Company I, 71st Regiment, was awarded its Presidential Unit Citation for the action at Fruedenberg Farm. The farm, which was a set of dense stone buildings located at the junction of key roads, had to be taken and held to secure the flank of the Simserhof Fort, and protect the assault from German counter-attacks. nder directly observed and directed, i.e. accurate, intense artillery fire the men of Company “I” traversed over one mile, battled victorious through four enemy fortifications, just to get to the farm. The unit then assaulted the pillboxes with dynamite satchels at Freudenberg Farm, attacking through automatic weapons fire, sized the farm while capturing 20 Germans. Then for five consecutive days the unit held-off a counter attack, endured heavy shelling of up-to 30 shells per minute. The farm buildings were reduced to rubble. Despite the buildings often collapsing directly on the men of Company “I”, yet the ground was held, the flank secured, the mission accomplished.”
The 71st would earn a second Presidential Unit Citation in a matter of days during Nordwind. At the farm, satchel charges were used to blast their way in. It is a set of explosives carried inside a haversack. The charge is connected to a timer system that is ignited by either pulling a string or twisting the detonator cap. Once the satchel charge begins to smoke, it was tossed into the farm fortifications. The Browning Automatic Rifle BAR was another weapon used at the farm. It is heavy and requires specialized training. Usually an additional man acted as ammunition carrier. The BAR is often praised as one of the best weapons ever used by the US Army Presidential Unit Citation Freudenberg Farm 71st Regiment
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The Presidential Unit Citation may be awarded to units for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign. The degree of heroism required is the same as that which would warrant the award of a Distinguished Service Cross, 2nd most honored Army award to an individual.
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