Chapter V

[1] Jodl, while a prisoner at Nuremberg, said that once the Antwerp line was reached the subsequent German operations would aim at "neutralizing" the Allied armies to the east.

[2] MS # A-924, Operations of Sixth Panzer Army, 1944-45 (SS Generalmajor Fritz Kraemer). Kraemer was chief of staff of Sixth Panzer Army.

[3] MSS # B-311 (Thoholte) and P-109a, Ardennes Follow Up-3d SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment (Oberstleutant Waffen-SS Guenther Wisliceny); see also ETHINT-21, Sixth Panzer Army in the Ardennes Offensive (Generalmajor (Waffen-SS) Fritz Kraemer) and ETHINT-61, Tank Maintenance, Ardennes (General der Panzertruppen Horst Stumpff).

[4] The records of the 99th Division, for the battle described in this chapter, are quite complete and detailed. Basic documents are: 99th Div AAR and G-3 Jnl; AAR's and Unit Jnls of the 393d, 394th, and 395th Inf Regts; 741st Tank Bn AAR; AAR's of 639th and 413th AAA Bns; 254th Engr Combat Bn AAR; 371st FA Bn AAR; and 799th Ord Co AAR. This operation was the subject of studies by participants while in Classes Nos. 1 and 2, Advanced Infantry Officers Course, Fort Benning, Ga. (see especially those of Majors Ben W. Legare, J. B. Kemp, and T. J. Gendron and Capt. Wesley J. Simmons). The then commander of the 99th Division has written the official division history; see Major General Walter E. Lauer, Battle Babies: The Story of the 99th Infantry Division in World War II (Baton Rouge: Military Press of Louisiana, Inc., 1951). American combat interviews are another useful source.

[5] The action in this sector has been covered by General Priess in MS # A-877, Commitment of the I SS Panzer Corps During the Ardennes Offensive, 16 December 1944-45 January 1945 (General der Waffen-SS Hermann Priess. Cf. MS # P-109d, Ardennes Follow Up (Oberst der Schutzpolizei F. W. Bock), and MS # B-577, I SS Panzer Corps, 15 October-16 December 1944 (Oberst der Waffen-SS Rudolf Lehman). These are fragments extant of III/SSPz Gr Regt 25, KTB Nr. 2. For the story of the 277th Volks Grenadier Division, see MS # B-273, 277th Volks Grenadier Division, November 1944-January 1945 (Generalmajor Wilhelm Viebig), and MS # B-465, 3d Panzer Grenadier Division, 16-28 December 1944 (Generalmajor Walter Denkert).

[6] Sergeant Dolenc was listed as MIA; he was awarded the DSC.

[7] Among his staff it was rumored that Model wished to save the historic latticed houses here.

[8] The account of the operations conducted by this corps is none too precise: MS # B-092, 326th Volks Grenadier Division, 16 December 1944-45 January 1945 (Generalmajor Erwin Kaschner), and MS # A-937, The Ardennes Offensive, December 1944 (General der Infanterie Otto Hitzfeld). The AAR's prepared by the 395th Infantry.

[9] The 1st Battalion of the 394th was accorded a Presidential Citation for its role in this battle.

[10] Colonel Hightower was awarded the DSC for his conduct of the defense.

[11] Pfc. R. D. Smith and Pfc. Angelo Cestoni were awarded the DSC for bravery in the fight by the 393d Infantry. It should be added that the forward observers of the 370th Field Artillery Battalion, which was supporting the infantrymen of the 393d, also distinguished themselves and two, 1st Lt. G. W. Jackman and 2d Lt. W. D. Markin, received the DSC, Lieutenant Markin posthumously.

[12] The action at this point devolved on Sgt. Vernon McGarity and his squad. For outstanding heroism McGarity was awarded the Medal of Honor.

[13] The gallant attempt by Pfc. Richard E. Cowan single-handedly to cover the Company I retreat was recognized by the award of the Medal of Honor.

[14] Lt. Col. Paul V. Tuttle, Jr., for his able handling Of the withdrawal by the 3d Battalion, was awarded the DSC.

[15] For details of the Wahlerscheid attacks, see MacDonald, The Siegfried Line Campaign, pp. 606-10.

[16] The 2d Division attack and subsequent fighting withdrawal are very well covered in combat interviews. In this chapter the following after action reports and journals have been used: 2d Div; 9th, 23d, and 38th Infantry Regiments the 2d Div Hq Commandant, The 644th Tank Destroyer Bn. Army Ground Forces Report No. 559 (26 January 1945) is useful. The published materials, History of the Fifteenth Field Artillery Battalion in the European Theater of Operations and D plus 106 to V-E: The Story of the 2d Division (n.d.n.p.), are of little value.

[17] The 2d Division engineers had worked on this secondary road until it offered a fairly passable single track.

Table of Contents

Search CMH Online
Last updated 13 December 2005