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breather after days of savage and costly conflict. On the enemy side the LXVII Corps took over control of the line Monschau-Weismes with the 3d Panzer Grenadier, 12th Volks Grenadier, 3d Parachute, 277th, and 326th. [14]

The American troops who had jammed the right shoulder of the Sixth Panzer Army knew they had made a fight of it. They could hardly know that they had knocked a part of Hitler's personal operations plan into a cocked hat. The elite SS panzer formations on which the Fuehrer so relied would continue to play a major role in the Ardennes counteroffensive but no longer would be charged with the main effort; this had passed on 20 December to Manteuffel and the Fifth Panzer Army. [15] And if, as Manteuffel later suggested, the Fuehrer wanted to see an SS and a regular panzer army competing, it could be said that he had his answer.

[14] See below, pp. 579 80.

[15] This decision was made about noon on the 20th, probably by Model supported by Rundstedt, but this is not certain. OB WEST KTB, 20 Dec 44.