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fields prompted reports to the Panzer Lehr Division commander that it would be some time before the eastern and northeastern approaches to St. Hubert could be cleared.


In the late afternoon the Panzer Lehr task force brought artillery into position and started shelling the Company C position. By this time the VIII Corps line no longer ran north and south in front of the German drive but was forming from east to west with the enemy pass- ing across the corps front. A single battalion of engineers and miscellaneous antiaircraft and depot troops could not be expected to hold what remained of the barrier line on the western branch of the Ourthe. Fearful lest the engineers be cut off, VIII Corps headquarters ordered the 35th to hold as long as feasible, then rejoin the VIII Corps in the south. Using several hundred pounds of TNT which had arrived in the afternoon the engineers prepared demolitions to be blown coincident with the withdrawal through St. Hubert and Libramont. The enemy, hindered by darkness, mines, craters, and abatis, did not interfere with the engineers, and the latter fell back through Libramont, entrucked, and by midnight were in a new assembly area at Bouillon close to the French frontier.


Somewhat earlier a German detachment had seized a bridge over the Ourthe at Moircy, to the south of the Company C strongpoints. This bridge gave access to a back road which entered St. Hubert from the southeast. Despite the fact that this secondary route was relatively free from the craters and obstacles which cluttered the main roads, the Panzer Lehr task force made no move to strike for the town but instead spread out farther north. The 902d Regiment of the division had been relieved near Neffe during the evening of 21 December and been assigned an advance via St. Hubert. The light armor of the task force remained nearly immobile for the next twenty-four hours, and it was left to the main body of the division to utilize the Moircy road.


With the withdrawal of the 35th Engineer Combat Battalion the VIII Corps no longer had elements directly in the path of the main German drive, always excepting, of course, the troops


[3] The Panzer Lehr commander was well forward with his troops. For his recollections, which have proven to be excellent, see MSS # A-941 through A-943 (Bayerlein)