Chapter XI

[1] The records of Peiper's unit were destroyed just before his capture. In 1945, however, Peiper was interviewed by members of the ETO Historical Section. (See Ferriss, Rpt Based on Intervs in January 1945, passim.) Much of the tactical detail used herein comes from the 3,268page trial transcript of the so-called Malmédy Case tried before the U.S. General Military Government Court in 1946. A good summary of the latter is found in a manuscript by Royce L. Thompson entitled The ETO Ardennes Campaign: Operations of the Combat Group Peiper, 16 26 December 1944 (1952), in OCMH files.

[2] Ch. VIII.

[3] The massacres perpetrated by Peiper's troops were the subject of a special Congressional investigation: 81st Cong., 1st sess., Report of the Subcommittee on Armed Services, United States Senate, Malmédy Massacre Investigation (dated 13 October 1949). Cf., Records of the War Crimes Branch, USFET, 1946. The postwar SS view of the Malmédy incident is given in Paul Hausser's Waffen-SS im Einsatz (Goettingen, 1953), pp. 242-47.

[4] Hitler's order to take no prisoners probably had wide circulation. Lt. Col. George Mabry, commander of the 2d Battalion, 8th Infantry, has stated that his unit captured a German colonel from the Seventh Army who had such an order. Ltr, Gen Barton to author, 17 Nov 59.

[5] Thus Fragmentary Order 27. issued by Headquarters, 328th Infantry, on 21 December for the attack scheduled the following day says: "No SS troops or paratroopers will be taken prisoners but will be shot on sight."

[6] Peiper later said that if the German infantry had made a penetration by 0700 on 16 December he could have reached the Meuse the same day.

[7 ]The ubiquitous 51st Engineer Combat Battalion will crop up at many points in this narrative. The battalion was awarded a Presidential Citation.

[8] The origins of this scheme are described by Manteuffel in Frieden and Richardson, eds., The Fatal Decisions, pp. 272-74. See also B. H. Liddell Hart, The Other Side of the Hill (London: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1951).

[9] The original Brandenburg Division seems to have been none too happy that Skorzeny's group was given the name of the Brandenburgers. H. Kriegsheim, Getarnt, Getauescht und doch Getreu: Die Division "Brandenburg" (Berlin, 1958), p. 305.

[10] The story of the Hohes Venn operation is given by its leader in MS # P-051, Airborne Operations: A German Appraisal (Generalmajor Hellmuth Reinhardt). Cf., the C.S.D.I.C. U.K. documents S.I.R. 1377 (n.d.) and G.R.G.G. 359 (c) 24 Sep 45.

[11] The reports of enemy paratroopers did result in numerous troop alerts in the American rear areas. For example, the 1102d, 1107th, and 1128th Engineer Groups were alerted. (VIII Corps, G-3 Jnl, 16 Dec 44.) The German soldiery, surprisingly, were told of Colonel von der Heydte's failure in an article entitled "Operation Mass Murder" which appeared in the Nachrichten Fur Die Truppe (the German equivalent of The Stars and Stripes) on 22 December 1944. This article, as the title implies, is extremely bitter over the lack of troop training and preparation.

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