Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge

By John Nelson Rickard | Go to book overview

13
The Harlange Pocket,
January 5–8

My soldiers were battle weary. Nevertheless Regiment 13 bravely held
out in the forests east of Harlange.

—Heilmann

The intense fighting around Bastogne since December 30 had taken its toll on Middleton. Gay visited him on January 5 and observed, “It was quite remarkable to note the difference in the attitude of the commanders.” Middleton was “quite depressed and felt that he could not attack, and also questioned if he could hold against the enemy’s attacks.” On his own authority Gay advised Middleton to postpone his next attack in order to re-form his divisions and improve his attitude. The commanding officer of the 194th GIR/17th Airborne Division appeared more positive, telling Gay, “God, how green we are, but we are learning fast and the next time we will beat them.”1 On January 5 his regiment had been pushed back with significant losses near Renaumont once again. The 17th Airborne Division spent the day reorganizing. The 193rd GIR moved into positions north of Senonchamps, while the 507th PIR occupied the high ground north of Pinsamont.

On Miley’s left the 347th CT defeated a counterattack near Bonnerue at 0730 and then cleared the woods east of Pironpré while the 346th CT moved up on the right to tie in with Miley’s paratroopers. On the corps’ right the 101st Airborne Division faced little pressure during the day. On January 5 the 9th SS PD withdrew from the Bastogne front and began moving to Sixth Panzer Armee. Only small Kampfgruppen remained. The 26th VGD once again assumed responsibility for the sector. Middleton’s negativity was understandable, up to a point, because although January 5 was a quiet day on VIII Corps’ front, prisoners had been captured from

-261-

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Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Key to the Maps xiii
  • Series Editor’s Foreword xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Abbreviations xix
  • Studying Patton 1
  • Part I- The Road to the Bulge 11
  • 1- Origin of the Ardennes Counteroffensive 13
  • 2- The Opposing Armies in December 1944 25
  • Part II- Panzers in the Ardennes 53
  • 3- Onslaught 55
  • 4- Enter Patton 73
  • 5- The Verdun Conference 94
  • Part III- Descent on Bastogne 111
  • 6- The Ninety-Degree Turn 113
  • 7- Third Army Attacks, December 22–23 137
  • 8- A Rendezvous with Eagles, December 24–26 166
  • Part IV- The Incomplete Victory 179
  • 9- Patton’s Alternative Lines of Action 181
  • 10- Path to Attrition, December 27–29 200
  • 11- Slugging Match, December 30–31 226
  • 12- Culmination, January 1–4 241
  • 13- The Harlange Pocket, January 5–8 261
  • 14- No Risk, No Reward, January 9–25 275
  • 15- Assessment 303
  • Appendixes 325
  • Notes 355
  • Selected Bibliography 427
  • Index of Military Units 447
  • General Index 472
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