The Regiment has now been continuously in the line 122 days—since August 15th. Many of the rifle companies were down to 70-80 effectives. On December 13th, the Sixth Army Group decided to relieve the Division, but with no reserve division available, it was decided to again switch the 36th and 3d Infantry Divisions, since the 3d Division had been garrisoning Strasbourg and patrolling the Rhine River for two weeks. Though not a relief from contact with the enemy, it was nevertheless a quieter sector than the 36th Division had been in heretofore in the campaign.

The move of the 143d Infantry to Strasburg was unique in that the Divisions could only be switched a battalion at a time. After Kayserberg was captured in order to close a gap between the Divisions, the 143d Infantry relief was started December 20th by the 15th Infantry of the 3d Infantry Division.

For the first tine since August 15th, the Regiment was not in direct contact with the Germans. It is of interest that since the Division had landed on the Riviera, the 133d days of combat had netted the Division 19,751 prisoners of war through its cages, and a greater number of enemy had been killed and wounded. This endurance remained as the record for World War II for continuous combat days (with infantry elements in the line).

Strasburg was a pleasant place to spend Christmas, 1944. However the rest was short-lived. In order to contain the Von Rundstedt offensive that had ripped into the First Army line in Belgium and reached its highwater mark on December 24th, there were alerts sent out to get the Regiment ready to roll.


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