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with the engineers, ordnance, and quartermaster people on the spot. Unwittingly, in the process of "freezing" this heterogeneous command, Stone stopped the westward withdrawal of badly needed engineer vehicles (carrying earth augers, air compressors, and similar equipment) which the VIII Corps commander was attempting to gather for work on a barrier line being constructed by the corps engineers farther to the west.


The artillery battalions of the 7th Armored Division were in firing positions north and east of Vielsalm at the close of 18 December. They could not give aid to CCB, east of St. Vith, but there the 75th Armored Field Artillery Battalion was in range and already had given a fine demonstration of effective support. The 7th Armored trains, which had reached Salmchateau by the western route on the morning of the 18th, were sent twenty-two miles west of La Roche, partly to keep them out of enemy reach but also because of the possibility that the division might soon have to retire behind the Ourthe River. The reserve available to General Hasbrouck was scant for such wide-flung positions: some 90-mm. guns from the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion and the provisional