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narrow that the tanks had to advance in single file, and only the lead tank could fire. The accompanying infantry were under constant bullet fire; and when the lead tank was immobilized by an antitank projectile some time was required to maneuver the rest of the column around it. With every yard forward, bazooka, bullet, and mortar fire increased, but the enemy remained hidden. Finally, the Americans halted near the T in the gorge road just south of Mullerthal.


It was clear that to capture Mullerthal, or even to block the southern exit from the gorge, the surrounding hills and tableland had to be won. The infantry and engineers belonging to Task Force Luckett were given this mission, advancing in the afternoon to bypass Mullerthal on the west and seize the wooded bluff standing above the gorge road north of Mullerthal. Tanks pumped seven hundred rounds into the woods to shake the Germans there, but little time was left in the short winter day and the foot soldiers only got across the Mullerthal-Waldbillig road.


The center task force (Lt. Col. Miles L. Standish), which had been assigned to help the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, clear the enemy from Berdorf, had little better success. Elements of Task Force Standish were strafed by a pair of German planes but moved into Berdorf against only desultory opposition and before noon made contact with the two companies and six tanks already in the village. Then the German gunners laid down smoke and a bitter three-hour barrage, disabled some tanks and halftracks, and drove the Americans to cover. When the fire lifted the attack was resumed, but the enemy fought stubbornly for each house. This house-to-house assault gained only seventy-five yards before darkness intervened. Meanwhile the sixty-some members of Company F remained in the Parc Hotel, whose roof and upper story had been smashed in by German shelling. Pole charges or bazooka rounds had blasted a gaping hole in one side of the hotel, but thus far only one man had been wounded. Morale was good, bolstered superbly by the company cook who did his best to emulate the "cuisine soignee" promised in the hotel brochures by preparing hot meals in the basement and serving the men at their firing posts.


While part of Task Force Standish was engaged in Berdorf, another team attacked through heavy underbrush toward Hill 329, east of Berdorf, which overlooked the road to Echternach. Despite the presence of the tanks, which here could maneuver off the road, the infantry were checked halfway to their objective by cross fire from machine guns flanking the slope and artillery fire from beyond the Sauer. About forty men were wounded, creating a problem for evacuation by this small force.


The third task force from CCA, 10th Armored (led by Lt. Col J. R. Riley), made good progress in its attack along the Scheidgen-Lauterborn axis. Scheidgen was retaken early in the afternoon virtually without a fight (the German battalion which had seized the village had already moved on toward the south). Five tanks and two companies of the 159th Engineer Combat Battalion, which Barton had located on the road job as promised by Middleton, then launched a surprise attack against the Germans on Hill 313, overlooking the road to Lauterborn. The tanks rolled down the road from Scheidgen with