The two regiments of the 106th remained in place. Because of the lack of good communications with the rear, stationend in St Vith, it was practically impossible to sent or recieve messages. Around 2.15hrs on december 19th a message was recieved from general Jones to break out, following the Bleialf-Schonberg-St Vith road. Colonel Cavender gave the order at 10.00hrs and he lead the attack with the 423rd regiment. When night fell in, the 422nd and 423rd were ready to attack the Schonberg bridge.
Around 09.00 hrs the troops of the 422nd and 423rd came under heavy artillery fire. The 18thVGD overrun the position of the 590th Field Artillery
Batallion, who were to support the attack.
When the attack finally started, the US troops came under fire of assault guns and Anti Aircraft gunfire from armored vehicules. The catostrophe went worse: behind them several tanks of the Fuhrer Begleit Brigade showed up, who were trying to get around the traffic jam in Schonberg.
The 422nd regiment got trapped. Colonel Descheneaux, commander in charge, decided to surrender, because they ran out of ammunition and were under fire from all around.
Around 16.00hrs, the two regiments and supporting units, approximately 7000 men, surrendered to the German army. Also scattered troops, in total some 500 men, surrenderd too.
It was the biggest surrender in the European theatre.
During the morning, contact was made with the 112th Regimental Combat
Team of the 28thID who were lost and had no idea where their division or friendly troops were. The RCT, led by Colonel Nelson, joined the 7thAD.
On this same day, the German troops were looking for a soft spot in the St. Vith area. They started at the North side, around 9.30 hrs. They attacked towards Hunningen. About 500 infantry, with support of tanks kept bouncing on the US Lines without succes. At 13.00 hrs they retreated, leaving 150 dead and one knocked out tank.
The next attack started from Wallerode, but US artillery stopped the attack.
German troops turned their attention to the Southern part were the 9thAD was. But that attack was haleted when three enemy tanks were knocked out. The southern part of the 7thAD was attacked, infantry with support of one tank and two assault guns. Knocking out the tank and one assault gun, the German troops attacked further on without support armored guns. It was a slaughter. The men of company B/ 23rdAIB waited till the enemeny troops came very close and started shooting at them at close range.
Around 15.00hrs support arrived in the sector: several units of Field Artillery Battalions (434th and two batteries of the 965th) were placed in position.
In the afternoon it became clear that 9thAD/CCB, situated south of St. Vith, would get in trouble, if the city was lost. They would get isolated with no way to retreat. So the discission was made to retreat vehicules and infantry to the other side of the stream.
20th december >>>>>>