February 9, 1945 – The offensive along the Western front got into high gear this day, as the Canadian 1st Army took fourteen towns and a gain of nearly five miles into Germany, and rapidly approaching the Ruhr Valley. Dispatches from the front report very little resistance. All along the 350 mile front, from the Alps to Holland, seven allied armies were moving ahead or preparing to do so. Five of those armies already on German soil or on the border.
Eighty-five miles south of the Canadian Army, the American 1st Army’s 78th Division got to within less than a mile from the big dam which controlled the Ruhr River flood waters, hoping to get to the dam before the Germans could flood the valley. Further south, General Patton‘s Third Army made its deepest penetration of Germany so far with eight miles and had out-flanked the fortress city of Prüm. In Southern Alsace, all organized German resistance was wiped out, and the allies held a secure 80 mile stretch of the Rhine’s West Bank from Switzerland to north of Strasbourg.
C-47 Transports delivered 160 Huskies, 25 dog team experts and two dozen dogsleds to General Bradley‘s headquarters. They were to be used to deliver rations and ammunition, and for moving wounded in case heavy snow tied up other communications along the front.
Meanwhile, on the Eastern front – the battles for Küstrin and Frankfurt, which were guarding the way to Berlin was still on with no word as to its progress. The German High Command announced that Konev’s Army had opened a powerful offensive against Breslau, already two-thirds encircled, with the jaws of Konev’s pincers only 39 miles apart.
And that’s a small sample of the fast-moving events for this February 9, 1945 as reported by WEAF and The Six O’Clock News.