WILLIAM A. CASTILLE MAJOR, S-2 C.
ENEMY SITUATION. On 16 December, the German counter offensive began on the fronts of V and VIII Corps. This attack
began on an approximate 40-50 mile front generally between ECHTERNACH, 15 miles northwest of TRIER, and
MONSCHAU, just west of MONSCHAU FOREST. The enemy employed initially approximately 13-15 divisions,
comprising two Panzer and two of the infamous SS Panzer Divisions. This force was gradually increased as his penetrations of our lines became deeper. He forged ahead to the west at varying degrees of speed, shooting columns to the northwest against the stiffening resistance of V Corps. The situation was extremely fluid and the speed of his columns and their direction of movement were not fully known.
Accordingly, Combat Command "B" of the 3rd Armd Div was attached to XVIII Corps and given the mission to proceed at once to the southwest of VERVIERS and defend vital supply installations located in VERVIERS and THEUX. Leading elements of Combat Command "B" crossed the line of departure at 191350. Units of Combat Command "B" were on the move until late the night of 19 December, and went into hasty defensive positions. The 391st FA Bn was attached to Combat Command "B" and joined the column as the Combat Command moved out of the MAUSBACH area.
Enroute, orders were received to launch an attack at daylight 20 December to the south towards the L'AMBLEVE RIVER. The enemy situation was unknown. If the river was reached without opposition, a defensive position was to be established between STOUMONT AND LAGLEIZE.
Upon arrival in assembly positions just south of THEUX, the units of Combat Command "B" went into hasty defensive positions and Col WELBORN (acting Commander of Combat Command "B") went forward to the 2nd Bn 33rd Armd Regt. CP where he organized the Combat Command into task forces and gave his attack order. His plan in general was to advance to the south in three columns. The time of the attack 200830. One platoon of infantry and one section of tanks was to move at once to establish roadblock at 620050.
The composition of Task Forces was as follows:
T/F L (Lt Col Wm B. LOVELADY, Commanding)
2nd Bn 33rd Armd Regt E Co, 36th Armd Inf Regt
1st Platoon Co D, 23rd Armd Engr Bn.
1st Platoon Rcn Co, 33rd Armd Regt
This task force to follow route 3 (east) route.
T/F M (Major KENNETH T. MCGEORGE, Commanding)
2nd Bn 36th Armd Inf Regt (-2 Cos)
I Co 33rd Armd Regt
2nd Platoon Co D, 23rd Armd Engr Bn
This task force to follow route 2 (center) route.
T/F J (Capt JORDON, Commanding)
Hq 33rd Armd Regt
A Co, 33rd Armd Regt
(-1 Platoon) F Co, 33rd Armd Regt
F Co, 36th Armd Inf Regt This task
force to follow route 1 (west) route.
COMBAT COMMAND RESERVE (CAPT MCGARVIN, Commanding)
Co D, 23rd Armd Engr Bn
(-2 Platoons) Rcn Co 33rd Armd Regt
(-2 Platoons) One Platoon Co A, 33rd Armd Regt