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men along the railroad line. Farther to the west, however, about 125 men of the 3d Battalion who had been on leave at the rest center in Honsfeld formed a provisional unit extending somewhat the precarious 394th flank position.


Some help was on the way. General Lauer had asked the 2d Division for a rifle battalion to man a position which the 99th had prepared before the attack as a division backstop between Murringen and Hunningen. At 1600 Colonel Riley was told that the 394th would be reinforced by the 1st Battalion, 23d Infantry, of the 2d Division. During the night this fresh rifle battalion, and a company each of tanks and tank destroyers, under the command of Lt. Col. John M. Hightower, moved from Elsenborn to take up positions south and southeast of Hunningen. Before sunrise, 17 December, these reinforcements were in place.


During the night of 16-17 December the entire infantry reserve in the 99th Division zone had been committed in the line or close behind it, this backup consisting of the local reserves of the 99th and the entire 23d Infantry, which had been left at Elsenborn while its sister regiments took part in the 2d Division attack to break out in the Wahlerscheid sector. The 3d Battalion of the 23d had set up a defensive position on a ridge northeast of Rocherath, prepared to support the 393d Infantry. The 2d Battalion had assembled in the late afternoon of the 16th approximately a mile and a quarter north of Rocherath. The 1st Battalion would be at Hunningen. Troops of the 2d Division had continued the attack on 16 December, but during the afternoon Maj. Gen. Walter M. Robertson made plans for a withdrawal, if necessary, from the Wahlerscheid sector.


As early as 1100 word of the German attacks on the V Corps front had produced results at the command post of the northern neighbor, the VII Corps. The 26th Infantry of the uncommitted 1st Infantry Division, then placed on a 6-hour alert, finally entrucked at midnight and started the move south to Camp Elsenborn. The transfer of this regimental combat team to the V Corps would have a most important effect on the ensuing American defense.


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


The village of Hofen, the anchor point for the northern flank of the 99th Division, had considerable importance in the attack plans of the German Sixth Panzer Army. Located on high ground, Hofen overlooked the road center at Monschau, just to the north, and thus barred entry to the road to Eupen-at the moment the headquarters of the V Corps.


For some reason Field Marshal Model wished to save the German town of Monschau from destruction and had forbidden the use of artillery there. [7] The plan handed General Hitzfeld for the employment of his LXVII Corps (Corps Monschau) called for an attack to the north and south of Monschau that was intended to put two divisions astride the MonschauEupen road in position to check any American reinforcements attempting a move to the south. The right division of the Corps Monschau, the


[7] Among his staff it was rumored that Model wished to save the historic latticed houses here.