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firebreaks and trails. [12] The combination of tanks and numerous infantry now threatened to erase the entire 3d Battalion position. Ammunition had run low and the 3d Battalion casualties could not be evacuated.

About 1030 Colonel Scott ordered the 3d Battalion, 393d Infantry, as well as its southern neighbor (the 1st), to remove to new positions about one and a half miles east of Rocherath. This would be done by withdrawing the 3d Battalion through the 3d Battalion, 23d Infantry (the reinforcements sent by Robertson), which had dug in some thousand yards to its rear. All the vehicles available to the forward troops were filled with wounded. Fifteen wounded men, most too badly hurt to be moved, were left behind, together with the 3d Battalion surgeon, Capt. Frederick J. McIntyre, and some enlisted aid men. By noon the entire battalion had pulled out (disengaging without much difficulty); it passed through the 3d Battalion, 23d Infantry, and two hours later was on the new position. Allen's battalion had fought almost continuously since the early morning of the 16th; then at full strength, it now was reduced to 475 men and all but two machine guns were gone.

The 1st Battalion of the 393d Infantry had not been hard pressed during the morning of 17 December because the German forces in its area had been content to move through the gap on the right, between the 393d and 394th. Ordered to withdraw about 1100, the battalion was in position alongside the 3d Battalion, 23d Infantry, by 1400, the two now forming a narrow front east of the twin villages.

The 3d Battalion, 23d Infantry (Lt. Col. Paul V. Tuttle, Jr.), had been rushed to the western edge of the woods on the afternoon of the 16th for use as a counterattack force. The hard-hitting German attack against the 3d Battalion, 393d, on the following morning so drastically changed the situation that Colonel Tuttle's orders were altered to: "hold at all costs." His battalion was none too well prepared for such defense, having arrived with no mines and very little ammunition. Trucks bringing ammunition forward found the road between Bullingen and Krinkelt barred by the enemy and never reached the battalion.

Shortly after the troops from the 393d passed through the battalion, Company I, on the open left flank, heard the clanking of tank treads. A few minutes later German tanks with marching infantry clustered around them struck the left platoon of Company I, rolling forward till their machine guns enfiladed the foxholes in which the American infantry crouched. Company I held until its ammunition was nearly gone, then tried to withdraw to a nearby firebreak but went to pieces under fire raking it from all directions. [13] Company K, in line to the south, next was hit. The company started an orderly withdrawal, except for the left platoon which had lost its leader and never got the order to pull back. This platoon stayed in its foxholes until the tanks had ground past, then rose to

[12] The action at this point devolved on Sgt. Vernon McGarity and his squad. For outstanding heroism McGarity was awarded the Medal of Honor.

[13] The gallant attempt by Pfc. Richard E. Cowan single-handedly to cover the Company I retreat was recognized by the award of the Medal of Honor.