Despite days of intermittent rain, by evening of the 18th the Allies XXX Corps had completed the encirclement of Geilenkirchen with the British 43rd Wessex Division to the north and the U.S. 84th Division to the south. As the GIs attempted to penetrate into the strongly held city, the Wessex’s 214th Brigade moved to secure the north suburbs, with the 1st Worcestershire Battalion gaining the village of Tripsrath by nightfall. With the 15th Panzergrenadier Division nearby, however, a counterattack was expected. The 9th dawned soggy, overcast, and generally miserable – more of the same. The poor road conditions had held up the battalion’s antitank guns. Nevertheless, by 1100 hours the Worcesters were in position to support the American action at Geilenkirchen as a prelude to advancing on Straeten and Waldenrath. When the expected German counterattack emerged from the woods to the west of Tripsrath, it demonstrated forcible that the Worcesters were in an exposed position.
Attacker: German (104th Panzergrenadier Regiment and Schwere Panzer Abteilung 506)