figure. Losses in the 5th Division totaled 46 officers and 899 men as battle casualties; 22 officers and 598 men were nonbattle casualties-a high ratio but understandable in terms of the continued 20 degree cold and the footslogging advance through countless icy streams. The 276th Volks Grenadier Division lost about 2,000 officers and men between 20 and 28 December, from all causes, and the original division commander had been killed in the action. Many of its companies were reduced to ten-man strength. The average strength of the rifle companies in the 212th Volks Grenadier Division, when they returned to the West Wall, was 25-30 men, but the figure is derived from losses suffered since 16 December. Although this division was better trained than the 276th, it generally had engaged in harder fighting. Its total losses, as estimated by the division commander, were about 4,000 officers and men. The only exact casualty report extant is that of the 988th Regiment, which on 15 December had been at its full strength of 1,868 officers and men. By 28 December the regiment had suffered losses as follows: 190 known killed, 561 missing in action, 411 hospitalized as sick or wounded.
The terrain on which the 4th Infantry Division had defended and over which the 5th Infantry Division had attacked proved to be as difficult as any on which military operations were conducted in the course of the Ardennes campaign. For this reason the battle at the south shoulder of the Bulge merits perusal by the student of tactics. American superiority in heavy supporting weapons, tanks, and tank destroyers never had the full tactical effectiveness on this broken ground which normally would be the case. The military student, however, will have noticed that the psychological effect of American tanks and tank destroyers on an enemy who had no tanks and very few antitank guns was considerable. For this battle German commanders all make much of those periods during the initial American defense and the ultimate counterattack when tanks, even in platoon strength, were employed against them. The relative immobility of the two German divisions, whose flexibility in attack and defense depended almost entirely on the leg power of tired infantry, gave both General Barton and General Irwin a considerable advantage in timing, whether it was in moving troops to counter a thrust or in exploiting weaknesses in the enemy line.
The use of artillery on both sides of the line is one of the features of the XII Corps operations at the Sauer, and in numerous actions German use of the rocket launcher proved particularly disquieting to the Americans. This weapon, whose total weight was only some 1,200 pounds, but which could discharge 450 pounds of high explosive in ten seconds, more than made up for the limited number of conventional artillery tubes that the LXXX Corps had in the bridgehead, and its ease of movement and small silhouette were admirably suited to the broken ground west of the Sauer. The rate and weight of rocket projector fire, plus the fact that the limited German artillery could concentrate to cover well-defined and delimited paths of advance, led the veteran 5th Division to claim that it had been more heavily shelled during these days than in any battle it had sustained.