Page 521


with such force that the lead company fell back for at least half a mile. The guns supporting the 104th Infantry were in position, however, and finally bent back the counterattack. In the meantime a handful of riflemen from the 109th Infantry, 28th Division, who had been waging a long battle in Grosbous until driven out by four German tanks, made their way back to the 104th. As it turned out the body of the 352d Volks Grenadier Division was not present here but was in the 80th Division zone. The 915th Regiment consisting of troops now split off from their trains, artillery, and the bulk of the division by the wedge which the 80th had thrust forward west of Ettelbruck, withdrew to make a stand in the neighborhood of Grosbous. Colonel Palladino left Company E to hold in check some Germans who had taken to the nearby woods, while the rest of the 104th Infantry continued tramping north along the road to Grosbous. The village itself was taken a couple of hours after midnight in a surprise attack by a combat patrol from Company G.


The series of blocks thrown against the 352d Volks Grenadier Division by the 80th Division and the 104th Infantry gave the western wing of the 26th Division a clear field. By the middle of the afternoon the 328th had covered nearly six miles without firing or receiving a shot. The advance guard was nearing the village of Arsdorf, from which a series of small roads and trails radiated through ravines and along ridges to the Sure, when a few rounds came in from self-propelled guns firing from a hill to the north. Concurrently reports arrived from the 26th Reconnaissance Troop that there was a strong German force in Rambrouch on the left flank. Night was near and the true strength of the enemy unknown; so the regiment halted while scouts worked their way to the front and flanks.


Who were these German troops? Since it was known that the 352d Volks Grenadier Division could not have reached this point the first guess was that the 5th Parachute Division, believed to be farther north, had pushed down into the area. Actually the 328th Infantry had run into the Fuehrer Grenadier Brigade, which the Seventh Army had borrowed from the OKW reserve, rushing it across the front to bolster this south flank. At first the brigade had been sent in to hold the Sure River line, but the Seventh Army then decided to expand its blocking position well to the south of the river, and so turned the brigade through Bourscheid and Eschdorf to the neighborhood of Arsdorf. This unit contained a battalion of forty Mark IV and Panther tanks, one battalion of mobile infantry, and one of foot, but thus far only a few tanks and the rifle battalion in personnel carriers were on the scene.


The new turn of events caused General Paul some concern about his left flank. The 4th Armored attack had carried abreast of the line held by the 328th Infantry but there remained a gap of three miles, densely wooded, between the two. As a temporary expedient a small task force, organized around Company K, 101st Infantry, and Company A, 735th Tank Battalion, deployed to screen the open left flank of the 26th


[9] The American cavalry was greatly outnumbered at Rambrouch and forced to withdraw. Sgt. Lawrence L. Hatfield, whose platoon covered the withdrawal, was given the DSC.