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Grenadier Regiment to turn back toward the east in support of the 77th. When Kokott heard what had been done with his left regiment the 78th already was on the road, and it took until early afternoon to get the regiment turned around and moving west. An hour or so after noon the reinforced 77th was ready to jump off from the attack positions south, east, and northeast of Longvilly.


By this time the bulk of CCR (9th Armored Division) and the mass of stragglers who had attached themselves to CCR were jammed in an immobile crowd along the road to Mageret, but a few riflemen were still holed up in the houses at Longvilly and the third platoon of Company C, 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion, was manfully working its guns to cover the rear of the CCR column. The main action, however, devolved on the tanks and armored infantry which Hyduke had shifted during the night to form a close perimeter at Longvilly.


The first indication of the nearing assault was a storm of Werfer and artillery shells. Then came the German tanks borrowed from the 2d Panzer Division, ramming forward from the north and east. In the confused action which followed the American tankers conducted themselves so well that Lauchert later reported a "counterattack" from Longvilly against the 2d Panzer flank. But the Shermans and the American light tanks were not only outnumbered but outgunned by the Panthers and the 88's of a flak battalion. The foregone conclusion was reached a little before 1400 when the last of the light tanks, all that remained, were destroyed by their crews who found it impossible to maneuver into the clear. The armored infantry were forced to abandon their half-tracks. The same thing happened to the three tank destroyers. At least eight panzers had been destroyed in the melee, but Longvilly was taken.


Lieutenant Hyduke's team, acting under orders to rejoin Captain Ryerson's main party, threaded a way west on foot and in small groups through the broken and burning column now in the last throes of dissolution, in the woods along the road, under a rain of shells and bullets. Ryerson's team, which Colonel Cherry had instructed early in the morning to withdraw to the west, had been hard put to reverse itself and negotiate the cluttered road leading to Mageret. The leading American tank had reached a road cut some three hundred yards east of Mageret when a hidden tank or antitank gun suddenly opened fire, put a round into the Sherman, and set it aflame. The road into Mageret was closed and all possibility of a dash through the village ended.


Protected somewhat by the banks rising on either side of the road the Americans spent the day trying to inch forward to the north and south of the village. Some of the gunners and infantry from the CCR (9th Armored Division) column attempted to take a hand in the fight and help push forward a bit, but constant and accurate shelling (probably from Panzer Lehr tanks which had been diverted northward from Benonchamps to aid the 26th Volks Grenadier Division) checked every move. At dark a small detachment from Ryerson's team and CCR reached the houses on the edge of Mageret. The village was held in some strength by detachments of the 26th Reconnaissance Battalion and Panzer Lehr. Ryerson had to report: "Having tough time. [The Germans] are shooting