Chapter XXIV

[1] The 4th Armored attack toward Bastogne is described in Chapter XXI, pp. 523-32, 447-55.

[2] The earlier operations of the 26th Division on the right ank of the III Corps are discussed in Chapter XXI, pp. 540-47.

[3] The 35th Division had suffered heavily in the Lorraine battles (for which see Cole, The Lorraine Campaign, ch. XII, passim) and General Gay persuaded Patton not to throw the division into the Ardennes fight until other Third Army divisions in better condition had been committed. (The AAR's of the 35th Division in the early phases of the Ardennes are so abbreviated as to be practically useless. Fortunately the story is told in considerable detail in the combat interviews. The published histories of the division's activities are very good. See Miltonberger and Huston, 134th Infantry Regiment: Combat History of World War II (Washington, n.d.); Combat History of the 137th Infantry Regiment (Baton Rouge, 196); and The 35th Infantry Division in World War II (Atlanta, n.d.).

[4] Cf. Chapter XIX.

[5] This controversy as to Allied strategy is well treated in Pogue, The Supreme Command, pp. 312-17. Montgomery's strategy has had a number of defenders, but in the main they have produced more heat than light. One of the ablest is Reginald William Thompson whose The Battle for the Rhineland (London: Hutchinson, 1958) advances the thesis that Montgomery's attitude throughout the Ardennes campaign was governed by the military principle of the "maintenance of the objective," that is, the retention of forces (British and Canadian) in a posture which would permit a rapid resumption of the battle for the Rhineland.

[6] Notes; Bradley, A Soldier's Story, p. 480; Hq 12th Army Group, Military Objectives, file 371.3, vol. IV.

[7] Sylvan Diary; Gay Diary; Robb Notes.

[8] Manteuffel argues that the American counter-attack began prematurely; see Freidin and Richardson, eds., Fatal Decisions, p. 290.

[9] The German sources contributing most directly to this chapter are MSS # B-23, 5th Parachute Division, 1 December 1944-12 January 1945 (Generalmajor Ludwig Heilmann); # B-041, 167th Volks Grenadier Division, 24 December 1944-February 1945, Corps Hoecker, 2-10 March 1945 and 59th Infantry Division, 20 March-24 April 1945 (Generalleutnant Hans Hoecker); # B-068, 3d Panzer Grenadier Division, Ardennes (Generalmajor Walter Denkert); # B-151, Fifth Panzer Army, Ardennes Offensive (General der Panzertruppen Hasso von Manteuffel); # B-151a, sequel to MS # B-151 (General der Panzertruppen Hasso von Manteuffel); # B-235, Fifth Panzer Army, 2 November 1944-16 January 1945 (Generalmajor Carl Wagener); # B465, 3d Panzer Grenadier Division, 16-28 December 1944 (Generalmajor Walter Denkert); # B-592, Fuehrer Begleit Brigade, 16 December 1944-26 January 1945 (Generalmajor Otto Remer); # B-701, Army Group B, 15 October 1944-1945 (Col Guenther Reichhelm); # B-799, LXXXIX Corps, 24 January-8 March 1945 (Lt Col Kurt Reschke).

[10] The German estimate of the opposing forces and Allied reserves moving into the Ardennes may be traced in the daily Ic. Feindlagekarten attached to the OB WEST KTB.

[11] During this battle Sgt. T. J. Dawson, Company C. 19th Tank Battalion, was killed by a direct artillery hit while attempting to rescue the crew members from his burning tank. He was awarded the DSC posthumously.

[12] Remer's operations west of Bastogne are described by Remer and some of his officers in MS # B-592 (Remer) and Die Geschichte Des Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland, vol. II.

[13] Since the 87th Division and the 11th Armored fought side by side during this operation, their journals and histories should be used together. The 87th Division AAR is of little value but those prepared by the regiments are quite detailed. See A Also Historical and Pictorial Record of the 87th Infantry Division in World War II (Baton Rouge: Army and Navy Publishing Company, 1946). The records of the 11th Armored are surprisingly complete for an armored outfit in its first operations. See also Hal D. Steward, Thunderbolt (Washington: 11th Armored Division Association, 1948). The combat interviews are very comprehensive in coverage of the 11th Armored but have virtually nothing on the 87th Division.

[14] See MSS # A-932 (Gersdorff); B-041 (Hoecker); and B-799 (Reschke).

[15] The battle fought by the 6th Armored Division east of Bastogne received very detailed treatment in the combat interviews. The journals of the division were collected after the war and published under the title, Combat Record of the Sixth Armored Division (Aschaffenburg, n.d.) General Grow has provided excerpts from his personal diary for the author's use.

[16] During the battle in the woods Sgt. George P. Rimmer of Company A led a series of combat patrols against the enemy with such daring and success as to merit the special commendation of his commander. He received the DSC.

[17] Sgt. H. L. Luther was awarded the DSC for personally killing or capturing the enemy occupants of three dugouts during the affray at Harlange.

[18] The reports on this period of battle as found in the division and regimental AAR's are very sparse, but the G-3 and S-3 journals are useful. The combat interviews give quite extensive coverage. See also the 735th Tank Battalion AAR, December 1944.

[19] Capts. John J. Christy and Leland R. Dunham, commanding the two rile companies in this fight and the subsequent recapture of Kaundorf, received the DSC. During the night of 27 December Pvt. R. L. Presser of Company K, 104th Infantry, swam the Sure River under fire carrying a wounded comrade from a patrol on the north bank. Presser was awarded the DSC.

[20] During this advance 2d Lt. G. F. Pennington of Company E knocked out an enemy armored car with a rocket although mortally wounded. He was awarded the DSC posthumously.

[21] Sgt. B. R. Eastburn of Company C, 104th Infantry, was leading a platoon in the attack which came under intense machine gun fire and could not move forward. Eastburn "borrowed" another platoon and wiped out the machine gun nests. He received the DSC. Pfc. S. E. Hull, a member of the same company, broke up a German tank attack when he crawled forward with a bazooka and, at thirty-five yards' range, destroyed the lead panzer. Hull put in another rocket which killed the second tank, and thus ended the attack. Hull was awarded the DSC.

[22] Although the 502d had no offensive mission, the paratroopers had been involved in continuous small-scale combat with the enemy in their sector. During one such affair on 29 December a division aid man, Pfc. Floyd P. Marquart, went forward under fire to help a paratrooper who had been struck in the throat by a shell fragment and was slowly suffocating. Marquart performed an emergency tracheotomy with his belt knife, then dragged the wounded man back to a place of safety. He was given the Silver Star.

[23] The immediate reason for pulling back from the exposed tip of the salient was the American pressure on Rochefort. The 329th Infantry forced an entry there on 29 December and, although the regiment failed to gain complete control of the town on this date, the enemy could not risk a further defense with his depleted forces.

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