Navigation bar
  Home View PDF document Start Previous page
 9 of 16 
Next page End 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14  

and landed in the vicinity of the assault platoons. Company I’s light machine section, forward with the
rifle squads, suffered heavy casualties. The Company Commander and another soldier seized one of the
machine guns and attempted to advance towards the enemy positions. However, fire from several
German machine guns sprayed the area and pinned down the entire company. Though the enemy
position was at close proximity, the exact locations could not be determined as the denseness of the
undergrowth restricted observation to several yards. As the enemy continued firing, a Company I
riflemen crawled forward about 20 yards, climbed the rocky hill, and managed to fire several rounds of
rifle ammunition into the enemy located behind the hill prior to being wounded. Another soldier then
moved forward and threw several hand grenades over the rock pile. The machine- gun firing and
grenade throwing suddenly ceased. The rifleman quickly returned to his platoon, shielded himself with a
captured German, and returned to the hill. He directed the prisoner to call out to the enemy who
remained behind the rock pile to surrender. In this manner, eight Germans, three of whom were
wounded, surrendered. Nine dead were also found in the position area. (29)
Company I, by use of the rocky knoll, now had an observation post from which they were able to
observe for the first time some distance in all directions. (See Point B, Map C) The open hedgerowed
fields south of the forest were also visible. (30)
While Company I was thus engaged, Company L on the right had accosted heavy machine-gun
and grenade fire. This unit was also involved with a determined enemy at close range. The Company
Commander was wounded when he went forward and destroyed the crew of a machine gun which was
holding up the advance of his unit. (See Point C, Map C)
At approximately 1600, and concurrently with the engagements of the assault companies, the
battalion command group, which was about 100 yards to the rear of the left platoon of Company L, was
attacked by an estimated squad of Germans employing machine pistols and grenades. The enemy squad
had apparently infiltrated from the west behind the right assault platoon of Company L. After a sharp
engagement, the enemy was driven off by the small arms fire of the command group. (See Point D, Map
C) A short time later, the group was again counterattacked by a larger number of Germans, estimated to
be a platoon. The second attack come from two directions, the west and the rear. The group attacking
from the left threw hand grenades, principally of the concussion type, and moved into the bank behind
which the command group was sheltered from direct fire weapons. (See Point C, Map C) The Germans
to the rear employed machine pistols to fire along the embankment. This close range fire fight might
have been disastrous had not a platoon from Company L returned and rendered additional support by
assaulting the enemy on the west aide of the embankment. This platoon’s aggressive action netted six
prisoners, several casualties, and forced the remainder of the enemy to withdraw to the west.
The Battalion Commander ordered his unit to halt, regain lost contact, and reorganize. The CO
directed the reserve company (K) to move forward from the rear in order that all around security could
he provided. Heavy enemy mortar fire from the vicinity of the knoll to the right front (see Point Y, Map
C) and occasional artillery fire had commenced to fall within the battalion area immediately after
Company I had captured the rocky hill and after the command group had resisted the counterattack. (31)
During the reorganization the Battalion Executive Officer and S-1 guided a platoon of four tanks,
ammunition vehicles and litter bearers to the battalion area. Ammunition was distributed to all units.
Approximately fifteen litter cases and the walking wounded were evacuated. Wire communication to the
battalion switchboard, which had been knocked out during the counter- attack, was reestablished. (32)
Previous page Top Next page