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The Moselle
The Saar
Ardennes
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Peragimus, "We Accomplish"
A Brief History of the 358th Infantry


Ardennes

Bastogne - The Black-Out Punch

On the 7th of January, the Regiment with all identification blacked-out took to the snow-covered roads and headed north through the city of Luxembourg to the Bastogne area in the Ardennes. On the 11th of January they moved to the vicinity of Bavigne and here attacked along a narrow front northwest into Belgium through Sonlez, Doncoles, and Bras. The bitter cold and heavy snows made progress slow and painful, and with the severe weather came the dreaded trench foot and frostbite. At night the best a dough could hope for was the chance to dig into a snow bank. Every inch of the frozen ground had to be fought for against an insane enemy determined to hold the gains of his fanatical counteroffensive.

Another Trap

As the Division pushed forward towards Bras, the jaws were being rapidly closed on the Bastogne Pocket and the Kraut found his rear threatened and his supply lines cut. As the push continued, Jerry made an effort to withdraw and was caught flatfooted on the roads. Again the Regiment scored knockouts on scores of vehicles, and again the Regimental Prisoner of War cage was bulging with bedraggled and beaten enemy.

This pocket eliminated, the Second and Third Battalions pushed on to secure an important railroad beyond Bras, but here the resistance was tough and they received everything the Kraut could throw. Supporting tanks, and artillery plastered his positions, however, and the Battalions moved up to hold the railroad and the tunnels which they were using as shelter.

End Run

Then came a spectacular end run play - a clever swift maneuver that sent the First Battalion in a wide flanking movement that caught the enemy completely by surprise and secured Neiderwampach. Later "C" and "B" Companies pushed on to capture Oberwampach. On the 16th of January, however, they were hit by a series of ferocious counterattacks while they held the town of Oberwampach. Each attack increased in intensity - as enemy tanks charged on the town from all directions. The attacks were driven off and in the end, the enemy lost more than he could have ever hoped to gain, for the country was littered with his burned and knocked out equipment - including fourteen of his tanks.

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