represented by a series of ridges covered on the east by a tributary of the Our. The division headquarters authorized the withdrawal. Devine ordered Task Force Mayes to fight a delaying action southwest along the road from Losheim, while the Manderfeld defenders withdrew to the west. This movement was carried through successfully, the 32d Cavalry howitzers on the Manderfeld ridge ably supporting the task force. The last troops left Manderfeld about 1700, setting the town afire in an attempt to destroy records of value to the enemy.
Troops E and C of the 18th reached Holzheim at twilight, joining Troop A of the 32d which already was in position as the anchor of the 14th Cavalry north flank. Troop B of the 32d had remained at Andler since its morning arrival; it now screened the southern flank with reconnaissance teams pushing out on the roads to south, east, and north. The light tank company of the 32d Squadron was disposed to the southwest of the cavalry line at Heuem, covering the road from Schonberg to St. Vith and worrying about the absence of communications. The remainder of the 32d Squadron was at Herresbach and that of the 18th Squadron near Wereth, both villages behind the Holzheim-Andler line. By early evening the 14th Cavalry Group was in its defensive positions, except for such regrouping as would be needed to sort out elements of the two squadrons. Its supporting artillery battalion (the 275th) was in the process of moving to new positions near St. Vith. As yet there were no signs of an enemy pursuit. The forward artillery observers were active "along the deserted front" until 1900 but found nothing to report. Contact with the Germans had been lost.
The German attack in the Losheim Gap during 16 December had gone according to schedule. The northern arm of the 18th Volks Grenadier Division envelopment had penetrated as far as Auw and overrun most of the American artillery positions. As daylight ended the 94th Regiment assembled around Auw and the 295th regrouped in the Roth-Kobscheid area, both awaiting the arrival of their heavy weapons. Now General Lucht told the division commander to call forward his armored mobile battalion and send it to join the 294th and elements of the assault gun brigade the next morning in a drive on Andler. In the north the 3d Parachute Division continued its advance during the night, marching through the rough, heavily forested area northwest of Manderfeld and Lanzerath. Along the roads to the east the armored formations of the 1st SS Panzer Division toiled forward in the dark, ready to push through the opening between the American 99th Division and the 14th Cavalry Group. As things stood, therefore, the 14th Cavalry was deployed in the gap which was opening as the 18Th Volks Grenadier Division continued westward and the 3d Parachute Division angled toward the northwest. The cavalry flanks, however, rested on roads which would be essential to the enemy-roads along which the German armor was moving for commitment on the second day of the offensive. In the meantime the 14th Cavalry Group commander had gone to St. Vith to explain to the 106th Division staff his situation and the arrangements he had made. General Jones, busy with plans for a counterattack by armored reinforcements which the corps commander had promised for