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BFT 2013 Ardennes

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by pistol, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. pistol

    pistol Member

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    Les Forges

    On the evening of 18 Dec Peiper despatched strong recce patrols, consisting of his 10th and 11th SS-Pz Gren companies in halftracks, upstream of the Lienne in search for an alternative river crossing. The 10th Company forded the river at the Moulin de Rahier, the 11th at Les Forges, where a wooden span replaced the original stone bridge, blown by the retreating Germans in September. The wooden bridge was too light for the heavy tanks of the KG Peiper, but could carry the halftracks.That evening, around 1900 o'clock, 10 to 12 halftracks having crossed the Lienne turned south towards Neufmoulin. In the darkness part of the halftacks missed the junction at the Lienne bridge and moved on along the valley road and reached Trou-de-Bra, before they noticed their error. En route two halftracks were lost on mines. Probing in the direction of Werbomont, they were staved off in the darkness by incoming troops of the 30th US Infantry Division (2nd Bn/119th Infantry), who were to screen the arrival of the 82nd Airborne at Werbomont. After incurring some further losses the Germans scurried back to the east bank of the Lienne.

    View attachment 19912
    The bridge at Les Forges rebuild in stone.
     

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  2. pistol

    pistol Member

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  3. pistol

    pistol Member

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    The streambed at Les Forges, looking north from the bridge. Again tanks could have waded through the riverbed at this spot with ease.Nevertheless Peiper decided to pull his main column back to La Gleize.

    View attachment 19914
     

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  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    In the winter, and particularly in the winter of 1944, those streams were in flood. It probably presented a much different picture than it does in these photos. It may not have been fordable by armor, or it may not have been fordable by support and supply vehicles that would have followed the armored spearhead.
     
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  5. pistol

    pistol Member

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    KB - I agree, but according to the tank officers in our group, who did inspect both river banks, it would have been fordable for tanks, even in the winter with high water. The non-tracked vehicles could have passed over the wooden bridge. Apparently the Germans were already planning another move.
     
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  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Excellent!
     
  7. pistol

    pistol Member

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    Battle for Cheneux

    Picture of the fields through which the 1st Bn/504th Parachute Infantry attacked Cheneux on 20/21Dec:

    View attachment 19917
     

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  8. pistol

    pistol Member

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    Attachment removed because of copyright
     
  9. pistol

    pistol Member

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  10. pistol

    pistol Member

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  11. pistol

    pistol Member

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    Attachment removed because of copyright
     
  12. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Since this narrative begins at Stoumont, I'll drop it in here.

     
  13. pistol

    pistol Member

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    For those interested, I've added the text of my presentation on the 393rd and 394th Infantry, 99th US Infantry Division ('Checkerboard'), to post # 2 and # 3.
     
  14. pistol

    pistol Member

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    Some pictures of the outbuilding of the Froidcour Castle - which housed the CP Peiper for some time.


    View attachment 19936
    The avenue leading to the Castle
     

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  15. pistol

    pistol Member

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  16. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Very interestin, Pistol, thanks formsharing story and pics.
     
  17. pistol

    pistol Member

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    I've run out of pictures - so this is about THE END I guess.
     
  18. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    In 54, I posted part of a Peiper interrogation/interview. His statements on the route differ in minor ways from the map - he claims Losheimergraben was part of his rollbahn, for example. He may just be remembering the route he actually took and forgetting the deviations.

    It's also interesting that he claims his route was Thirimont-Ligneuville, which on the map would be a short hop of perhaps 1 kilometer from Thirimont to E421/N62 which leads down into Ligneuville. Yet, inexplicably, he went north to Baugnez crossroads and then south again in a large circle. And of course, we know KG Peiper was at Baugnez because they left plenty of evidence in the field there.

    You wouldn't think they would take this large detour even if that 1 kilometer of road was poor.
     

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  19. pistol

    pistol Member

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    On the map the road straight on indeed looks like a short distance. But in reality the short-cut was, and is, nearly impossible to drive especially in the winter, hence the detour over Baugnez where KG Peiper again was tresspassing on Rollbahn C. Just walk it with Street View and you will see what I mean!
     
  20. SS-501

    SS-501 New Member

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    Coming in late to this one, but a fascinating discussion! I would agree that when looking at streams in the area, even the Ambleve, in good weather would make one wonder why the vehicles of KG Peiper didn't just ford them if bridges were blown, but in winter they can be deep and swift. Or all mucked up ... here's a photo of the creek at Thirimont that Rollbahn D was supposed to cross, taken in winter. This probably shows why Werner Sternebeck turned the Panzerspitze around and went toward Baugnez. As a tanker myself, I wouldn't take an armored column down there; not many tanks would make it through till the column was bogged down.

    Although Tiger II #131 of s. SS-Pz.Abt. 501 reportedly forded the Ambleve beside the (downed) Petit Spai bridge, so go figure!

    Best,
    Greg
     

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