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Because Schonberg was known to be in German hands, the 3d Platoon moved in to determine the situation. The platoon had crossed the Our bridge and was at the north end of the village when there appeared a column of American trucks, but filled with Germans carrying arms. The three armored cars, forming the point of the platoon, wheeled over to the side of the road and raced toward the head of the column, firing their machine guns and 37-mm. cannon as they passed the yelling Germans. Suddenly a Mark IV tank slipped out of a side road. Only one of the American armored cars got away. When informed by radio of this engagement the 423d Infantry instructed Troop B to "make your own decision." Unsuccessful in finding any passable secondary road, the troopers destroyed their vehicles and broke up into small groups for the journey toward St. Vith. Hiding by day and traveling by night some fifty reached the St. Vith lines. The 106th Reconnaissance Troop had become completely disorganized while following Troop B, and one platoon was left in Grosslangenfeld with neither orders nor word of the withdrawal. Most of the officers and men surrendered the next morning without a fight. [8] When darkness came on 17 December, some eight or nine thousand Americans were effectively bottled up west of the Schnee Eifel. Their story henceforth has little connection with events outside the pocket. In addition to the 422d and 423d Infantry Regiments the list of attached and supporting units that were severed from the main thread of American operations included all or part of the following:


589th Field Artillery Battalion (-) 590th Field Artillery Battalion Company B, 81st Engineer Battalion Battery D, 634th Antiaircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion Company C, 820th Tank Destroyer Battalion Company B, 331st Medical Battalion 106th Reconnaissance Troop Troop B, 18th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (-)


The 422d Infantry on that night was forming a perimeter defense, its center south of Schlausenbach. To the southwest the 423d Infantry was assuming a similar stance on the high ground around Oberlascheid and Buchet. At the moment there was no shortage of rifle ammunition, there was a basic load for the mortars (but the 590th Field Artillery Battalion had only about 300 rounds for its 105-mm. howitzers), approximately one day's extra K rations were at hand, and surgical supplies were very short. Most of the regimental vehicles had been saved-although the service company of the 422d had been cut off near Auw and some kitchen trucks had been lost. Casualties were not high in either regiment; the 422d, for example, reported only forty wounded for evacuation.


Both regimental commanders had been assured by radio that reinforcements from the west would attempt to break through sometime after daylight on 18 December and, further, that supplies would be dropped by air. A division order to withdraw to the Our River,


[8] This according to the FUSA Inspector General report.