The Ottre Massacre – Appendix 1

Radio Traffic

Let’s take a look at the S-2/ S-3journals and radio messages, and make a timeline. I will not display the whole journal, but only elements that are important to our story. This part of the story is a bit static, but I think it will give you a good view about the movements of the 331st regiment and in particular 2nd Battalion/ F company. Some of the Journals are very technical and could be difficult to read.
I chose to display it as much as it was written down back in the days.

January 9th:
– 0600 hrs: Cleared roads between Ottré and Joubieval. I on roadblock, cleared 8 mines 100 yards from Ottré. I P.W taken that was guarding it. 3rd Armored has road block S (South) side Joubieval. 
– 13.25: Co. L at 664845. Resistance from the S. Still advancing at 1300. Right Co is White Bn. Abreast of Co. L and in contact. Another Co at 656847.
– 14.06: 8 to 12 tanks 3 halftracks with A.A guns reported by Blackjack in Petit Langlir East.
– 14.10: Ontario 6 reports towns Ottré and Hebronval are clear.
– 14.25: CO. I at 660838 of BlJack. No report of K co.
– 14.30: Co K on North edge Petit Langlir. Co D down to Langlir river, Co L mopping up behind Co K.
– 15.05: Blackjack location: K – 653837. I-658834, L – 500 yards behind K. 5 tanks from Petit Langlire attacking Bjack.
– 15.15: 3 of 5 tanks attacking Bjack went back into Petit Langlir. Other 2 unknown. 6 casualties reported.
15.25: White recd. small counterattack vic 645843. Repelled by arty and arty followed enemy as they withdrew.
– 16.40: 30-40 rnds arty fell in Ottré 1555. [..] 210 dgr from Ottre. Believe coming from Pisserotte, 599818.
– 17.30: On E-W rd from Petite Langlir 3 halftracks, 4 tanks- 4 tanks in town. 8 to 13 tanks known on that road. Not sure which.
– 1735: 3 wounded and infantry counterattack stopped by arty. Will meet units and more on. Present location phase line 1.
– 17.45: White front line from 637845 to 684845>
– 20.15: Our attack to jump off 07.00. Blackjack will jump off at 08.00.

January 10th:
– 01.05: Our 1stBN contacted Blackjack Co G. Informed them of patrol ow woods grid sg 6384 which will be attacked and cleared out sometime between 07.45-08.15.
– 04.50: Petrol made contact enemy 64508425 (645842; BK). Heard tanks, returned 02.00.
– 07.25: Attack jumped off 07.00. Going ok.
– 08.20: Co K advanced 200 yrds past phase line 1.
– 08.30: 2ndBn attacked 08.00. 3rdBn attack delayed ½ hour due heavy artillery concentration.
– 08.45: Co K 200 yds ahead phase line 1. Co I moving now at 637840. Working into woods. Co F to follow.
– 08.46: AT co CP 661870. Receiving lot of arty fire from S.E.
– 09.10: Blackjack Blue Bn receiving heavy arty fire that held up attack ½ hour
– 09.20: Progress slow due to heavy small arms fire
– 09.25: Plane up. Can not see anything due to heavy ground haze.
– 09.30: Co I leave containing force at strong point and try to bypass it.
– 10.00: All types opposition. Casualties high. Co K nearby phase line 2. Going to work forward under rolling arty barrage.
– 10.10: Enemy tank moving NE on road out of Petite Langlier.
– 10.15: 2 tanks and infantry moving into strongpoint 646844 on road along Bn boundary.
– 10.17: White jumped off 07.00.
– 10.50: Placing heavy harassing fire on suspected enemy arty. Let us know if arty decreases. Arty lighter now than it has been. At 09.50 Co K contacted Co L/ 329th infantry.
– 11.20: Get Bn ready to move forward. [Red]
– 11.45: Co I still moving on phase line 3. Receiving tank fire from left front.
– 11.50: Nothing new. Co L 300 yds Petite Langlier. 2ndBn 100 yds from river 668837. Very little opposition. Co E fwd elements 200 yds past river. Heavy arty fire. Comp F going down road N of river.
25. 12.07: Enemy tanks moving N.W on road at 652847. Get tanks in position and be prepared to get into BlackJack sector if necessary.
27. 12.25: Tank attack to left under control. Tanks continue across road report to C.O Co L, 329. Co K heard tank in Petite Langlier. Request WP in town.
28. 12.45: Platoon our tanks reporting to our co L as ordered by Blackstone 6.
29. 13.00: Move I co into Ottre tonight. If necessary armor will have to move out.
30. 13.00: Tanks cannot go from Ottre on road direct to Co L 329. Blackjack says take road due E from Ottre and go down trail to South.
31. 13.25: Nothing new. TD’s firing on strongpoint in Blue esector (645845). Co L will flank it. Tanks coming from N.W.
32. 13.55: L in S end woods getting heavy mortar and MG fire from S.W. Also direct fire from front. Arty believed coming from Langlier.
33. 14.10: 3 tanks attacking strongpoint received Direct fire. Lost 5 tanks. Co I at 640844. 3 enemy tanks 647839. Going to fire TD’s on enemy tanks which is believed to have knocked out our tanks.
36. 15.23: Co I at 640844; Co F at 643844, Co E behind Co I; 2 squads at 645844 been lost since morning. Sent two patrols to 633837. No word yet.
38. 16.12: Co I to pass thru Co L . Co K to follow Co I. Going to fire 8” stuff at strong point.
39. 17.15: Determine exact location of Cos and advise
40. 2ndBN got about 40 PW’s. 3rdBn going to try to enter Petite Langire tonight.
41. 19.00: 3rd Bn recieved lot arty, buttoned up and will not go to Petit Langlire tonight.
42. 20.02: Enemy tanks and inf. to 2nd Bn left front. Inf filtrating our OPL with burp guns.
43. 20.45: Co I rpts tanks on road between Petite Langler and main road (where; BK) the strong point is on.
44. 22.30: 330th (regiment; BK) goes to 3rdAD control 0800, 11 jan 45. New boundary thru these points 629837, 630820-633811. If weather is favorable air available tomorrow. Choose likely targets. Be positive of front lines at all times.

January 11th.

12. 08.50: Co K reports 2 more tanks moved into strongpoint 645845
13. 09.10: Tanks are in position in strongpoint and being camouflaged.
14. 09.15: Blue getting a lot of arty fire.
38. 13.50: Enemy pulled out strongpoint 645844 and taken 3 tanks with them.
47. 16.00: 3rdBn attacked 1500. Holding up till finds out if strongpoint is neutralised. Sending out patrol.
49. Strongpoint reported clear. Co I has started to move. Hold attack till coordinated with 3rdBn 329th.
50. 16.25: Reported 2 tanks from strongpoint moved into woods 643840 inf with them.
52. 17.40: CO L had small counterattack Inf from direction enemy strong point. Under control now.

© Bob Konings

Appendix 2: Media articles >>>>>>

Radiotraffic message 25, 31, 33 and 36