November Footnote 6: "we withdrew"
"The men of Company G had enough. Panic-ridden, many of them suddenly grabbed wildly at their equipment and broke for the rear.... The disorderly retreat became a snowball, carrying with it any who chanced to be in its path.
"The Company F commander, Lieutenant Kauffman, witnessed the retreat from his own command post in a building near the eastern edge of town and immediately realized it endangered the situation of his own unit.... Kauffman ordered his platoon leaders to withdraw their men to the line of buildings and there to hold. The platoons began to withdraw in small groups, but there was no control. The mushrooming effect of the retreat had spread too quickly, and the men could not be stopped when they reached the houses." MacDonald, Three Battles, 344.
" 'It was the saddest sight I have ever seen,' Lieutenant Condon of Company E reported later. 'Down the road from the east came men from F, G, and E Companies: pushing shoving, throwing away equipment, trying to outrace the artillery and each other, all in a frantic effort to escape. They were all scared and excited. Some were terror-stricken. Some were helping the slightly wounded to run, and many of the badly-wounded, probably hit by artillery, were lying in the road where they fell, screaming for help. It was a heart-breaking, demoralizing scene.' " quoted in Whiting, The Battle of Hurtgen Forest, 83.
Return to HQ Company: 112th Infantry: November 1944