Mott, Hugh Barbee.

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Mott, Hugh Barbee. born 14-08-1920 in  Nashville, Tennessee, to John R Mott (1898-1966) and his wife Ruby Norton, born Cleveland, Mott ( 1897-1978),

graduated from East Nashville High School in 1939. Hugh then attended the Marion Military Institute for a year in hopes of attaining an appointment to West Point. Instead, Mott worked as a civilian employee of the Army Corps of Engineers installing steel reinforcing rod for the Wolf Creek Dam from August 1940 to January 1941. He then worked 70 hours a week at the Vultee Aircraft factory in Nashville on the construction of Vengeance dive bombers until he enlisted in the Army on 01-11-1942. Mott later attended the Army Command and General Staff College and graduated from a course at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1962.

Mildred Kirkpatrick Latimer Mott (1923-2016) was married on 13-04-1941 to her high school sweetheart Hugh B Mott. She was 92 years old when she passed away. Mott reported for basic training at Fort Eustis in Virginia on 30-11-1942. Trained in antiaircraft artillery, he was sent to Artillery Officer Candidate School at Camp Davis in North Carolina. On 03-06-1943, Mott was commissioned as a second lieutenant of artillery. After serving as an artillery officer instructor, he transferred to the Corps of Engineers on 10-02-1944. On 24–03-1944, Mott completed engineering school at Fort Belvoir in Virginia and was assigned to the 9th Armored Division (the “Phantom Division”)

under command of Major General John William Leonard, at Camp Polk in Louisiana. Casualties of the Phantom Division during their Europeen campaign, Total casualties 3.845, killed in action 570, wounded in action 2.280, missing in action 87 and prisoner of war 908.

On 07-03-1945, during the allied offensive to the Rhine River, Combat Command B of the 9th Armored Division arrived at the town of Remagen, discovering that the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine river was intact.

The Battle of Remagen was an 18-day battle during the Allied invasion of Germany in World War II from 7 to 25 March 1945 when American forces unexpectedly captured the Ludendorff Bridge, called after WW1 General Ludendorff, Erich Friedrich Wilhelm. ,over the Rhine intact. They were able to hold it against German opposition and build additional temporary crossings. The presence of a bridgehead across the Rhine advanced by three weeks the Western Allies’ planned crossing of the Rhine into the German interior.

After capturing the Siegfried Line, the 9th Armored Division of the U.S. First Army had advanced unexpectedly quickly towards the Rhine. They were very surprised to see one of the last bridges across the Rhine still standing.: 263–264  The Germans had wired the bridge with about 2,800 kilograms (6,200 lb) of demolition charges. When they tried to blow it up, only a portion of the explosives detonated. U.S. forces captured the bridge and rapidly expanded their first bridgehead across the Rhine, two weeks before Field Marshal Bernard “Monty” Montgomery‘s meticulously planned Operation Plunder. The G.I.’s actions prevented the Germans from regrouping east of the Rhine and consolidating their positions.

Operation Plunder was a military operation to cross the Rhine on the night of 23-03-1945, launched by the 21st Army Group under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. The crossing of the river was at Rees, Wesel, and south of the river Lippe by the British Second Army under Lieutenant General Miles Christopher Dempsey,

and the United States Ninth Army under Lieutenant General William Hood “Bill”  Simpson Dempsey died age 72 on  05-06-1969, in Yattendon

A three-man detachment from 2nd Platoon, B Company (Lieutenant Hugh Mott, Staff Sergeant John Reynolds, and Sergeant Eugene Dorland) moved with the first squad of A/27th AIB to reduce the remaining explosives after the first unsuccessful bridge demolition by the Germans. They were the third, fourth, and fifth US soldiers onto the bridge. The first to cross the river were Sergeant Alexander Albert Drabik   and  Lieutenant Karl Heinrich Timmermann

  who had been born in Frankfurt am Main.Crossing with lead elements, Dorland destroyed the main demolition switch box on the far shore. The remainder of B Company, 9th Engineers followed with the rest of A/27th AIB, finding and reducing more explosives on the bridge. After the crossing was initially secured, Lieutenant Mott led B Company in the hasty bridge repairs that allowed the first Sherman tanks to cross the bridge by 2200 that night.

The capture of this bridge proved to be a vital part of the eventual breakthrough into Germany. Soon 8,000 men crossed the bridge. Two temporary bridges were erected next to it. Attempts to destroy the bridge failed. Adolf Hitler had all the men, as Major Johannes Stefan Anton “Hans” Scheller   the temporary  commander of the Ludendorff Bridge, responsible for Remagen shot. On March 17, the bridge collapsed under continuous bombing. At that time, the Americans already controlled a strip of 13 kilometers wide and 40 kilometers deep on the eastern bank of the Rhine. In this area the Americans built 62 bridges in a few days and on March 25 several Allied armies had already crossed and were ready to push through. As it finally collapsed on 17-03-1945, 10 days after it was captured; 28 Army engineers were killed in the collapse while a further 63 were injured. Of those who died, 18 were actually missing, but presumably had drowned in the swift current of the Rhine. Eisenhower‘s Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Walter Bedell “Beetle” Smith, said the capture of Ludendorff Bridge was “worth its weight in gold”

Mott remained in the military as a member of the Tennessee Army National Guard until November 1975. He attained the rank of Major General, and commanded the 30th Armored Division from April 1968 to February 1969. Mott also served as the adjutant general of Tennessee from December 1968 to May 1971.

In tribute to Major General Mott, the U.S. Army Engineer School, located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, named the Bachelor Officer’s Quarters building “Mott Hall” in his honor. In 1971, Mott was appointed as Special Assistant for Public Safety by Nashville Mayor Beverly Briley. Mott later served briefly as the Chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

Death and burial ground of Major General Mott, Hugh Barbee.

General Hugh Barbee Mott, who was married to Mildred Kirkpatrick, born Latimer Mott, his high school sweetheart, died on 24-06-2005, at the age of 84, after spending more than 33 years in the service of his country. He was interred at the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery. Mildred died 10-04-2016 (age 92) in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA.

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