The cavalry squadrons of the 8th Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Divisions played their role as covering forces well. The battalion-sized units harassed the enemy formations making their way west through the morning. Bolstered by fixed wing close air support, attack helicopters, and artillery, they slowed down the leading units of the 11th Guards Division and 20th Motor Rifle Division considerably. By early afternoon, the squadrons had done about as much as they possibly could and started withdrawing west of Phase Line Princeton, handing off the battle to their parent divisions.
In the afternoon and early evening hours, 11th Guards Tank Division executed three separate attacks against the 8th Infantry Division’s 1st and 2nd Brigades. The second attack was the most powerful, briefly penetrating the 2nd Brigades defenses and reaching beyond Kirchheim before the division’s 3rd Brigade was brought forward and conducted a successful counterattack. This attack allowed the 1/8th ID ample time to establish a new defensive line west of Oberaula, and 2/8th ID withdrew from the battle area entirely to a point in the division’s rear area west of Phase Line Yale. By nightfall, things had settled down along the 8th ID’s front.
To the south, 3rd AD’s sector had also settled down by the evening. The US armored division had successfully hung the Soviet 20th Guards Motor Rifle Division up around Fulda for most of the day. The first Soviet attack turned out to be a haphazard frontal assault on Fulda that fast became a bloody defeat at the hands of Task Force 5-18 Mech. Subsequent Soviet efforts avoided Fulda almost entirely, though enemy advances north, and south of the city were slowed, or halted at multiple points through the rest of the day. The 20th MRD’s commander urgently requested reinforcements, incorrectly advising his superiors that he was facing two enemy divisions. Lieutenant General Tchernitsov adamantly refused to commit his OMG division to the battle so early, though. For now, the 20th MRD was on its own.
The V Corps front was the most active area of CENTAG on D+7, but there was fighting taking place in other areas as well. North of V Corps, the West German III Corps continued sparring with two East German divisions. The East German’s drive to Kassel was over and now the GDR tankers and infantrymen had to content themselves with keeping pressure on their former countrymen as the larger, more consequential battles of the war raged to their northwest, and south.
The US VII Corps on the right flank of its sister US corps was growing anxious. D+7 brought little in the way of action. Soviet efforts against VII Corps divisions were little more than probes, or harassment hit-and-run attacks The corps commander and his staff knew it was time to get back into the war. And if the war wasn’t going to come to them, VII Corps would have to go to it.