The situation in and around St. Vith was becoming very difficult. With the interogation of many German POW, it became clear that an overwhelming amount of well trained and highly motivated German troops were situated in this area.
Because Von Manteuffel had already been delayed in taking St. Vith, it was decided to bypass St. Vith on both sides.
Reports came in that the areas of La Roche, Samrée, Houffalize and Trois Ponts were attacked.
Around 8.00hrs, the 17thTB retreated to Rodt, leaving one company and a platoon of infantry in position north and east of Rodt, who could keep contact with CCA on the left.
The 40th Tank Battalion and company A of the 33rd Armored Engineer
Battalion were ordered to go to Cherain and Gouvy (18km’s from St. Vith) to protect the 7thAD’s flank. In Gouvy 50.000 rations were saved by these troops, wich was set on fire by army quartermasters, who wanted to prevent all the rations were captured by German troops, who were already very close. They also found an encampment with 800 german POW’s, guarded by only one officer and eight MP’s.
During the day changes were made in the defensive positions. To protect the Southern flank, Task Force Jones was formed, consisting about several units from several Battalions. In Gouvy Lt Col. Stone, who had set up a defensive positions with around 250 stragglers from different units, was added to this Task Force. German troops attacked his position around 18.00hrs, but Stone and his men repulsed the attack.
During the day, in the area of Poteau, CCA of the 7thAD was having difficulties defending the terrain leading from Poteau to Recht.
21st december >>>>>