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At dawn the Panther Battalion of the 3d Panzer Regiment came clanking into Clerf, after a night move from the Our River, and found tanks from the Mark IV Battalion playing cat and mouse with the Americans in the chateau. Bullet fire from the old stone walls was no menace to armored vehicles, bazooka teams sent down from the chateau were killed or captured, and the German tank battalions moved on, north and west toward Bastogne. But the German infantry were more vulnerable and their march was delayed for several hours before engineers and self-propelled 88's finally set the riddled chateau afire and forced the Americans to surrender. It is impossible to assess in hours the violence done the 2d Panzer Division timetable at Clerf, but it is clear that the race by this division to Bastogne was lost as the result of the gallant action by the 110th Infantry in front of and at the Clerf crossings.


On 18 December what was left of the 110th Infantry was wiped out or withdrew to the west. [11] Survivors in the north headed toward Donnange and, with Company G, joined elements of the 9th Armored Division to make a stand. Those in the south fell back toward Wiltz, the division command post. The 2d Battalion, surrounded on the ridge east of Clerf, attempted to filter through the enemy lines in the early morning hours. Seven officers and fifty to sixty men did reach Donnange. Of the 1st Battalion, only a part of Company C retained its organization. It had held on at Munshausen, with the 110th Cannon Company and a section of tank destroyers, all through the 17th. [12] The riflemen and cannoneers made a fight of it, barricading the village streets with overturned trucks, fighting from house to house. After the Germans captured the howitzers, a bazooka team of a company officer and a sergeant held the enemy tanks at bay, destroying two which ventured into the village. Before daybreak on 18 December the survivors, now only a handful, started west.


Remnants of the 3d Battalion had assembled at Consthum, the battalion headquarters. The garrison of a hundred or so was reinforced by Company L, ordered back from Holzthum to avoid entrapment. After dark on 17 December a captain led in about twenty-five men of Company I from Weiler, after a desperate march, narrow escapes, and an ambuscade. Only Company K in Hosingen was yet to be heard from. For two days and nights Company K and Company B of the 103d Engineer Combat Battalion fought off all enemy attempts to eradicate this block on the Skyline Drive. On the morning of the 17th German tanks had set the town ablaze, but the few American Shermans had held them at bay. By that night the defenders were without ammunition, but they continued the battle with hand grenades, withdrawing slowly and stubbornly from house to house. The Ameri-


[11] There is no official record of the losses taken by the 110th Infantry during this phase of the battle. Estimates furnished the author by members of the regimental staff set the figure at about 2,750 officers and men.


[12] Events of this day are very obscure. Late in the afternoon an American tank platoon came to the edge of the village but retired, the commander reported, when no Americans could be found. This withdrawal was hastened by bazooka fire which crippled two of the tanks. The troops barricaded in the houses later reported that they had seen no American tanks but had hit two German tanks with bazooka shots. See MS by Maj. I. D. Warden and 28th Div G-3 Jnl.