Page 430

jeeps, and half-tracks to motorize both of its bicycle battalions, the grenadiers would have to start the march west on foot for the same reason. Furthermore, fatigue had begun to tell; the 2d Panzer troops had been marching and fighting almost without respite since 16 December. Some of the human grit was beginning to slow the wheels of the military machine. But why Lauchert, a ruthless and driving commander, did not prod his reconnaissance and flak forward on the morning of the 21st can only be surmised.

The first word of an attacking enemy reached the 84th Division command post in Marche at 0900, but the attack was being made at Hotton, to the northeast, where the 116th Panzer Division had thrown in an assault detachment to seize the Ourthe Bridge. General Bolling ordered his single RCT, the 334th under Lt. Col. Charles E. Hoy, to establish a perimeter defense around Marche. Meanwhile the 51st Engineer Combat Battalion asked for help in the Hotton fight. But when troops of the 334th reached the scene in mid-