remaining forces. While their encircled 5iSLCr bolltal
for !heir vcry survival. each n:gimcnl's
reinrortemenU auemptcd 10 bn:ak through German dcfCflSd and cffoct linkup. The: naL open IUlureofthe surroundin" tCmlin, however, did nQII suppa" thc anacking forces. Vinually deWlid of cover and con ceal"....,nt. the temin provided the Gelman dcrenden with c.cellcnt fields of filt'.1IId C)b&e:rvalion.. Hence. the uposcd lucking American IIOOJl' _It; foro::d 10
Lhrough "dense IwIds of IlUlom'tie and indi rect fire," (28)
1lN: Rangcn' suppanlng .t\.Ock along Ihe Conca
was also failing. Ap
pnuimatcly 04IS the 4Lh Ihlt:llion began eneounler
ing dl/i-in enemy posilions .nd heavy din::a md indirect filt'. As the Rangcrl' Incmptcd 10 push for· ward, Ihey cfICO\Inlcred I mad block and nmking
minefields, Ily covering this fixing
lense and accume fire, German d<;fcno;kn for over an hour pm'enrcd. a slOCCIessful tJrcach. 1'11is cicily en abled en:my foroe!O III esrlblish and reinforce
atonl: lhe RiUlgen' direction or
Consequently, funher American cff(lru: 10
clear the road f"OVcd hil:h1y ineffective.
Throughoul lhe inilial cngagcTmnts of the IWO inf;sn\ry It'glments and 4th Ranger Baltallon. lhe 3d Division's main eITon wminucd with Its planned infillr.uiQll. While their counterparts foughtlnlen!;C
baliles 10 their RatUllions moved
and rear. the 151 and 3d Ranger along the Panlano Canal.
Passing din:ctJy through and around
man lrOOp concmtr.llions, the Rangen' tight column form;1\ionw-ulIDtengagcdbycnemydc:fcndc:n. During this "roven" movemcnllhe main attack forte cnccd Iwo major hreaks in conlacl,the: finll when the
3d and lSI OanaJinns became
breD; oct1Irred while allempting 10 r=lIve the initial problem. 8y063O lead elements ofthe Iwo-baHII;';" foree were approximately 1,300 meters SOUlhcut of Clstcma and preparing to cros.t Highw.y 7.
Operating under stricl T3(1io
main atlxk fora: beean the nnOlJ legoflhc: infiltration by 0630. Arter passinr: Ihrougli a promInent drainage dilCli immedIately ClSI ofllighway 7.the lSi Rltlllion
north across a large open lrea. To its
n:ar the 3-d Ranalion oontin",ed \0 push forward a10ng
the drainage ditch.
Unknown 10 the atlacking Rangel!., the German dc:fcndc:n;l'Iad lfIticip;!:\ed the: 3-d Division's plan and, sulRquently, laken steps 10 counlcr.1ct il effettJvely.
07001hc IWO Ran\:erbanalions
wert within awclL-clcfcndcd enemy cngagCTmnt arn. Wilhoul wlmlng the awakening dlwn beCartfe a bril liant namc from 1\llOmatic _apons.lank maln gum, II1d dilttl-fire artillery. From conrn:te SlIUCl\In:5 and dUG-in posilions ea:ll of the dralnagc dllch, German ddcnden began ppurlng errOClivc fire into the 3d Ranger U;ut;i\ion. While: the American soldicrt uri· tnled their weapons 10 this threat. additional Gennan tanks lflii dismounted Infantry bel'" alll(:king from the west and southwest. Wilhin nncen minutes the 3d Ball.lUon completely surrounded by an impene trable wall of exploding S1cel fragments and jacketed
AI 3d BauOlJion soldiers valiarlLly bauled the enemy's numerically superiQr forces, the 1st 8at tallQrl cnrninucd 10 pn:ss forward loward OStcml,
Appmxlmalcly 800 melert
objectlvc, lhcsc R.:Inj;Crt met the same fate as lheir comlldcs in thc3d 8atlollion. From thecity'ssouthem oulskirts lId surrounding ICmln. a)fI(lI:a1c:d Gennan defendert eng<lged the I\mericam aefOSJ well-defined
S<.X:1001 of nre.
Haltalioo soldicrs dropped 10 the ground
and began returning nrc. By radio, Ranger leaders SOIbmitled immediate supprt'S:SiyC fin: n:questS 10 the I'taimental oommand post. AlthouGh American anil· !cry and monars Quickly Jt'SPOOdc:d, Gennan defen·
exccllcnl cover from indilttt
fin:: weapoos-cspecinll y the RanJ:efll' supponing 4.2- inch monan. Consequently, while Irmon:d Gennan
for Ig)IIIplcternciKlemenl. effec
live enemy Bal1alion. llIc
, rominuc:d 10 rain down 01'1 the lSi
rellimental cummandc:r, Cnl. Wit,
lilll1 O. Darby,
the desperate Situation
Cl.)I1Jronting his main altack force. (30) Unfortunately.
given the L11lC1peclCd
of Gennan resistance,
the necessary n.:inrorecmcnllt wen: unable 10 assist Colonel Darby's beleagucn:d banal ions.
mately 4,500 melen
or Cisterna a well·
defended German obslaclc and mincncld syslem blocked further 41h Ranger Ballallon At 0830 Cannon Company and the attached lri-oc:
slroyerpbloon wen: directed
the4th Baltalion 10 intense enemy
nn:: and concc;i\cd anlilrmor mines. Even afICTlhe 3d
DiYisillf1 oommander n:ICI$':d
nf the divi·
sion'l reserve. the RanlCtS' SlIpponing atUlCk was unable to lRak through Gcnnan defensive posiliOrtS, Meanwhile, the 7th and ISth lnflll\try Regiments'