The Capture of Hollen, Germany
Feb. 25th, 1945
The attack of Co. G, 119th Infantry Regiment
Click to enlarge map of area
Action from the 119th history:
Action as described by John Nolan, Co. G, in telephone conversation June 18th, 2007:
The attack on Hollen started from positions about 1/2 mile away. It was over open ground but we had 26 Sherman tanks that we marched between. That is not always a good thing....16 tanks were lost in the attack. I remember a Panther tank taking position in an orchard on the outskirts of Hollen. It was shooting solid shot rounds. A shell knocked an open hatch off the Sherman right next to me. If it had not been solid shot, I'd be dead. It sure did shake up the tank commander whose head was in the opening. The Germans or German civilians had dug 5 foot deep slit trenches about 40 yards in front of the first houses. My platoon was able to occupy these trenches as the Nazis' fled back to the houses during our advance. The Panther crew was very aggressive though...as most all of the German tank crews were...and would not retreat its orchard position. I always preferred anti-tank rifle grenades and thought I'd take a crack at the Panther. Well I missed the tank but brought a tree branch down on the tank commanders head. This did not make him too happy and the Panther preceded to try and bury the platoon in the trench. Lt. Giblin sent lead scout Hall from VA into the town first. Before Hall left he offered the Lt. some of his chewing tobacco to 'calm' his nerves and off he went. Pvt. Raymond Butts also entered the town with a bazooka. He was able to get to a second floor position and shot a round into the Panther's turrent. As the crew tried to escape the burning tank, Lt. Giblin used his 'grease' gun to eliminate them. Pvt. Butts earned the Distinguish Service Cross for his action.
Series of maps and overlays of area...many from National Archives: