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quieted down, although there still were small groups of the enemy crawling about in the gap breached that morning Lutzkampen would continue as a sally port for sorties against the 1st Battalion and the best efforts by the American field pieces to flatten the village failed to still the men and vehicles moving in its streets.


The German plans had been altered during the day, but of course some time was needed for orders to reach the front-line troops. Bad tankgoing in the West Wall maze north of Lutzkampen and the initial reverse suffered by the assault company of the 60th Regiment led the corps commander to order the 116th Panzer Division to pivot its weight on Lutzkampen in a drive southwestward toward Ouren. Leaving only a screening force behind, the 60th Regiment started a march intended to bring it east of Sevenig on the left of the 156th Regiment. Although the left division (the 560th Volks Grenadier Division) had not fared too well in the attack on Sevenig, farther to the south its 1128th Regiment had seized a blasted bridge three kilometers east of Heinerscheid and established a bridgehead over the Our at the boundary between the 112th Infantry and the 110th Infantry. This had been accomplished by noon on the first day-as usual a boundary line had proved a point of little resistance-and the German engineers moved in. The approach road on the east bank was blocked with trees and mines, the bridge debris would have taken much effort to clear, and to Krueger's disappointment there was no assurance that a bridge could be in before the night of 17 December. On the evening of 16 December, therefore, the German commander ordered the corps to continue the attack for the bridges at Ouren. Meanwhile he dispatched the Reconnaissance Battalion of the 116th Panzer Division to cross the XLVII Panzer Corps bridge at Dasburg and commence a sweep along the western bank calculated to take the Ouren crossings from the rear.


At the close of this first day the 112th Infantry remained in its positions east of the Our. [16] The 2d Battalion had not yet been seriously engaged, although one company had been detached to reinforce the 3d. Both flanks of the regiment, however, were in process of being uncovered by enemy thrusts against the neighboring units-although this effect may not have been immediately apparent. A gap remained in the center of the 1st Battalion line and small groups of the enemy were wandering along the Our River.


Considerable damage had been done the German assault forces. Although the 116th Panzer Division losses were moderate, the inexperienced 560th Volks Grenadier Division had suffered an estimated 1,000 casualties-a figure, however, that included the reinforced fusilier company which got lost in the woods southwest of Sevenig and was not seen again for two days. Perhaps the Americans had some reason for elation on the night of 16 December, but all knew that harder blows would be dealt on the morrow. Wrote one in his diary: "Nobody able to sleep and no hot meals


[16] During the fighting on 16 December Pfc. W. S. Rush stayed in the line at an exposed point, hurling grenades and firing his rifle although he was badly wounded. Rush refused to leave his post and died there of his wounds. He was awarded the DSC.