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Lone Sentry: Unit History: 102d thru Germany


heavy machine gun fire raked the road from hidden positions. Davis, in an attempt to extricate his mortally wounded crew-members from the now blazing jeep, was cut down. Two of our light tanks approaching to assist the pinned down cavalrymen were immobilized by panzerfaust. Irish continued to fire until his ammunition was exhausted. One of his crew was killed by his side. Another, seriously wounded, crawled to cover in a nearby swamp-hole. Germans rushed the position to administer the coup de grace. One Jerry grabbed Irish's rifle and smashed him over the head. Then the defenders withdrew into the woods. For thirty minutes Cpl Irish feigned death. Finally convinced that Jerry had gone, and in spite of his painfully throbbing skull, he searched until he found his single living comrade and together they made their way back to friendly troops.
Next day 3d Battalion made little headway as it attacked up the slopes just east of the Buchholz Steinbergen pass. They, too, encountered well dug in resistance and small arms fire skillfully supported by artillery, mortars and rockets. Company I with a platoon of tanks tried to cut around in back from the east but they were pinned down on the outskirts of the village of Westendorf, with the encirclement almost but not quite completed and the enemy not in the least discouraged by his predicament.
At top of page, Tec 4 Warren D. Driver of 406th's Cannon Company, studies a target from the roof of a house in Osterburg. Below, Pfc Glenn Gore and Pfc George Uhl transmit firing data via radio.

[Pfc Glenn Gore and Pfc George Uhl transmit firing data via radio]
[Tec 4 Warren D. Driver of 406th's Cannon Company]

The 2d Battalion moved slowly, fighting from house to house, and sometimes from bush to bush, until it was just north of Rinteln in mid-afternoon. There it hit an extremely stubborn strong point in a group of houses north of the railroad. Shaking loose, the Battalion stormed Engern. Meanwhile, C Company with a platoon of tanks, had worked through the woods to the left. By midnight the 2d and 3rd Battalions were abreast, the former just east of the pass and the latter on the outskirts of Steinbergen.
During the course of this day's extremely bitter fighting each battalion of CT 406 was reinforced by a platoon from Company A, 3rd Chemical Mortar Battalion and a squad of engineers. Company B, 701st Tank Battalion, assisted the 2d Battalion, Company A the 3rd Battalion. The Cannon Company supported the attack from the vicinity of Lunden while the 381st and 252d Battalions were in general support of the CT.
The third day of the battle saw the 1st Battalion move over the Wesergebirge to attack Welsede in the enemy's rear. Still these Jerries weren't intimidated. In fact, as the 1st Battalion emerged on the north slope it had to fight off a counterattack sparked by tanks and self-propelled guns. The Germans at this stage, how-ever, were stronger in spirit than in resources. Their attack was soon overrun. Welsede fell in the late afternoon and the counterattack proved to be the German's last effort.
The 2d and 3rd Battalions encountered far weaker resistance. The 3rd Battalion mopped up 4 kilometers without trouble. Companies F and K seized Steinbergen in the morning. Deckenberg fell to Company E in the late afternoon. Company G took Hess Oldendorf and the battle was finally over. Approximately 1600 prisoners were taken; and 600 enemy were killed of which not a few were bayonetted in their foxholes as they fanatically refused to surrender even after firing their last round in this, the bloodiest of all the 406th's Campaigns.

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