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tachment received reinforcement late in the afternoon when a company of the 112th Infantry appeared. At an earlier and more optimistic hour this company had been dispatched to Houffalize with orders to make a counterattack southward to relieve the pressure on Bastogne. The company commander was persuaded that the situation had changed somewhat and that he should wait at Cherain for further orders. A little later a company of German infantry was detected marching north along the valley toward Cherain. During the night a few of the enemy entered the village but quickly were driven out. General Hasbrouck decided to wait further developments before committing any of his meager reserves at Cherain.


The detachment which Jones had sent to Gouvy, midway between Deifeld and Cherain, was surprised to find the village occupied by German infantry. On 18 December the 7th Armored had learned in a roundabout way that a "Lieutenant Colonel named Stone" had collected a few troops and was holding Gouvy. Subsequently Hasbrouck sent a platoon of light tanks to help out and an injunction that it was "imperative" that the village be held. All through the day and night of 19 December German vehicles (units of the 116th Panzer Division and the advance guard of the 560th Volks Grenadier Division) had rolled past Gouvy to the south and west, but no attempt had been made to repeat the attack of the previous day. Stone sent out one of his staff to try to line up some help; this officer discovered the command post of the 965th Field Artillery Battalion, near the town of Beho, and put forth the case of the Gouvy defenders "who were attempting to hold the line despite their not being trained infantrymen." Battery C had been assigned to support the 112th Infantry and with the consent of the latter shifted its 155-mm. howitzers to give Stone's men a hand.


Actually the pick-up force of quartermaster troops, light tanks, and stragglers under Stone's command was deployed so as to defend the railhead stocks at Gouvy Station east of the village proper, but this fact was unknown to the 7th Armored Division headquarters. During the night of 19 December the bulk of the 1130th Regiment, 560th Volks Grenadier Division, bivouacked in and west of the village of Gouvy. This regiment, which had sent combat patrols against Stone's force on the 18th, was at the tail end of the LVIII Panzer Corps columns pushing past Houffalize. It had become embroiled with the 112th Infantry at Sevenig, had suffered intensely (the fighting strength of the regiment now was between five and six hundred), and had been unable to disengage in the Our River sector as quickly as the rest of the division. The LVIII Panzer Corps commander was anxious to get the 1130th up to cover his right rear and had ordered the regiment to seize and block the St. VithHouffalize road in the neighborhood of Gouvy and Cherain.


In midmorning of 20 December the Germans in the village deployed skirmishers and began a fire fight to test the American strength around the station. After three hours of this the Americans observed the enemy going into attack formation in an open field next to the village church. Using the church spire as a reference point the cannoneers of Battery C opened fire, their 155-mm. howitzers scattering the German formation in every direction. When the 7th Ar-