Panzergrenadier Company, w/2 Platoons
Tiger Platoon, w/2 tanks
Ranger Company, w/2 Platoons, and Ranger Mortars
Medium Tank Company (8 tanks), w/2 Platoons, and Armored Mortars
Aerial reconnaissance reported German Panzergrenadiers holding the crossroads and the base of hill 444. A combined task-force of a Ranger Company and half of a Sherman Tank Armored Company were sent to push the Germans back. After reconnaissance reported the road and fields north of the road were mined a two pronged approach was planned. The 1st platoon of Rangers would move up the South Flank under cover and seek to assault the base of hill 444 under the direction of Captain James Earl Rudder. The 1st platoon would be supported by the Ranger Mortar Platoon, the Armored Mortars, and the 2nd platoon of three Shermans. The 2nd platoon of Rangers would push along the North side of the road through the farmhouse and maneuver aggressively against the crossroads. Supporting it was the Command element and 1st platoon of armor comprising five tanks in all.
Our initial jump-off of phase line I did not seem to catch the attention of the Germans, and our supporting fires seemed to have little effect. 1st Platoon of Rangers moved aggressively up the Southern Flank, while its supporting elements moved to effective firing positions. 2nd Platoon of Rangers moved up to the central Farm House, while the supporting armor moved behind the hill in the field to the North. Hoping to affect a surprise assault 1st Platoon tried to push into the enemy positions and were forced back by a hail of enemy fire killing several.
2nd Platoon of Rangers hearing the firing advanced East of the house and followed their Platoon commander across the North bocage to gain cover from German fires. The armor pushed through the bocage with their Culin prongs (although one did get hung up). While a few enemy were spotted none were effectively reduced. Before they were able to gain any more ground half a dozen German infantry guns mounted in halftracks (stummelwerfers) opened up from ambush on the Northern push. Their fire killed the Armor Company CO, and one of the Shermans that had made it through the hedge. Meanwhile machinegun fire opened up from the crossroads taking out the 2nd Platoon Ranger commander who had been reconnoitering the bridge. Enemy fire continued to rake the position of the 1st Platoon of Rangers causing more casualties and preventing them from digging in. The Sherman platoon supporting them crossed the bocage (one getting hung up) and the Ranger Mortars quickly got set up, found their target, and began to pound the base of hill 444.
1st Platoon attempted yet another assault up to the hedgerow but received heavy casualties, leaving only the Platoon commander and the 60mm mortar team (which was too far away to support the advance). Captain Rudder steadied the Platoon Commander and got the platoon back into action. Meanwhile, 2nd platoon North of the stream dug into their positions in preparation for a counter-attack. The remaining Sherman moved up and was able to knock out two of the Jerry Halftracks while a third was taken out by a Ranger bazooka. The remaining halftracks knocked out one of the Sherman platoon, which caused the last Sherman of the platoon to withdraw.
The halftracks then began maneuvering aggressively against the Armored Company XO who was the last remaining armor support North of the Crossroads. The XO was hit multiple times with the light field guns of the NAZI halftracks, but was able to get back into action. The tank knocked out one of the remaining tracks, while one of the Ranger bazookas got another one causing the survivors to fall back in disarray. On the Southern flank the combination of the mortars and tank support were starting to reduce the defenders at the base of hill 444. Captain Rudder realizing that the platoon was still in an exposed position called for another assault working with the 1st platoons command section. 1st platoon lost its Lieutenant from defensive fire while Captain Rudder took out a panzershrek position. The German counter-attack gravely wounded Captain Rudder forcing the infantry assault on that flank to collapse.
With the German Halftrack ambush dealt with the 2nd Platoon of Rangers attempted to cross the road and assault isolated German positions North-East of the crossroads. Unfortunately the Jerries seemed to be ready for that plan and killed or gravely wounded everyone except for the 60mm mortar team which had been left to provide supporting fires North-West of the bridge.
The tanks supporting the Southern advance attempted to push through to the objective while mortar fire continued to pound the German positions at the base of hill 444. A pair of Tiger tanks appeared at the top of hill 444, and destroyed one of the Shermans. Seeing an opportunity one bold tank crossed the bocage and maneuvered aggressively against their flank taking both Tigers under fire…killing one. The other Sherman got hung up on the bocage and was destroyed by the Panzergrenadier XO firing a panzerfaust. Seeing he was alone the last Southern Sherman got out before he could be destroyed by the remaining Tiger.
The Armored Company XO decided that mortar support alone was not enough to take the heavily defended crossroads. He called off the attack until reinforcements could be brought forward. German forces at the base of hill 444 are believed to have taken considerable casualties the only German platoon confirmed to be destroyed was the assault gun halftracks.