Moselle Crossing: Mopping Up

That afternoon 3rd Battalion, 354th, pushed on to the next riverside town of Enkirch, with Company L advancing along the Moselle and Companies K and L closing in from the high ground to the rear. Heavy rifle fire was encountered and throughout the afternoon 88mm guns pounded the battalion CP in Burg. South of the 3rd Battalion, the 1st Battalion, 354th, overran light defenses and captured Breidel after noon. Company A ran into heavy resistance while scaling the river bluffs northeast of Breidel and flushed a German squad from the woods at the bluff's crest. The rest of the battalion drove on across the uplands east of the river under a heavy artillery concentration. Small unit actions were prevalent, e.g., a single squad of A Company's 1st Platoon had taken the town of Punderich overnight and rejoined the company. In the 353rd zone, the 2nd Battalion advanced upstream along the winding river road into Merl, Zell and Hoherott and pushed deep into the Zeller Stadt Forest. On the outskirts of Zell, Pvt. Harold C. Seehofer, Company E, silenced an enemy automatics weapons position, and then led the company advance into the town, moving from building to building under very heavy fire. By sacrificing his life in a final charge on a strongpoint, he enabled the rest of this company to secure the town with a minimum of casualties. By noon of March 17 the enemy had apparently broken off contact and there was very little German activity except for two scatter pockets. In the two-day Moselle operation the 89th had taken 184 prisoners.

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