The time was approximately 1800 on Saturday, December 16, when Combat Command B of the 9th Armored Division began its move to St. Vith. Like most towns in the Ardennes Forest, St. Vith lies in a bowl, surrounded by … Manteuffel had hoped for considerably more on the 19th. It appeared now that the fate of his two northern regiments was sealed. Saint Vith, Belgium. willkommen, Surrounded by nature situated cozy villa with Finnish sauna and large garden, Beautiful, authentic but modernly furnished house with huge garden and Wifi, Hotels near (MST) Maastricht-Aachen Airport. It was part of the Duchy of Luxemburg until the defeat of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. St. Vith lay approximately twelve miles behind the front lines on 16 December. The job of capturing St. Vith went to the Fifth Panzer Army’s 66th Corps, commanded by General Walther Lucht. On this day, CCB of the 9th Armored Division was still in its assembly area in the vicinity of Faymonville. His troops remained in place, and the pullout to the west side of the Our River began at dusk. This break appeared to be only a dream, however, as it seemed every outfit wanted a piece of CCB, 9th Armored to help shore up its positions. 5 talking about this. One gun, firing from the house that had been the 14th Tank’s command post an hour earlier, disabled two of the Shermans, but the other tanks managed to knock out the four antitank guns plus three German command vehicles. After conferring with Clarke, Ridgway wanted to talk to one more man in whom he had supreme confidence—Brigadier General Hoge. Company C, 27th AIB withdrew under heavy artillery and sniper fire but managed to destroy a number of German vehicles. Despite nearly a foot of snow, the ground underneath was still soft, and with the passage of only a few heavy vehicles it was soon churned into a morass of mud. After that morning’s enemy assaults, the line of the 27th AIB was reestablished west of Neubruck. #3 Best Value of 14 places to stay in Saint Vith. To this end, General Hoge was in the town of Monschau to check on the possibility of getting his command across in that area. The colonel ordered the troop east along the road to Schoenberg to delay a German tank and infantry team approaching St. Vith from that direction. Those factors dictated that at least another 24 hours would be needed before a major assault on St. Vith could begin. While 9th Armored was thus engaged in the Winterspelt area during the morning hours of December 17, Brig. Close. #2 Best Value of 14 places to stay in Saint Vith. The First Attacks at St. Vith. The sector now defended by CCB, 9th Armored extended across five miles of rugged terrain that was primarily held by the three infantry companies making up the 27th AIB. Clarke asked, “Why in the world when I had only 2,500 men available to my command on December 17, did you not just execute a powerful frontal assault and overrun me?”. One task force was made up of A and B Companies of the 14th Tank Battalion, B Company of the 482nd Antiaircraft Artillery, and another platoon of the 14th. The rounded portion of the horseshoe was composed of Colonel Dwight Rosebaum’s CCA, 7th Armored between Poteau and Rodt and General Clarke’s CCB, 7th Armored in the very center protecting St. Vith. Elements of D Company, 89th Recon screened the flanks. Gen. William Hoge’s Combat Command B (CCB) of the 9th was attached to V Corps to support the 2nd Infantry Division in its planned attack through the Monschau Forest as part of the U.S. Army’s strategy to capture or destroy the Roer River dams. Rebuilding the blown bridge to get their assault guns across was their first priority. After Clarke and Hoge settled upon a mutually supportive command structure, Clarke noted that Hoge’s command was, for the most part, forward of a railroad track built on a high embankment. However, the monumental traffic jams in the Losheim Gap and at Schoenberg continued to delay both the 18th Volksgrenadier Division and the Führer Escort Brigade, and not until after daylight on the 20th would a bridge be ready at Steinebruck for the 62nd Volksgrenadier Division. En route, the officer was approached by a member of General Clarke’s staff who told him that German tanks were approaching St. Vith along the road from the north. Reuland Castle Reuland Castle is a castle in southeast Belgium, Burg-Reuland, near the border of Germany, probably built after 1148 by the von Reuland nobles. Troop D, 89th Recon and Company D, 14th Tank Battalion formed a line from Grufflingen to Thommen, and Companies B and C of the 14th Tank Battalion took up positions between Thommen and Maldange. The division had lost four companies of armored infantry. The move would also have to be done under the cover of darkness in severe wintry conditions. The capture of St. Vith was, however, important for three other reasons: to ensure the complete isolation of Allied troops that might be trapped on a nearby ridge called the Schnee Eifel; to cover the German supply lines unraveling behind the armored corps to the north and south; and to feed reinforcements laterally into the main thrusts by using the St. Vith road net. Although it was beaten off, the attacking Germans were identified as new to the area, soldiers of the 9th SS Panzer Division, a cause for considerable concern at this point in the battle. One, the Sixth Panzer Army, was commanded by SS Obergruppenführer (brigadier general) Josef “Sepp” Dietrich, and the other, the Fifth Panzer Army, was commanded by General Hasso von Manteuffel. The next move was up to General Lucht and his corps. Not long after Rodt fell to the Führer Escort Brigade, an attack came against the 7th Armored from the direction of Recht. Together they broke up the attack. St. Vith was an important marketplace of the region by the 12th century and received town rights in 1350. The Sixth Panzer Army, with the 15th Army on its right, was to launch the main attack between Monschau in the north and Prum in the south. At about noon that day, the 62nd Volksgrenadier Division’s 190th Regiment had broken through north of the 424th Infantry’s Cannon Company. There have been countless thousands of published works devoted to all or of it. POISSONS | COQUILLAGES | CRUSTACÉS frais ou surgelés ainsi que des plats préparés. Jones explained to Hoge that his division was being attacked along its entire front and that two of his three regiments, the 422nd and the 423rd, had been partly surrounded in the Schnee Eifel area just east of Schoenberg. The second task force hit another probe by the 1st SS Panzer and pushed it out of Hunningen. By this time the Germans had essentially closed the trap on the two infantry regiments on the Schnee Eifel. At about 1700, the enemy attacked along the Schoenberg road from the east; at 1830, they came down the Malmedy road from the north, and at 2000, an attack started from the southeast along the Prum road. The ground was frozen solid. Saint-Vith, Belgium Discover how to get to attractions and hotels near Saint-Vith. Free Wifi. Counter to the plan laid out earlier by General Jones, Hoge had decided to launch his attack on Winterspelt with the entire 14th Tank Battalion as the lead element rather than with the more vulnerable infantry of the 27th AIB. However, this platoon never completed its mission. Despite the loss of St. Vith, General Ridgway believed that the American armored and infantry forces defending St. Vith since December 16 could still hold. During the night, the troopers experienced harassing fire from light and medium artillery and could observe enemy infantry and at least four tanks moving along high ground to the south of the river. Although the American forces in the St. Vith area came under command of General Ridgway’s XVIII Airborne Corps, the Airborne Corps itself was under the command of Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, overall commander of the northern sector of the Bulge. The situation on Reid’s left flank was unclear, and the Germans were attacking in considerable force against his right flank. In the annals of military history magazines, this is one of those moments. In the 27th AIB’s move to take the high ground, B Company advanced along the center of the road. South of St. Vith, even as Lt. Col. Engeman’s task forces were responding to the 7th Armored’s cry for help, Germans of the 62nd Volksgrenadier Division were trying to get across the Our River at Steinebruck and hit St. Vith from that direction. St. Vith is built on a low hill surrounded on all sides by slightly higher rises. On the road to Winterspelt, General Hoge soon learned that the situation there was worse than General Jones had described. For this mission, CCB consisted of the 14th Tank Battalion, the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion, the 16th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, and miscellaneous smaller units vital to any major command. By dark, Lt. Col. Engeman and his two task forces were back in their assembly area in the vicinity of Breitfeld. © Welcome to the Saint-Vith google satellite map! On his way to St. Vith, General Hoge stopped in Faymonville to alert his command to be prepared to move immediately. The mud had made the roads and open areas impassable for armored vehicles. At about midday, the field marshal sent a message to General Hasbrouck: “You have accomplished your mission—a mission well done. Jones had been counting on this when he sent Hoge’s 9th Armored Command to Winterspelt rather than Schoenberg. Get directions, maps, and traffic for St. Vith, Wallonie. Staff officers were casualties. Hoge and Clarke agreed that Hoge’s entire command should be withdrawn west of the railroad tracks. During the rest of the day and on into the evening of December 17, CCB, 7th Armored moved into St. Vith and began a buildup that resembled a large horseshoe on the high ground to the east of the village. Hoge could not see much sense in making an attack, taking ground, and then turning right around and coming back, especially if the attack was successful. At least 900 soldiers who had stood in front of the town were either dead or captured. After listening to the information provided by General Clarke’s staff officer, General Hoge decided to go to St. Vith himself to assess the situation. Once the bridge at Steinebruck was seized, the 62nd was to support the 18th Volksgrenadier Division’s drive on St. Vith by blocking the western and southern routes in and out of the town. It was one of several battles on December 16, 1944 constituting the opening of Germany's Ardennes counteroffensive (more commonly known as the "Battle of the Bulge"). By that time the 62nd Volksgrenadier Division should have the bridge at Steinebruck rebuilt, at least two regiments of the 18th Volksgrenadier Division should be forward, and the Führer Escort Brigade should be ready to make the principal thrust down the Ambleve highway into St. Vith. The closest primary German armored thrust route to the south ran through Burg Reuland, also about five miles from St. Vith. We made several probing attacks, and every time we went into your position, we encountered armor. Fortunately, a tank destroyer from Vielsalm turned up and hit the leading two German panzers, which drove the rest for cover. When you get surprised like this, you become cautious.” Undoubtedly much, if not most, of the armor encountered by Manteuffel’s probing actions during the early days of the German offensive belonged to CCB, 9th Armored Division. The other, the 62nd Volksgrenadier Division, bore the number of an infantry division destroyed on the Eastern Front, which had been reconstituted. Ten tanks, numerous supply vehicles, armored cars, and jeeps were lost to enemy action. Things to do in Saint-Vith. Manteuffel met near Wallerode with Model and Lucht that day. The town was also in Fifth Panzer Army’s area of advance. He was also told that all that stood in their way were two troops of the 87th Recon Squadron, 7th Armored’s 87th, and a few antiaircraft half-tracks. Both assault groups suffered heavy casualties. Initially, General Jones wanted Hoge to move his command into the Losheim Gap at Maderfeld and arrive there at dawn on December 17 to counterattack and erase the enemy penetrations that were threatening 106th Division positions on the Schnee Eifel. The surviving Volksgrenadiers fled in disarray. Another attack hit the left flank of 7th Armored. At about 2130, General Clarke phoned General Hoge to tell him that the enemy was entering St. Vith from the north and that his forces were withdrawing to form a new line northwest of the city. After putting down a heavy concentration of artillery fire, the Germans moved their infantry across the river east of the position held by the 2nd platoon of D Troop, 89th Recon. Because the Our had ceased to be a barrier anywhere else, General Hoge felt that there was little to gain in continuing to overextend his command to hold the low ground along the river. Slayden, knowing that the nearest units of the 7th Armored Division were at least 60 miles away in the Netherlands, had serious doubts that a whole combat command could reach St. Vith on the 17th, much less by 0700 hours. Gen. Hasbrouck, commander of the 7th Armored Division, sent a message to General Ridgway urging withdrawal, which in part read, “P.S. Clerks were running everywhere and junior staff officers were arguing among themselves; upstairs, however, Hoge found General Jones remarkably composed. Soon after its crossing, B Company ran into German infantry dug in along the high ground overlooking the village of Elcherath. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. Moreover, it was expected that General Lucht’s two infantry divisions would be forwarded to the Salm River sector as right-wing cover for two panzer corps. Rent a Home for Your Next Escape. Reuland Castle Reuland Castle is a castle in southeast Belgium, Burg-Reuland, near the border of Germany, probably built after 1148 by the von Reuland nobles. Show Prices. The Pontiac, Michigan, resident also served 10 years in the U.S. Army. Free Wifi. At 0130 the 27th AIB was hit hard and the sector held by Company B, 9th Engineers was deeply penetrated, causing the armored infantry to fall back under the protective guns of Company A, 14th Tank Battalion. There was little they could do other than vow to get the attack moving early on the 20th. Since St. Vith should have been taken on December 16 or the 17th at the latest, he decided to leave his command post at Waxweiler and spend the night with the 18th Volksgrenadier Division at Schoenberg. This left General Clarke with only one full company of armored infantrymen. Having first conferred with General Jones, Hoge ordered a withdrawal from the river to begin after nightfall. So, rather than spill blood needlessly to take meaningless ground, Hoge called off the attack on Winterspelt. Next came B Company, 9th Armored Engineers; the 16th Armored Field Artillery; B Company, 482nd Antiaircraft Artillery; and the 14th Tank Battalion. We have reviews of the best places to see in St Vith. Soon after General Hoge left 106th Division headquarters for the drive back to Faymonville, Jones received a call from Middleton informing him that a combat command of Brig. What Jones did not tell Hoge was that in one of those regiments his own son was serving at regimental headquarters. The defense of St. Vith was now achieving some kind of order in contrast to the chaos that had reigned during the previous three days. Since 7th Armored’s withdrawal meant that 9th Armored’s left flank would be in danger, the two generals agreed that Hoge would have to readjust part of his line to maintain contact with Clarke’s new rearward position. The fortified goose egg ran nearly 10 miles in diameter, containing a mass of forest and only one decent road running northwest to southwest. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. Since General Hoge was supposed to be under Jones’s command and did not understand the overall situation around St. Vith, he decided to find out exactly what was going on. General Jones and his staff had pulled out of St. Vith on the morning of the 18th for Vielsalm. Saint Vith, Belgium. Hoge and Ridgway had been on the West Point football team together when Ridgway had been the team’s manager. Großer Garten, in den Bergen, auf dem Land, idyllische Lage, Haust. It is time to withdraw.”. Relax Hotel Pip Margraff. Late on December 17, General Manteuffel was concerned with the lack of progress in his attack beyond the Schnee Eifel toward St. Vith. Ridgway’s plan was premised on the assumption that that the American forces in this goose egg-shaped defense could be supplied by air; however, whoever drew up the plan was thinking in terms of supply requirements for the lighter airborne divisions, not for fuel-hungry and shell-reliant armored forces. This property is located off Jehovas Zeugen and just 0.6 km from St. Vitus-Pfarrkirche. St. Vith is built on a low hill surrounded on all sides by slightly higher rises. The tanks of the 14th Tank Battalion and the half-tracks of the 27th AIB paused to pick up the foot elements of the 424th RCT, 106th Infantry Division. CHAPTER XII. Outnumbered and in danger of encirclement, the cannoneers and their rifle support from C Company made a platoon-by-platoon withdrawal toward Winterspelt. Communications with division headquarters in St. Vith were limited to liaison officers running along a road now being shelled by the Germans. The losses in men and equipment for CCB, 9th Armored, as with the rest of the American units defending St. Vith, had been severe. The last of the St. Vith defenders to come out were Task Force Jones and the 112th Infantry Regiment. That evening General Clarke also put his command into Commanster. Rather than reaching the Meuse and driving on to Antwerp, the offensive stalled and eventually was turned back. After learning of the attack by the Führer Escort Brigade, Brig. St. Vith sector. The resulting blast damaged the bridge to such an extent that the Germans would not be able to bring vehicles across for at least 24 hours. In the early afternoon of the 22nd, he arrived at General Hasbrouck’s headquarters in Vielsalm to plan the withdrawal. Although the 7th Armored Division was finally arriving, General Jones had been led to believe that the whole division would arrive in St. Vith starting at 0700. A strong attack has just developed against Clarke again. Although the bridge over the Our was blown, the German presence kept growing. "Frei", weil wir unabhängig von … Approximately three hours later a German company marched out of Neidingen and along the road leading straight into C Company’s position, apparently totally unaware of 9th Armored’s recent change of position. Perrin told General Hoge, “You can continue this attack on towards this back country, but you must be back on this side of the river by nightfall.”. Thus, the job of rescuing the two trapped infantry regiments on the Schnee Eifel passed from the 9th to the 7th Armored Division. The closest of the northern German armored thrust routes ran through Recht, about five miles northwest of St. Vith. The U.S. 9th Armored Division contested the German advance around St. Vith during the Battle of the Bulge, and won precious time in the process. Confusion, darkness, and mud slowed the move, but by morning a medium tank company and a platoon of riflemen had reached the village. The American armor of the 7th and 9th Armored Divisions plus supporting units were being pressed into an area in which motorized forces—tanks, half-tracks, self-propelled artillery, tank destroyers—operated with great difficulty. The two task forces held onto their respective positions on N23 and N27, deflecting all German armored attempts to penetrate St. Vith, until they were relieved late in the afternoon by CCB, 7th Armored Division. This was an average Belgian town, with a population of a little over 2,000 and sufficient billets to house a division headquarters. General Lucht hurried to Winterspelt to get the 62nd Volksgrenadier moving to the Our. Farther to the west, the 82nd Airborne, trying to keep a corridor open for the St. Vith defenders, was coming under intense pressure from the 2nd SS Panzer Division. While walking to avoid the traffic congestion, Manteuffel encountered his superior, Field Harshal Model. Ninth Armored sent out billeting parties as it reached its new area. The Sherman tanks of B Company repulsed the enemy with fire from their 76mm guns. Company B of the 9th Engineers and D Company of the 89th Recon joined the line to supplement the armored infantry. Popular museums. Mines were laid. Shortly thereafter, Hasbrouck called and asked, “Bruce, do you think you can get out?” Clarke answered, “A miracle has happened, General! Elements of the 62nd Volksgrenadier had taken the eastern half of Winterspelt during the night, and at daybreak reinforcements finally drove Colonel Reid’s 1st Battalion from the village. Things to do in Saint-Vith. Having failed to find a soft spot to the north, the Germans then moved against Hoge’s 9th Armored command in the south; however, even before this attack got going three German tanks were knocked out and the rest of the probing force withdrew. The reason for this comparative respite was due to the fact that the roads to the German rear were completely jammed. On the morning of the December 20, three tank destroyers were placed in support of Company C, 27th AIB. Once St. Vith was taken, Model intended to drive the brigade swiftly for the Meuse River or cut behind the opposition on the Elsenborn Ridge that was bottling up the Sixth Panzer Army. The guns from a platoon of Shermans, the antiaircraft company, and a mortar platoon supplied a covering barrage, which broke up the German assault and inflicted heavy casualties. Sleeps 4 • 1 bedroom • 1 bathroom. General Hoge set up his command post in the Belgian village of Faymonville, approximately 12 miles north of the town of St. Vith, unaware of the pivotal role his command was to play in a very different battle. Colonel Alexander D. Reid, commander of the 424th Infantry Regiment, had reason to fear encirclement. 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