«BATTLEBOOK Commanding General, United States Army, Europe Senior Leader Staff Ride The Battle of the Bulge Contents The Am erican Soldier SSG Joseph ...»
takes over VII Corps sector at 2400. Under its command, in current positions, are 104th, 83d, 5th Armd (-CCR), 8th, and 78th IDs, from N to S. XIII Corps takes over former XIX Corps front and 29th ID. XVI Corps releases 75th ID to First Army. In US First Army 60th IR, 9th ID is detached from 104th ID and moves to Ouflet in Belgium. VII Corps is to operate against N flank of German Salient. In V Corps area, 9th ID, reinf by 102d Cav Gp, rounds up enemy in Monschau area. 99th ID breaks up enemy formations with arty fire. CCA, 3d AD, reverts to parent unit and moves from Eupen to Werbomont area. 1st ID contains further attacks toward Elsenborn ridge. In XVIII Corps (A/B) area, CCB of 7th AD withdraws from St Vith at night; CCA contains attack near Poteau; CCR clears Vielsalm-Poteau road. CCB, 9th AD, is attached to 7th AD. 82d A/BD’s 504th PIR clears Cheneux and Monceau, forcing enemy back across the Ambleve R; 505th improves positions from the Salm at Trois Ponts to vicinity of Grand Halleux; 508th and 325th Glider Inf occupy line Vielsalm-Hebronval-Regne, making no contact with enemy; div makes contact with friendly troops in St Vith area. 30th ID is unable to take La Gleize and Stoumont; continues to defend Stavelot and Malmedy. 3d AD, to which CCA reverts, contains enemy at Hotton; continues efforts to secure Manhay-Houffalize road. 84th ID is organizing perimeter defense of Marché.
• 22 December - In First Army's V Corps area, Germans breach lines of 1st ID at Buetgenbach and of 9th ID in Monschau Forest but are unable to exploit their success. In XVIII Corps (A/B) area, withdrawal of delaying forces in St Vith area through 82d A/BD line begins. 82d A/BD is under strong pressure along the Salm in Trois Ponts area. 30th ID column captures Stoumont. 3d AD maintains roadblocks at strategic points and attempts to clear Hotton area. VII Corps, reconstituted to consist of 75th and 84th IDs and 2d AD, is rapidly concentrating in Durbuy-Marche area of Belgium and organizing defensive line. 84th ID completes perimeter defense of Marche and establishes counterreconnaissance screen to Sand SW. In US Third Army's VIII Corps area, Brig Gen McAuliffe, acting CG 101st A/BD, refuses German demand for surrender of Bastogne. Garrison is holding under heavy fire and sharp attacks. 28th ID troops blocking road SW out of Bastogne at Vaux-Ies-Rosieres are forced back to Neufchateau. US ammunition shortage is becoming acute and weather conditions prevent aerial resupply. III Corps begins northward drive to relieve Bastogne. On W, 4th AD columns reach Burnon and Martelange. 26th ID, to right, marches about 16 miles before making contact with enemy in Rambrouch-Grosbous area. After 5-mile advance, 80th ID runs into stiff resistance at Merzig and Ettelbruck but clears most of Merzig. XII Corps, in new zone along E border of Luxembourg, attacks with 4th ID SW of Echternach but is held to small gains. 10th AD maintains positions NE of Luxembourg and straightens lines.
5th ID closes N of Luxembourg.
• 23 December - In US First Army's V Corps area, 1st ID restores line at Buetgenbach, as does 9th ID in Monschau Forest. 60th IR reverts to 9th ID. 5th AD is attached to corps. In XVIII Corps (A/B) area, 7th AD, remnants of I06th ID, 112th IR of 28th ID, and CCB of 9th AD withdraw from St Vith area as planned, moving through lines of 82d A/BD.
Assault on La Gleize by 30th ID is unsuccessful. 3d AD passes to control of VII Corps in place. In VII Corps area, 3d AD attempts to clear Hotton-Soy road but makes little headway; loses key road junction SE of Manhay. Germans penetrate 84th ID positions between Hargimont and Rochefort. 4th Cav Gp, with mission of screening along Lesse R, organizes defensive positions between Ciney and Marché. CCA, 2d AD, organizes Ciney for defense and starts toward Buissonville. 75th ID, in corps reserve, establishes outposts along the Ourthe R. In US Third Army area, improving weather conditions permit extensive air support, particularly in Bastogne area, where supplies are dropped to the garrison. In VIII Corps area, enemy continues to press in slowly on Bastogne. In III Corps area, CCA of 4th AD clears Martelange and continues 2 miles up Arlon-Bastogne highway while CCB, on secondary road, drives to Chaumont, from which it is ousted in counterattack. CCR begins drive toward Bigonville (Luxembourg). 26th ID's 104th IR clears Grosbous and pushes on to Dellen and Buschrodt; 328th occupies Wahl. 80th ID seizes Heiderscheid and holds it against counterattacks; finishes clearing Merzig; takes Kehmen; continues to battle enemy at Ettelbruck. Roadblocks on diy's S flank are turned over to XII Corps. In XII Corps area, attack SW of Echternach still gains little ground. 10th AD continues action to shorten and improve its line. 35th ID passes to Third Army control.
• 24 December - In V Corps’ area, 1st ID repels another enemy bid for Buetgenbach. 5th AD closes in Eupen area and is held in reserve. In XVIII Corps (A/B) area, 30th ID overruns La Gleize and releases CCB, 3d AD. 82d A/BD is under strong pressure in Manhay area; loses Manhay, although elements of 7th AD are pressed into action in that region.
17th A/BD is being flown to France from England and subsequently operates under VIII Corps. In VII Corps area, Germans reduce 3d AD's roadblock at Belle Haie, on road to Manhay; CCR columns attacking E from Hotton and W from Soy clear Hotton-Soy road. Elements of 75th ID enter combat for first time: 290th and 289th IRs are attached respectively to CCR and CCA, 3d AD. In 84th ID zone, Germans drive through Verdenne. CCA, 2d AD, reaches Buissonville; 4th Cav Gp, attached to 2d AD to cover its assembly and maintain contact with adjacent units, makes contact with British at Sorinne. In US Third Army's VIII Corps area, heavy fighting continues around Bastogne perimeter. The city is badly damaged by air attacks. 11th AD, released from SHAEF reserve to corps on 23d, is held in mobile reserve W of the Meuse. Combat engineers are guarding Meuse R line and blocking approaches to bridges. In III Corps area, CCB of 4th AD is meeting lively opposition S of Chaumont, as is CCA at Warnock; CCR seizes Bigonville. 318th IR (-), 80th ID, is attached to 4th AD. 6th Cav Gp (TF Fickett) arrives from XX Corps front to guard W flank of corps in Neufchateau area; 6th Cav Rcn Sq is assigned sector between 4th Armd and 26th IDs. 26th ID secures Rambrouch and Koetschette but is held up at Arsdorf and Hierheck. 80th ID contains determined counterattacks. In XII Corps area, 5th ID, to which 10th IR has reverted, relieves left flank elements of 4th ID and attacks toward Haller and Waldbillig, making slow progress. 2d Cav Gp, designated TF Reed, relieves right flank units of 4th ID along the Moselle. CCA, 10th AD, captures Gilsdorf and Mostroff on Sauer R.
• 25 December - In US First Army area, V Corps maintains defensive positions and has only light patrol contact with enemy. In XVIII Corps (A/B) area, 82d A/BD, to shorten line, withdraws from Vielsalm salient upon order, pulling back to general line Trois Ponts-Basse-Bodeux-Bra-Manhay. 7th AD is reinf by 424th IR, 106th ID; tries vainly to recover Manhay. 30th ID clears region N of the Ambleve R between Stavelot and Trois Ponts. VII Corps, directed to go on the defensive, conducts limited attack to stabilize right flank of First Army. 3d AD attacks toward Grandmenil and crossroads just E, which enemy has recently seized, and reaches edge of town; is establishing defensive line in WerpinAmonines area. TF cut off in Marcouray radios that it is starting toward Soy through enemy territory. 84th ID recovers Verdenne, but an enemy pocket remains between there and Bourdon. CCB, 2d AD, seizes Celles, blocking enemy's westward advance on Dinant; reconnoiters to Sorinne and Foy Notre Dame; CCA occupies Havrenne. In US Third Army area, VIII Corps maintains Bastogne perimeter against pressure from all sides. In III Corps area, CCR, moving to W flank of 4th AD from Bigonville launches surprise attack and gains road from Vaux les-Rosieres to Chaumont; CCB • and CCA seize Chaumont, Hollange, and Tintage. 26th ID TF begins struggle for Eschdorf, gaining weak hold there;
other elements of the div clear Arsdorf. 319th IR 80th ID, clears its sector to the Sauer and makes contact with 26th ID;
assisted by 317th IR, contains counterattacks and drives almost to Kehmen. Ettelbruck is found clear.
• 26 December - In US First Army area, army halts enemy's westward drive short of the Meuse. German supply lines • are now overextended, and stalled armor becomes a lucrative target for aerial attacks. XVIII Corps (A/B) maintains defensive positions and defeats enemy efforts to break through to the Meuse. In VII Corps area, 3d AD stabilizes its front except on left, where contact has not yet been established with 7th AD; seizes Grandmenil and heights S of SoyHotton road. 84th ID reduces enemy pocket between Verdenne and Bourdon; hurls back enemy thrust toward Menil.
2d AD repels counterattacks in Celles area and against Havrenne and Frandeux, inflicting heavy losses on enemy. In US Third Army area, armored units break through to Bastogne. In III Corps area, forward tanks of CCR, 4th AD, push through Assenois to Bastogne, but vehicles are unable to follow. 101st A/BD is temporarily attached to corps. CCA, 9th AD, is detached from 10th AD, XII Corps, and attached to 4th AD for employment on W flank. 26ID closes along the Sauer, winning Eschdorf in lively battle, and begins crossing. 80th ID, after clearing Scheidel, is halted in Kehmen area and transferred in place to XII Corps. Intercorps boundary is adjusted accordingly. 35th ID is attached to III Corps to assist in action against S flank of Ardennes salient. In XII Corps area, 5th ID improves positions in Echternach area and takes Berdorf. 6th AD, transferred to corps from XX Corps, moves into Luxembourg and relieves 10th AD. Latter passes to XX Corps control. 109th IR reverts to 28th ID (VIII Corps) from attachment to 10th AD.
• 27 December - In US First Army's XVIII Corps (A/B) area, 30th ID maintains defensive positions while regrouping.
508th PIR, 82d A/BD, continues drive NE of Bra. 7th AD recaptures Manhay early in day. 9th AD is reinf by 112th IR of 28th ID. In VII Corps area, Germans are infiltrating toward Sadzot in zone of CCA, 3d AD, where front line is held by 289th IR. 84th ID clears pocket in Verdenne area. 2d AD columns envelop Humain and clear stubborn resistance there. 83d ID, upon closing in Havelange area, begins relief of 2d AD. In US Third Army's VIII Corps area, 17th A/BD takes over Meuse R sector. In III Corps area, trucks and ambulances roll into Bastogne on road opened by CCR, 4th AD, ending siege of the city. 4th AD and reinforcements from 9th AD and 80th ID are broadening corridor to Bastogne and attempting to open Arlon-Bastogne highway. From S bank of the Sauer, 35th ID attacks northward between 4th AD and 26th ID, 137th IR taking Surre and 320th, Boulaide and Boschleiden. 26th ID pushes northward through 101st A/BD, clearing Mecher-Dunkrodt and Kaundorf. In XII Corps area, 80th ID checks attack in Ringel area and blocks roads N and NE of Ettelbruck. 6th AD takes responsibility for sector S of the Sauer between Ettelbruck and Mostroff.
Beaufort, N of Waldbillig, falls to 11th IR, 5th ID. 4th ID patrols find Echternach undefended. In XX Corps area, 90th ID patrols aggressively and conducts raids to keep enemy pinned down. 5th Ranger Bn is attached to 95th ID.
• 28 December - GEN Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery meet at Hasselt (Belgium) to plan offensive. In V Corps area, final enemy effort to force 1st ID from Elsenborn defenses fails. In XVIII Corps (A/B) area, corps zone is relatively quiet. CCB, 9th AD, and 112th IR move into position to back up 3d AD and 75th ID. In VII Corps area, 75th ID, less 289th IR and 290th IR, is attached to XVIII Corps. Germans infiltrating in sector of CCA, 3d AD, take Sadzot but are driven out. 83d ID is relieving 2d AD and takes responsibility for sector E of line Buissonville-Rochefort;
elements push into Rochefort. 2d AD regroups. In US Third Army's VIII Corps area, 11th AD is transferred to corps from SHAEF reserve. III Corps makes limited progress against delaying opposition between Sauer and Wiltz Rivers.
35th ID continues drive on S flank of enemy salient despite very heavy fire SW of Villers-la-Bonne-Eau. 26th ID makes slight progress toward Wiltz. Elements of 80th ID attached to 4th AD revert to parent unit. 6th AD is transferred to corps from XII Corps. XII Corps is ordered on the defensive in afternoon. 80th ID repels attack for Ringel.
• 29 December - In US First Army area, V Corps front is quiet, with both sides on the defensive. XVIII Corps (A/B) zone is also virtually static. 75th ID is attached to corps and takes over zone of 7th AD. VII Corps mops up infiltrators and patrols. 83d ID releases 33Ist IR to 3d AD; attacks toward Rochefort with 329th, making slow progress In US Third Army area, VIII Corps prepares for drive on Houffalize. 11th AD moves to vicinity of Neufchateau. 87th ID is released to corps from SHAEF reserve. In III Corps area, CCA of 4th AD opens Arlon-Bastogne highway. 35th ID is clearing Villers-Ia-Bonne-Eau-Lutrebois region; advance elements make contact with 101st A/BD forces at Marvie, SE of Bastogne. 26th ID continues toward Wiltz against increasing resistance. Units in Bastogne (101st A/BD, reinf, and elements of 9th AD) revert to VIII Corps. 6th AD is transferred to III Corps from XII Corps and assembles between Arlon and Neufchateau.