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matic Weapons Battalion, moving close behind the infantry point, blasted at wood lines, hedges, haystacks, and farm buildings. Their .50-caliber machine guns and the 37-mm. cannon mounted on half-tracks pinned the German infantry down until supporting artillery could be brought to bear, then shifted to a new position before the German gunners could get on target.


The American cannoneers wheeled their pieces from position to position so as to give the closest support possible. At one point the commanding officer of the 102d Field Artillery Battalion, Lt. Col. R. W. Kinney, went forward alone under direct enemy fire to pick out the targets for his guns. (Kinney was awarded the DSC.) When an enemy pocket was discovered in some corner of the woods the self-propelled tank destroyers went into action, spraying the enemy with high explosive. Thus a platoon of the 818th Tank Destroyer Battalion ultimately blasted the lost battalion of the 915th Regiment out of the woods near Grosbous.


It was no more than natural that the 26th Division, full of green troops, wanted the comforting presence of friendly tanks or guns. The 735th Tank Battalion after action report says that the 104th Infantry would not enter Dellen ahead of the tanks. The 328th Infantry also was slow in moving without tanks ahead. Since through all this day the Americans had little or no idea of the enemy strength that lay ahead or perhaps lurked on the flanks, the lack of swashbuckling haste was not abnormal.


The corps commander shared the feeling that caution was due. At dark he ordered General Paul to keep pushing with small patrols but enjoined him to keep the mass of the two regiments (the third was corps reserve) from getting too far forward. Patrols, Millikin advised, should try to get to the Sure River bridges before daylight of the 24th. As things now stood, the 80th Division had pushed a salient ahead on the right of the 26th Division in the Kehmen sector and was waiting for the center division to come abreast. On the left there remained a fair-sized gap between the 4th Armored Division and the 26th, only partially screened by very small detachments at roadblock positions. Thus far the enemy had failed to recognize or exploit this gap.


The 4th Armored Division Attack


On 21 December the 4th Armored Division, then assembled in the LegliseArlon area, learned what its mission would be when the III Corps attacked on the 22d: advance north and relieve Bastogne. [10] Martelange, an outpost of the VIII Corps engineer barrier line on the Sure River, was twelve miles on a hard-surfaced highway from the center of Bastogne. A Sherman tank could make it from Martelange to Bastogne in a half hour-if the road was


[10] With the exception of those conducted with the 101st Airborne Division, the combat interviews with the 4th Armored Division are the most informative of all those bearing on the battle at Bastogne. The 4th Armored AAR and G-3 journal provide little exact or detailed information. The combat command AAR's and journals remedy this lack. Each battalion has either an AAR or unit journal. See also K. A. Koyen, The Fourth Armored Division (Munich, 1945); Lt. Col. D. M. Oden, 4th Armored Division-Relief of the 101st Airborne Division, Bastogne, Pamphlet Series, Command and General Staff College, 1947; History of the Ninety-Fourth Armored Field Artillery Battalion (n.d., n.p.); and The Armored School MS, Armor at Bastogne (May 1949).