Page 497

aimed in its early stages at high ground overlooking the Echternach bridgehead: Hill 313 southwest of Lauterborn, the scene of much bitter fighting when first the Germans pushed down the road from Echternach; the ridge south of Berdorf commanding the Schwarz Erntz gorge; and, in the old 9th Armored sector north of the gorge, the plateau and village of Haller.

On the right of the division the two battalions of the 10th Infantry continued their attack north of Michelshof. Along the thickly wooded ridges to their front the 320th Infantry, supported by most of the 212th Volks Grenadier Division artillery, was concentrated to block the way to Echternach. The 1st Battalion, advancing to the right of the MichelshofEchternach highway, once again found the combination of heavy woods, Germans in well-disguised foxholes, and accurate shellfire too much. Two hours after the attack began the enemy retaliated with a counterattack, assault guns paving a way for the infantry. The American gunners quickly disposed of this. The 2d Battalion, to the west, had eight medium tanks belonging to the 737th Tank Battalion and less difficult ground. Four tanks and two platoons of Company G started along the main road, covered by other troops advancing on the ridges to either side of the draw. Shell bursts on the road and bullet fire soon drove the troops to the cover of the trees lining the draw, where others of the battalion were ferreting German riflemen out of camouflaged foxholes. Smoke fired to cover the attack gave added momentum; then the tanks destroyed a pair of machine gun nests on Hill 313. Momentarily, however, the attack wavered when a part of Company G turned west toward a hill mass it mistook for its objective. Brought back, the infantry followed the tanks to the proper objective. The Germans there decided not to engage the Shermans, and by dark the battalion had Hill 313.

The 2d Infantry sector, in the division center, extended from the Scheidgen draw west to the Mullerthal (Schwarz Erntz) . Immediately to the north lay the thick forest and rugged ground of the Kalkesbach, an unsavory obstacle. Col. A. Worrell Roffe, the 2d Infantry commander, decided to risk a flanking thrust along the Mullerthal with his 2d Battalion and to use his 3d Battalion in a frontal attack against the Kalkesbach. For the final punch a tank company and the 1st Battalion lay waiting in Colbet. If all went well the regiment would swing onto the Berdorf plateau and face eastward above the Sauer River.

To gain entrance to the Mullerthal was no simple task. It required an attack due west down into the draw, where artillery could be of no help. Companies F and G undertook the task, and the fight became a manhunt, rifleman against rifleman, stalking one another in crevices, on cliffs, from tree to tree. The quarry, skillfully hidden, had the best of it. Company F ran against a strong-point on a cliff and was the loser in a fire fight. Company G lost direction several times in the maze of cross corridors, but at every point drew sharp fire. At dark the two companies dug in against bullets seemingly whistling in from every direction. It was evident that the tree-covered and rocky floor of the gorge was no place for further attack, and Colonel Roffe ordered the two companies to fight their way out of the gorge at day-break. The battalion was then to gather in an attack on Doster Farm, which overlooked the road to Berdorf.

The 3d Battalion, north of Scheidgen, also had hard fighting and a slow advance. The terrain over which the attack was made consisted of alternating draws and ridges, cleared ground and timber. Advance by ridge line or draw terminated in cross corridors, natural glacis for the enemy riflemen firing down the slope. At one point Company L suddenly was swept by rifle and machine gun fire, suffered thirty casualties, lost two company commanders in the space of minutes, and became disorganized and unable to move. Lt. Col. Robert E. Connor, the battalion commander, got the division artillery to work on the ridge line confronting the company, sent