Daylight brought a snowstorm with it. We were to
attack in a column of companies, the only way to attack over such
terrain. Mac, my runner, and I went up with Lieutenant Damkowitch.
Sergeant Koors had the mortars behind Company G. We had only gone
a little ways when things started getting worse. I am not exaggerating
when I say that the slope of the hills we were trying to cross was
just a little less than vertical. It was covered with trees and
there were several feet of snow on the ground. After a few people
had walked on the snow and packed it down, it was as slick as glass.
One could only take a few steps without slipping. The only way to
move halfway decently was to pull yourself up by grasping trees.
. . .
The men were miserable, their strength was gone, and their morale
was at its lowest ebb. Their bodies were racked with pain from
the cold. If a man had any water at all in his canteen, it was
frozen solid and there was no way to thaw it out. Their hands
had no strength in them from the cold and it took two of them
quite some time to open one K-ration in an inside pocket next
to their body. In that way, the meat would thaw out. We ate handfuls
of snow to quench our thirst, but the snow, as always, tasted
flat and did not help. Kad and I crawled into a hole under a blanket
to wait out the night. I pulled out my flashlight and my Bible
and read the 91st Psalm. Dad said read it and I would come home.
I prayed continually in combat. That's why I'm alive today. But
this particular night I prayed a little differently. I asked God
to protect us throughout the night, because we didn't have the
strength to protect ourselves. No Krauts got through our lines