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could reach the American line; others were discouraged by bazooka and battalion antitank gunfire. Three tanks, however, kept on along the road leading into Dom Butgenbach until the 155-mm. howitzers of the 5th Field Artillery Battalion began to lob HE uncomfortably close. Possibly crippled by concussion, the tanks were abandoned but the crews got away.

The next German attack, at 1010, consisted of attempts in company strength to find weak points in the 1,800-yard line occupied by the 2d Battalion. One of these, against Company G, was broken up by shells fired in by four battalions of field artillery. A Panther and an armored scout car got through. Then a 57-mm. antitank gun crew crippled both, but the scout car got off one round that killed the crew, Cpl. Hale Williams and Pvt. Richard Wollenberg. However, the armored threat was ended at this point. On the east flank two of the battalion's antitank guns got the two leading tanks, and machine gun and mortar fire drove off the accompanying infantry. This action ended the first German attempt at cracking the Butgenbach block. The next would wait upon the assembly of the troops and vehicles slowly gathering at Bullingen, where the II SS Panzer Corps had taken over direction of the battle.

On 18 and 19 December the 3d Parachute Division, which had been following in the wake of the 1st SS Panzer Division westward, began to concentrate south of Weismes. It may be that the 3d Parachute Division thus far had received no orders as to the projected widening of the Sixth Panzer Army corridor of advance and was content with holding a blocking position along the German flank as originally planned. As it was,

American reinforcements arrived in the Weismes area on 19 December before the enemy struck.

The 16th Infantry (Col. Frederick W. Gibb) was the second regimental combat team of the 1st Division to take its place in the barrier being erected on the northern shoulder of the expanding German salient. The 2d Battalion, leading the south-moving column, was well set in Weismes when, in the late afternoon of 19 December, the 3d Parachute Division commenced desultory jabs at the village. At the same time the balance of the 16th Infantry detrucked and swelled out the Weismes front, making contact to the west with troops of the veteran 30th Infantry Division which had just come into the Malmedy sector. By the evening of 19 December, then, the 1st Infantry Division had neighbors on either flank and its 26th Infantry, although still out in front, could concentrate on the enemy force building up at Bullingen.

During the night of l9-20 December the advance kampfgruppe of the 12th SS Panzer Division and the bulk of one regiment from the 12th Volks Grenadier Division completed their assembly. About 0600 twenty German tanks and a rifle battalion converged on Dom Butgenbach in the early morning fog and mist from south and east. The front lit up as the American mortars and artillery shot illuminating shell over the roads leading to the village. Concentration after concentration then plunged down, three battalions of field artillery and a 90-mm. battery of antiaircraft artillery firing as fast as the pieces could be worked. The enemy infantry, punished by this fire and the stream of bullets from the American foxhole line wavered, but a handful of tanks