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99th Infantry Battalion (Separate)

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by TD-Tommy776, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    On 9 May 1942, the War Department issued an order to the Commanding General of the Army Ground Forces to organize an infantry battalion unit composed of Norwegian nationals. The intent was to use the unit in a possible invasion of Norway. Ironically, they didn't make it to Norway until June 1945 when, as part of the 474th Infantry Regiment, they assisted in disarming the German occupation force.


    The 99th was activated at Camp Ripley near Little Falls, Minnesota. The unit consisted of Norwegians and Americans of Norwegian decent who had a working knowledge of the Norwegian language. Experience with skiing was preferred, but not required. The 99th left Camp Ripley in September 1942 and moved to Fort Snelling near Minneapolis, MN. They trained at Fort Snelling until December 1942 when they boarded a train for Camp Hale, Colorado. They began extensive mountain training at the Mountain Training Center located at Camp Hale.


    The 99th saw action in France, Belgium & Germany. They were attached to other units, most notably the 30th Infantry Division. On 25 January 1945, the 99th Infantry Battalion (Sep) was selected to replace the 3rd Battalion of the 474th Infantry Regiment. The 474th had been activated on 6 January 1945 with American personnel from the recently disbanded Canadian-American 1st Special Service Force "Devil's Brigade".

    More information and photos on the 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) can be found at:

    99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) website

    99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) on Facebook

    Old Hickory 30th Infantry Division website



    VIDEO - 99th Infantry Battalion in Malmedy

    [video=youtube;1h9pxuYH10M]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h9pxuYH10M[/video]
     

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  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I just found a news article about the 99th Infantry Bn. (Separate) which the reporter dubbed the "Ole Battalion" (that's pronounced oh'-lee, not oh-lay'). The basis of the article is the writer's personal relationships with two members of the battalion.
     
  3. pistol

    pistol Member

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    The Battalion has its own monument at Malmedy:

    View attachment 18910

    The battalion formed part of Task Force Hansen, an ad-hoc formation composed of First U.S.Army reserve units. The task force was assigned to defend the town of Malmedy and the downstream crossings over the Ambleve River at Stavelot and Trois Ponts. The 99th Battalion was charged with the defence of the town of Malmédy.
     

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  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Interesting. I've confused the 99th ID with the 99th Bn. in a lot of my reading.
     
  5. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    You're not the only one, KB. It's one of those units that not many know about. With your interest in the 30th ID, you may want to peruse through the "War on the Continent" section of the 99th Bn. website. They were attached to the 30th beginning 16 Oct 1944 near Würselen, Germany.
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I'll definitely be looking into these guys.
     
  7. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    The 99th Battalion fought a vicious battle against Skorzeny's 150th Pz. Bde. during the Battle of the Bulge and was instrumental in stopping its attack. The 99th was also the first ground unit in WWII to be supported by artillery firing the prozit fuze in a very powerful time on target strike against Skorzeny's men. According to the official historian of the U.S. Army, the Germans had erroneous information and thought the 99th Battalion was a second rate formation consisted of old men, when it was in reality a very well brought up unit.
     
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  8. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    For some reason, I have forgotten to mention this very good book about the 99th Bn:

    The Canal Drive

    Here's a brief summary of the book from the Amazon listing:

     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Good information, Tommy. You certainly piqued my interest with these posts. I found this website about the 99th Battalion. You might be interested. http://99battalion.org/index_files/norway.htm

    You might also look here. I think this is the link to a Word document. If it doesn't work, let me know.
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=13&ved=0CIQBEBYwDA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.minnesotanationalguard.org%2Fhistory%2Fassets%2F99thINFBN.doc&ei=_iq5UdCnEtXl4AOw_YBI&usg=AFQjCNGa3AWj9UfaXqvErgzB-tb9Y6ww1g&sig2=XcwQSXTX890w41kWHcO_cw&bvm=bv.47883778,d.dmg&cad=rja
     
  10. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I did provide the unit website in my initial post. ;)

    The Word doc, if I am not mistaken, is from the Minnesota Military Museum. They have an exhibit on the 99th Infantry Battalion, which I hope to see in the near future. When I do, I'll be sure to have my camera with me. :D
     
  11. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    I could be wrong, but they seem to be two different sites. You're the expert, so I'll bow to you. :waving:
     
  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Ah, yes. Your link was from the Minnesota National Guard website. I did recheck the Word doc and it is written by the curator of the MMM. I remembered seeing the document before and I probably associated it with the MMM based on his authorship rather than the website. At any rate, thanks for linking the document, Lou.
     
  13. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Great info and reading. Thanks for posting it. I have read a little about this unit as a sidebar of the forming up of the FSSF in 1942. Always something new to learn and read about.
     

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