Douglas Sugg) aiming for a sharp jog in the road where stood the village of Pironpre. On the left the 346th Infantry (Col. Richard B. Wheeler) had a more restricted task, that is, to block the roads coming into St. Hubert from the south.
Earlier the Panzer Lehr had outposted Highway N26, the 345th route of advance, but apparently these roadblock detachments had been called in and Sugg's combat team marched the first five miles without meeting the enemy. The advance guard, formed by the 1st Battalion (Lt. Col. Frank L. Bock), was within sight of the crossroads village of Moircy and less than two miles from the objective when a pair of enemy burp guns began to chatter. This was only outpost fire, and the leading rifle company moved on until, some five hundred yards short of Moircy, the enemy fire suddenly thickened across the open, snow-covered fields, causing many casualties and halting the Americans. The accompanying cannoneers (the 334th Field Artillery) went into action, the mortar crews started to work, and both Companies A and B deployed for the assault. Short rushes brought the rifle line forward, though very slowly. By 1400 the Americans were on the edge of Moircy, but the two companies had lost most of their officers and their ranks were riddled.
Colonel Bock ordered his reserve company to circle west of the village and take the next hamlet, Jenneville. While moving over a little rise outside Jenneville, the leading platoon met a fusillade of bullets that claimed twenty casualties in two minutes. Nevertheless the 2d Platoon of Company C reached the edge of the village. At this moment two enemy tanks appeared, stopped as if to survey the scene, then began to work their machine guns. The artillery forward observer crawled toward the panzers to take a look, and was shot. The Company C commander then called for the artillery, bringing the exploding shells within fifty yards of his own men. The German tanks still refused to budge. Two men crept forward with bazookas, only to be killed by the tank machine guns, but this episode apparently shook the tank crews, who now pulled out of range. Meanwhile Moircy had been taken and the battalion commander told Company C to fall back.
The expected German counterattack at Moircy came about three hours before midnight. Tanks pacing the assault set fire to the houses with tracer bullets, and the two battalion antitank guns were abandoned. Although Colonel Sugg ordered the battalion out, the company radios failed and in the confusion only Companies A and B left the village. Some of the machine gunners, a platoon of Company B, and most of Company C stayed on, taking to the cellars when the American artillery-including a battery of 240-mm. howitzers-started to shell Moircy. By midnight the Germans had had enough and evacuated the village. Bock then ordered the remaining defenders out. This day of sharp fighting cost the 1st Battalion seven officers and 125 men. Most of the wounded were evacuated, however; during the night battle in Moircy one aid man had twice moved the twelve wounded in his charge from burning buildings.
The much touted Fuehrer Begleit attack failed on the 30th to dent the Bastogne corridor-indeed it can be said that it never started. What of the eastern