THE ARDENNES:
BATTLE OF THE BULGE

by Hugh M. Cole

CMH Publication 7-8


Contents

Chapter

FOREWORD AND PREFACE

I. THE ORIGINS.....................................................1

Hitler's Perspective, September 1944............................3

How the Plan Was Born...........................................9

II. PLANNING THE COUNTEROFFENSIVE..................................19

Details of the Plan............................................19

The Big Solution...............................................27

A Double Envelopment?..........................................29

III. TROOPS AND TERRAIN.............................................33

The Order of Battle............................................33

The Allies Return to the Attack................................36

The Terrain....................................................39

IV. PREPARATIONS...................................................48

Deception and Camouflage.......................................48

The Western Front in Early December............................51

The Intelligence Failure.......................................56

The German Concentration.......................................63

V. THE SIXTH PANZER ARMY ATTACK...................................75

The 99th Division Sector.......................................77

The Initial Attack, 16 December................................80

The First Attacks in the Monschau-Hofen Sector Are Repulsed, 16 December..................................86

The German Effort Continues, 17-18 December....................90

Losheimergraben Is Lost........................................92

The German Attack Toward Rocherath and Krinkelt, 16-17 December.............................................95

The 395th Infantry Conforms to the Withdrawal.................101

The 2d Division Gives Up the Wahlerscheid Attack..............103

The 394th Infantry Abandons the Murringen Position............105

VI. THE GERMAN NORTHERN SHOULDER IS JAMMED.......................107

The 2d Division Withdraws.....................................107

The 1st Infantry Division Sends Reinforcements to

Butgenbach................................................112

The Defense of the Twin Villages, 18 December.................113

The Last Attack at Hofen Fails, 18 December...................119

The 2d Division Withdraws to the Elsenborn Line, 19 December...............................................120

The Enemy Tries the Western Flank, 19-23 December.............128

VII. BREAKTHROUGH AT THE SCHNEE EIFEL..............................136

Introductory Note.............................................136

Dispositions of the 106th Infantry Division...................137

Enemy Preparations for Another Cannae.........................142

The Attack in the Losheim Gap.................................145

The Attack Hits the 106th Division............................151

The 424th Infantry and CCB, 9th Armored.......................158

Cannae in the Schnee Eifel....................................161

The Question of Air Resupply..................................171

VIII. THE FIFTH PANZER ARMY ATTACKS THE 28TH INFANTRY DIVISION......173

The 110th Infantry Sector, 16-18 December.....................176

The 112th Infantry Sector, 16-20 December.....................193

The Fall of Wiltz.............................................205

IX. THE ATTACK BY THE GERMAN LEFT WING: 16-20 DECEMBER............212

The 109th Infantry Defense on the Sauer and Our Rivers, 16-20 December....................................214

Elements of the 9th Armored Division Battle at the Sauer, 16-20 December.....................................227

X. THE GERMAN SOUTHERN SHOULDER IS JAMMED........................238

The German Thrust Begins......................................240

Southern Flank-A Summing Up...................................258

XI. THE 1ST SS PANZER DIVISION'S DASH WESTWARD, AND OPERATION GREIF.......................................259

Kampfgruppe Peiper on the Move................................260

Operation Greif...............................................269

XII. THE FIRST ATTACKS AT ST. VITH.................................272

The 7th Armored Division Move to St. Vith.....................273

The Enemy Strikes at the St. Vith Perimeter...................280

XIII. VIII CORPS ATTEMPTS TO DELAY THE ENEMY........................294

CCR, 9th Armored Division, and the Road to Bastogne...........294

The Advance of the XLVII Panzer Corps.........................298

Team Cherry on the Longvilly Road.............................300

The 101st Airborne Division Moves Into Bastogne...............305

XIV. THE VIII CORPS BARRIER LINES..................................310

Middleton's First Moves.......................................311

The Gap North of Bastogne.....................................316

Defense Southwest of Bastogne.................................322

Renewed Drive Around Bastogne.................................323

XV. THE GERMAN SALIENT EXPANDS TO THE WEST........................330

The 30th Division Meets Peiper................................334

The West Flank of the XVIII Airborne Corps, 20 December.......352

Action in Front of the XVIII Airborne Corps Right Wing, 20 December...............................................354

The Net Closes on Peiper......................................359

XVI. ONE THREAT SUBSIDES; ANOTHER EMERGES..........................368

The Attempt To Relieve Peiper's Kampfgruppe...................368

The 3d Armored Division Is Checked, 21-23 December............377

The Fight at the Baraque de Fraiture Crossroads, 23 December...............................................388

XVII. ST. VITH IS LOST..............................................393

The Defenders of St. Vith Pass to the XVIII Airborne Corps....393

The Enemy Closes on the St. Vith Salient......................401

The Final Withdrawal From the St. Vith Sector.................407

XVIII. THE VII CORPS MOVES TO BLUNT THE SALIENT.....................423

Division of the Battlefield...................................423

The VII Corps Assembles.......................................427

German Armor Advances on the VII Corps........................435

The Main Battle Is Joined, 24 and 25 December.................438

XIX. THE BATTLE OF BASTOGNE........................................445

The Initial Deployment East of Bastogne.......................445

Bastogne Is Encircled.........................................459

The Enemy Begins a Concentric Attack..........................464

The Battle on Christmas Day...................................478

XX. THE XII CORPS ATTACKS THE SOUTHERN SHOULDER...................482

The End of the Defensive Battle, 22 December..................482

The XII Corps Moves to Luxembourg.............................485

The XII Corps' Counterattack..................................498

XXI. THE III CORPS' COUNTERATTACK TOWARD BASTOGNE..................509

Preparations for the Attack...................................509

The 80th Division Advance.....................................515

The 26th Infantry Division Attack.............................520

The 4th Armored Division Attack...............................523

The 80th Division Battle in the Woods, 25-26 December.........532

The 26th Division Fight for a Bridgehead on the Sure,

24-27 December............................................540

The 4th Armored Division Reaches Bastogne.....................547

XXII. THE BATTLE BEFORE THE MEUSE...................................556

The Meuse River Line..........................................556

The Meuse Seems Within Reach..................................562

The Celles Pocket.............................................565

The Fight at Humain...........................................570

The Fight at Verdenne.........................................574

XXIII. THE BATTLE BETWEEN THE SALM AND THE OUR: 24 DECEMBER-2 JANUARY.....................................578

The Battle at the Manhay Crossroads...........................583

The Fight in the Aisne Valley.................................593

The 2d SS Panzer Is Halted....................................595

The 82d Airborne Withdraws From the Salm River Line...........598

"The Sad Sack Affair".........................................601

The Elsenborn Shoulder........................................603

XXIV. THE THIRD ARMY OFFENSIVE......................................606

Widening the Bastogne Corridor................................606

The Opposing Grand Tactics....................................610

The Sibret-Villeroux Actions..................................615

The Two Attacks Collide.......................................617

The III Corps Joins the Attack................................627

The Lone Battle of the 26th Division..........................637

The VIII Corps' Attack Continues..............................643

XXV. EPILOGUE......................................................649

The Weather...................................................649

The Opposing Troop Strengths..................................650

The Opposing Weapons..........................................651

The Artillery Arm in the Ardennes.............................656

The Air Weapon................................................660

Logistics.....................................................663

The Turning Point in the Ardennes.............................668

The Place of the Ardennes Offensive in World War II...........673

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE................................................680