23-10-44 In the night strong harassing fire that at times increased to artillery
Reinforcements that were added where:
1./Pz.Jg.Abt.256 (Anti Tank Division 256) with 5 x 7,5cm Pak 40 (mot.Z.)
I./G.R.481 (arrival last parts finally at 07.00 hrs)
4./A.R.185 (Artillery Regiment 185) (fire ready around 09.30 hrs)
Stab I./A.R.159 with 1. and 9./A.R.159 (Stab= HQ or staff) (fire ready around ………………………………………….
During the night our own artillery gave harassing fire on suspected
enemy assembly area’s and locations.
07.00 hrs the enemy attack began as expected on the rail crossing
south of Kruisstraat. After artillery and fog bombardments 3 tanks broke trough the
defensive position south of the railway. Further tanks broke trough the line 500
north of the main road ‘s-Hertogenbosch-Hees. As a result of the foggy morning
and because of enemy artillery support by own troops proved difficult. Also here
it was noticeable again that the lack of communication equipment was to our
At the position of I./G.R.481 at Bruggen, for the retaking of section
Kruisstraat – Hoefgraaf- canal, a battalion moving in a rather narrow area under
the protection of the fog suffered a strong enemy tank attack with multiple flame
throwing tanks. Several tanks advanced to Rosmalen but could be forced to turn
around because of combined fire. Btl.Wittstock together with I./G.R.481 pressed
trough from Rosmalen again until Bruggen and, without informing the Division,
pressed on until Het Gewande. The result hoped for, closing the gap at the
north wing, failed. On the contrary, also a breakthrough of numerous tanks took
place again in the area of G.R.732. Nevertheless the area around Rosmalen
remained the most threatened area. At 12.45 hrs 2.(Sturmgeschutz)/Pz.Jg.Abt.256
(Panzer. Jager. Abteilung.256) without 1st platoon was, according to the request
of 11.00 hrs made by Gen.Kdo.LXXXVIII.A.K.(General.Command.88.Army.Corp.),
deployed at both sides of Kruisstraat for retaking the Main Line of Resistance.
The Division had, from own recourses, provided this Sturmgeschutz company with
fuel so it could be expected that they soon would be ready to march. The
accompanying infantry was provided with 2 VB’s, (Vorgeschobener Artillerie-
Beobachter, Forward Artillery Observers) from both the artillery-battalions and the
plan of attack was discussed with the involved commanders so a presumption for
success was given. These commanders were specially ordered to close all gaps.
The south adjacent troops kept to their orders and accompanied into the attack.
Because of incomprehensible causes – apparently difficulties during refuelling -
the sturmgeschutzen finally arrived around 16.00 hrs at the Divisions defensive position
at Hintham, at the time when the batteries of A.R.1712 (Artillery.Regiment.1712)
were already at Rosmalen partly involved in to close combat with enemy tanks and
infantry. On this dim day there was the danger that the attack, at the beginning
darkness, would not fully develop. During the hours of preparation the frontline
G.R.732 was broken trough by enemy tanks and infantry troops at multiple places.
The opponent was increasing his artillery activity since noon. It was not a rarity
shells 800 t0 1000 shells where shot on single districts ore expected defensive positions.
When our multiple Sturmgeschutzen, accompanied by infantry seated
top of the Sturmgeschutze, approached Rosmalen from the south at 16.30 hrs for
the attack, they came under attack from our own artillery by over a 1000 shells and
suffered considerable losses. 2 Sturmgeschutzen were putt out of action by direct
artillery hits. Heavy tank battles developed around Rosmalen. While half the
Sturmgeschutzen accompanied by infantry bypassed Rosmalen to the east-west
and progressed forward on to Bruggen, the other half was engaged in a heavy battle
with tanks that wanted to destroy our counterattacking west flank. This Sturmgeschutz
group came in oppression and called back the infantry accompanied Sturmgeschutzen
in the dawning dusk. As a result the infantry could not continue their attack and
because they suffered significantly under enemy artillery. At Rosmalen a super heavy
tank (dreadnought), 1 Sherman-tank and 1 armoured reconnaissance vehicle were
destroyed. The Sturmgeschutzen were pulled back to serve as corps reserve as ordered
by the Gen.Kdos. (General Command) after a further Sturmgeschutz was put out of
action by multiple direct anti-tank hits in the north-west part of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
While the focus of the division with all the heavy weapons was focused
to support the attack on Rosmalen, Bruggen and Kruisstraat around 17.30 hrs, British
infantry penetrated at Hintham coming from the southeast numbering about 50,
occupied the houses and could not be driven out again because of lack of power
as parts of the Div.Stabes (Divisions HQ) the communications- battalion 712 and
the Stabsbatt.Art.Rgt.1712 (HQ of Artillery Regiment 1712) were deployed
elsewhere as an alarm unit. In this critical stage the newly added Battalion- Balzereit
arrived around 18.30 hrs and was assigned to push north along Hintham to take over
the protection of the artillery positions in the area around Rosmalen and to resume
the communication with parts of Gr.Rgt.732. Btl.Balzereit did not fulfil this order,
partly because it was annihilate by artillery fire during darkness. It lacked the
in communications with the at the front deployed troops. In march send out special
reconnaissance patrols couldn’t penetrate, either because they couldn’t get trough
because of the enemy ore because they just couldn’t find the troops any more.
Communication equipment was partly shot to pieces and telephone lines were destroyed.
At 20.00 hrs the enemy artillery barrage started on the location
Divisions Command post in the west part of Hintham without pausing until 04.40 hrs.
There was no doubt this was espionage because the largest part of shells fell
precisely on the command-communication-Ic and IIa Bunker. According to stopwatch
counts that were hastily repeated by an artillery-battalion commander during the
artillery attack, in the night of 23 on 24.10, with a number of batteries, the enemy
had fired about 50.000 grenades up to the calibre of 17 cm on the Divisions
Command Post. The military damage inflicted is certainly in no relationship to the
The German documents with the outcome of the battle for 23 October 1944. (Click on the documents to enlarge)
The staff car of Generalleutnant Neumann after heavy artillery fire on the Hinthammerpark
and his command post. This artillery attack started on the 23rd at 20.00 hrs and
without pausing ended at 04.40 hrs on the 24th.