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Home  >  Battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen  >  9 January (Late PM)

Battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen: Desperate American counterattack

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As dusk approached, US command committed the 2nd Battalion, 242nd Infantry Regiment. Coordinating with Cpt Ory, the commander of A Company, 48th Tank Battalion, they were ordered to restore the main line of resistance to the east of Hatten. The mission was partially successful, but with significant cost in terms of US casualties, and both sides rested for the night in either half of Hatten. The 2nd Battalion 242d had just fought at Gambsheim and their readiness to fight were summed up below.

‘(We were) totally exhausted, totally demoralized, without any spirit left to fight what we were going to face, a group of zombies.’

Joe Neilson, H Company, 242nd Infantry Regiment (Pommois p240)

 

‘As we approached the outskirts of Hatten, we were attacked from the north by three tanks from the 21st and 25th Panzer Grenadiers and a German half-track. Bob Spearing made contact with Major Reynolds, who in turn called in armored support bringing in three tank destroyers. They knocked out one of the panzers and the half-track before losing one of our tank destroyers, just inside the edge of town …’

Norman Thompson, H Company, 242nd Infantry Regiment (Pommois p262)

 

‘We left our commanding ground and eased down past the Jerry tanks, burning like still torches to guide our way in the darkness. Doughboys walked behind us, five to a tank … from out of Hatten came a vehicle; we wet our chilled lips. One tank fired, two and three and the Jerry vehicle burst into flames. Strange and ghostlike was the scene as flare lit up the country in the back-ground. The gravestones glittered at us through the fire.’

Cpl McGrane, A Company, 48 Tank Battalion (Carter p178)