large group of Germans in a farmhouse. After a platoon of tank destroyers shelled the house, a volunteer squad of seven noncoms from Battery A, 482d Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, made the assault with Tommy guns and hand grenades. A corporal killed three Germans with a blast from his Tommy gun, after he himself had been shot in the stomach, and fifty-nine Germans gave up the fight.
The 9th Armored Division could report on the night of the 19th that the situation on its right flank was satisfactory, and on the left flank too as far as Stegen; beyond Stegen the situation was "obscure." General Leonard borrowed the 90th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (less three troops) from the 4th Infantry Division zone, where a part of its parent organization, the 10th Armored Division, had initiated counterattacks the previous day. But the gap between the 9th Armored Division and the 109th Infantry was too large to be covered by a minimal cavalry screen. Worse, the gap widened during the evening as the 109th withdrew from Diekirch en route to the Ettelbruck-Grosbous line. The compromise solution that moved one much depleted battalion of the 109th southeast to make contact at Stegen gave General Leonard's tanks some badly needed infantry protection but could hardly deflect any determined enemy thrust around the left flank of the 9th Armored Division. In this instance, however, the military axiom that a commander who is worried about the enemy may reflect on the worries besetting the enemy commander, was proven by the event. While General Leonard voiced concern to his corps commander over the gap between the 9th Armored Division (-) and the 109th Infantry, Colonel Dempwolff was plagued by the thought of the widening gap between the 276th Volks Grenadier Division and the 352d Volks Grenadier Division. But he had a clear order from General Brandenberger: the 276th must contain as many American troops as possible. This mission in Dempwolff's judgment required a continuation of the attack southwestward toward Waldbillig and Christnach where American reinforcements already had arrived to help the 4th Infantry Division.
Late on 19 December word reached the 276th that its missing assault gun company had detrained at Trier. The planned attack against the 9th Armored right flank was therefore postponed until the guns could reach the 988th Regiment, which had been assigned the main role. In midafternoon on 20 December the weapons remaining to the company, apparently not more than three or four, joined the 988th at Haller and the attack against Waldbillig commenced. Twice the American 76-mm. tank destroyers and supporting batteries of the 3d Field Artillery Battalion drove off the Germans. But when night fell Dempwolff brought the 987th Regiment through Mullerthal and into the gorge running west to Waldbillig. Menaced from two sides by superior strength, the American tank destroyers and cavalry were ordered to withdraw to the ridge south of the village.
The capture of Waldbillig on 20 December marked the high-water mark of the 276th Volks Grenadier Division advance The division now had a bridge at Bollendorf, its weapons were west of the Sauer, the division command post had been moved across to Beaufort, and the center and left regiments had made