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I'm Here To Take Over: Easy Company's Attack on Foy, 13 January 1945

Nuts! I'm Here To Take Over:
Easy Company's Attack on Foy, 13 January 1945
with Wayne Turner

E or ‘Easy’ Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, like the rest of the division, was ordered on to the attack on 9 January 1945 as part of a general offensive to drive back the Germans from Bastogne. In the following days the 506th Regiment, along with the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, cleared the forests around the town of Foy and pushed the Germans out. Their next objective was to take Foy to allow the 11th Armored Division to attack from Foy across the fields northeast towards Noville.
Nuts!
Germans forces had smashed through the American 28th and 106th Infantry Divisions before approaching the key crossroads town of Bastogne on 19 December. In the meantime the veteran 101st Airborne Division had been rushed from their camp in France to Bastogne to take up the defence.

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Foy was held by Volksgrenadiers of 26. Volksgrenadierdivision (26th People’s Grenadier Division), with support from some Panther tanks of the recently arrived 1. Panzerabteilung, 12. SS-Panzerdivision (1st Tank Battalion, 12th SS Armoured Division). The SS panzers had just come from heavy fighting in the north, while the Volksgrenadiers had been hammering away at Bastogne since the airborne division had arrived at the front.
I'm Here To Take Over: Easy Company's Attack on Foy, 13 January 1945
At 0900 hours on 13 January Easy Company attacked along the western edge of Foy, along the road. The new
year had brought heavy snow and the it blanketed the ground and had reduced temperatures to well below zero. 2nd Battalion commander, Captain Dick Winters, had two section of LMGs deployed on the edge of the woods facing Foy to give Easy Company covering fire while they crossed the 250 yards of open field between the forest and Foy’s buildings. There were just a few scattered trees and haystacks to give cover. As Easy Company advance the covering fire did its job, limiting the fire on the paratroopers to sporadic rifle shots. The approach on Foy made good pace under the cover of the LMG fire, but about 75 yards out from the edge of the village the skirmish line halted and the paratroopers hunkered down in the snow. Captain Winters stared in disbelief, wondering what was going on.

I'm Here To Take Over: Easy Company's Attack on Foy, 13 January 1945
Lieutenant Dike, who was commanding Easy Company, had been overwhelmed with indecision. It became obvious to Winters that Dike didn’t know what he was doing, or had had a failure of confidence. His immediate impulse was to take command himself, but he noticed Lieutenant Ronald Speirs, a capable platoon commander from D Company, standing nearby. Winters ordered Speirs to take command of Easy Company and get the attack moving again. What Speirs did next amazed many of the paratroopers who witnessed it.
I'm Here To Take Over: Easy Company's Attack on Foy, 13 January 1945
On receiving his orders from Winters, Speirs immediately ran at full speed down to where Dike and his HQ had taken cover behind a haystack and told Dike his orders, ‘I’m here to take over’. After quickly being told of the situation by the NCOs he ran off towards Foy. The men of Easy Company immediately followed. On reaching the outskirt buildings of Foy, Speirs immediately sought to link up with I Company of 3rd Battalion who, despite only having 25 men, were supporting the attack from the other flank of Foy. He set off running again, through the German lines, to find I Company’s commander. After consulting with its commander, Captain Gene Brown, he turned around and dashed back through Foy and the surprised Germans. Through all this the enemy fired on him with machine-guns, rifles and guns, but not a single shot hit its mark.
I'm Here To Take Over: Easy Company's Attack on Foy, 13 January 1945
As Easy Company moved into Foy they came under fire from several snipers from haystacks and buildings. The LMGs in the woods soon dealt with the haystack snipers, but it was the keen eye and marksmanship of Shifty Powers that eliminated the sniper operating from the houses.
I'm Here To Take Over: Easy Company's Attack on Foy, 13 January 1945
With artillery and mortar fire support the paratroopers pushed the Germans out of Foy. As the battle developed the Germans pushed back and H Company, 3rd Battalion also joined the fight. The paratroopers fought from house to house, clearing each in turn.
I'm Here To Take Over: Easy Company's Attack on Foy, 13 January 1945

In the afternoon, 3rd Battalion, 327th Glider Infantry Regiment joined the paratroopers in Foy to help with the mopping up operations and ensure the village was cleared of Germans.

~ Wayne.

Foy Scenario
With the siege of Bastogne broken the men of the 101st Airborne Division are on the attack, clearing the Germans from the villages around Bastogne, such as Foy, to make way for the armored divisions to press on to Germany. At Foy Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment led the attack with support from I Company.

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I'm Here To Take Over: Easy Company's Attack on Foy, 13 January 1945


Last Updated On Wednesday, December 05, 2012 by Blake at Battlefront