was making no headway at Senonchamps to the east. At Chenogne, on the morning of the 1st, two medium tank companies made the assault after all the division artillery had cooperated in working the village over. This time the village was occupied with ease, although a few of the Mark IV tank destroyers had lingered long enough to stick their long barrels out of hayricks and destroy four Shermans. During the night the commander of the 3d Panzer Grenadier, apprehensive lest the American thrust in the valley crumple his supply lines, had withdrawn his right, leaving most of the large woods between Chenogne and Senonchamps unoccupied and reducing the garrisons in the two villages to covering shells.
Now for the first time Task Force Pat and Task Force Poker could make a coordinated effort and employ a force which was balanced tactically. The CCB fusion was aided in its sweep north through the Bois des Valets by thirteen battalions of artillery whose sustained fire left a great number of the enemy dead in the woods. Colonel Yale believed that his combat command might achieve a quick stroke out of the woods and seize Mande-St. Etienne or at least its suburb, Monty. A short distance north of the Bois des Valets the trail-for it was little more-ran between two wood lots. While passing between the two woods the leading platoon of Shermans bogged down. Just such a lapse was what the German bazooka men had been waiting for-they wiped out the platoon. CCB withdrew into a semicircle following the edge of the Bois des Valets, and there the armored infantry, with no cover overhead, sweated out the night while the German shells burst in the trees.
Slow in getting started on 1 January, CCA had just begun to assemble on the road when it was surprised by a counterattack led by Remer. Most of the infantry belonging to the Fuehrer Begleit and its attached assault gun brigade were in the line screening the western flank of Denkert's 3d Panzer Grenadier Division, but on the 31st Remer's tank group and one of his grenadier battalions had been relieved for a little rest in the village of Fosset, northwest of Hubermont, there becoming the XLVII Panzer Corps reserve. Whether Remer or Luettwitz saw this glittering opportunity to take the American columns at Rechrival by surprise is uncertain. In any case Remer did achieve surprise by circling into the Bois des Valets, then bursting onto his enemy.
Remer's tanks and assault guns knocked out a considerable number of American tanks, and the battle went on for three hours before CCA, the 11th Armored artillery, and the fighter-bombers succeeded in crushing the counterattack. At 1530 CCA was moving again. The fight had removed the sting from the German defense and the American tanks forged ahead rapidly, reaching Hubermont at twilight. Because the armored infantry had not kept pace with the tanks and, for all the Americans knew, another counterattack might be brewing, CCA retired and set up its lines around Rechrival and Brul.
That night the VIII Corps commander visited the 11th Armored command post at Morhet and ordered the division to consolidate its positions on the following day before it was relieved by the 17th Airborne Division. This word was relayed to the combat commands, but