Page 246

arrived from the 9th Armored, the assault gun and mortar platoons of the 70th Tank Battalion, a battery of 105-mm. howitzers, the reconnaissance company of the 803d Tank Destroyer Battalion, and the 2d Battalion, 8th Infantry, were hastily assembled in Colbet, a mile and a half south of Mullerthal, and organized at 1104 as Task Force Luckett (Col. James S. Luckett) .

An hour earlier the tank destroyer reconnaissance company had begun a long-range fire fight but the German advance guard, despite heavy shelling from three field artillery battalions and every self-propelled piece which could be brought to bear, drove straight on to Mullerthal. Consdorf, the command post of the 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, was left open to an attack from Mullerthal up the Hertgrund ravine. Major Gorn organized a hasty defense with a few cooks, MP's, stragglers, and one tank, but the blow did not fall. The 987th Regiment failed to emerge from the gorge and even may have withdrawn from Mullerthal, after beating off the counterattack launched there in the afternoon by elements of the 9th Armored Division.

The failure on the part of the 987th to push past Mullerthal on 17 December or to overflow from the gorge onto the flanks of the two American units remains