October 7th the 2nd Battalion, 357th Regiment, initiated its attack on Maizières-lès-Metz. By the day's end approximately half the town had been taken, but resistance in the form of street barricades, thickly strewn mines, violent mortar and artillery fire and grim house-to-house defense made complete occupation of Maizières-lès-Metz a difficult if not impossible task.
So vital did the Germans consider this northern outpost that a constant flow of reinforcements poured into the town. This added enemy strength plus the serious shortage of ammunition made further progress tedious and slow. No all-out effort was made, therefore, to reduce Maizières-lès-Metz in one crushing blow. Instead, a new plan was evolved.
Osporeni grad trebao je postati praktično poligon u kojem će se usavršavati nove metode uličnih borbi. Pokrenuti su namjerno proračunati napadi s namjerno ograničenim ciljevima od strane četa, voda i vodova. Pokušani su eksperimenti, naučene ili odbačene lekcije na ovom, najpraktičnijem ratnom učilištu na svijetu.
In the meantime, those elements of the Division not actually engaged in Maizières-lès-Metz devoted themselves to intensive training and rehabilitation. With an eye already focused on the highly mysterious, highly publicized Siegfried Line, methods and techniques of reducing pillboxes were studied, demonstrated, perfected, practiced and rehearsed.
Nova rasporeda korpusa i divizija izvršena su duž fronte, a 90-ti su ostali uglavnom na vanjskom rubu obrambenog luka zapadno od Metza. 15. listopada brigadni general James A. Van Fleet preuzeo je zapovjedništvo nad divizijom. Više od mjesec dana crte bojišnice ostale su gotovo statične.
The situation at Maizières-lès-Metz, however, grew intolerable. It was unthinkable that the town should be jointly occupied by Americans and Germans, living, so to speak, in each others laps. The XX Corps at last determined that the town was of sufficient importance to warrant the extra effort and munitions required to clear it of the enemy, straddling, as it did, the vital supply lines feeding the northern fort of Metz.
Planovi za napad napravljeni su s beskrajnom pažnjom do najsitnijih detalja. Svaki časnik, svaki puškar, znao je svoj posao i svoj cilj. U središtu grada nalazila se gradska vijećnica, snažno obranjena i dobro utvrđena od strane neprijatelja.
The city hall became the hub upon which the German defense revolved, a symbol of failure or success. Whoever held the city hall held Maizières-lès-Metz.