Order of Withdrawal of 7-AD West of Salm River
The following order, published subsequent to Operations Instructions, Hq 7-AD, 230015A Dec 44 (Annex 3) was the final withdrawal order for the 7th Armored Division and attached units)
HQ 7TH ARMD DIV (TAC)
230200A DEC 44
AUTH: CG 7 AD
DATE: 23 Dec 44
TO : CG CCB 9TH ARMD DIV, CG CCB 7TH ARMD DIV, CG 106 INF DIV, CO CCR, CO, CCA, CO DIV ARTY, CO 814 TD BN.
Confirming verbal and fragmentary orders
1. 7th Armd Div and Atch units (see Par 2) have been ordered to withdraw W of SALM R to assembly areas and by routes indicated on overlay.
2. Schedule for withdrawal :
CCB/9AD : H-hour – H+3
CCB/7AD (3 Bns only) : H+3 – H+6
1/424 (Res) : H+6 – H+8.5
14 CG : H+7 – H+8.5
TF Jones : H+8.5 – H+9.5
Med Arty : H-1 – H-hour
Div Arty (106) : H – H+0.5
CCB/7AD (1 hr clm) : H+3 – H+4
434 : H+6 – H+9
229 : H+7.5 – H+9
891 : H+9 – H+10
CCA/7AD : H+9.5 – H+12.5
965 : H+12.5 – H+14
489 : H+14 – H+15.5
CCR/7AD : H+15.5 – H+16.5
3. CCB/9AD,- withdraw main Elms behind covering force which will, in turn, withdraw to and extend the defense line of CCB/7AD. When main Elms of CCB/9AD, have cleared present Posns, Comd of its covering force reverts to CG, CCB/7AD.
4. CCB/7AD – Two Cos 814 Detchd as follows : One Co to be marched near head of Clm and report to CO, TF JONES at Beho; one Co to be marched near tail of Clm and report to CO, 112 Inf at Rogery; Cos establish liaison with new Comdrs without delay.
5. 112 Inf Regt – Establish final defensive line on high ground Burtonville – Rogery prior to 0800; withdrawal from final defensive line on Div O. One Co 814 to be Atchd when Reld from present Posn by CG, CCB; this Co Reld Atchmt 112 Inf Regt and Atchd TF JONES when TF JONES withdraws N to cross Br. CO 112 Inf Regt prepare plans to withdraw covering force dismounted W across Salm R thence to Assy area vic Grandsart; 7th Armd Div will provide transportation for Regt (less covering force) for the withdrawal.
6. CCR – Establish AT Def in depth of Vielsalm – Poteau corridor with Ops on high ground N of Petit Thier. Make liberal use of AT mines on all roads. Cover withdrawal of CCA, 965 FA and 489 FA.
7. Following bridges to be prepared for demolition; and destroyed as indicated :
a. Vielsalm : On Div O only
b. Salmchateau : On Div O only
c. Overpass (725901) : On order of CO CCR
8. AA with 434 AFA upon crossing the Vielsalm bridge will drop out of the march Clm and Estab as Def of the Br. After main Body of CCR Clrs the Br the AA will rejoin the Clm and proceed to Asgnd Assy area.
9. Div Hq Tac moves by infiltration on Route B on order CG.
a. Covering forces of CCB, CCR and 112 Inf Regt will be withdrawn only with prior approval this Hq.
b. All units report immediately upon initiating movement W of main Elms and upon clearing present Posns.
c. Clm Comdrs Estab Ln with unit scheduled to precede their respective Comds.
d. Div staff O will be at each bridge; unit Comdrs report arrival and clearing of their respective units.
e. Upon arrival new Assy areas each Inf Bn 7th Armd Div will assemble its halftracks to be moved on Div O for transportation of 112 and 424 Regts.
f. Each vehicle Comdr and driver will be instructed that their lives, and the lives of their comrades, depend upon our ability to keep traffic rolling uninterruptedly. A traffic jam during the withdrawal will result in disaster to those not west of the Salm R. This vital subject cannot be over emphasized.
OFFICIAL : Brig Gen
Routes to Areas
Tanks destroyed : 113 (all types)
Tanks damaged : 15 (all types)
SP Guns destroyed : 4
AT Guns destroyed : 6
Arty pieces destroyed : 2
Half Track vehicles destroyed : 4
Staff Cars destroyed : 9
Other vehicles destroyed : 48
Total : 199
Enemy Casualties cont
Killed in Action : 2460
Wounded in Action : 1520
Captured : 326
Total : 4306
US Army Casualties
Medium Tanks : 73
Medium Tanks 105-MM : 5
Light Tanks : 32
TD M-36 : 9
TD M-10 : 4
Tank recovery M-35 : 1
Carriage 105-MM M-7 : 2
Half Track vehicules : 72
Assault Guns : 5
Armored Cars : 27
Other vehicles : 134
Trailers : 42
Total : 406
US Army Casualties cont
Killed in Action : 46
Missing in Action : 382
Missing : 740
Total : 1165
G-2 NOTES (1 Dec 44 – 31 Dec 44)
The period of Dec 1 to Dec 15 was one of continuous reports of “No Contact” by the Division. Assigned as it was to the XIII Corps, there were no missions requiring contact by the Division as such – only elements of the command under attachment to other Divisions were in physical contact with the enemy during this period. The period was, however, one of a great deal of study and planning by the intelligence agencies of the Division. The proposed, operations were to take the 7th Armored over the Roer River and deep into German home territory towards the Rhine River in the vicinity of Koln. Plans for the troops of the Division consumed the basic portion of the entire period. Studies of terrain, of the enemy as known by the other troops in the area, of the defensive works known and suspected in the prospective area of operations, of routes of communications, and of all other things pertinent to the operation were undergone in great detail, as well as keeping all posted on the situation as it existed and as it developed on the near side of the turbulent Roer.
Towards the end of this so-called “lax” period, it was proposed that there be an attack affected by one Combat Command of the Division against the town of Brachelen, to the NW of Linnich, focal point of the operations towards which much study had been directed. Studies of the area in all intelligence aspects were made, but, due to existing circumstances elsewhere on the Western front, the operation was not attempted by elements of the Division.
In the early evening of Dec 16, there came the word from higher headquarters that the 7th Armored Division, plus attachments, was to move to the south of its then current location in Germany by some 50 miles, reason initially unknown. There followed for almost ten days, some of the bitterest fighting that the Division had yet been involved in in its several months of combat. Troops of the Division started arriving in the Vielsalm, Belgium area shortly before noon on Dec 17, and were immediately committed to battle, in order to aid in the stabilization of the line against the German breakthrough on the Echternach – Monschau front, begun early on the morning of 16 December after an unprecedented gathering of forces and following a succession of surprise tactics and ruses. Most of the forces free of actual contact on the Western front had been concentrated secretly behind (East) of the above mentioned line over a long period of time, and supplies had been carefully garnered so that this assault could be launched by the desperate Rundstedt. Many American positions had already been overrun by the fast-moving enemy forces when the 7th arrived in the sector. The situation was critical, and the Division was ordered into the battle with the desires of the commander of the VIII Corps that initiative be the order of the day, and that action be taken as local conditions dictated and in the absence of formal orders of higher headquarters. VIII Corps was able to tell, through captured documents and prisoners, that there were at least three German Armies involved in the operation
Fifth Panzer Army
Sixth SS Panzer Army
The number of divisions involved was unknown, but it was suspected that there were at least 20, of which 6 or 7 were Panzer or SS Panzer. By any means, the force was a formidable and desperate one. There were many things about the German efforts that effected the Division in more ways than one. Operation Greif, bold plan of the enemy to utilize captured arms and equipment, was encountered in its various forms time after time. Utilization of Einheit Stielau, especially selected unit composed of English-speaking German troops, was also felt. Appearance of the 150 Panzer Brigade, completely outfitted with American and British arms, uniforms, and vehicles, was also made on or near the Division front-to-be. Passage of agents, drops of parachutists, employment of civilians, and other ruses too numerous to mention were employed by the enemy before commitment and during contact, making the entire battle area a front line. The enemy was everywhere. He had utilized his ruses well to instill panic into American units in the line and behind it, and had pushed through small forces of tanks with little infantry support deep into Allied territory to create confusion in the already shaky sector. According to the German High Command’s own admission, this was “the final gamble”, and the enemy was certainly showing every effort to exploit initial breakthrough successes when the 7th arrived and was committed. First units of the Division to be committed went into position to the immediate east of St Vith, and were exposed to continued and heavy pressure there until their positions were deemed untenable several days later.
St Vith, with its excellent system of radiating roads and its railroad center, was a valuable and necessary objective of the German drive. To progress into the salient that certainly the German commanders had planned on as an expansion point for the whole operation, St Vith had to be taken by the breakthrough forces. From the town, arterial highways lead to the West and Southwest, directly into the heart of the country where advance forces of the enemy spearhead were being pushed. To get supplies to the forward forces, to reinforce the existing troops, to resupply all forces, St Vith had to be in German hands. It was known early in the fight that the Germans planned on establishing a railhead, also, at the city. To the defense of this town, the 7th Armored Division was committed. Leading to St Vith from the East was a main highway, which was the main axis of advance of the German troops. On this highway, and not more than a stone’s throw away, there were German infantry-tank teams when the forces of the Division took positions. Already to the North of the town and the high ground on which it say, there were columns of the 1 SS Pz Div pushing, closing the Division’s left flank. Forces crossing ridge after ridge toward St Vith from the East were strong, and they were fanatical. The enemy forces committed to the mission of taking St Vith was the LXVI Corps, made up of the 62 Volks Grenadier Division, 18 Volks Grenadier Division, and supported by armor or an unidentified formation, plus the additional strength of a number of separate units of battalion strength. Even before the units of the Division occupied their positions, there was fighting by the columns approaching the battle area on the assigned routes. To the Northwest of the St Vith area, in Stavelot, elements of the 203d AAA Battalion engaged in a fire fight before they entered the Division sector. At Ligneuville, enemy parachutists demolished the bridges behind initial columns, forcing others following to enter the area by more circuitous routes. An artillery column was diverted from its main route because of contact at Malmedy, and numerous other like instances were reported in the area by the end of Dec 17 1944. Enemy units, small and large, had taken advantage of the confusion that existed to range far into the immediately previously Allied territory.
(Much of the success of the enemy’s efforts were dependent upon capture of fuel stocks, and this should be kept in mind in following the hap-hazard appearing rangins2 of many of the enemy formations).
Contact was not severe until the morning of Dec 18. The units of the Division had had the opportunity of refueling, and were established in a rough half perimeter about St Vith when the main efforts of the enemy were lodged against their positions. Generally speaking, the entire Division was disposed on the perimeter of a large horse-shoe shaped area within a matter of 48 hours after arrival in the sector, and contact was effected an all sides. During the entire day, Dec 18, intense pressure was maintained against our positions to the Northeast, East and Southeast of St Vith and it was during this first day’s operation that the enemy succeeded in driving to the Southwest through Recht, which it had entered in force on the previous night, and capturing Poteau, a physically insignificant village, but important because it sat astride the main road from Vielsalm to St Vith. They were driven from the Village, retired to the high ground to the North, and evidently regrouped forces. Enemy in force occupied Stavelot, and were reported to control Gouvy and Cherain on the South flank of the Division’s positions. Many reports, inspired by the unwholesome confusion of the elements in the rear of the Allied sector, told stories of deep and strong penetrations far to the westward. Many of the reports were true; the Germans were exploiting to the fullest their breakthrough. Their physical gains were not, however, nearly so impressive on the ground as the consternation that they caused. Supply routes and installations, far to the rear, were jeopardized by these enemy moves, and it was to protect these elements that screening forces were posted along the southern flank of the horseshoe occupied by the Division.
There was little action reported after nightfall, with the exception of many accounts of movements of vehicles and equipment to the Division’s East and North flanks. This typified night action for several days to come. If, during the day, the enemy failed to penetrate established positions, he would spend the hours of darkness in regrouping his forces, in patrolling, and in general preparing for further attempts to be launched during the day to come. Identifications made of the enemy on the first day of actual fighting were of elements of the 18 Volksgrenadier Division in the St Vith area, and the 1 SS Panzer Division in the vicinity of Poteau. It was believed that the elements of the 1 SS Pz Division were “sliding by” our positions to the North, for it seemed that the preponderance of the armored strength was pushing farther westward, generally even farther West than Stavelot. This general axis provided the enemy armor with better routes towards what was believed to be the prime objective of the entire assault – Liège, with its supply depots, so valuable to the Germans.
It was during this first day of action in the fighting in this sector that evidence was brought to light of the enemy’s use of American equipment and uniforms. A road block established in ambush from to the south of Ligneuville was manned by enemy with American vehicles. Numerous American weapons, particularly machine guns, were used against troops during the day. The Germans continued their pressure on the North and East fronts of the Division Sector during Dec 19. The pressure was not continuous, not was it particularly severe, but at no time was the enemy absent from any of the perimeter. Following the movements heard during darkness, organized forces of infantry supported by both tanks and assault guns made bold attacks on St Vith on positions to the northwest of St Vith (Nieder Emmels, Wallerode, and Hunningen areas), all of which were successfully repulsed without loss of ground. Recht was also a center of activity; there was much small arms firing in that area, and from this direction, reinforcing troops came to the aid of the force that overlooked and dominated the previously fought over village of Poteau. A strong infantry company attempted a river crossing to the North of the Division sector in the Trois Ponts area, but was repulsed without accomplishing its mission. This presence of troops offered concrete evidence of the fact that troops were half-encircling the positions the Division held to the East of the Salm River. To the South, also, concrete proof of enemy troops was made known. Most of the enemy to the South was, however, of the agent classification – either “walkers” or parachutists. It was, of course, known that farther to the South of the positions, but not immediately affecting the security of the supply lines, there were major enemy formations that had plowed through the erstwhile thin American lines and were ranging over the numerous back pathways of the general area to the South of Salmchateau and North of Houffalize.
Prisoners were more numerous on Dec 19 than on the previous day; a total of 46 was processed through the Division cage. Identifications confirmed the presence of the 62 Volksgrenadier Division, and brought into light that the 2 Panzer Division was, perhaps, “standing off”, awaiting a weak spot to pour its armor through to more vulnerable targets farther to the West. Artillery, which had been strangely absent on the first day of combat, increased (but not to a substantial scale) on Dec 19. Most of the support fire for the enemy operations was delivered by self-propelled guns and the cannon of the armor with the infantry forces. There were concentrations of artillery fire laid on Hunningen and Nieder Emmels during the day – the fire coming from the immediate East. It was supposed that the artillery, normally horse-drawn with the infantry divisions, had not had time to displace forward far enough to enter into the fight. Certainly the losses of artillery, or other equipments, for that matter, had not been great, for extremely hazy weather, low clouds, and adverse conditions generally had held our air forces on the ground and out of support of the ground troops – not only in the current fighting, but for the numerous days preceding the enemy attack which had effected the major breakthrough.
Dec 20, saw again a repeat on the increased pressure on the same general fronts. More attacks were launched; the enemy was determined, and not so mindful of economy of manpower. For the first time, there was an attack made by armor alone; generally, to date, the fighting had been done by relatively small forces of infantry with support of armor, or, more often, infantry without support other than that of assault guns and organizational weapons. Action flared in the South of the area, with an infantry attack being made from the high ground to the South into Gouvy at midday. The infantry in this instance was supported by mortar and some artillery fire. No penetration of the positions was affected, however, and heavy losses were inflicted on the enemy. It was from this contact at Gouvy that the appearance of a new division was brought to light, together, by means of captured documents, some of its intentions. The division was the 560 Volksgrenadier Division, a good example of the extent of drain that the enemy had placed on his other occupations to provide forces for the drive. The division had come only very recently from Denmark; soldiers of the force were still carrying the coinage of that nation in their pockets. From the documents, it was determined that the division was destined to move to the northwest from Gouvy to the general vicinity Manhay – Durbuy. A prisoner at Gouvy also brought another, and incidentally, expected division into the force in the salient – the 2 SS Panzer Division, one of the combat formations of the touted Sixth SS Panzer Army. The identification was not a substantial one, but it was at least an indication of the early appearance of the division. The prisoner, according to his own statements, was of the advance party, sent to reconnoiter for quarters for members of the command. As the prisoner was an engineer, and as this function is normally thought of as in that realm of engineer responsibility, the trend of thought connected thereto was logical.
A prisoner taken in the vicinity of Poteau brought to light still another formation that had made contact with our forces. This one was the Gross-Deutschland Division. It was thought strange at the time that this identification be made on this front. All Order of Battle on the enemy showed that the Division was engaged on the Russian front. The identification was perplexing; further testimony was necessary before the appearance of the division would be accepted on this front. In addition to the above identifications, re-identification was made of the previously contacted divisions from the 36 prisoners processed during the day. Further food for thought on the artillery problem was offered with the developments of the day. Artillery fires increased during the day; concentrations of medium calibers were received during the day at several points along the eastern front of the sector. Movements of vehicles, particularly armored vehicles, was again recorded on the front, generally in the same areas as previously noted. Still the enemy seemed to be regrouping his forces along the perimeter of our positions for assault in strength, indicatively with strong armored support.
Action flared farther to the West, and in a particularly vital sector. Samree, supply point of the Division, and situated on one of the available good roads into our ‘point’ was attacked and held by road blocks, again formed of American vehicles and weapons. The enemy entered into a new phase of operations against the Division on Dec 20; in addition to all of the pressure that he maintained on the front, he was able to get parties of some strength through our lines, and with these; he laid ambushes which proved extremely lucrative to him. These ambush parties operated in the thickly wooded area to the South of Poteau, and succeeded in ambushing several vehicles, capturing a number of prisoners, both officers and enlisted men, and taking (it was believed) documents of some importance. These ambush parties operated well to the rear of the forward elements, were extremely aggressive, and difficult to counteract. (It was later determined that basically, these parties were formed of the members of Gross-Deutschland.) The elements of the entire offensive that caused the greatest overall concern up to this time was the force of reserves available to the enemy. All of the forces not engaged actively on one front or another were suspected of being in reserve of the troops engaged in this attack.
Distances to interior Germany were short; our air had had little recent opportunity to neutralize the communications facilities; stocked-up supplies aided the enemy materially in transporting anything available to the forces here. Everything was in the enemy’s favor as far as bringing additional strength to this front. In addition to the optometrist enemy outlook, physically speaking, initial successes certainly must have spurred the German strategists’ thoughts to further exploitation.
During the night of Dec 20-21, there was a heavy build-up of enemy pressure on all sides of St Vith. Penetrations into our positions had been effected during the earlier hours of the night from the Northeast. German forces had pressed on the town from the East. Shelling by artillery and by tanks and self-propelled assault guns was continuous. Our forces were forced to withdraw in the face of this pressure from the town, giving up positions to the East and Northeast of St Vith, and within it; to occupy more tenable positions on a general line North-South through Rodt. St Vith was completely occupied by the enemy before dawn on Dec 21. Pressure increased on the entire front on Dec 21. There were no less than 11 separate and distinct attacks made on our positions during the day, in addition to constant probing and patrolling, and continued movement of personnel and vehicles behind the fronts. Pressure was not too great until noon; the enemy had utilized this time to regroup his forces to his satisfaction. St Vith seemed to serve as the base for a great deal of the pressure which was pushed westward. Rodt received a majority of the attention, possibly because it was astride the main road to the West. Infiltration tactics were widely used in this area. Support of the forces on the ground still remained basically that of the weapons that were as mobile as the infantry – that is, assault guns and tanks. Relatively long range artillery fire was received by our troops in the areas to the Southeast of Rodt, however, long before the enemy pressed forward towards points in the area. Pressure, actually more detrimental and jeopardizing to the positions that the Division occupied than that from the East, began to build up in the South. Tanks were reported along the east-west road out of Salmchateau, or slightly southward of it; and because of this, and the fire that they were laying on the road, traffic had to be diverted from this road, further narrowing the neck of the horseshoe that the Division hold.
Pressure at the crossroads of highways N-15 and N-28 had been serious for about 48 hours, but such pressure was built up during this period that the position became virtually untenable. Enemy troops were gathering in strength along the road Gouvy – Cherain – Samree, and made attacks during the period on Gouvy in approximate company strength. All of these attacks were dispersed and repelled, however, and the town remained in our hands at the end of the day’s operations.
Farther to the East, and generally Southwest of St Vith, our troops were forced to abandon Krombach. Enemy tanks and infantry, and a heretofore show of artillery, created a serious situation there. Thommen also, had to be abandoned. Poteau scene of heavy fighting since the first of engagement, continued as a focal point on the North flank. Enemy tanks and infantry, plus assault-guns kept the town dominated by fire for the greater part of the period, although our defense of the village itself was not penetrated. Once again the day brought in the appearance of another crack division of the Sixth Panzer Army : the 9 SS Panzer Division. It was identified through prisoners taken in the vicinity of Rodt from the engineer battalion of the division. The mission of the elements identified was confusing in view of later developments. The prisoners stated that their mission had been the taking of Recht.
Later, the division made its appearance on the South flank, another of the divisions ‘passing by’ to the West to expand Rundstedt’s dream. Light was finally thrown on the heretofore mentioned Gross-Deutschland formation that had appeared in the sector. Prisoners and documents taken during the period showed the formation to be a Brigade and not a division, and according to statements of the prisoners taken, the unit was formed of those persons who had once been with the Division, which they admitted was still on the Russian front, but had been returned to the Fatherland for medical treatment, for furlough, or for special, privileged duties. It appeared, with all of the evidence to substantiate the thought, that the group was one with extremely high combat efficiency. It was of this group that many had been commissioned to perform the ambush tactics referred to earlier in this report. The only other identification of any note during the day was of the 928 GHQ Infantry Battalion, the first such unit to be contacted in this operation, and far as the records show, the first formal Infantry battalion with a GHQ status.
Pressure was continued characteristically during the morning hours of Dec 23. There was continued heavy pressure in and around Poteau, and pressure initiated at Gruffligen was begun early during the day with tank-infantry forces and continued until contact was broken. The Southern flank was the quietest of the sectors, remaining relatively inactive until our forces began their withdrawal. At that time, the Germans pressed vigorous tank attacks on our columns from Beho to Rogery to Salmchateau. There were numerous casualties (tank) inflicted on the enemy in this attack, however, and disengagement was effected without serious consequence. The enemy had occupied Salmchateau before contact was broken, causing our forces to move to the westward to enter new positions. Artillery fire from self-propelled pieces was being placed on many of the installations previously occupied by our troops, too, but the fires came too late to effect the hoped-for damage. The enemy was left poking at a wind bag. A few general remarks pertaining to the period of contact from Dec 17 through Dec 23 are necessary to create a fuller picture than existed through the formal records. The following paragraphs are devoted to the entire operation in general.
The nature of the fighting during the foregoing period was such that it was difficult to determine the exact front line as it existed at any one time. The existing fronts were classed as fluid for the entire period. There were many local stabilized fronts, most of which were centered around the town of S Vith, and along islands of defense along the North and South flanks of the salient. There were, too, many points of contact to tie at any one time the entire front as a continuous line. The hold of the Division against the enemy was, shortly after contact was established, developed in the shape of a horseshoe, with the open end to the West, and it was through this open corridor that the supplies of the Division were kept flowing. Protection of this supply channel was kept from the enemy by the protection of the flanks of it, and by keeping the enemy from penetrating the ‘heavy front’ to the East, or in the immediate St Vith area.
Communications with adjacent units, of which there were few actually in flank contact, and with higher headquarters were poor. The nature of the fighting precluded any detailed records of the fighting and the material results while the contact was maintained. It was the result of a great deal of compiling of results after contact was broken that the truer picture could be painted. Such things as losses inflicted on the enemy were given little thought during the fight. The length of the line (or semblance thereof) that was held against the enemy made it extremely difficult to keep the entire picture clear during the fighting. For all practical purposes, the Division was by itself, protruding well out into the enemy’s territory, and it was for this reason that so many of the enemy’s units contacted elements of the Division at one time or another. There were not, at any time, concerted efforts on the part of the enemy to break through the crusts to the counter-salient that the Division held except from the due East. Most of the contacts that the units of the Division had with enemy forces on the South flank were with those elements of the enemy’s forces that were pushing, and pushing fast, towards the West, expanding the salient as much as possible before Allied units could be formed to halt it.
Contacts on the North flank were serious, but only at the focal point of Poteau. Again, it seemed, all of the efforts were directed at the capture of St Vith, and not at other objectives within the sector held by the elements of the Division. It would not be inappropriate to state that Higher Headquarters acknowledged that the hold against the odds at St Vith interrupted to a certain extent the time table that Rundstedt had established for the expansion of the salient into Allied territory. As a matter of fact, the center of the bulge was contained for the period that the Division remained in contact, and prohibited the enemy from providing himself with a solid front to press into the Allied territory. His forces were divided into two separate salients for the time, minimizing his overall efforts to a great extent. In addition to this fact, the hold of the Division denied the enemy the use of one of the main arterial networks of roads leading directly into the salient.
This is particularly true in the case of many Tank Destroyer units, necessarily small, for they were formed into small groups and dispersed throughout the entire battle area.