|According to plan on 30 Dec 44, a mixed lot of German troops got off the train at the Pirmasens North Bahnhof: several SS "Mountain Division" units (some from Norway but many of them newly drafted into the SS and poorly trained), an anti-tank platoon, a medical platoon, and a news group. The long column formed up and the 6. SS Geb.Rgt. split off to begin the long march to Gerstfeldhohe.
On 31 Dec at 2300 Operation Nordwind began. Fighting under the leadership of a Volksgrenadier Division, the 6th SS "Mountain Division" North faced US soldiers from the 157th Reg of the 45th Division in hilly terrain. The weather was cold, snow fell, and men from both sides suffered terribly. By the time the order came on 26 Jan 45 to cease the attack, heavy casualties had dropped the German Officer and Enlisted strength to 50 percent. The 6th SS Mountain Division Nord reorganized into their previous unit at this time and withdrew to defend the established German lines until March 1945, when they were transfered to the Saar and virtually destroyed as a unit.
Thanks to Chuck Steeves for the 325th Engineer link, suggestion of additional sites, and book recommendation of Seven Days In January: With the 6th SS-Mountain Division in Operation Nordwind by Wolf T. Zoepf and Theodore Metaxis.