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or German bank of the Our River. In the north, contact was maintained with the 106th Infantry Division at a point northwest of Lutzkampen. The regimental position, really a series of squad and platoon posts, followed a ridge line south through Harspelt and Sevenig, then bent back across the Our and followed the western slopes of the river nearly to Kalborn. Here in the south daylight patrols also operated to maintain control of the eastern bank, although the main positions were around Lieler and Lausdorn.


The 229th Field Artillery Battalion was emplaced behind the north flank near Welchenhausen on the German side of the river. Two rifle battalions manned the main battle positions east of the Our: the 1st facing Lutzkampen, the 3d occupying and flanking Sevenig. The 2d Battalion manned observation posts and operated patrols across the river but was deployed in a refused position west of the Our. It was accounted the regimental reserve, having fixed schemes of employment for support of the two battalions in the north by counterattack either northeast or southeast.


Hills intersected by wooded draws marked the terrain in this sector. Extensive pine forests covered much of the area, making observation difficult. In general the ground on the east bank commanded. The road net was adequate, although mired by constant rain, but the two forward battalions had to be supplied at night because of German fire. The 3d Battalion positions on the German bank were built around captured pillboxes, for here earlier American advances had pierced the first line of the German West Wall. Since most of these works were "blind" the final protective line turned on foxholes and extensive patches of barbed wire which the battalion itself had constructed. Because the West Wall angled away to the east near Lutzkampen the 1st Battalion was denied pillbox protection but, at the insistence of the regimental commander, had constructed a foxhole line with great care.


Aside from patrol activity (generally small raids against individual pillboxes) the 112th Infantry sector had been quiet. Men in the observation posts watched the enemy move about his daily chores and reported flares and occasional rounds of mortar or artillery fire. Early in the month the Germans had undertaken what appeared to be a routine relief in their forward positions. On the nights of 14 and 15 December, sounds of horse-drawn vehicles and motors moving in slow gear drifted to the American outposts; but since the same commotion had attended an earlier relief in the German lines, it was reported and perfunctorily dismissed.


The stir and movement in the enemy lines during the two nights prior to 16 December was occasioned by troops moving in and troops moving out. The 26th Volks Grenadier Division, which had allowed the 112th to go about its training program with only very minor interruption, marched south to join the XLVII Panzer Corps and take part in the attack for Bastogne. Its pillboxes and supporting positions were occupied in greater strength as the LVIII Panzer Corps (Krueger) moved in. In the first German blueprint for the Ardennes counteroffensive the latter corps had been assigned four divisions and the mission of driving to and across the