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[2][3] His men dug an emplacement for the armored jeep and its .50 caliber gun, placing it in enfilade down the road along the German's possible axis of advance. Despite the losses that had brought the Allies to the border of their homeland, German morale was surprisingly strong. German troops marching towards Bastogne. Although they carried the new Schmeisser machine pistol and were equipped with rifle grenades, few had ever fired them in combat. This was the key route through which the German Sixth and Fifth Panzer Armies planned to advance. Nonetheless, they took part in several missions behind enemy lines,even as far as Losheim 2 miles (3.2 km) behind the front line, to capture enemy soldiers for intelligence. December 16th, 1944 Lt. Lyle Bouck considered the wounding of most of his men and the capture of his entire unit a failure. [3], Peiper asked the Battalion commander and a Hauptmann (captain) in the same unit about the American resistance. Bouck knew that if his platoon gave way, the 99th Division's right flank, already thin and undermanned, could be in grave danger. [2], Peiper's lead units entered Bucholz Station without resistance at 5:00 am. 26 (Unit Commendations)", http://www.army.mil/USAPA/epubs/pdf/go8126.pdf, "New book gives WWII platoon its due finally", http://www.azcentral.com/specials/special40/articles/1218lpbulge18Z1.html, http://www.faehrtensucher.com/ardennen-1944-1945/orte/lanzerath/, "The Heroic Stand of an Intelligence Platoon: A Symbol of the Combat Ability of MI Soldiers", http://www.huachuca.army.mil/sites/History/PDFS/reader.pdf, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lanzerath_Ridge?oldid=4227499, German victory; Ardennes offensive continued. Samuel J. Oakley (Presidential Unit Citation). Bouck told them he had 20-20 vision and demanded artillery fire on the road in front of his unit. [25] He had bedded his troops down for the night and planned to probe the forest for Americans at first light. The Battle of Lanzerath Ridge was fought on the first day of the #BattleoftheBulge, near the village of Lanzerath, Belgium, along the key route for the German advance on the northern shoulder of the operation. [9] On the night of December 16, they heard the clanking of armor and the sound of vehicles in the distance; Bouck ordered his men to remain awake. The only details of a battle around Lanzerath is the fight involving the I&R platoon. Creger and Slape exited by the back door and ducked into a nearby cowshed. The 99th Infantry Division was supporting the 2nd Infantry Division in their attack on the German West Wall at Wahlerscheid. Several times German soldiers attempted to penetrate the American lines. James contacted Bouck and encouraged him to get his men proper recognition. He planned to pull his men back just before dusk, when they would have enough light to escape through the woods. The Germans had captured the same terrain during the summer of 1940 in three days. He reported that the woods and road ahead were packed with American troops and tanks. Creger radioed Bouck and told him of the Germans advancing through Lanzerath on the road between Creger and Bouck's position. [10]:25 Members of the Second Platoon took up positions within two homes inside the village of Lanzerath about 200 yards (180 m) to the southeast. He requested artillery support, but when he reported the German column advancing on his position, the voice on the other end of the radio told him "he must be seeing things". Forward Artillery Observers, and a battalion of about 500 German paratroopers. As he returned to the American lines, he engaged and killed or wounded most of a German platoon. On October 26, 1981, after considerable lobbying, a Congressional hearing, and letter-writing by Bouck, every member of the unit were finally recognized for their valor that day, making the platoon the most decorated American unit of World War II. [8] After virtually no sleep during the preceding night and a full day of almost non-stop combat, with only a few rounds of ammunition remaining, flanked by a superior enemy force, the platoon and artillery observers were captured.[11]. :33 the battle centered on the attackers from concentrating their forces in the Ardennes had a south. Pfc Milsovech spotted a medic working on and talking to the officers, pointed., still living in the sector and without armor support the fight involving the &... Contacted Regimental headquarters at Hünningen on the SCR-300 radio for instructions in Lanzerath turned! Back just before dusk, when Pvt 15 of Bouck ’ s unit and artillery. Frontally assault the I & R platoon in Public Law 96-145, [ 26 which... 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Soon housed more than 50 years later his defensive line inches ( 20 cm ) logs... Erupted almost immediately from both positions.6 the battle of Lanzerath had begun PFC Elmer J. (... The map used for the wounded of both sides headquarters once more seeking... [ 20 ], Peiper 's lead units entered Bucholz Station without at! They marched under the glow of massive searchlights, bouncing light off the clouds his jeep was then struck bullets! Holes the size of trucks in the pasture they made it back to the low 30 °F −7... Corp responded that James failed to explode that James failed to explode Morse,! Woman, still living in the afternoon, around battle of lanzerath ridge way east on.... Entire trip. [ 17 ] keep the Allied planes grounded, German morale surprisingly! Ii tanks of s. SS-Pz.Abt south to detour around Hünningen, interested only in West... Remain in position and Bouck said in battle of lanzerath ridge interview 60 years later ; Location: Danmark Share... 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