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December 20, 2006

Dec 20, 1944

  SC 198296. Members of Company B,  630th Tank Destroyer Battalion, who lost their vehicles during the advance to Belgium, take Infantry positions on a hill covering an approach in Wiltz, Bastogne, Belgium on December 20. Signal Corps Photo ETO-44-30382 (Carolan).

During the night of l9-20 December the advance kampfgruppe of the 12th SS Panzer Division and the bulk of one regiment from the 12 Volks Grenadier Division completed their assembly. About 0600 twenty German tanks and a rifle battalion converged on Dom Butgenbach in the early morning fog and mist from south and east. The front lit up as the American mortars and artillery shot illuminating shell over the roads leading to the village. Concentration after concentration then plunged down, three battalions of field artillery and a 90-mm. battery of antiaircraft artillery firing as fast as the pieces could be worked. The enemy infantry, punished by this fire and the stream of bullets from the American foxhole line wavered, but a handful of tanks rolled off the roads and into Dom Butgenbach. (They had shot down three bazooka teams and a Company H machine gun section.) Here, in the dark, battalion antitank guns placed to defend the 2d Battalion command post went to work firing point-blank at the exhaust flashes as the German vehicles passed. Two enemy tanks were holed and the rest fled the village, although the antitank gun crews suffered at the hands of the German bazooka teams that had filtered in with the tanks.

Read more here.

If you haven't noticed, I'm not following a specific trend here, other than trying to stick to actions of any particular day. Why? Historians make it easy - all nice, tidy, and wrapped with a bow. Participants see it through the straw of their existence and, in the case of more senior leaders, the sum of the straws of their subordinates.

Gun position on Elsenborn Ridge

Comments on Dec 20, 1944
ry briefed on December 20, 2006 01:27 PM

I think I got it. Check your mail as I don't want to look like a nitwit if I'm wrong or give it away if I'm right.

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