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the relatively untested 87th without tank support, ordered Kilburn to divide his force so as to place one combat command close to the new infantry division. Thus the 11th Armored would make its initial drive with CCB (Col. Wesley W. Yale) passing east of a large woods-the Bois des Haies de Magery-and CCA Brig. Gen. Willard A. Holbrook, Jr.) circling west of the same. The 87th Infantry Division (Brig. Gen. Frank L. Culin, Jr.) had arrived on the Continent in early December and been briefly employed as part of the Third Army in the Saar offensive. Ordered into the SHAEF reserve at Reims on 24 December, the division was at full combat strength when, five days later, the order came to entruck for the 100-mile move to the VIII Corps. There the 87th assembled between Bertrix and Libramont in preparation for an advance on the following morning to carry the corps left wing north, cut the BastogneSt. Hubert road, and seize the high ground beyond. Middleton's twodivision attack would be well stiffened by ten battalions of corps artillery.

Across the lines, on the afternoon of 29 December, General Manteuffel called his commanders together. Here were the generals who had carried the Bastogne fight thus far and generals of the divisions moving into the area, now including three SS commanders. Manteuffel, it is related, began the conference