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been preparing for a final assault. The garrisons at Krewinkel and Afst moved back at 1240 without incident. As Krewinkel was lost to view the troopers could see German infantry swarming in from the east. [4] When Troop C and the light tanks reached Manderfeld, the assault gun troop, which had been deployed along the ridge north and south of the town, poured direct fire on the enemy now streaming southwest through the draws at the source of the Our River. The morning fog had lifted and the gunners were able to inflict considerable damage with their 75-mm. howitzers.


The story of the garrisons in Roth and Kobscheid is difficult to reconstruct, although the troopers held on for some hours after being surrounded. In the early part of the fight, forward observers in Kobscheid were in contact with the 275th Armored Field Artillery Battalion; this artillery support unquestionably was of signal aid to the troopers, as were the quad mounts of the 413th Antiaircraft Battalion which were sent to help the Roth defenders. About 1100 the Roth command post radioed Kobscheid that the troops of the 106th Division farther south were moving back that the Roth garrison would try to withdraw, and that the Kobscheid group should do likewise. Apparently the German grip on Roth was too firm; sometime during the afternoon the troopers there surrendered. Kobscheid held out until about 1630. Then, as dusk settled sixty-one men led by 1st Lt. Lorenz Herdrick started through the snow cross-country in a westerly direction. They returned to the American lines at St. Vith on 19 December. [5]


Early in the afternoon it was apparent to the force at Manderfeld that the Germans were pushing west around both flanks. A patrol sent in the direction of Auw reported that the entrance to the Our valley was wide open, contact with the 99th Division in the north had been lost, and the 106th Division reported that it lacked the troops to counterattack toward the cavalry. Colonel Devine therefore organized a task force about 1400 to retake the ground around Lanzerath and thus cover his northern flank. The task force, commanded by Maj. J. L. Mayes, consisted of Troop C and the assault gun troop of the 18th Cavalry Squadron. Moving north the task force reached a road junction 1,600 yards north of Manderfeld, where it was beset from three sides by infantry and selfpropelled guns. The cavalry self-propelled howitzers were able to maneuver and do considerable execution in this close-range fire fight, but the counterattack was checked. By this time the situation on the opposite flank was precarious; the Germans already had passed through Wischeid, southwest of Manderfeld, and were moving toward the Our bridge at Andler.


Shortly after four o'clock the 14th Cavalry Group executive officer telephoned the 106Th Division command post and asked permission to withdraw to the line Andler-Holzheim, a position


[4] These troops were armored infantry from the 1st SS Panzer Division whose commander finally thrown them in to get the attack rolling.


[5] Three members of the 18th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron were awarded the DSC for gallantry in the battle at the villages: 1st Lt. A. L. Mills, S. Sgt. Woodrow W. Reeves, and Cpl. c. E. Statler.