With its series of forts and prepared positions, the area around the historic Lorraine city of Metz was to become known as “Fortress Metz” to the U.S. forces fighting in Europe. The first test in the long campaign which was to earn the city its name came in early September with the crossing of the Moselle River just south of the city. With few reinforcements available, the Americans were unable to expand their position and were under almost constant enemy attack. When elements of the 5th Division crossed the Moselle south of Dornot near Arnaville, it was decided that the Dornot bridgehead could be withdrawn without undue hazard to the new crossing. The American engineers used what few boats were available to evacuate the wounded. Unaware of the American withdrawal, the Germans had scheduled an attack for the same evening.
Attacker: German (SS) (Bataillon I, SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 37)
Defender: American (Company I, 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, and 204th and 7th Engineer Battalions/2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment and 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion)