Belgien / Schlachtfeld

​​Band of Brothers: Fighting at Noville​




​​​“Band of Brothers” was the famous name given to Company E, 2nd Battalion, US 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The Company fought during the Ardennes Offensive (also known as the Battle of the Bulge) in the winter of 1944 to 45. ​On 15 January 1945, at this location, Company E attacked the village of Noville. Their objective was to push back the German units further and liberate the village from German control.​​

​​The attack on Noville was planned for dawn on 15 January 1945. Easy Company were sheltered in a quarry, which they had it late the previous day. The attack started from there.

The positions of the German troops were not known, as there was little time for reconnaissance patrols. Lieutenant Speirs, the newly assigned officer of Easy Company, therefore gave two of his men, Sergeant Lipton and a radioman, permission to scope out the situation during the night.

Lipton was able to get close to the crossroads and church in Noville, and looked for any positions or movements of German troops. He noticed US Sherman tanks in the road. Lipton wondered if this was their armour support for the upcoming attack on Noville. He thought maybe it had moved forward early. He radioed back to Speirs for confirmation.

However, on further investigation the Sherman tanks were found to be those of Team Desobry. Team Desobry was a US Armored unit that had been knocked out here on 19 to 20 December 1944. The village was in fact still under German control, so Lipton and his radioman they withdrew.

At dawn, 2nd Platoon and 3rd Platoon of Easy Company attacked Noville. 2nd Platoon reached the crossroads area in the centre with little resistance, however 3rd Platoon encountered more on the opposite side of the road.

Armoured vehicles were then spotted in Noville, believed to be American. The paratroopers looked to communicate with the tanks, but quickly realised they were German tanks and so sought to take cover. Lipton got under one of the knocked-out Sherman tanks that were in the road. Later, he recalled that the German tanks quickly fired rounds into the knocked-out tanks. The one he was under lifted into the air before crashing back down. He was unharmed but sought better cover.

The German tank then began to drive northwards along the road, towards Houffalize. However, it did not get far as it was strafed (fired on by low flying aircraft) and bombed, by American fighter aircraft, and destroyed.

By noon, the village was secured and held by Easy Company, who then put a defensive screen around the village in case of German counterattacks. No attack came, and they remained here for the night.

Noville, 6600