Likewise during the 21 December, TF Kane launched another attack. The point of departure was the Grandmenil- Manhay area, and the plan was to cut south and southwest by secondary roads, seizing first the open country in the vicinity of Lamormenil (503861) and Freyneux (513862), and thenn attacking the enemy strong point at Dochamps (494838). The plan involved two columns, one on the Grandmenil- LaFosse-Lamormenil road, the other on the Le Batty-Freyneux road. These were to join at CR (507853), and press the attack from there to the objective.
The attack began between 1300 and 1400. The east column moved without difficulty to Le Batty (591881), while the west column held up at LaFosse (509880) after a little difficulty with the road. A platoon of the 83rd Rcn was sent southwest to Odeigne where it set up a temporary roadblock during the night.
At daybreak, with approximately five tanks in each column, the advance was continued. Without meeting resistance, the eastern column pushed into Freyneux, just north of which it had been met by the elements outposting Odeigne. The western column continued to CR (500869). In the meantime, Lt Elton MacDonald, commanding officer of D Co, 32AR, arrived with his ten tanks, most of which were put in the eastern column at Freyneux.
The column from Freyneux held up for a short time until the column near Lamormenil could come up to support it at the CR to the south. Just south of this crossroad (vic 505850) is a bare ridge, and as the column attacked over this ridge towards its objective of Dochamps, it came under enemy artillery and mortar fire. The ridge was under complete observation from the high ground east of Dochamps, and the enemy fired with deadly effect on any vehicle sticking its nose into view. The ground was tested on either side of the road, but it was still too soft to carry the tanks. Being road bound and under enemy observation, the force was unable to proceed.
At 1400 another attempt was made by the tanks to move across the open ridge. MacDonald led with his nine tanks, but as the force got on to the high ground it received such intense fire that the advance could only be made with the loss of the tanks. The attack was therefore given up for the day, and defenses were set up.
The west column in setting up for the night, secured the crossroad north of Lamormenil (5008699), in order to prevent an enemy attack from the west, while the rest of the force set up around the town of Lamormenil itself. A token force was left in LaFosse. At CR (500869) was the 1st Plat, Rcn (D/83rd), with a section of tanks and some towed TDs. Meanwhile, the east column concentrated its forces and set up an all-round defense in the town of Freyneux. The elements of the task force holding the roadblock at Odeigne did not join in the attack as first planned, and they continued to hold their position. At the roadblock in Odeigne was the 3 rcn Plat of the 1st bn, 32 AR, and a platoon of A Company 32 AR. The tanks of D company were disposed to help the forces as much as possible. Two were left at La Fosse, three at Le Batty, five at Freyneux, and the rest at Lamormenil and the nearby CR.
During the afternoon or early evening, approximately 70 paratroopers of the 517th Para Bn were attached from teh hq. 83rd Bcn Bn to TF Kane. A plan was devised for the paratroopers to attack Dexxxxxxx. The element of surprise was to be exploited in the attack with the infantry following the railroad south from Lamormenil area through the woods to a point along the tracks (vicinity of 498845), from which the attack on the town was to be launched. However, as the unit moved up to its line of departure, approximately 2300, it hit an enemy outpost which was established along the railroad track. Even though the element of surprise had been lost, the paratroopers tried to attack. With excellent fields of fire down the hill towards the American force, and with well placed defensive emplacements, the enemy repelled the attack without difficulty. In view of the strength of the enemy, the paratroopers asked permission to wait until the following morning before attacking again. Since they were still pracitcally up to original strength, they were ordered to make another attempt from a position farther west. At about 0200 the following morning, therefore, the unit moved some 500 yards farther west and tried again to take Dochamps. Ten casualties were received, and the men were pinned down by fire. The attempt was again unsuccessful, and it became clear that Dochamps was held by a strength of tanks and infantry too great to be seized in this fashion.
In the Freyneux-Lamormenil sector the situation was fairly quiet during the morning. At 1200, TF Kane was relieved of its responsibility for the crossroad southeast of Odeigne (CR 576853), and TF Richardson began to move into the vicinity. As yet no troops of TF Kane were withdrawn, and the assault gun platoon of the 1st bn, 32 AR remained at the CR during the day. The platoon of B company, 83rd Rcn Bn at Fraiture was by this time dispersed, and members of it were beginning to come in. (By 24 Dec