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the next morning, had no comment to offer and merely asked Colonel Devine to wait at the command post.


The Attack Hits the 106th Division


The 14th Cavalry Group withdrawal to the Holzheim-Andler line in the late afternoon of 16 December had no practical adverse effect on its southern neighbor, the 422d Infantry. By this time the enemy thrust had driven so deep and with such force between the cavalry and the 422d that the northern flank of the 106th Infantry Division was exposed regardless of movements undertaken by the cavalry. Ominous events had transpired in the zone of the 106th.


Seven of the nine rifle battalions under General Jones' command were in the line on the morning of 16 December. The 2d Battalion, 423d Infantry, was in division reserve near Born, 5,000 yards north of St. Vith. The 1st Battalion, 424th Infantry, was located at Steinebruck on the road to Winterspelt and also was in division reserve. The 422d Infantry had its three battalions in the West Wall positions on the Schnee Eifel, defending a front of eight to nine thousand yards. Attached was Company A, 81st Engineer Combat Battalion; direct support was given by the 589th Field Artillery Battalion whose batteries were emplaced southwest of Auw. Located west of Auw were the 155-mm. howitzers of the 592d Field Artillery Battalion. The regimental command post was in the crossroads village of Schlausenbach, with the cannon company to the west on Hill 612. All of these locations lay in the northern section of the regimental area not far from the 14th Cavalry Group boundary. A company of engineers occupied Auw, the most important road center in the 422d sector. The forward positions of the 422d in the West Wall were based on a series of heavily wooded ridges running north and south. However a number of ravines, densely screened by trees, led directly back into the regimental area; one such ran straight down to Schlausenbach.


The 423d Infantry-in the division center-was deployed on a curving line a little more than 8,000 yards long, with one battalion in the West Wall, the other bending around the southern nose of the Schnee Eifel and back to the west. A gap existed between the rifle battalion positions and the village of Bleialf. The regimental right wing was fleshed out by a provisional battalion (the antitank company, one platoon of the cannon company, a rifle platoon, and Troop B, 18th Cavalry Squadron) . This scratch force, acting as riflemen, was reinforced by Company C, 820th Tank Destroyer Battalion. The 590th Field Artillery Battalion supported the regiment from positions northwest of Oberlascheid, and the regimental cannon company was close to that village.


The 424th Infantry held a six-mile line angled slightly from the Ihren Creek southwestward to the vicinity of Grosskampenberg. The gap between it and the 423d, a distance of 4,000 yards, was screened thinly by the 106th Reconnaissance Troop and the cannon company. The 591st Field Artillery Battalion was situated behind the regimental center with two battalions forward and one in the rear to cover any displacement.


During the evening of 15 December enemy aircraft droned through the air