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Battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen: Veteran US infantry slow Germans
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During the night of 9 January, the headquarters of the 1st Battalion, 242nd Infantry Regiment was moved further into town in response to the initial German assault on the eastern portion of Hatten.
‘While we fired from the various …. vantage points, the CP was quietly moving a few houses up the street – to the largest house in town that served as city hall, school house, and, I think butcher shop. By the middle of the night or by dawn we were well established in that building – the vacated CP building was in shambles (ED: near the main church in Hatten). The (German) tank was still there and operative.’
T/5 Vornbrock, 242nd Infantry Regiment, reflecting on the night of 9 January (Engler p156)
On paper, the Americans now had two battalions of troops from the 242nd Infantry Regiment in Hatten. However, they had been already mauled sufficiently at Hatten over the last 24 hours, and a few days previously at Gambsheim, to render them ineffective for further offensive combat. The 1st Battalion had only a third of its strength remaining. In response another battalion of more experienced troops from the 79th Infantry Division was committed.
On the morning of 10 January, the 2nd Battalion, 315th Infantry Regiment commanded by Lt Colonel Holton positioned themselves to drive through the northern portion of the Hatten. This attack planned for 0900hrs. However, the Germans just beat them to the punch.