Let's not let this thread die! Here's another old Hickory tale. This incident grew to be legendary around the 30th Division and variations on the story are numerous. Bob Frankland was the CO of the 1st Battalion (Curlew) of the 117th. The 30th arrived in Mortain on the evening of August 6th and the 117th was deployed NE of the city, with the 1st Battalion in the small village of St. Barthelmy. They took positions dug by the 1st Infantry Division with most of the Regiment arriving after dark and not being able to see what was in front of those positions. Frankland set up the OP in a small house at the edge of the village (see picture below). The Dog Company mortars were deployed behind a hedge in a small field next to the OP. A and C companies were on the line, with B company placed about 1000 yards behind the OP as a reserve. Some 3 inch AT guns were placed in positions established by the 1st Division - some of those positions were very good and some (when dawn came) proved to very poor. All of the telephone lines were cut by arriving and departing trucks and armor, so comms were entirely via radio and runners in those first hours. As most of you know, four German Armored Divisions hit the 30th Division in the early morning fog of 7 August. The story I want to tell is what happened at the Battalion OP. First I'll tell the tale as my father saw it, then give some variations as told by others. My father was in the OP as a runner, from the mortar section of Company D. He was talking to Captain David Easlick, who remained a family friend after the war. Anyway, Easlick was relaying fire directions for a column of panzers that had broken through the line - one of which was in the street right outside the OP! As they spoke, somebody knocked at the front door and it was opened to reveal a very young German officer who was holding his helmet in his hand as if making a social call. At his elbow was an enlisted man, with his rifle pointed down in a non-threatening position. The German began speaking in English to the nearest officer (not Easlick) and gesturing behind him to the panzer with its main gun pointed directly at the house. He was saying that under the circumstances, they needed to surrender and come along with him. Enter Colonel Bob Frankland... He immediately asked what was going on and when told he drew his pistol looked at the young German and said "F^&% You!" and shot him in the head. He then shot the enlisted man, turned and told everyone to go out the back. The tiny cottage was crowded with people who bailed out of every door and window. My father literally threw Dave Easlick through a window then went through himself, landing on him. They laughed about this at a dinner one night while I listened with big eyes. Easlick thanked my dad for getting him out the window, and my dad just laughed and said Easlick had been in between him and the window and throwing him through it was merely the fastest way out. There were German soldiers in the rear of the house as well, and they opened fire on the fleeing Americans and a number of men died before they could get to a hedge at the rear of the property. They moved a few hundred yards and set up a new OP, sending runners around to let everyone know where they were. The official history says the Germans came to the rear door, rather than the front. It may be that they came to both doors. There are at least two witnesses that claim that after Frankland shot the two Germans asking for a surrender he walked outside, climbed on the panzer, leaned in the hatch and shot everyone he could see inside. Frankland himself never talked about that day so it's hard to say where truth ends and myth begins. All in all, it was a very bad day for Frankland. Early on, he had asked to pull back his two rifle companies on the line to better positions behind the village and that request had been refused. By 0900, A Company had only 12 men left and C Company had 33 and those few men were still in their positions and fighting. Bob Frankland had been ordered to throw their lives away, to no real purpose. He was a pretty angry man. That afternoon, they received permission to pull back a few hundred yards to the positions Frankland had originally wanted and they held there for the rest of the battle. The bulk of the 1st SS Panzer Division never broke through the 117th, so they finally turned SW and broke the line and came out in Romagny, which was actually near the starting point for the 2nd SS Panzer Division - they had merely made a half circle through the US position and then back out into ground already held by the Germans. At Romagny, Jochen Peiper, commander of the Regiment, had a nervous breakdown during a Jabo attack. Peiper had a worse day than Frankland - most of his Regiment was burning piles of wreckage. A contingent of panzers did break through and got a few miles along the road west towards Juvigny Le Terte. This bunch was heavily beat up and left a trail of dead vehicles hit by AT guns and bazookas. Jabos finished off the remainder.