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Using the hill which earlier had been wrested from Company G as a mounting block, three German tanks made their way into the south edge of Marvie, but O'Hara's tanks and assault guns stopped a major penetration from the east by gunning down the panzers silhouetted in the glare of burning buildings, thus enabling the Americans to hold on in the north half of the village. The threat of a breach here impelled McAuliffe to send the remaining half of Team Cherry to Marvie. Because this switch stripped Bastogne of its last counterattack force, Cherry's detachment, which had gone west to assist Team Browne, was recalled to Bastogne. An hour before dawn on the 24th the battle ended and quiet came to Marvie. O'Hara's troops had accounted for eight panzers in this fight, but the village was still clutched by both antagonists.


The battle on the 23d had been viewed in a somewhat somber light inside Bastogne. That evening, only a few minutes after the German attack began in the Marvie sector, Lt. Col. Harry W. O. Kinnard (the 101st Airborne Division G-3) telephoned his opposite number at the VIII Corps command post. The gist of his report, as recorded in the corps G-3 journal, was this: "In regard to our situation it is getting pretty sticky around here. They [the 4th Armored Division] must keep coming. The enemy has attacked all along the south and some tanks are through and running around in our area. Request you inform 4th Armored Division of our situation and ask them to put on all possible pressure."


The events of the past hours had shown that the force under McAuliffe's command was overextended at a number of points. The artillery groupment west of Bastogne was particularly exposed, and the 327th Glider Infantry had already been forced to shorten its lines. Then too the segments of the perimeter defense were not as well coordinated as they might be. The tankers of CCB complained that they had no idea of the airborne positions, and quite probably the regiments of the 101st were hazy as to the location of the small tank and tank destroyer detachments on their flanks.


Colonel Kinnard, whose sharp tactical sense was rated highly by all the commanders who worked with him during the siege, drew up on 24 December a plan to regroup the Bastogne forces. The plan was put into operation that same evening. Kinnard's scheme placed all four regiments of the 101st Airborne on the line as combined arms teams. Team O'Hara and a platoon of the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion were attached to the 501st. The 506th, whose sector had been quiet, got two platoons of the 705th but no tanks. The 502d was given two platoons from the 705th and Team Anderson (it is symptomatic of the shoestring defense which perforce had evolved at the perimeter that Captain Anderson's "team" consisted of two cavalry assault guns, one tank destroyer, and two jeeps). The 327th took over the 326th Airborne Engineer Battalion, two platoons of the 9th Armored Engineer Battalion (which had won distinction in the Noville fight), and four platoons of the 705th. Also attached to the 327th was the amalgam of infantry, tank destroyers, and tanks which had grown up around Browne's 420th Armored Field Artillery Battalion and which, on the 23d, had been reorganized as Team