Hold to the Last Round by James Dietz
The 28th Division in the Defense of Hosingen, Luxembourg
On December 16, 1944, began the "Battle of the Bulge," considered by many, including Sir Winston Churchill, as the greatest battle ever fought by the American Army. The 28th Division was positioned in the very center of the German attack, just west of the Our River in a front of about 25 miles. Since this was supposed to be a quiet sector where no enemy action was expected, the three Regimental Combat Teams of the Division could only defend this wide area by establishing isolated strong points to block the main roads leading from East to West. The distances between positions prevented them from being mutually supporting and thus easily surrounded and cut off from reinforcement. In the unlikely event of an attack, the plan was to withdraw and delay.
When the German offensive opened, however, the order was changed to "Hold at All Cost," and thus each of the strong points had to fight its own battle. Rather than giving terrain for time as initially intended, it now became necessary to sacrifice lives for time until reinforcements from reserve units could be brought forward. The strong points of the Division, although surrounded, cut off, and facing increasing enemy forces as the fight went on, held for almost three full days, thus upsetting the German timetable. This gave the Allies time to move major reinforcements forward to Bastogne and St. Vith.
This print was taken from the magnificent painting depicting one of the great strong point actions which occurred in the town of Hosingen, Luxembourg, where "K" Company of the 110th Infantry Regiment and "B" Company of the 103rd Engineer Battalion (Combat) fought for the better part of three days. Although surrounded and greatly outnumbered, the soldiers of these two units held their ground with only a reinforcement of five tanks from the 707th Tank Battalion reaching their position. In this defense, these brave men inflicted an estimated 2,000 casualties upon their attackers and totally upset the German timetable. The 28th Division soldiers fought to the last round and were then authorized to break into small groups and escape as best they could.
The gallant defense of Hosingen, which is depicted in this painting, like the action at the other strong points of the 28th Division, sacrificed men for time. This effort clearly helped save Bastogne, only 18 miles to the west, and bought precious time for the Allies. The painting and the limited edition prints are dedicated to all the brave men of the 28th Division whose courage and sacrifice delayed the German advance and contributed greatly to the final outcome of the "Battle of the Bulge."
The artist and publisher with to express their gratitude to LTC Craig G. Nannos for his special technical assistance and to MG Gerald T. Sager, the Adjutant General of Pennsylvania, whose vision and support made this project possible.
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