George G Klein – From Ranger to Forward Observer
September 23, 2017 joedemadio 2 Comments
Earlier this year D-Day Overlord published an article on how George G Klein did not land in Pointe du Hoc on D-Day. Instead at the time he was in Northern Ireland with B Battery of the 46th Field Artillery Battalion, attached to the 5th Infantry Division. Instead of judging Klein for covering up his real history I’d like to talk about what he really did and where’s been over Europe. According to D-Day Overlord he received a Bronze Star and he got wounded on November during the Moselle crossings while being a forward observer for his battery. However, no record of his wounds were found in the After Action Reports of November.
The 46th FAB has been in direct support of the 10th Infantry Regiment throughout the war. This means that where ever they went, the 46th FAB and their batteries were behind them. According to the roster of the 5th Infantry Division, Klein was a 2nd Lieutenant and forward observer. The forward observer played a vital role as he was with the infantry. Most of the time he has better view of the battlefields and requests for fire support where he thinks the infantry needs it. After requesting fire to the batteries, they are the ones to decide how much they’ll fire.
Since the After Action Reports of the 46th Field Artillery Battalion are available online it is easy for us to locate their batteries. The reports however, go as far as December. Nevertheless, I think we are able to follow Klein’s footsteps all the way from Normandy to Luxembourg during the Battle of the Bulge. To make it easier for you, I ploughed through the AARs and plotted all the coordinates on a map. I have acknowledge that the reports from end of August to November barely contain coordinates. Therefore the positions are not accurate. I decided to only plot the towns they were near during these months. The positions for December are accurate.
In September 1944, the 5th Infantry Division crossed the Moselle River south of Metz. It became one of their bloodiest months throughout the war. Throughout that period, the 46th FAB was directly supporting the 10th Infantry Regiment. To read about their experiences check out this full report or read the 46th After Action Reports.