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rolled off the roads and into Dom Butgenbach. (They had shot down three bazooka teams and a Company H machine gun section.) Here, in the dark, battalion antitank guns placed to defend the 2d Battalion command post went to work firing point-blank at the exhaust flashes as the German vehicles passed. Two enemy tanks were holed and the rest fled the village, although the antitank gun crews suffered at the hands of the German bazooka teams that had filtered in with the tanks.


A second try came just before dawn, this time straight down the road from Bullingen. Ten German tanks in single file were sighted as they came over a slight ridge to the front of Company F. Two tank destroyers and three antitank guns drove the tanks off or at least caused them to turn west in search of a weaker spot in the 2d Battalion defenses. In the next thrust a platoon of Company G was badly cut up before friendly artillery finally checked the attack. Fifteen minutes later, apparently still seeking a hole, the Germans hit Company E, next in line to the west. The 60-mm. mortars illuminated the ground in front of the company at just the right moment and two of three tanks heading the assault were knocked out by bazooka and 57-mm. fire from the flank. The third tank commander stuck his head out of the escape hatch to take a look around and was promptly pistoled by an American corporal. [10] By this time shellfire had scattered the German infantry. Nor did the enemy make another try until dusk, and then only with combat patrols.


The hardest blows dealt the 2d Battalion defenders at Dom Butgenbach came on 21 December. After repeated pleas from the 12th SS Panzer the guns and Werfers which had been used at Krinkelt-Rocherath were committed, and the entire 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment was also made available, as well as one battalion or more of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment. About three hours before dawn guns, mortars, tanks, and Werfers began pounding the American foxhole line, which was outlined by a double row of trees, and the few houses in Dom Butgenbach. This fire continued unremittingly until the first light in the east, inflicting many casualties, destroying weapons by direct hits, and tearing large gaps in the main line of resistance. American counterbattery fire was intense but failed to still the enemy shelling. Now, as the Germans crossed the fields in assault formation, the American forward observers called for a defensive barrage to box their own front lines. At least ten field artillery battalions ultimately joined the fight (for this batteries of the 2d and 99th Divisions were tied into the 1st Division fire control system) and succeeded in discouraging the German infantry.


Some panzers and assault guns did make their way through the storm of exploding shells and against the 2d Battalion right. During the previous night two platoons of the regimental antitank company had taken station here right on the foxhole line and surprised the panzers with fire at no more than 100 yards. Two or three kills were inflicted by the 1st Platoon, but other tanks quickly shot down the 57-mm. crews and then over-


[10] This was Cpl. Henry F. Warner, one of the 57-mm, antitank gunners. He fought the German tanks for two days, often by himself, and destroyed three panzers, but finally was killed by a machine gun burst from one of the panzers he was stalking. Warner was awarded the Medal