and command messages in addition to its own calls for fire. The gunners nevertheless began to get on the targets, and the German infantry reported very punishing artillery fire during the afternoon.
At noon the picture of battle had sharper definition; so General Barton authorized the 12th Infantry to commit the 1st Battalion (Lt. Col. Oma R. Bates), the regimental reserve. At the same time he gave Colonel Chance eight medium tanks and ten light tanks, leaving the 70th Tank Battalion (Lt. Col. Henry E. Davidson, Jr.) with only three mediums and a platoon of light tanks in running order. Small tank-infantry teams quickly formed and went forward to relieve or reinforce the hard-pressed companies. Unfortunately rain and snow, during the days just past, had turned the countryside to mud, and the tanks were bound to the roads. Later Barton phoned the corps commander to ask for reinforcements. Middleton had nothing to offer but the 159th Engineer (Combat) Battalion, which was working on the roads. He told Barton that if he could find the engineers he could use them.
Company A, mounted on a platoon of light tanks, was ordered to open the main road to Lauterborn and Echternach which supplied the 2d Battalion (Maj. John W. Gorn). This team fought through some scattered opposition southwest of Lauterborn, dropped off a rifle platoon to hold Hill 313 (which commanded the southern approach), and moved through the village to the Company G command post, freeing twenty-five men who had been taken prisoner in the morning. By nightfall the Germans had been driven back some distance from Lauterborn (they showed no wish to close with the tanks), but the decision was made to dig in for the night alongside Company G rather than risk a drive toward Echternach in the dark. Companies A and G together now totaled about a hundred officers and men.
Early in the afternoon Company B mounted five light and five medium tanks and set out to reach Company F. At the southern entrance to Berdorf, which is strung out along the plateau road for three-quarters of a mile, the relief force ran into a part of the 1st Battalion, 423d Regiment, which opened bazooka fire from the houses. When darkness fell the Americans still were held in check, and the infantry drew back, with two tanks in support, and dug in for the night. The rest of the tanks returned to Consdorf for gasoline and ammunition.
The morning situation in the sector held by the 3d Battalion (Maj. Herman R. Rice, Jr.) had not seemed too pressing. The 320th had not reached Osweiler and the first assault at Dickweiler had been repulsed handily. But Colonel Chance sent out all of the usable tanks in Company B, 70th Tank Battalion-a total of three-to pick up a rifle squad at the 3d Battalion command post (located at Herborn) and clear the road to Osweiler. When this little force reached Osweiler, word had just come in that Dickweiler was threatened by another assault. The tanks and riflemen proceeded to run a 2,000-yard gauntlet of bursting shells along the high, exposed road to Dickweiler (probably the enemy guns beyond the Sauer were firing interdiction by the map).
The little column came in on the flank of the 2d Battalion, 320th Regiment,