the boundary between the 3d Armored Division and the 82d Airborne Division, a point marking the thrust line along which the 2d SS Panzer Division intended to proceed north. The action at this road junction, "Parker's Crossroads," requires independent treatment. It has bearing at this point because the small combat reserve available to the 3d Armored Division would be drained away here and because American operations set in train to east and west would be conditioned by the shaky character of the 3d Armored left flank.
In front of Dochamps Task Force Kane resumed the attack broken off in the early morning. German mortars lobbing down 81-mm. and l20-mm. shells stopped the infantry on the slopes, and direct fire knocked out an entire platoon of Sherman tanks when they tried to ascend the hill road. The plain fact was that Kane lacked the men, tanks, and guns to take Dochamps. But this was not all. During the day a part of the task force had to be diverted to man roadblocks along the valley north to Grandmenil which was both Kane's flank and line of communications. In the afternoon the 1130th Regiment (possibly reduced to battalion strength) and an assault gun platoon moved in from the west to cut the Dochamps-Grandmenil road. Fighting at Freyneux and Lamormenil was touch and go, but the enemy suffered badly and failed to gain the road. This maneuver from the west had been given top priority by the 560th Volks Grenadier Division whose command was as anxious to erase the Dochamps salient as General Rose was to pinch out the Hotton bulge.
Sometime after dark the Germans hit the valley route again, but this time farther north and from the opposite side. Five light tanks and a squad of riflemen posted at Odeigne were set upon by enemy infantry who lighted their targets by flares and moved in with self-propelled 40-mm. guns to make the kill. The Americans held their ground until nearly surrounded, then-when so ordered-withdrew. This foray came from the Baraque de Fraiture crossroads sector, where the 2d SS Panzer Division finally had broken through, and was made by elements of the 3d Panzer Grenadier Regiment moving with much difficulty along the narrow forest trails south of Odeigne. Now Task Force Kane would have to battle to hold its narrow corridor against an enemy closing in from both flanks and circling to the rear.
In the center sector, at Amonines, Task Force Orr waited for CCR to wipe out the enemy between Soy and Hotton, then turn south in an attack with the two forces abreast. With the exception of the maneuver to clear the Americans out of the territory north of Dochamps described earlier, the 560th Volks Grenadier Division was in no hurry to attack those American positions where the defenders seemed willing and able to put up a stiff fight. After all, the German corps commander had promised the support of fresh assault troops. Therefore, although the Germans pressed in around Amonines they made no move to tackle Task Force Orr.
The vise created the night before to close on the German hill positions astride the Soy-Hotton road compressed very slowly on the 23d, nor did the jaws meet. Radio communication between the