On July 10th the battle was resumed. Exhausted for beyond the limit of endurance, weakened by the tremendous losses in men and machines, the troops had absorbed more punishment and physical and mental discomfort than the mind and body were meant to withstand. In the past eight days unprecedented acts of heroism had become ordinary, and impossible accomplishments had become commonplace. But by the eighth day every man had expended his last ounce of strength. They could go no further.
On the eighth day, the 90th once more attacked. The plan called for a co-ordinated assault by the 358th and 359th Regiments, the latter's action pending the arrival of elements of the 8th Division. At two in the afternoon the 8th had not yet arrived. The 358th, therefore, was ordered to initiate the attack, with the 359th to launch its assault as soon as possible.
With the 1st Battalion of the Regiment left, the attached 2nd Battalion of the 358th in the center, and the 3rd Battalion on the right, the 358th Regiment was to swing into the Forêt de Mont-Castre, the southern and heavily wooded slopes of the Hill, and push on to the village of Lastelle, south of the Forest.
The 1st Battalion, in a position unsuitable for attack, held its positions and supported the advance of the remaining battalions by its fire. The 2nd Battalion, 359th, met severe resistance from the very first, and, with the exception of one company, found it impossible to continue.
The 3rd Battalion pushed into the dense undergrowth of the now famed Forêt de Mont-Castre. For the Germans it was hold or perish. If ever before they had fought with single-minded ferocity, they far exceeded it now. The dark-shadowed woods of Mont-Castre, that day, felt the shock and impact of men who wouldn't be stopped against a line that wouldn't be broken.
At first it was rather simple, resistance was meager and scattered. The greatest difficulties were the rocks and the denseness of the forest which denied visibility and made orientation a problem of first importance. The first phase line was reached, and control reestablished.
The battalion began once more to move, and hell broke loose. Close range machine-gun fire from carefully concealed positions spread havoc in the 90th's ranks. Grenades came from everywhere, rifle fire spewed from the tangled undergrowth. It was perfect defense in the very heart of the Mahlman Line. The Americans charged. With hand grenades and bayonets hey stormed the line. Jerry, secure and safe behind his thick stone crags, discovered that stone and fire and even courage were not enough to halt the 90th's charge.
With machine guns blazing from their hips, in spite of wounds and certain death, they charged. They dropped and rose and fought again, then dropped again... and still they fought. Ripping, blasting, tearing through the woods, at last they saw before them clear, open country beyond. Vicious high velocity fire soon made their position untenable, and at nightfall the assaulting elements moved slightly back to prepare the night's defenses.
All night the Battalion aid men, working hard, carried rations and water to the men on the line, carried the wounded to the rear. Decimated beyond recognition (52 % casualties), the Battalion reformed that night as a single group.