World War II, Volume 6

CHAPTER 138 The fight for Alsace On October 17 after a fortnights sus­tained drive which took the 3rd Algerian Division up theM oselotte as far as Cornimont General deL attre decided to change his plans and make a surprise attack on the Belfort gap. But it was important nevertheless that II Corps should not lessen its pressure and allow the enemy to redeploy his forces. The offensive forged ahead and on November 5 the 3rd Algerian Division (General Guillaume) reached the outskirts of the Col dOderen more than 3000 feet high the opposing enemy forces here included as many as 15 infantry battalions as well as the 169th Division which had been refitted after its return from Finland. Such deployment of force was combined with apiece of trickery whose aim (in deL attres own words) was "to give the enemy the impression of total insecurity Vosges sector. Counterfeit troop move­ments and the upsetting of fictitious H.Q.s were made inconspicuous the area of Remiremont. At Plombieres a detach­ment of the 5th Armoured Division setup roadsigns signposted routes and made full use of radio. All this activity drew the attention of enemy spies and if by chance it escaped them the Intelligence agents were thereto open their eyes to what was on.”going All these indications were corroborated in General Wiese’s mind by bogus orders and letters bear­ing General deL attres personal signa­ture which reached him from reliable sources. The supreme instance of planned deception being "General Directive No. 4” in which tbe French 1st Army com­mander announced his intention of simu­lating troop concentrations in the region of the Doubs to encourage the enemy to withdraw troops from the Vosges. The attack goes in At any event the Swiss 2nd Division in the Porrentruy area using sound detec­tion apparatus was able to follow the progressive deployment of powerful artil­lery on the slopes of the Lomont for all the discretion the French used in their registration shoots. It is not known whether these indications escaped the notice of the Germans. DeL attre decided on his plan on Octo­ber 24: I Corps (General B ethouart) was given the objective of capturing the A American infantrymen prepare to attack from trench positions on the outskirts of Colmar. A French-manned lank stands toby give support. 21022103
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