ward between the two assault regiments. On the right its 1st Battalion marched on Hosingen, bringing flame throwers and self-propelled guns to blast the Americans from the village; the 2d Battalion moved straight for the Clerf River, aiming at control of the crossings and road net at Wilwerwiltz. The 26th Volks Grenadier Division was across the Our River in force but had failed to gain its first-day objective, control of the Clerf River crossings. The German infantry would have to fight step by step; the hope of a quick breakthrough had proven illusory.
The story in the 2d Panzer Division zone was the same. There the infantry driving toward the town of Clerf had been stopped short of their objective. Marnach remained in American hands, even after the Dasburg bridge was completed and the leading tanks of the 3d Panzer Regiment entered the fight. The 304th Regiment had suffered severely at American hands: the regimental commander was a casualty and one battalion had been badly scattered during the piecemeal counterattacks by the American tank platoons.
General Luettwitz was none too pleased with the progress made by his two attack divisions on this first day. But the credit side of the ledger showed a few entries. The two heavy tank bridges were the Americans obviously were weakening, and the 2d Panzer Division had been able to move its tanks forward on the relatively good road in the northern part of the corps zone. Luettwitz concluded that the Clerf River now would be crossed not later than the evening of the second day.
Across the lines General Cota had little reason to expect that the 110th Infantry could continue to delay the German attack at the 28th Division center as it had this first day. But at dark he ordered his regimental commanders to hold their positions "at all costs" and began preparations to commit his remaining reserves to restore the situation in the Marnach sector and block the road to Clerf. This seemed to be the most endangered sector of the whole division front, for here the 2d Panzer Division had been identified and here was the main hard-surface road to Bastogne. As yet, however, the Americans had no way of knowing that the bulk of the 2d Panzer Division actually was moving down the road to Clerf or that a counterattack would collide with any such German force.
Meanwhile, General Middleton, the VIII Corps commander, issued a holdfast order to all his troops. All VIII Corps units were to hold their positions until they were "completely untenable," and in no event would they fall back beyond a specified final defense line. In the 110th Infantry sector this line ran through Lieler and Buchholz to Lellingen. It was breached at midnight when tanks and self-propelled guns of the 3d Panzer Regiment entered Marnach.
General Cota still had in hand a reserve on the night of the 16th, but it was the last reserve of the 28th Division. It consisted of the 2d Battalion, 110th Infantry, at Donnange and the light tank company of the 707th Tank Battalion, which was located at Weiswampach behind the division north flank in support of the 112th Infantry. By the late evening the picture as seen at the division command post had cleared to this extent: the two flank regiments, the 109th and 112th, had lost rela-