Panzer Grenadier to initiate a pincers attack against the 2d Battalion of the 325th Glider Infantry at Fraiture, the western corner post of the 82d Airborne defenses. Hard on the heels of the German infantry, the point of the Fuehrer Begleit swung to take a hand against Fraiture. Here the 2d Battalion, "tired of attempting to stop armor with tired men and thin air," received permission about noon to withdraw a half-mile to the northeast. The battalion fell back with almost no loss, although it had to take on one of the flanking detachments from the 4th Panzer Grenadier en route.
While this rear guard action was in progress, the reserve company of the 325th and a medium tank company from the 14th Tank Battalion counterattacked at Regne and wrested it from the tank detachment left there by Remer. This village no longer had a place in the Fuehrer Begleit scheme. The brigade was shifting to Fraiture, and even before its columns could close new orders arrived from Marshal Model which would send Remer and his panzers hurrying posthaste to join the Fifth Panzer Army farther west.
During the morning of the 24th a series of somewhat un-coordinated and disconnected steps had been taken by the American commanders facing the threat posed by the II SS Panzer Corps. General Ridgway had no direct authority over the 3d Armored Division troops, who belonged to the VII Corps, and the units which had just come out of the St. Vith salient were scattered hither and yon without much regard to tactical unity or proper integration in the wire and radio command net earlier established for the XVIII Corps formations west of the Salm. On the night of the 23d Ridgway had ordered Hasbrouck to collect a force from the 7th Armored sufficient to hold the Manhay junction and to tie this force to the 82d Airborne positions. Hasbrouck selected Colonel Rosebaum's CCA, which had come through the withdrawal from St. Vith in fair shape. The first part of the 7th Armored mission was carried out in the early morning of the 24th when a task force outposted Manhay and its radial roads, but a reconnaissance detachment sent southeast to contact the 82d Airborne was halted by a blown bridge. There remained a gap, therefore, between the 7th Armored advance task force, which was assembling at noon in the vicinity of Malempre, southeast of Manhay, and the new 82d Airborne flank being formed north of Fraiture.
On the west wing coordination between the 7th Armored and the 3d Armored task forces would prove to be very complicated indeed. That portion of General Rose's division east of the Ourthe River by now was fighting two separate battles, one in the Hotton-Soy sector where the 560th Volks Grenadier penetration had occurred, and the other along the series of blocking positions that reached from Task Force Brewster's handhold on the Manhay road, through Freyneux and Lamormenil, and northwest to Orr's position at Amonines on the Aisne River. To give cohesion to the 3d Armored defensive battle east of the Aisne, General Rose recalled Brig. Gen. Doyle Hickey, his CCA commander, from the 84th Division sector and placed him in command there. Early in the afternoon Hickey met Colonel Rosebaum, who had just brought the main force of CCA, 7th Armored Division, into Manhay, and