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Division. Meanwhile Paul's two regiments prepared to continue the attack through the night as the army and corps commanders had ordered. The objective was Wiltz, once the command post of the American 28th Infantry Division, and now the headquarters of the German Seventh Army and the concentration point for enemy troops feeding in from the northeast.


While the 104th moved forward to hit the enemy congregated at Grosbous, the 328th Infantry reorganized to keep the drive going, under somewhat optimistic orders to seize crossings on the Wiltz River. At midnight the 1st and 3d Battalions jumped off to take Grevils-Bresil, from which a fairly good ridge road ran north to Eschdorf. The village was garrisoned by two companies of the Fuehrer Grenadier Brigade, reinforced by several Panthers from the Seventh Army reserve. Unshaken by a half-hour shelling, the Germans held tenaciously to the village all night long.


When daylight came on 23 December the 26th Division had little to show for its night attack. The 104th Infantry held Grosbous, but the 328th was checked at Grevils-Bresil by a company of stubborn German infantry backed up with a few tanks. In the woods south of Grosbous the men of Company E, 104th Infantry, had taken on more than they had bargained for: a couple of hundred riflemen from the 915th Regiment led in person by the regimental commander. (The American regimental commander had to throw in Company I, but even so this pocket was not wiped out until Christmas Eve.)


Although the right wing of the 26th Division was driving along the boundary between the isolated forward regiment of the 352d Volks Grenadier Division and the incoming Fuehrer Grenadier Brigade, only a small part of the new brigade was in contact with the forward American battalions early on the 23d. The German brigade commander had been seriously wounded by a shell fragment while reconnoitering on the previous evening, the hurried march to action had prevented unified commitment, and the heavy woods south of the Sure made control very difficult. Also there were troubles with fuel.


The LXXXV Corps hoped to repel the American attack by means of a coordinated counterattack south of the Sure which would develop as a pincers movement, grappling the American troops who had penetrated into the dense forest north of the Ettelbruck-Grosbous road. For this maneuver, set to open on the 23d, the new 79th Volks Grenadier Division was to attack toward Niederfeulen, secure the Wark River, and hook to the northwest. On its right the Fuehrer Grenadier Brigade would attack in a southeastern direction from Heiderscheid and Eschdorf with Grosbous and union with the 915th Regiment as the immediate objective. This German scheme was slow to come into operation and only a part of the Fuehrer Grenadier Brigade was brought against the 26th Division during the 23d, and then mostly in small packets of infantry supported by a platoon or less of tanks.


The two attacking regiments of the 26th Division continued to fan out over secondary roads and trails, moving very cautiously for fear of ambush as the woods thickened and pressed closer to the roadways. Here the supporting weapons came into play. Detachments of the 390th Antiaircraft Artillery Auto-