The attack eastward to the Rhino began on January 26th for the Division. The 143d Infantry was committed after dark on February 2d. A sudden thaw had melted over 12 inches of snow and the rivers and canals were overflowing. The First Battalion had Rohrwiller as its objective; the 2d Battalion on the right was to hit Herrlisheim from the right. Infantrymen of the 143d, slogged that night through streams at flood stage. The 1st Battalion caught the enemy in Rohrwiller with complete surprise. Radios were playing in the warm cellars—field telephones were still in operation. In two instances, Germans were captured in the act of butchering freshly killed bucks and pigs. Before daylight, over 120 prisoners had been rounded up in Rohrwiller by the 1st Battalion.

In the meantime, the 2d Battalion captured two important bridges and reached the important road junction connecting Drusenheim-Herrlisheim. Realizing their untenable position, the enemy fiercely counter-attacked and regained the road junction. However the First Battalion held the town of Rohrwiller. The remainder of the Regiment cleared up the Druseheim woods the next day and then it was apparent to the Germans how serious the 143d Infantry gains had become. The 142d Infantry received the brunt of the Germans fury at Oberhoffen but their attacks were: nipped off each time and the line held.

The next month saw the Regiment in a static defense, rotating with other regiments. Patrolling, clearing minefields, training replacements and probing the German defense across the Moder River.


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