By Gerald Astor
For almost 5 months, beginning in mid-September 1944, American GIs battled for the Hurtgen woodland, a 50-square mile tract of tremendous inhospitable terrain.
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Additional resources for The Bloody Forest: Battle for the Hurtgen: September 1944-January 1945
Five Wotan boats got into position to launch a second attack on Slow Convoy 104 on October 14. Leading the pack was Trojer in U-221, who claimed sinking four more ships for 27,547 tons, including the British whale factory ship Southern Empress. Only two of these sinkings were confirmed, a 5,900-ton American freighter and the 12,398-ton Southern Empress. * The Ritterkreuz holder Ernst Mengersen in U-607 hit and sank a 4,800-ton Greek freighter, but an escort counterattacked him, causing so much damage that he was forced to abort to France.
One found and depth-charged Becker's big, clumsy VnD (minelayer) U-21S, inflicting such heavy damage that ie was forced to haul out then abort to France. In the melee, Rother in U-3S0 lost :. diesel engine, which he could not repair and he was also forced to haul away. An ~scort fired at Heinz Walkerling, age twenty-seven, in the new V-91, causing "slight" damage, but Walkerling pressed on. Another escort thwarted a third attack Jy Struckrneier in U-60S. Hellriegel in U-96 lost a diesel engine chasing down a -IOO-ton Portuguese sailing trawler and, as a result, declared himself temporarily unfit for convoy attacks.
Meanwhile, the entire convoy overtook the combatants and every ship in it that could bring a weapon to bear opened fire on the U-boat. Amid this tumult, Romer and his crew jumped overboard. Heathcote sent a boarding party to ransack U-353 for intelligence documents, but the party, commanded by P. M. Jones, had only five minutes inside the sinking boat and it found nothing of value. Fame and the Norwegian-manned corvette Acanthus picked up Romer and thirty-seven other survivors. Six Germans died in the sinking.