the CCR commander later curtailed this move) and radioed Colonel Cherry to this effect. When Cherry got the message, about two hours later, he also learned that Mageret had been seized by the Germans and that his headquarters at Neffe now was cut off from the team at Longvilly. Team Hyduke was in the process of shifting in the dark to cover Longvilly on the east, north, and south. Ryerson had sent a half-track load of infantry to feel out the situation at Mageret, while independently CCR headquarters (9th Armored Division) had dispatched a self-propelled tank destroyer from its platoon of the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion on the same mission. After apprehensive and belated recognition the two crews agreed that the road through Mageret could be opened only by force. This word ultimately reached Cherry who sent back orders, received at 0830, that Ryerson should fight his way through Mageret while the erstwhile advance guard conducted a rear guard defense of Longvilly.
During the night small German forces had tried, rather halfheartedly, to get into Longvilly or at least to pick off the weapons and vehicles crowded in the streets by the light of flares and search-lights directed on the town. As yet the German artillery and heavy mortars had not come forward in any number and Longvilly was shelled only in desultory fashion. The two right-wing regiments Of the 26th Volks Grenadier Division were reoriented to the northwest in a move to reach the Noville-Bastogne road and place the division in position for a flanking attack aimed at penetrating the Bastogne perimeter from the north. On the extreme right the 77th Grenadier Regiment had bivouacked near Oberwampach, its orders to advance at daybreak through Longvilly and head for Foy. Its left neighbor, the 78th, was to make the main effort, swinging around to the north of Mageret and attacking to gain the high ground beyond Luzery.
This plan failed to recognize the limitations of physical stamina and supply. With the dawn, the two regimental commanders reported that their troops must be rested and resupplied before the advance could resume. Shortly after 1000 the 77th was ready to start its advance guard through Longvilly, believing that the town was in German hands. In light of the way in which troops of the 26th Volks Grenadier Division, Panzer Lehr, and 2d Panzer Division had poured into the area east of Bastogne during the night, crossing and recrossing boundary lines which now existed mostly on paper, it is not surprising that General Kokott and his commanders were a little vague as to whose troops held Longvilly.
The 77th was close to the town, advancing in route column when patrols suddenly signaled that the Americans were ahead. It was too late to bypass the town; so the German regimental commander hastily organized an attack behind a screen of machine guns which he rushed forward, at the same time borrowing some tanks from the 2d Panzer Division for a turning movement northeast of Longvilly. The division commander, however, ordered the attack held up until it could be organized and supported, made arrangements with the Panzer Lehr Division to join by a thrust from the southwest, and hurried guns and Werfers up to aid the infantry. General Luettwitz, the corps commander, also took a hand in the game, without reference to Kokott, by ordering the 78th