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ran the guns of the 2d Platoon. [11] At this segment of the 2d Battalion main line of resistance the foxhole line followed a long hedgerow. Having broken through and destroyed the American antitank guns, the German tankers drove along the hedgerows searching out the automatic weapons which earlier had helped check the infantry assault. Undefended against moving steel, the BAR and machine gun crews were wiped out.


Through this gaping hole on the 2d Battalion right more tanks appeared as the morning progressed and moved down the slope toward Dom Butgenbach. A self-propelled tank destroyer belonging to the 634th Tank Destroyer Battalion accounted for seven tanks in succession as these, in column, hove in sight over the ridge line. Two Sherman tanks, lying close to a barn, got two of the Germans before they, in turn, were knocked out. Three of the enemy reached the cluster of buildings and fired pointblank into the houses and barns Colonel Daniel and the 2d Battalion command post group were defending. Every device was used to reach the tanks but with no success until, finding it warm, two made a break for the open and were stopped by a section of 90-mm. tank destroyers which had just come up. The last tank was flushed out from behind a barn by 81-mm. mortar fire but got away.


The battalion mortars had played an important role all along the line (one section firing 70 rounds before its position was blasted by closerange tank fire), and so had every American weapon that could be brought to bear. But in late afternoon, when the German assault was dwindling, the 2d Battalion commander paid the infantryman's heartfelt compliment to the guns. "The artillery did a great job. I don't know where they got the ammo or when they took time out to flush the guns but we wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for them.... A hundred [Germans] ... came at one platoon and not one of them got through." [12] The regimental cannon company, the 1st Division Artillery, the 406th Field Artillery Group, and reinforcing batteries from the 2d and 99th Divisions fired over ten thousand rounds in support of the Dom Butgenbach defenders during an eight-hour shoot on the 21st, plastering enemy assembly areas and the road net and plowing up the fields across which the German attack came. For one period of three hours all communication between the hard-pressed rifle battalion and the artillery broke under German fire, but the American shells continued to arrive with devastating effect. A patrol sent into the woods from which had come the final assault against the riddled battalion flank reported a count of three hundred dead enemy infantry-the reason, perhaps, why the tanks that penetrated to the 2d Battalion command post came alone. At any rate the 12th Volks Grenadier Division had had enough. The division commander told his superiors that no more attacks could be made unless a promised assault gun battalion arrived to ramrod the infantry. The total German casualty list must have been high, and after these three days of battle heavy inroads had been made in the tank strength of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment. The 2d Battalion, understrength


[11] Sgt. I. R. Schwartz received the DSC for gallantry in this action. [12] Colonel Daniel himself received the DSC.