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possible to give an accurate count of losses in the 112th Infantry, but they seem to have been moderate. Most members of the 1st Battalion, for example, eventually found their way back to the regiment.


The degree of tactical success achieved by the 112th Infantry and the fact that it was able to hold intact as a regiment may be explained by a number of factors. The ground east of the river was favorable to the defender, who was well entrenched as the result of careful planning and inspection by Nelson and his staff, and whose guns covered the few routes of mechanized advance. The numerous pillboxes provided a substantial amount of cover; the 3d Battalion, for example, was not seriously endangered until the attacking tanks maneuvered close enough for direct fire. The refused positions of the 2d Battalion allowed fairly free use of a regimental reserve during both days and good counterattack plans were ready. Equally important, the green 1130th Regiment (incorporated into the 116th Panzer Division attack on the second day) had failed to follow closely in the path of the tanks and so gave American riflemen and machine gunners time to get set after the tanks rolled past.


Even before the seizure of Ouren the LVIII Panzer Corps had shifted its interest to the south. By the second day it was apparent that the combination of stubborn resistance and poor approach roads would delay the projected crossing at Ouren. The orders given the 116th Panzer Division on the night of 16 December to switch to the left were altered on the 17th to start its infantry regiments marching still farther south to the Dasburg bridgehead held by the neighboring corps. Although delayed by inadequate deliveries of POL and the traffic jam on the damaged Dasburg-Marnach road the entire division, including its tank regiment, assembled on the west bank around Heinerscheid during the night of 17-18 December. The main body of the 560th Volks Grenadier Division also had detoured around the stubborn men and difficult ground in the 112th Infantry area, extending the bridgehead which the 1128th Regiment had seized east of Heinerscheid on 17 December. Only the weakened 1130th Regiment and the division fusilier company, once again in touch with its fellows, were left behind to extend the bridgehead formed at Ouren.


All this gave the 112th Infantry a chance to get its breath on 18 December. A few attacks were started against the new American line, which now covered Beiler, Lieler, and Lausdorn, but none were energetic. Throughout the day the American outposts watched masses of foot troops and vehicles defile westward through Heinerscheid, only some two thousand yards to the south. The regimental cannon company also provided some interested spectators, who trained their howitzers on Heinerscheid with such good effect that enemy records take rueful note of this harassing fire from the north.


Communication between the 112th and division headquarters had been sketchy since 16 December, depending on artillery radio nets and liaison officers. Early in the afternoon of 18 December a radio message finally arrived at the division command post asking that the regiment be given instructions. General Cota had been trying through most of the morning to reach Nelson