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Battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen: Panzer storm comes to Rittershoffen


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‘At 5am on the morning of January 11th, the attack of the armored Battle Group (ED: Kampfgruppe Huss) started north of Hatten. Only the fires in Hatten lighted up their reconnaissance during the night. However, the reconnaissance was hindered by ground fog and smoke. …. Rittershoffen was reached shortly before dawn and the Battle Group broke into the north side of the town …’

Wilhelm Schrode, 25th Panzergrenadier Division (Pommois p274)

‘For the next 48 hours three companies were isolated in Hatten. The Germans attacked incessantly with tanks, flamethrowers and bazookas, literally blasting the Americans from the houses. But the Americans mowed down the Germans by the scores, and when the enemy paused to reorganize the Americans counterattacked and reoccupied the rubble of the houses they had lost.’

Combat diary of Lt Goodwin (History of 79th Infantry Division, p108)

A small snow-covered creek ran from the German controlled north-east corner of Hatten to American defensive positions at the north-west corner of Rittershoffen. With the early morning mist, the creek proved an excellent route to transfer vehicles and troops between Hatten and Rittershoffen. At 0500hrs on 11 January, the German lines came to life with the sounds of many engines. Taking advantage of the creek route the Germans, led by Kampfgruppe Huss, attacked American defences along the outskirts of Rittershoffen.

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