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forward or backward or something."


The main task for the 30th Division and its reinforcing armored task forces remained that of eradicating all German troops north of the Ambleve. The general plan was a continuation of the one set in operation the day before: the 119th Infantry (reinforced), now organized under the assistant division commander, General Harrison, as Task Force Harrison, to capture Stoumont and continue its eastward drive as far as La Gleize; the 3d Battalion of the 117th Infantry (reinforced) and the two 3d Armored task forces to carry through the concentric attack to seize La Gleize.


The latter maneuver got under way on 21 December. Task Force Lovelady, which had cut south between Stavelot and La Gleize on the previous day, reversed its course and moved north from the Trois Ponts area with the intention of securing the ridge which overlooked La Gleize from the southeast. Task Force McGeorge, stopped cold the evening before on the narrow ridge road which angled to La Gleize from the north, resumed the attack with K Company, 117th Infantry, trying to pry out the German block to the front. South of the Ambleve, Task Force Lovelady was screened by the low-hanging fog from the strong enemy patrols working through the area; on the north bank, however, it ran into trouble while advancing on the sunken La Gleize road. Two leading tanks were crippled when they hit a patch of mines. Then German tanks or antitank guns knocked out the last two tanks in the column. At this point, therefore, the road was effectively blocked against further American or future German counterattacks. The infantry with Lovelady and a tank company spent the remainder of the day mopping up in the small villages along the river bank, finding evidences of revolting atrocities earlier perpetrated on the defenseless Belgians by Peiper's troops. Attempts to mount the ridge were checked by machine gun fire, and it became evident that the enemy had a strong force concentrated in this sector.


Task Force McGeorge and riflemen of the 117th Infantry likewise were unable to make much headway in extending the northern arm of the planned envelopment. The German barrier interposed by dug-in tanks and assault guns at a little stream about a thousand yards north of La Gleize could not be taken by maneuver, for McGeorge's tanks were unable to get off the road, or by single-handed infantry assault. The American column then drew back along the valley road. About a mile east of La Gleize the task force turned west to cross the valley and approach the town but was halted at a curve in the road by fire from dug-in tanks and antitank guns. The riflemen formed a line of skirmishers in front of the German block and the task force halted for the night.


The drive to pinch out the western contents of the Peiper pocket at Stoumont got off to a late start on the 21st. General Harrison's original plan called for a co-ordinated attack in the early morning. The 1st Battalion, 119th Infantry, was to continue the drive to enter the town from the west (after recapturing the sanatorium and the high ground flanking the entrance). The 2d Battalion would swing wide through the woods north of the town, block the escape route to La Gleize, and then attack from the east. Task Force Jordan and the reorganized 3d Battalion (which