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buffeted by German artillery. At dawn the enemy advanced on the village, and the Americans, as they had done earlier, retired to the better ground south of Foy and Recogne. This early effort was not followed up because the 2d Panzer was on its way west and had no further concern in this sector save to neutralize a possible American foray against its rear.


The primary attack of the day came along the Bourcy-Bastogne rail line, right at the seam between the 506th and 501st. During the previous night Kokott had built up the concentration of his 26th Volks Grenadier Division in the woods east of the railroad to include much of the rifle strength of the 77th and 78th Regiments. The two American regiments had failed to make a firm commitment as to tactical responsibility and, indeed, the left flank of the 501st was nearly a thousand yards to the rear of the 506th. At 0830 a 506th patrol chanced upon some Germans in the woods behind the regiment's right flank. Companies D and F attacked promptly to seal the gap at the rail line while the 501st turned its weapons to deny any movement on its side.


Enough of the enemy had infiltrated for McAuliffe to ask Colonel Sink to send in his 1st Battalion, which had been badly hurt at Noville, as a cauterizing force. It took three hours of musketry and, at several points, bayonet work to liquidate the Germans in the pocket; the battalion killed about so, took prisoner 85, and drove a large number into the hands of the 501st. This hot sector of the front cooled off during the afternoon. The 26th Volks Grenadier Division was realigning and extending to take over the ground vacated by Panzer Lehr, and Kokott could not afford two regiments in attack at the rail line.


Through most of 21 December the Germans lashed out at the 501st with artillery and sporadic infantry assaults. On the American left flank Kokott's 77th carried the ball but the main effort was made by the 902d, attacking from an assembly area at Neffe against the 3d Battalion. The records of this battalion were lost in later fighting, but participants in the action speak of a "determined" attack by two German rifle battalions and "vicious close-in fighting." Although Colonel Ewell expected a second all-out assault when daylight ended, this never came. The 902d had its orders to catch up with the Panzer Lehr van in the west and during the night assembled for the march to rejoin General Bayerlein.


South of the 501st positions the enemy seemed content to sit back and shell the headquarters of the 2d Battalion, 327th, at Marvie. The 2d Battalion records no other action than the appearance of some tanks and infantry along the Arlon road forcing a flank extension across the road. German evidence, however, speaks of attacks by the 901st in this sector which "miscarried." [11] If discretion in this particular instance proved the better part of valor, it probably was induced by the CCB tanks which had taken position on the Arlon road.


Farther west the enemy was more aggressive. Having played havoc with the


[11] Both the German and American records for the Ardennes contain, from time to time, reports of "attacks" which in fact were never noticed by the alleged targets and which probably were no more than dutiful commotion in response to the promptings of higher authority.