St Vith 21st december

During the night, about 68 men and two officers of the encircled 423rd regimentt/ 106thID made it back to CCB in St. Vith. They were authorized to leave the Regiment if they did not want to surrender to the Germans. The men were assembled in the St. Vith schoolbuilding, where they were given rations and a well deserved rest. They were later (22nd?) brought back into action.

To the Germans it became clear: It had costed way to much time and they were getting behind schedule for the whole counteroffensive. The blocking position of the 7thAD had left a dangerous saillant in the German lines. It prevented a linkup between the 5th and 6th panzer divsion.The 6th was in trouble anyway, by lack of gasoline and ammunition.
The II SS Panzer Corps was ordered to take St. Vith this day.

The final attack started around 11.00 hrs with a concetrated artilley barrage. Then everything was thrown into the US lines. Artillery, screaming meemies, loads of infantry, followed by tanks. But, to the German surprise, the American troops hold the line.
Over and over again the German infantry had to retreat.

The road between St. Vith and Rodt was blocked by the 1st SS Panzer Division. 58th Panzer Corps was threatning to surround the town. Six tigers of the 506th Schwere Panzer Battalion attacked towards the Prumberg (between St. Vith and Wallerode). After 17.00, when darkness fell in, the Tigers fired star shells into US positions, blinding the troops. Armored piercing shells destroyed the US vehicules.
Hour after hour the fightings kept on going along the whole line of the defensive positions of all US units.
In the woods, southeast of the Poteau- St. Vith road, the Germans had set up an ambush. Eight jeeps and a lighttank, including the crews were captured.
Around 20.00hrs the German had penetrated the CCB lines on three spots. Around 22.00hrs Clarke gave orders to retreat to the high ground, west of St. Vith. German troops entered the town and looted the US supplies, wich created another traffic jam and stalled the attack on US troops.
US stragglers were picked up at control points and sent to the Hinderhausne area, southwest of St. Vith.
The right flank got in trouble in the morning. CCB/9thAD, positionend in Galhausen, got assistance from TF Lindsey, who was kept in reserve. Their assistance lasted till 10.00hrs and TF Lindsey then was sent back to the reserve position.
Clarke was overthinking a retreat via Hinderhausen, Commanster to Vielsalm.
But that road was in bad shape and engineers were sent out to repair the worst parts……

22nd december >>>>>