Armies. As a result General Brandenberger asked Model's permission to pull his troops back from Villers-la-Bonne-Eau and Harlange, but Model gave a nay, reminding the importunate army commander that Germany now was in a battle of attrition by which the Allies would become enmeshed and round down.
The VIII Corps' Attack Continues
The pitched battle with the 87th Division's 345th Infantry at Moircy on the night of 30 December had involved the reserve tanks and infantry supporting the thin-spread 902d, which was holding the Panzer Lehr left flank, and during the next afternoon the 345th captured Remagne without sustaining the usual counterattack. For a relatively untried outfit that had ridden a hundred miles, crowded in jolting trucks, and had gone into an attack over unfamiliar terrain all in the space of less than twenty hours, the 345th had done well. But it had taken many casualties, and now that the fresh 347th Infantry (Col. Sevier R. Tupper) had come up General Culin turned the advance on the division right wing over to the latter. The 346th continued its blocking mission at St. Hubert and Vesqueville. (Even the move into reserve cost the 345th lives and equipment, for the constant traffic uncovered and exploded German mines which earlier had lain harmless under the deep snow.)
The morning of 1 January came with snow, sleet, and bitter cold. The 347th set out from Moircy and Remagne, plowing through the drifts, its objective to cut the Bastogne-St. Hubert road al Amberloup. The 1st Battalion (Maj. Cecil Chapman) managed to put patrols across the highway north of Remagne. It had been advancing with two tanks in front of each company and the enemy reaction through the daylight hours was confined to small arms fire and occasional bursts of artillery. The 347th, however, was moving against that part of the 902d line which was backed with armor, for Bayerlein had put his assault guns in to stiffen the Panzer Lehr western terminus at St. Hubert and placed his few remaining tanks as backstop for the eastern flank. At dusk, when the sky was empty of the fighter-bombers, the enemy tanks struck and drove the 1st Battalion back toward Remagne.
The 3d Battalion (Lt. Col. Richard D. Sutton) moved north from Moircy along the road to Pironpre and at noon took the intermediate village of Jenneville, where Company C of the 345th had suffered a bloody head two days before. When the battalion defiled from Jenneville the German fire stepped up its cadence, and now the sharp bark of tank guns could be heard from Pironpre. The road junction at the latter point was of considerable concern to General Bayerlein. He could spare only a small detachment of grenadiers (probably no more than thirty were inside Pironpre), but he did put a half dozen tanks into the defense. These tanks were carefully sited to give maximum fire and were masked from the road by the piles of lumber surrounding the local sawmill. The Americans could not locate this opposition and halted for the night.
Before daybreak the two battalions went into attack positions close to the road which ran diagonally from St. Hubert to Morhet, set as the regimental line of departure. They left the hornet's nest