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tank force. The previous afternoon the VIII Corps commander had ordered General Taylor to use the reserve battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry for this purpose, then had countermanded his order. Apparently General Grow and his division knew nothing of the change. Communication between divisions subordinate to two different corps always is difficult, but in this case, with an armored and an airborne division involved, the situation was even worse. At this time the only radio contact between Taylor and Grow was by relay through an army supply point several miles south of Bastogne, but the two generals did meet on 31 December and the day following.


The morning of the attack, 1 January 1945, was dark with cloud banks and squalls as the 68th Tank Battalion (Lt. Col. Harold C. Davall) moved rapidly along the narrow road to Bizory. The 78th Grenadier Regiment, in this sector since the first days of the Bastogne siege, had erected its main line of resistance farther to the east and Bizory fell easily. At the same time Davall's force seized Hill 510, which earlier had caused the 101st Airborne so much trouble. About noon the Americans began to receive heavy fire, including high velocity shells, from around Mageret on their right flank. Although doing so involved a detour, the 68th wheeled to deal with Mageret, its tanks crashing into the village while the assault gun platoon engaged the enemy antitank guns firing from wood cover nearby. The grenadiers fought for Mageret and it was midafternoon before resistance collapsed. Then the 69th Tank Battalion from CCA, which was on call, took over the fight to drive east from Mageret while its sister battalion turned back for the planned thrust at Arloncourt.


By this time the sun had come out, visibility was good, and the CCB tanks were making such rapid progress that the division artillery commander (Col. Lowell M. Riley) brought his three battalions right up on Davall's heels. Within an hour the 68th was fighting at Arloncourt, but here it had hit the main German position. Briefly the Americans held a piece of Arloncourt, withdrawing at dark when it became apparent that the 50th Armored Infantry Battalion (Lt. Col. Arnold R. Wall), fighting through the woods to the northwest, could not come abreast. As it turned out, the 50th was forced to fall back to the morning line of departure. It too had collided with the main enemy defenses and was hit by a German counterattack-abruptly checked when the 212th Field Artillery laid in 500 rounds in twenty minutes. [16]


The brunt of the battle in the CCA zone was borne by the 44th Armored Infantry, continuing doggedly through the woods southeast of Neffe against determined and well entrenched German infantry. Whenever the assault came within fifty yards of the foxhole line, the grenadiers climbed out with rifle and machine gun to counterattack. Two or three times Brown's battalion was ejected from the woods, but at close of day the Americans were deployed perhaps halfway inside the forest. The 6th Armored had gotten no assistance from the 35th Division during the day, and it


[16] During the battle in the woods Sgt. George P. Rimmer of Company A led a series of combat patrols against the enemy with such daring and success as to merit the special commendation of his commander. He received the DSC.