359th Infantry attacked on the right of its zone with the 2nd Battalion, which had for its mission
the capture of JEANNE D'ARC. Vicious fighting developed in the draw Northeast of
GRAVELOTTE and progress was extremely slow. I Company was dispatched at noon to clean
the woods North of the 2nd Battalion to protect its rear.
As a result of the day's activities, the Division was now fully aware of the immensity of its task.
It was obvious that we could contain the 3500 troops estimated to be opposing us in FORTRESS
METZ, but equally obvious that an unsupported assault was out of the question. The Division
plan, therefore, was the nibble by making a series of limited objective attacks, to harass the
enemy by fire and to keep him off balance by aggressive patrols.
16 SEPTEMBER 44
1st Battalion, committing all companies, made a strong bid to force its way into the FORT area,
but to no avail. The road access was barricaded and covered by MG and flat trajectory weapons.
All other approaches on the flanks were denied by the existence of a wide and deep moat. The
enemy reaction to the attack of the 1st Battalion initially made itself felt with the increasingly
heavy mortar and artillery fire. Subsequently the enemy counterattacked in company strength
and did considerable damage to C Company before being repulsed.
2nd Battalion continued its attack to clean out the draw East of GRAVELOTTE. The Boche
were exceedingly well dug-in and progress was slow and costly. By nightfall the enemy had
been liquidated as far South as the road East from GRAVELOTTE, but the price had been high,
as a continual hail of mortar and artillery fire fell on this Battalion. [Page 12]
Up to the North excitement reigned at THIONVILLE as an American patrol battled on the East
bank of the river, while a German combat patrol engaged our forces on the West, all in the inky
blackness of the night.
South of METZ, in the bridgehead area, the 5th Infantry and 7th Armored Divisions were
making negligible progress in the face of stout resistance and sporodic enemy counterattacks.
17 SEPTEMBER 44
1st Battalion attempted still another assault on FORT AMANVILLERS but made no gain. Later
in the day the 3rd Battalion relieved 1st Battalion.
1st and 2nd Battalions mopped up their sectors and improved their positions. During the night
the 3rd Battalion relieved the 2nd Battalion.
Throughout the day, and in all sectors, enemy artillery fire became increasingly heavy. Would
the enemy counterattack in force? We were ready for him, but the thinness of our line in certain