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S. armored divisions into an attack. Unwilling to weaken his western flank now that his reserve had been committed, Montgomery seemed more prone to let the VII Corps 44 attack from its present positions northwest of St. Vith. Eisenhower raised the issue of committing the British 30 Corps. But having deactivated units to rebuild the corps for use in his projected Rhineland offensive, Montgomery agreed to move it across the Meuse to assume Collins’ vacated front, a transfer that would not be completely accomplished until 2 January.

During an intense battle between units of the 45th Division and the 6th SS Mountain Division in the Low Vosges, the Germans surrounded an American battalion that had refused to give ground. After a week’s fighting by units attempting its relief, only two soldiers managed to escape to friendly lines. Although gaining ground, the enemy had achieved no clear-cut success. Hitler nevertheless committed his last reserves on 16 January, including the 10th SS Panzer and the 7th Parachute Divisions. These forces finally steamrolled a path along the Rhine’s west bank toward the XIV SS Corps’ Gambsheim bridgehead, overrunning one of the green 12th Armored Division’s infantry battalions at Herrlisheim and destroying one of its tank battalions nearby.

Under intense pressure Hitler’s forces pulled back to a new line, based on the Ourthe River and Houffalize, with the bulk of the SS panzer divisions with46 100th Infantry Division soldiers manning a defensive position. (National Archives) drawing from the battlefield. Poor weather restricted Allied flyers to intermittent close support for only three days in the nearly two weeks that VII Corps units fought their way toward their juncture with the Third Army. South of the Bulge the Third Army intensified its attacks northward to meet the First Army.

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Ardennes - Alsace Campaign by Blackhawk Films.; Eastin-Phelan Corporation

by Richard

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