be remembered, four rifle battalions still were retained on guard along the twenty miles of the division front south of the battle area.
When the Americans resumed the counterattack early on 19 December Task Force Luckett made another attempt to bring forward the extreme left flank in the gorge sector. As before, the maneuver was a flanking movement designed to seize the high ground overlooking Mullerthal. Troops of the 2d Battalion, 8th Infantry (Lt. Col. George Mabry), with tanks and armored field artillery firing in support, first attacked east from Waldbillig to take the wooded nose around which looped the Waldbillig-Mullerthal road. This advance was made across open fields and was checked by extremely heavy shellfire. Next Mabry shifted his attack to the right so as to bring the infantry through the draw which circled the nose. Company E, which had about seventy men and was the strongest in the battalion, led off. By now the German artillery was ranged inaccurately. The casualties suffered by Company E cannot be numbered, but have been reported as the most severe sustained by any company of the 4th Division in the battle of the Ardennes. Casualties among the officers left a lieutenant who had just joined the company in command. Despite its losses Company E drove on, clearing the Germans from the lower slopes before the recall order was given.
The division commander now called off the attack and assigned Task Force Luckett the mission of denying the enemy the use of the road net at Mullerthal, a task which could be accomplished in less costly fashion. Colonel Luckett deployed his troops along the ridge southwest of the Mullerthal-Waldbillig road, and a log abatis wired with mines and covered by machine guns was erected to block the valley road south of Mullerthal. Task Force Chamberlain, whose tanks had given fire support to Task Force Luckett, moved during the afternoon to a backstop position near Consdorf.
The tank-infantry counterattack by Task Forces Standish and Riley in the Berdorf and Echternach areas also resumed. The enemy resisted wherever encountered, but spent most of the daylight hours regrouping in wooded draws and hollows and bringing reinforcements across the river, stepping up his artillery fire the while. Intense fog shielded all this activity. Apparently the assembly of the 316th Regiment behind the 212th Volks Grenadier Division center was completed during the day. A few rocket projectors and guns were ferried over at the civilian ferry site above Echternach, and about the middle of the afternoon a bridge was finished at Edingen, where the 320th Regiment had crossed on 16 December. The American counterattack on the 19th, then, first would be opposed by infantry and infantry weapons, but would meet heavier metal and some armor as the day ended.
At Berdorf a team from Task Force Standish and a platoon of armored engineers set to work mopping up the enemy infantry who had holed up in houses on the north side of the village. This proved to be slow work. First a ten-pound pole charge would be exploded against a wall or house; then a tank would clank up to the gap and blast away; finally the infantry would go to work with grenades and their shoulder weapons. At dark the Germans had lost