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Panzer Corps had reached Bastogne and the road there from north to Houffalize. This good news failed to arrive. While it was true that the resistance in the sector held by the American 110th Infantry had finally crumbled, the cost to the Germans had been dear in men, materiel, and tactical disorganization, but most of all in time. Fatigue too was beginning to tell. Yet Luettwitz had some reason to expect, as he did, that the road to the west at last was clear and that the lost momentum would shortly be restored. Instead, as the record shows, the XLVII Panzer Corps continued to encounter irritating delays, delays compounded by American resistance, fatigue among the attacking troops, disintegrating roads, a general loss of control on the part of the German commanders, and, most telling of all, a momentary thickening of the "fog of war." On the right wing of the corps the fight waged at the Lullange road junction by Task Force Rose cheated the 2d Panzer Division of vital daylight hours. More time was lost in reducing the Allerborn roadblock, and Lauchert's advance guard found itself on the BourcyNoville road in the middle of the night. It is not surprising that the German advance was cautious and further attack to the northwest delayed. The whole affair added up to several extra hours that allowed the American defenders at the Noville outpost of Bastogne until midmorning on the 19th to get set.


The story of events at Longvilly and on the Longvilly-Mageret road merits particular attention by the student of tactics. Here was a confused and heterogeneous force whose main concern on the night of 1819 December and the following day was to find a way out of the German trap whose jaws were in plain view. Further resistance by either CCR or Team Cherry was intended strictly as a rear guard action. Yet the mere physical presence of these troops in the Longvilly area caused a confusion in German plans and a diversion of the German main effort on 19 December out of all proportion to the tactical strength or importance of the American units involved. The "discovery," on the morning of 19 December, that American troops were in and around Longvilly cost the 26th Volks Grenadier Division at least four hours of precious daylight, first in setting up an attack for the 77th Grenadier Regiment and then in straightening out the 78th. As a result when night came the right wing of the 26th Volks Grenadier Division was only a little over two miles beyond Longvilly, and the left, which had crossed to the north side of the Bastogne road in the late afternoon, reached Bizory too late for a full-scale daylight assault.


Although the main advance guard of the Panzer Lehr Division continued to the west on 19 December, where it ran afoul of Cherry's headquarters group at Neffe, a considerable part of the Panzer Lehr armored strength was diverted north from Benonchamps to use its tank gun fire against the Americans seen along the road east of Mageret and later to attack that village. Troops of both the 901st and 902d were thrown in to mop up the woods where the CCR column attempted to make a stand and they did not complete this job until midafternoon. So, although the Panzer Lehr elements had helped free the Longvilly-Mageret road for the belated advance by the 26th Volks Grenadier Division to the northwest, the Panzer Lehr ad-