Attacking Towards Berdorf
It was the morning of December 24th, when it was time for the 2nd infantry regiment to participate in the Battle of the Bulge. At 11AM the 2nd battalion and 3rd battalion moved out of Breitweiler and Consdorf. Their objective was the village of Berdorf. Located on top of a hill overlooking the Sauer river with Bollendorf on the otherside and Echternach in the East, made it a key-position for troops.
2nd battalion started in Breitweiler and headed for Mullerthal Draw. It lay in the middle of the Mullerthal ravine, named after the village. The Germans wouldn’t just give this away, and so Company F and G fought with heavy resistance for more than 8 hours just to gain 200 yards. Company E met less resistance and by nightfall they had taken Osterholz. Osterholz consisted of typical big West-European farms and was surrounded by woods.
Company I and L started at Consdorf trying to move to a hill north of Scheidgen. Before even getting close, the companies got into fierce fights. Company L suffered most casualties because of enemy artillery fire and automatic guns. All their officers where killed or wounded. Company I pushed back the germans about 1000 yards while Company K flanked the Germans and forced them to withdraw. On Christmas Eve, 3rd batallion found themselves at what they had fought for all day.
Christmas day dawned over the white hills of little Switzerland. The 2nd batallion attacked Doster Farm and moved through the Langebusch forrest up to the farms near Heisbich. Michael C. Bilder remembers how they attempted to cross a field near Heisbich.
“We had to move from one patch of woods to another, crossing a large open area with some small houses between the two section of woods. The separation was not complete, however, since a large cluster of trees off to a farside connected the two wooded areas. The normal military procedure was to hug the tree line for cover and go around the long way for safety’s sake. Brinkman(Sergeant) must have been preoccupied with the thought of going home, for he proceeded to lead us right across the open ground! A German machine gun in the first house ahead of us opened up and hit him in both legs. He went down but was still very much alive. We yelled for him to stay put as we put fire on the enemy gun. Brinkman in a state of panic began using his arms to drag himself towards us. The machine gunner spotted him moving and fired a line of bullets, killing him instantly.”
3rd Battalion worked their way through the heavy wooded area and met heavy resistance on their way. By nightfall both battalions found themselves south of Berdorf which they would attack at dawn the next day.
The 2nd Infantry Regiment lost at least 16 men on the 24th of December. So far we have four faces of these men: Chester S. Napierala, Albert Johnson, Richard J. Nicodemus and William T. Ditz, Jr.