Page 491


the main road leading from Echternach toward Luxembourg City. Although the 12th Infantry line had hardened and now held near Scheidgen, General Barton expected that the enemy would try another punch down the road. But, even while the American commanders were meeting, the German LXXX Corps staff was drafting orders for a piecemeal withdrawal by the 212th Volks Grenadier Division to begin that very night.


The enemy gains on 21 December marked the high tide of the advance over the Sauer begun six days before, a fact that could not yet be appreciated by the little group of commanders gathered in the 4th Division command post. General Irwin probably summed up what all were thinking: "Situation on whole front from east of us to north varies from fluid to no front at all. Information is very scanty and the situation changes hourly." Under these circumstances General Eddy decided that the 10th Infantry should be placed under tactical control of the 4th Division and attack around noon the following day to restore the situation on the 12th Infantry front.


Admittedly this was the kind of partial solution frowned upon by the field service regulations. General Irwin noted, "I anticipate too much piecemeal action for a while to get any tangible results." But the 4th Division had undergone six