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FH2 Campaign #15 - The Last Winter: Battle #2 Elsenborn Ridge


Forgotten Hope 2

Event details


CMP FH2 Campaign #15: The Last Winter

Battle #2: Elsenborn Ridge


"The main drive against Elsenborn Ridge was launched in the forests east of Rocherath-Krinkelt on the early morning of 17 December. This attack was begun by tank and panzergrenadier units of 12th SS Panzer Division. 989th Infantry Regiment of 277th succeeded, after heavy and costly combat in the woods, in overrunning the forward American positions guarding the trails to the villages, capturing a large number of prisoners and leaving many small units isolated. By 11:00, this attack had driven units of 99th Infantry Division back into the area of Rocherath-Krinkelt. These units were joined by forces of 2nd Infantry Division moving into the villages from the north. The German attack swiftly bogged down against the heavy small arms and machine gun fire from the prepared positions of 99th Infantry Division on their flanks. The German infantry struggled to make their way through the dense woods and heavy brush in their path.

The German forces also drew a rapid response from American artillery, who had registered the forward positions of their infantry. The artillery fired on the exposed advancing Germans while the American troops remained in their covered foxholes. The troops around the villages were assisted by tanks from 741st Tank Battalion, assisted by a company of 644th Tank Destroyer Battalion equipped with M10 tank destroyers, a company of 612th Tank Destroyer Battalion, and a few towed 3-inch guns from the 801st Tank Destroyer Battalion. They were instrumental in helping hold back the German advance in the fighting in and around Rocherath-Krinkelt.

To the northeast of the 99th Division, the 1st Infantry Division had been recuperating near Liege, from nearly constant combat since it took part in the Normandy landings on 6 June. When the German counterattack broke the division hastily relocated to the unguarded southern end of the 99th's line near Bütgenbach. Troops from the 1st and 9th Infantry Divisions, moved into position to fortify Elsenborn Ridge and complete the defense. The 9th Division held positions on the northern portion of the ridge, in the vicinity of Kalterherberg."





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