and perhaps half a regiment of foot. At least the first part of this estimate may be close to the fact, for it is known that one battalion of the 3d Panzer Regiment was badly crippled at Noville.
There is an epilogue. In late afternoon, as his soldiers poked about the ruins of Noville, Lauchert radioed the LVIII Panzer Corps commander for permission to wheel the 2d Panzer into Bastogne. Krueger's answer was prompt and astringent: "Forget Bastogne and head for the Meuse!"
The attack planned for the 19th east of Bastogne and carried out by the Panzer Lehr and 26th Volks Grenadier Divisions had signally failed of success. The soft ground had made it impossible for the German tanks to maneuver easily off the roads-a factor of great worth to the defenders. The Americans had at least five artillery battalions on call in this sector, whereas neither of the two enemy divisions had been able to get any substantial number of guns and howitzers forward. Also, the pellmell, piecemeal deployment east of Bastogne by the advance guard formations was beginning to reap a harvest of delay and tactical confusion. There was some savage fighting here during the day, but uncoordinated-on the part of the enemy-and never pressed in force to a definite conclusion.
On the 20th Luettwitz turned the 78th Volks Grenadier Regiment over to the Panzer Lehr commander for the close-in northern hook at Bastogne planned for execution the previous day. The immediate goal was Luzery, a suburb of Bastogne on the Houffalize highway. The 78th circled north to pass the village of Bizory, the left wing pin for the 501st, but fire from Company F caught the Germans in the flank. This halted the move and forced the 78th to swing wide into the cover given by the woods north of the village. Masked by the woods the enemy proceeded west as far as the Bourcy-Bastogne rail line, then unaccountably stopped. When the 2d Battalion of the 506th came up on the left of the 501st, its disposition was such that it faced this German force, plus its sister regiment the 77th, at the point where the Foy-Bizory road crossed the railroad.
Through most of the daylight hours on the 20th the enemy seemed content to probe the main line occupied by the 501st. During the evening Bayerlein sent his own 902d Panzer Grenadier Regiment against Neffe, but a roving patrol from Team O'Hara happened to spot the tank detachment of the regiment as it filed along the Neffe-Wardin road and brought friendly artillery into play. Between the American gunners and paratroopers the 902d took a formidable beating-very severe casualties were reported by the enemy division commander. A tank destroyer platoon from the 705th used ground flares to sight and destroy three of the panzers reinforcing the infantry assault waves.
When the 501st went into position on the 19th, its southern flank had been none too solidly anchored by the thin counter-reconnaissance screen operated by Task Force O'Hara and the tired, understrength 35th Engineer Combat Battalion (Lt. Col. Paul H. Symbol). Enemy pressure around Wardin, although subsequently relaxed, indicated that here was a gap which had better be sealed. On the morning of the 20th McAuliffe sent the 2d Battalion of the 327th Glider Infantry from the division assem-