Jump to content
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
  • Welcome to the forum!

    Welcome to the War History Online Community Forum, please register or login to start commenting.

David Metherell

Battle of Horseshoe Wood, France

Recommended Posts

The Battle of Horseshoe Wood, the crossing of the Moselle River at Dornot, France.  Nearby is a small private museum in a house, the items were collected all across France, mostly from stopping at farms and being allowed to check inside old barns where items were stored, and forgotten about, from WWII.



D Day helmet.jpg

Home Museum1.jpg

Home Museum2.jpg

Medic Helmet.jpg



Assault Vest.jpg

Home Museum4.jpg

Paul, helmets.jpg

  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The Battle of Horseshoe Woods is prominent in 5th Infantry Division lore. Our shoulder insignia is the Red Diamond on the sign behind you in the first picture.

It occurred near the villages of Dornot and Corny, and was known at the time as the "60 Hours Of Hell." It began on the morning of September 8, with an assault crossing by the 11th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division. By late that day 4 companies had made it across with heavy casualties. They took up positions in the woods where they were subjected to heavy counter attacks by the Germans. By now, no reinforcements or supplies could get across the river, as they were diverted to a second attempted crossing by other units of the 5th at Arnaville. The surrounded troops were ordered to hold fast and fight on to keep the Germans occupied. After the other crossing gained a bridgehead, the survivors were withdrawn. Casualties were 945 KIA, WIA, and MIA.

Col Kelly B. Lemmon, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Regiment, said later: "At Dornot we were like birds in a cage. Headquarters forbade the withdrawal and ordered the bridgehead to be held at all costs. My men would be sacrificed in a diversionary attack while the 10th Infantry Regiment was crossing the river at Arnaville. My men had total confidence in me and telling them they were 'expendable' was the most difficult thing I had to do during the entire war."

There is an organization in Corney that formed to keep alive the deeds of the 5th Infantry Div in liberating their town, Thanks GI's, and their founder is an Honorary Life Member of the Society of the Fifth Division. A number of years ago, members of this organization found the remains of one soldier, which they properly turned over to authorities. At our annual reunion in 2009, we held a formal ceremony to memorialize this MIA, Pvt Ralph Deneen.  Attending were members of his family and members of Thanks GI's from France.

I served with the 5th Division in Vietnam, am a member of the Society, and look forward to our annual reunions. When I first started going the World War Two guys out numbered the rest, and as a WWII buff I enjoyed talking with them. Alas, their ranks are thin, at the 2017 reunion there were only two present.



Edited by Big_Al

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now