foot-slogging pace of the divisions on the right and in the center. Both CCA and CCB had an additional rifle battalion when the attack resumed on the 25th, for the 1st and 2d Battalions of the 318th Infantry had reported to General Gaffey late on Christmas Eve after a cold, miserable, six-hour truck ride from the 80th Division sector. Both battalions, the 1st attached to CCA and the 2d to CCB, were considerably understrength after the bloody engagements at Ettelbruck. The 1st Battalion, whose officer losses had been very high, had a new commander and so did all of its companies.
During the fight at Warnach a few tanks from CCA had tried to drive on to Tintange but had bogged down. General Gaffey therefore decided to employ a part of his infantry reinforcement with the general mission of attacking to reach Bastogne, and the more immediate job of taking Tintange. After a freezing night bivouacked in the snow, Maj. George W. Connaughton's 1st Battalion, 318th, set off for a line of departure south of the village that was shown on the map as a small creek.
Gaffey had said that the battalion would have to fight for its line of departure. He was right. The two assault companies reached the creek only to discover that they faced a deep gorge, with Germans arrayed to defend it. Somehow the infantry scrambled down and up again while their opponents pitched in hand grenades. Emerging south of the village the attackers came under continuous rifle fire, but what stopped them cold was a single large-caliber assault gun whose shells burst wherever the Americans turned. The support, Company B (Capt. Reid McAllister), was given very special attention by the German gunners. Tired of taking losses where it lay, the company asked permission to take the burden of the assault on its own shoulders. Two platoons advanced through the forward companies and the enemy infantry inside the village immediately opened fire. In so doing the Germans gave away their locations to the third platoon, which had circled in from the east. Return fire coming in from the east momentarily silenced the garrison; galled by its losses Company B rushed the village, captured the maddening assault gun as its crew sought to escape, and took 161 prisoners. This action must be credited to the infantry, but it should be added that eight fighterbombers from the 377th Squadron had hit Tintange on call, blasting with bombs and rockets just before the riflemen moved in. During the day the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion carried the advance on the west side of the Arlon-Bastogne highway as far as Hollange, pausing here with night coming on and the enemy showing his first intention of making a stand. CCA now had cleared another-stretch of woods and villages flanking the Bastogne highway-but the streets of Bastogne still were seven miles away.
The 2d Battalion, 318th Infantry (Lt. Col. Glenn H. Gardner), did its chore of woods clearing and village fighting on Christmas Day alongside the armored infantry and tanks of CCB. Chaumont, scene of the bitter action two days earlier, remained the immediate objective. This time the enemy was deeply dug in, all through the woods south of the village. While tanks from the 8th Tank Battalion edged around the woods firing indiscriminately into the pines, the foot troops routed out the German