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their motors cut and caught the enemy on the slopes while the engineers moved in with marching fire. But a thick winter fog rolled in before the Americans could occupy the hill. Other elements of Task Force Riley meanwhile had advanced to the mill beyond Lauterborn where the command post of Company G was located. Two tanks and two squads of riflemen continued along the main road to the hat factory at the southwestern edge of Echternach where Company E, 12th Infantry, had established itself. Here the company was found to be in good spirits, supplied with plenty of food and wine, and holding its own to the tune of over a hundred of the enemy killed. The tank commander offered to cover the withdrawal of Company E from the city, but Capt. Paul H. Dupuis, the senior officer in Echternach, refused on the ground that General Barton's "no retrograde movement" order of 16 December was still in effect. [3] As darkness settled in, the small relief force turned back to the mill north of Lauterborn, promising to return on the morrow with more troops.


While CCA, 10th Armored, gave weight to the 4th Division counterattack, General Barton tried to strengthen the 12th Infantry right flank in the Osweiler-Dickweiler sector. The 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry, which had met the German column in the woods west of Osweiler the day before, headed for the village on the morning of 18 December. The last word to reach Osweiler had been that the 2d Battalion was under serious attack in the woods; when the battalion neared the village the American tanks there opened fire, under suspicion that this was a German force. After two hours, and some casualties, a patrol bearing a white flag worked its way in close enough for recognition. Osweiler now had a garrison of one tank company and four understrength rifle companies.


As the American reinforcements stiffened the right flank and the armored task forces grappled to wrest the initiative from the enemy on the left, German troops widened and deepened the dent in the 12th Infantry center, shouldering their way southward between Scheidgen and Osweiler. The burden of this advance was carried by battalions of the 320th Regiment (which explains the relaxing of pressure in the Osweiler-Dickweiler area), and the advance guard of the 316th Regiment which General Sensfuss had pried from the Seventh Army reserve by reporting the arrival of the 10th Armored Division.


The first appearance of any enemy force deep in the center occurred near Maisons Lelligen, a collection of two or three houses on the edge of a large wood northwest of Herborn. The 12th Infantry cannon company was just moving up to a new position when fire opened from the wood. The drivers and gunners dived for cover and returned fire. After a few minutes of this exchange Sgt. J. C. Kolinski got up, ran back to a truck, fixed a round, and fired it from a howitzer still coupled to the truck. This idea caught on and other men started to serve the howitzers, awkward as the technique was, some firing at ranges as short as sixty yards. Ammunition at the pieces ultimately gave out, but a volunteer raced to the


[3] General Barton says that he told the tank commander to inform Captain Dupuis that his order to hold in Echternach was revoked, but apparently this message was not delivered. Ltr, Gen Barton to author, 17 Nov 59.