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pany from the 740th; and two platoons from the 823d Tank Destroyer Battalion. [14] The American infantry line formed an arc south of the town, swinging to east and west. On the left this line touched the 1st Infantry Division outposts near Waimes; on the right it had a tenuous connection with the 117th Infantry at the junction of the road from Stavelot and the road running north to Francorchamps. In passing it must be said that the responsibilities of the two sister regiments at the vaguely defined interregimental boundary were none too explicit. All roads leading to Malmedy had been blocked by mines and barricades or were barred by outpost detachments.


The first action of 21 December, as it turned out, was neither against Peiper nor at the pocket, but an engagement at Malmedy with new German troops thus far unidentified as a regular tactical unit. The night before, an enemy force had assembled in Ligneuville, five miles south of Malmedy. This was the notorious 150th Panzer Brigade which, under the command of the equally notorious Colonel Skorzeny, had been especially trained to seize the Meuse bridges as


[14] History of the 20th Infantry Regiment and H. R. Bergen, History of 99th Infantry Battalion (Oslo, n.d.); also 120th Inf AAR. The story of other detachments in the Malmedy fight is told in 12th Army Group, Special Forces, AAR, December 1944.