Page 542

gling out of the woods, hands high. Now that bullet fire no longer shaved the ridge like a razor Task Force Hamilton could move. It took the hamlet of Hierheck, where the woods gave way to the open ground leading up to Eschdorf, and then Hamilton gave orders to dig in for the night-orders which were countermanded almost at once by the division commander, who wanted Eschdorf that night.

While Task Force Hamilton was pinned down, General Paul had notified the III Corps that the 104th Infantry was taking over the task force. In early evening the 104th Infantry received orders for the 1st Battalion (Maj. Leon D. Gladding) to take Eschdorf, while Hamilton went on to secure the Sure crossing. Later the division ordered the 1st Battalion, 104th Infantry, to make the Sure crossing and Hamilton to take Eschdorf. Taking Eschdorf would not be an easy job. When a small group of Hamilton's men started forward to set up an observation post, they encountered enemy fire before they had moved twenty-five yards from their foxholes. The Germans in Eschdorf were alert and waiting.

Colonel Hamilton and Maj. Albert Friedman, the 2d Battalion commander worked as rapidly as they could to de- vise a plan of attack and bring the task force into assault position, but it was midnight before all was ready. Two companies, E and F, were to lead the attack, moving on either side of Eschdorf with their inner flanks touching, but they were not to enter the village. Company G, with tank support, would follow the assault companies and clear the village. This plan had been adopted in deference to the ground, since Esch-