The 69th and "The Battle of the Bulge"    

Many 69ers and family members believe the 69th Infantry Division was in the famous  "Battle of the Bulge,"  but it was not.

 

     Some 69ers and family members think the 69th Infantry Division was in the famous Battle of the Bulge, Nazi Germany's last big effort to stem the advance of the Allies. But although some 69ers may have been in the Battle of the Bulge, the Division as a whole was not a part of it.

     The 69th began training at Camp Shelby in the early summer of 1943 and departed for overseas in October 1944. During this period, thousands were trained and sent to other Units as replacements to Divisions that may have been in the Bulge fighting. Some of these replacements were in the 69th, even though they didnít depart overseas with it, and these soldiers may have been in the Bulge fighting during its short but devastating period, but with another Division.

     The Battle of the Bulge took place between Dec 16, 1944, and January 25, 1945. The 69th began to arrive in England in December 1944. On December 25, 1944, the 69th was called on to furnish 2,200 men as replacements for battle-worn and decimated Divisions in the Bulge fighting. Some of these men, and others, may have returned to or been transferred the 69th after the Bulge was over - and of they course could lay claim to being in the battle, but not as a member the 69th. There were many replacements to the 69th from battle-rested Divisions as the 69th moved across Germany to its final meeting with the Russians on April 25, 1945.

     The infantry regiments were the frontline troops. The 69th was comprised of three regiments - 271st, 272nd 273rd. The Unit histories of these regiments written immediately after VE Day (May 9, 1945) show the 271st assuming position on February 10, and the 272nd and 273rd on February 12. Therefore, we can see that the 69th Infantry Division itself did not participate in the Battle of the Bulge.

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