About lunch time the Germans called for the surrender of the Spahi's over a loudspeaker, and even sent a delegation under a flag of truce to call for their surrender. The Spahi's refused. At 1300 the Germans began to attack, only this time instead of trying to push the Spahi's out of La Horgne, they started to encircle the village, pushing through the positions the Spahi's had set up on the ridge line. The Germans put even more artillery into the attack, bombarding the back of the village and the ridge line.
With only the brigades remaining HMG's and some infantry holding the ridge, the Germans managed to encircle the village.
About 1530, in the woods above La Horgne there was a squadron led by Lieutenant MacCarthy. The squadron was ordered to launch an attack to break the encirclement. Lt MacCarthy decided that moving as fast as possible was the best idea, so he ordered his squadron to mount up and advance.
At the church Warrant Fievee was in charge of the 37mm gun, with Spahi Saidi Atallah and one other. They had made a hole in the church wall for his anti-tank gun. As he swung his weapon towards some German tanks the enemy infantry spotted the movement and started to attack his position. A grenade landed in the doorway near by and the shrapnel from it caught Warrant Fievee in the hand. Warrant Fievee refused to leave his position and a few heartbeats later one of the assistant gunners was wounded in the arm and thigh.
The two remaining crew moved the gun to the new position. Warrant Fievee aimed and hit the last tank in the column to prevent them from withdrawing. Warrant Fievee then took out the lead tank, and began to hammer the column of vehicles, using up all his ammunition. The German survivors then broke and fled into a tree line to the right of the road.
With the village engulfed in flames, the infantry were almost out of ammunition for every weapon in the brigade. Above them German reconnaissance aircraft were directing their artillery fire onto strong points.
|LA Horgne after the battle|
Several other breakout attempts were attempted. One led by Colonel Marc, the Commander of the 3rd Spahi's was contained and the colonel sustained injuries. Col. Marc made it back to his command post in the devastated village. At 1800 with no ammunition remaining for any weapon, Col. Marc had no other option but to order a ceasefire. When the few Spahi's that were left struggled out of the ruins of La Horgne the Germans presented arms in salute to the 10 hours of fierce resistance. The commander of the German forces later said:
"I fought against all foes in both wars and I was always in the thick of it. Rarely did anyone fight as outstandingly as the 3d Spahi brigade. [...] The Brigade had ceased to exist. It had sacrificed itself for France."