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US Army

The 1st Battalion, 41st Armored Infantry Regiment on December 25, 1944

The 1st Battalion, 41st Armored Infantry Regiment

on December 25, 1944

 
Excerpted from “A History of the Second United States Armored Division”
 
At 01h30, 25 December 1944 the 1st Battalion, 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, arrived in their forward assembly near Ciney, Belgium and the Battalion passed to control of “CCB”.  The attack jumped off at 08h00 25 December 1944 with the 1st Battalion, 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, attacking south as a part of Task Force “B”.
 
“A” and “B” Companies of the 1st Battalion were in the assault behind a company of medium tanks, with “C” Company following in support with two platoons of light tanks of “A” Company, 67th Armored Regiment.
 
The axis of advance was the line Bragard – Conneux – Conjoux – Sorinne.  The attack progressed swiftly, with devastating effect on the enemy, as our forces caught them completely by surprise.  “B” Company, the right flank company, encountered a strong enemy armored column driving up the highway headed for Ciney, Belgium.  The company at once dispersed and engaged the enemy armor in a terrific fire fight which halted the enemy armored column, but at the same time was itself pinned down by the heavy fire power of the enemy.
 
At this time, when both the enemy and friendly forces were unable to advance, the mortar platoon leader of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, realized the dire need for immediate artillery support.  He crawled forward to the outer extremities of the woods bordering the road on which the enemy armored column was halted, to within 50 yards of the enemy.  From this position he called for the fire of his 81mm mortar platoon and laid it swiftly and accurately on the enemy column.
 
In so doing, the platoon leader called for fire so close to his observation post, that he was forced to hug the ground to escape the flying fragments.  This devastating mortar fire scattered the enemy personnel from many of their vehicles and so decreased the enemy fire that “B” Company was able to attack and destroy the enemy vehicles, and continue on their mission as scheduled.
 
Source: Bulge Bugle August 2001

Submitted By

Russell V. ZELENIAK

HQ Co, 1st Battalion

41st Armored Infantry Regiment

2nd Armored Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium