Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge

By John Nelson Rickard | Go to book overview

14
No Risk, No Reward,
January 9–25

This is the second time I have been stopped in a successful attack due
to the Germans having more nerve than we have—that is, not me, but
some of the others.

—Patton, January 10, 1945

January 9 was a dull, cloudy day with heavy snowfall. XIX TAC flew only twenty-four missions during the day. Third Army attacked at 1000, but not with the number of divisions Patton expected. He spoke of the new offensive in terms of a “hell of a show which should really rock them,” but Middleton held back the 17th Airborne Division, ordering Miley to assume defensive positions and consolidate. Miley reflected that Middleton ordered him to conduct active patrolling “so as to avoid an appearance of the defensive.” With Miley’s paratroopers consolidating, it is difficult to explain why Maddox’s G-3 situation report at 1200 described a “coordinated attack” by VIII Corps, including the 17th Airborne Division.1 Perhaps Patton’s instructions to Middleton delivered through Gay had not been passed on to Maddox, or perhaps Patton really did expect Miley to make at least a limited attack.

Although Patton left no record of his thoughts about Middleton’s decision to withhold the 17th Airborne Division on January 9, he was not happy with Middleton’s use of the 11th Armored Division the day before when Miley had been driven back. At some point during January 9 Patton called Middleton to voice displeasure at his failure to properly support Miley with the 11th Armored Division. Patton told him that “this would not be allowed to happen again.” Kilburn’s formation “would be used, and used vigorously and promptly.” This was a “must order,” and “failure to do so would not be tolerated.”2

-275-

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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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