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28 Jan - 2 Feb 1945

January, the 23rd’s biggest month, wound up with Operation LANDONVILLE (28 January-2 February). It ran concurrently with STEINSEL but neither operation suffered for lack of manpower. LANDONVILLE was practically identical to METZ-2. Even to the same area. Only in this case the 95th Infantry was being replaced by the 26th. (90th by 94th in METZ-2). The 23rd played the 95th and by radio alone held them in position for 12-24 hours until the ticklish transition period was completed. Then the notional 95th was brought back into reserve east of Metz by radio and special effects. Both real divisions obliterated all identifying marks and insignia during the relief.

The fake CP of 95th was in the gloomiest chateau in all Lorraine. Luckily, however, someone received a bottle of Southern Comfort from home and the arctic weather finally broke on 1 February. The ride back to the base camp in Briey was slushy but almost balmy. The most popular food during this operation was a bar of D-ration heated to fudge-like consistency over a pot-bellied stove.

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