoners in the enclosures. The highest daily discharge was reached on 24 June when 19,051 prisoners were discharged. The lowest daily discharge was on 29 June, when 2,932 prisoners were discharged. The average daily rate was approximately 8,500.
The above figures include all categories of persons, civilians and females, as well as Prisoners of War. Civilians, who proved, on screening, to be not entitles to a Prisoner of War status and who were nationals of a Western European nation other than Germany, were evacuated to Displaced Persons Centers. German civilians were transported to the capital of the kreise of residence, or in some cases to the appropriate discharge center. These persons were handled in essentially the same manner as prisoners.
In summation, the major problems encountered were :
a. Poor communications
b. Coordinating the requirements of the various Armies.
While all have not been completely solved, it is felt that satisfactorily results have been achieved.
|Provided by Roger Myers and David Wiswar.|
Page last revised
James D. West