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gratefully acknowledged that this gallant stand had saved his regiment.


The 3d Battalion of the 393d, after hard fighting on the 17th, had withdrawn northeast of Rocherath and tied in sketchily on the left of the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry. Colonel Allen's battalion was about half strength and had lost all of its machine guns, mortars, and antitank guns. The furious morning attack against the 1st Battalion, with a tank platoon in the lead, also struck the 3d Battalion. Unable to combat the tanks although one was hit by a bazooka round, the battalion fell back a thousand yards to the northwest. Good radio communication with the 395th allowed its cannon company to take a hand effectively, covering the retirement and discouraging close pursuit. About noon Allen's men were ordered to Wirtzfeld, then on to the line forming at Elsenborn.


Although enemy tanks and foot troops had penetrated as far as the 38th command post inside Rocherath, they were successfully hunted out during the morning. The Germans continued to hammer along the forest road, striving to win free entrance to the village, but they found the 2d Battalion of the 38th (Lt. Col. Jack K. Norris), now standing in the way, a tough opponent. The most successful assault of the afternoon forced the 2d Battalion to retire "one hedgerow."


The battle for Krinkelt, if it can be separated from that raging around Rocherath, commenced sometime before dawn when five tanks and a body of infantry moved cautiously up to the eastern edge of the village. When the enemy tankers halted to confer with their infantry escort, Company L, 23d Infantry, which had been placed in the line after its retreat from the woods the evening before, killed some forty of the Germans and the panzers decamped. A brief period of quiet followed and during this lull the foot detachment of the 394th from Murringen passed through the American lines en route to Wirtzfeld and Elsenborn. By 0830, however, the fight for Krinkelt was on in earnest. A number of attacks were checked by shellfire before they could make much headway. Nonetheless, a tank platoon penetrated as far as the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry, command post before it was destroyed, and a few German tanks got as far as the road south to Wirtzfeld. In this quarter, as at Rocherath, the American tanks, tank destroyers, and bazooka teams left the German tanks smoking and broken. [6]


During the night of 18 December, the 2d Division still held the twin villages while the last organized units of the 99th Division moved west on their way to Elsenborn. In the dark, German bazooka teams crept along walls and hedgerows seeking the hiding places of the American tanks and tank destroyers which had done so much to foil the armored attacks during the day. The panzers again made forays into the villages, made their kills, and in turn were destroyed.


Although the American hold in this sector remained firm, some of the confusion and loss of control normally inherent in a tactical situation like that faced by the 2d and 99th Divisions was beginning to tell. Orders from the 99th Division had been addressed to the 394th


[6] During the fighting in the twin villages on the 1


8th, 1st Lt. R. A. Parker destroyed or immobilized six enemy tanks with a rocket launcher. Parker was awarded the DSC.