Yankee Ingenuity
 The Attack on Pulgar and Zwenkau, Germany, April 17, 1945
Submitted by: (1st Lt.) Marvin S. Fineberg, A Battery, 724th FABN  


     Yankee ingenuity won the day several times.  Our forward observer team discovered a wagon-like cart with a handle, two large wheels, and a flat two-foot-square platform onto which we assembled and connected the two 40-pound segments of our No. 640 radio battery and transmission units, which made them always ready to fire from the hip, so to speak, and the mobility to keep up with the infantry.

     To attack the two anti-tank guns, we had to race across an open area for about 150 yards to get behind a farm building, while being fired upon by German troops along a road facing our route.  I arrived first, as a piece of a building flew past my face, and as I looked back, my radio men looked like sitting ducks.  I stepped out from my shelter and offered myself as a target to distract the Germans, and proceeded to fire rapid carbine bursts just over their heads until my crew could complete their race to safety.

     Without our radio, we would have been of little value to the infantry.

     We climbed up into the barn, looked through knotholes at the two anti-tank guns, discovered we were firing Big T toward ourselves to reach the anti-tank guns, and caught our own flak as we fired for effect.  We destroyed both enemy crews and made a direct hit on one gun, crippling it.

     Our next target was 15 anti-aircraft 88s positioned for level firing, which previously had inflicted substantial casualties on another of our companies. A  smoke round gave us our 155 batteries the approximate location.  Again, with Big T firing toward ourselves, the infantry had formed a skirmish line and was making a frontal attack on the 88s as our 155s were firing for effect up and down the 15 gun positions.  The Germans never fired a shot at us, as we had destroyed their power control building.

     It was now dusk, and a machine gun firing tracers opened up, and we took it out with one round.  During this extensive approach, commands were being shouted back to our radio men, who had trouble keeping up.  I was free now to join the skirmish line with my carbine until we overran their position.

     Our sustained artillery support provided protection for the GIs throughout the day, with no casualties within our ranks.  This was a truly gratifying result of the day’s operation.  The flexibility provided by our cart made our close support of the infantry possible.