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Krinkelt-Rocherath front. But exhortation had been fruitless.


Although Dietrich continued to needle his subordinates to get the right wing of the army rolling forward, he also sought to remedy the situation by changing the I SS Panzer Corps tactics. Dietrich suggested to General Priess that the 12th SS Panzer Division disengage, swing south, bypass Butgenbach, and get back onto the main route some place west of the thorny American position The I SS Panzer Corps commander and his staff politely rejected this idea on the grounds that the byroads were impassable and that Krinkelt, Rocherath, and Butgenbach must be cleared to open the better road net. Eventually Dietrich prevailed-or some compromise was reached-for late on 18 December armored elements of the 12th SS Panzer Division began to withdraw from the twin villages, while the 3d Panzer Grenadier Division, which had been scheduled for the fight at Monschau, marched west from reserve to take over the battle with the 2d Division.


The German plans for 19 December were these: the 277th Volks Grenadier Division and advancing troops of the 3d Panzer Grenadier Division were to continue the attack at Krinkelt and