Then and Now's of Heinsberg Germany

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by buggsy, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. buggsy

    buggsy Junior Member

    My father was in the 774 Field Artillery Battalion - HQ Battery - Fire Direction. I have a trip planned in 2014 to visit some of the places that he fought in. I have a few pictures that I need some help with. They are not in very good shape and not very much to go on but I thought it was worth a try. If any one can help I would appreciate it. Heinsberg Ger.jpg View attachment 115250
    What is written on the back of the second photo is "main street looking South towards Geilenkirchen." Does any one know what the main street of Heinsberg was in 1944 - 1945? Was it Hochstrase?

    The second photo's are of armored vehicles. I can't figure out the writing on them to ID the unit. Can anyone help? tank 3.jpg U.S. tank.jpg

    Thanks, Buggsy

    Attached Files:

    CL1 and dbf like this.
  2. belasar

    belasar Junior Member

    Buggsy, both vehicles pictured are US Tank Destroyers and from what I can tell they seem to be M-10 "Wolverine's" (3 inch Gun Motor Carriage being the official designation).

    Tank Destroyers were in detached Tank Destroyer Battalions and assigned by Corps or Army units to contain enemy armor breakthoughs (in theory :)) and not usually a regular component of either a Armored or Infantry division.

    In the first photo the writing on the left front side above the bogie wheel is almost surely a nick name applied by the crew and if I read it correctly, the second such named vehicle (hence the "II"), the first likely coming to a bad end. Sadly unless you managed to contact someone in that crew or the platoon/company in which it served, that won't help much.

    The second photo has writing on the left mud flap and likely denotes company and battalion, but is too blurry for me to make out.

    One possible clue is the listing of "Geilenkirchen". The US 84th Infantry Division was attached to the UK's XXX Corps to clear the "Geilenkirchen Salient" in 1944 and it would place (possibly/probably) the Tank Destroyer Battalion as one attached to the US 9th Army and then to the 84th ID for this operation. Then again it could be a follow on unit from a later period, but likely it still is a TD Battalion attached to a unit in the 9th Army if the location is correct.
  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member


    I would search Heinsberg town for Hauptstrasse meaning "High Street" probably the nearest to Main Street..should be accessible via Google.

    Hoch-strasse,translates as High-street.... note the dash...but means "Overpass" or the more familiar to the English of "Flyover"
  4. buggsy

    buggsy Junior Member

    Thanks Belasar and Harry for your help. I can find streets on google but I can not drive them as they are not accessible in Germany on google. So, I can't follow the road on the computer to see if I can ID the right buildings. I'm sure that Heinsberg like everywhere else has grown in the last 70 years which will make it hard to locate once I am in that town. In the photo's it looks like the town was heavily bombed making building ID's harder as well. I will keep trying but I may have to find the old part of town when I get there and walk up and down the streets.
    Thanks again for your help, Buggsy
  5. kreuzrath

    kreuzrath New Member

    Dear Buggsy,

    My father was a member of the 4th Dorsets and has been involved in operation clipper, I am living in Kreuzrath which is not far from Heinsberg, for nearly 40 years.
    The pictures are made in Heinsberg, the town has been attacked by the RAF on November 16th 1944, prior to the attack on the so called sittard triangle.
    The street is apfelstr, and hochstrasse, There is a book availlable called Als der Tod vom Himmel Fiel, it,s about the war in an around heinsberg during the war.
    If you need more help just let me know.

    dbf likes this.
  6. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    dbf likes this.
  7. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day buggsy,m,29 dec,2013, and now's of heinsberg germany.our troops and air force did a great job.when i look at your photo's it reminds me of london during the blitz, they could not bomb them anough as far as i am concerned.thank you for posting.regards bernard85 :army:
  8. buggsy

    buggsy Junior Member

    Sorry my reply is so late and thanks for the information. I will have to look it up on google and see if someone has posted any pictures of that part of town. Do you recognize the places that the photo's were taken? I started another post looking for help with two photo's in Herzogenrath, Germany. If you are interested you may want to look them up also.
  9. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  10. buggsy

    buggsy Junior Member

    Thanks Wills,
    I sent that information to Philip at the Royal Artillery in the Netherlands website and he was gracious enough to post it. I also have seen the photo and sent it on to a member of the 774th. that was on border patrol in that area. He is now 90 years old and remembered the area like it was yesterday. An amazing man. I thank you for all of the info. If you come across anything else please let me know. It is hard to track down information on a unit that was not apart of a Division.
    Many thanks, Buggsy
  11. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    The photograph of 774th security F.A.B on the Aachen - Vaals junction - the building shown is still in the catering business, now - Ristorante Pizzeria La Finestra.

    The sign A Sector (Rhine province) Frontier Command and the photo of the 774th on security duty might indicate being used as part of the US Constabulary: Con.htm#Frontier

    US Constabulary :
  12. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member


    Does anyone know of any remains of the wartime defences in and around Heinsberg that I could look out on avisit there this summer?

    Thanks in advance

Share This Page