Klaus Ritter
Letter dated 31 March

I was a member of the 18th VGD, 293rd Grenadier Regiment, 1818th Anti-Tank Battalion. Our division had two additional regiments, the 294th and 295th. In the beginning of November 1944, we arrived from Denmark in the area of Prüm along the border of Belgium and Luxemburg. We took our positions in this location, which was located east of the West Wall. The Americans succeeded penetrating the Siegfried Line in September and October 1944, with a breath of approximately six kilometers. The sector assigned to our division was relatively quiet until 12 Dec 1944, the beginning of the Rundstedtoffensive (counteroffensive), with the exception of nightly reconnaissance probes conducted by both sides. We determined quickly the time and place of American artillery targets. A built-out (prepared) path ran along the entire 20 kilometers of the Schnee Eifel (snow peak), which the Americans referred to as the "Skyline Drive." The Americans considered our sector along the "Skyline Drive" as a quiet position. As a result, they replaced their units every 10 days. They all came from the northern lying Hürtenwald (Hürten Forest), where bitter fighting took place. The Americans referred our sector to the "Kindergarten Front" or the "Old Men Front."

On 15 Dec 1944, the quiet period came to an end when we changed positions on 16 Dec 1944. On the first day we attacked the American 106th Infantry Division "Golden Lions." On 23 Dec 1944, after the capture of the village St. Vith, I was wounded in the Neuendorf, located a few kilometers behind St. Vith. The war for me was over. You may be interested to know that I fought in the area of my home town; I was and still from Prüm.

Klaus Ritter

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