The secondary soruce I used was Hans Wijers whose detailed studies I have enjoyed and can relate to the ground.
Here are links to some of the sources which I think he has used.
Interview with the Major Robert B. Yates, Executive Officer, 51st Engineer Combat Bn.Defense at Trois-Ponts, Company "C" 51st Engineer Combat Bn
Interview with George L. WENDT HQ Coy 526th AIThe 526th Armored Infantry Battalion in the Bulge
Here is the interview with Private Ralph Bieker B CVoy 526th : an eye witness to part of the battle and an earwitness to the deaths of the gunners. The 526th Armored Infantry Battalion: Bridges, Secret Gizmos, and The Pekan - The 526th Armored Infantry Battalion: Bridges, Secret Gizmos, and The Pekan: Members
Interview with Jim Cullen of E/36 Armored Infantry
who recalled seeing the anti tank gun and the dead gunners two days later.JIM CULLEN
From some other account Hans Wijers describes how the first four German AP shots miss and the other soldiers near the gun form a human chain to bring up additional ammunition - the 57mm detacvhment has seven rounds. An HE shot, short of the gun puts the gun detatchment out of action. (Maybe the small sillouette of the 57mm gun helped preserve surprise and made it more likely that the germans missed with their first shots. )
There is no doubt that the gunners were killed after a battle and killed nor that Peiper was unable to force the bridges at Trois Ponts before the engineers blew the demolitions. All we are arguing about is whether the gun did material damage. A hit on the tracks - (a mobility kill), with the crew bailing out, is consistent with the eye witness accounts and the capabilities of the 57mm gun. The result was enough to force Peiper to La Gleize.
There was only one way that a fight between a single anti tank and a company of tanks on that stretch of road would end, whatever the calibre of anti tank gun. The gunners must have know that this was it, but they fought until they were killed. The detachment were as brave men as any that served any artillery piece at any time in history. Under other circumstances that courage would have been recognised by some award for gallentry.
3rd Squad: AT 57mm gun “B” Company, 526th AIB
First row – left to right: Edward R. Berdine, Doyle Isaacs, Donald D. Hollenbeck (KIA), John H. Surdo, and Albert Smith.
Second row: Dallas N. Buchannan (KIA), Ralf J. Bieker, Donald J. Devoto (transferred to another Company few days before the battle), Lillard B. McCollum (KIA) and James L. Higgins (KIA). (Document: The Pekan)
Edited by Sheldrake, 08 February 2013 - 10:19 PM.