Only two days after the failure of Operation Sonnenwende, the German attempt to re-take Strasbourg, the Allies seized the initiative in the Alsace campaign. On January 15, the 1st Army kicked off a powerful offensive aimed at reducing the Colmar salient south of the city. On the 30th, the 1st D.F.L. (lere Division francaise libre) was ordered to make their way through the Wusmatten woods and take out one such pocket at the village of Elsenheim. Located on the western outskirts of the village, this wooded terrain feature was staunchly defended by the mostly Austrian men of the 2nd Gebirgsdivision. At 4 p.m. two rifle companies, supported by armor, moved to dislodge the enemy from their foxholes and wooden pillboxes.
Attacker: Free French (Elements of the B.M. 21st, 4th Brigade, 1st D.F.L. and the 2nd D.B.)
Defender: German (Elements of the 2nd Gebirgsdivision)