GRANDENHEIM'S LONG & QUIET DAYS DAY OF JANUARY 28th The Fighter of the D.F.L.
"On the 28th, the day rises, another section of the Genie of our D.F.L. ensures the launch of a TREADWAY bridge during a rapid maneuver that takes place in the best conditions, without any reaction from the enemy. At around 10:00, Lieutenant-Colonel PUTZ gives his orders. The attack of GRUSSSENHEIM will be done by the West. C.A. 3 (Captain DUAULT) of the III / R.M.T. reinforced with 2 tanks of the 1st Section of the 2nd Coy of 501 R.C.C. will make, on the axis JEBSHEIMGRUSSENHEIM, a diversion attack. The main action will be commanded by Commander DEBRAY who will have two columns. NORTH: to the orders of the Commander of SAIRIGNE, the 1st Legion Coy (Captain LANGLOIS) reinforced with a section of heavy machine guns of the Legion, the 11th Co. of the R.M.T. (Lieutenant BACHY) and the 3rd section of the 2nd Coy of 501 R.C.C. (Lieutenant LA BOURDONNAYE), which has only 3 tanks. SOUTH: to the orders of the captain of WITASSE, the 2nd Cie of Legion (Captain LANGLOIS), the 12th Cie of R.M.T. (Captain of CASTELLANE) and the 2nd Section (2 tanks) of the 501st R.C.C. (Aspiring RICHARDEAU). - The 3rd Legion Company (Captain MATTEI) will guard the bridge. - The Tanks-Destroyers of the 2nd Platoon of the 2nd Squadron of the R.B.F.M. Aspirant MAYMIL - who will be fatally wounded soon after - will support the main operation. The Artillery must make a 155 shot on objective and prepare the attack from 12:30 to 13h. The time of the opening is set at 13 hours. In the meantime, the units engaged are subjected to almost permanent fire of artillery and automatic weapons. The lieutenant of the BOURDONNAYE is killed by a burst in the chest; two men, on the verge of nervous breakdown due to the intensity of enemy fire, are evacuated. A Tank-Destroyer of the Armored Rifle Regiment on the other side of the BLIND attempts a maneuver, a blow of full whip ignites it in the middle of the bridge and his crew is put out of action (2 killed - 3 wounded).
A tank is able to tow it backwards, too. All other attempts at repair will be in vain, the bridge, which was so difficult to build, will remain unusable and only one tank will be found on the east bank of the BLIND. Around 12:45, the Group Chief of Staff, Major PUIG, confirms the order: GRUSSENHEIM must be taken the same day and Lieutenant-Colonel PUTZ maintains the order already given. Everyone will join his place convinced that the attack, as it is imposed on them, can only lead to a catastrophe. At that moment Father Captain PERIQUET of the 8th R.C.A preceding his Squadron, the 3rd Tank-Destroyer, arrived at the disposal of the 13th D.B.L.E since 22nd January.
It is 12:55, a shell falls in the center of the group formed by Lieutenant-Colonel PUTZ, Commander PUIG and Captain PERIQUET, killing all three. The order is maintained, the attack of GRUSSENHEIM is triggered of 2 sides at the same time. The armored group formed by the C.A.3 of III / R.M.T. and the 2nd Tank Company of the 501st C.C. cross the BLIND to the MILL of JEBSHEIM and approach the village from the South while the 1st and 2nd Legion Companies (1st B.L.E.) will progress from the West.
From the outlet, the Companies are blocked by violent enemy fire, resume in advance in small groups and infiltrate to the slaughterhouse. The armored vehicles of 501 R.C.C. (Arcis-sur-Aube and Montmirail) progress without difficulty and enter the village from the south but can not maintain it for lack of infantry.