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82nd To Bastogne

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#1 patrick


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Posted 15 March 2006 - 12:07 PM

I've read the following statement in a book. Is there somebody who can tell me if it's true?

General courtney Hodges first ordered the 82nd airborne division to defend Bastogne, because they were relieved from Holland a couple of weeks earlier than the 101st, but later he was more concerned about Kampfgruppe Peiper at Werbomont, so he directed the 82nd to Werbomont because their convoy was ahead of the 101st and that they would arrive sooner at werbomont.



#2 ianhay_7



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Posted 16 March 2006 - 03:35 AM

Hope this helps. From what I have read on the subject both were ordered to Bastogne at the same time but the 82nd were redirected later. Nothing to suggest your source is wrong.

The part below has been extracted from this link.



When the Germans launched a major counteroffensive in the Ardennes on 16 December 1944, the only strategic reserve immediately available to Allied Supreme Headquarters was two U.S. airborne divisions, the 82d and 101st, both of which were located near Reims following relief from the 21 Army Group in Holland. On 17 December, both divisions were directed to move to the road center of Bastogne, though this was subsequently altered to send the 82d to the north shoulder of what became known as "the bulge" where it came under the XVIII Airborne Corps. The 101st at Bastogne was under the VIII Corps.

The bulk of the 82d Airborne Division reached the north shoulder in the vicinity of Werbomont early on 19 December. Here the division fought defensively until joining a major offensive of the First and Third Armies on 3 January. From 10 through 27 January the division was in corps reserve, though one of its regiments was from time to time attached to other attacking units. The division was relieved on 4 February, then from the 8th through the 12th assisted in an attack on the Roer River Dams.

Attachments were as follows:

Battery C, 563d AAA (AW) Battalion, 18-25 December.

14th Tank Battalion, 9th Armored Division, 23-24 December.

Co. B, 86th Chemical Battalion (4.2-inch mortars), 25 December-11 January.

254th Field Artillery Battalion, 20 December-12 February.

551st Parachute Infantry Battalion, 25 December-12 January, 21-27 January.

703d TD Battalion, 20 December-1 January.

591st Field Artillery Battalion, 20 December-11 January.

740th Tank Battalion, 29 December-11 January, 27 January-5 February.

- 1 -

628th TD Battalion, 1-11 January.

517th Parachute Infantry, 1-11 January, 1-4 February.

634th AAA (AW) Battalion, 5-12 February.

887th Airborne Engineer Company, 25 December-12 January.

Co. A, 87th Chemical Battalion (4.2-inch mortars), 25 January-5 February.

643d TD Battalion, 25-31 January.

400th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 25 January-12 February.

32d Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 28 January-5 February.

629th TD Battalion, 31 January-18 February.

Co. B, 744th Tank Battalion, 9-19 February.

Co. C, 90th Chemical Battalion (4.2-inch mortars), 13-19 February.

596th Engineer Company, 2-11 January, 3-5 February, 8-9 February.

460th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, 24 January-5 February, 8-9 February.

987th Field Artillery Battalion (less two batteries), 15-19 February.

3d Battalion, 112th Infantry, 23-25 December.

Two platoons, 893d TD Battalion, 9-11 February.

All the 101st Airborne Division had reached Bastogne by early morning of 19 December. Here the division would fight defensively through 1 January, engage in limited objective attacks on 2 January, and participate in the major offensive by First and Third Armies from 3 through 17 January. On the 18th the division moved out of the line for transfer to new positions in Alsace.

Attachments to the 101st were as follows:

Two platoons, Co. B, 796th AAA (AW) Battalion, 9-10 January.

Batteries A, B, & C, 61st Airborne AA Battalion, 11-18 January.

2d Tank Battalion, 19-30 December.

Combat Command R, 9th Armored Division, 20-31 December.

Combat Command B, 10th Armored Division, 20 December-18 January.

Combat Command B, 4th Armored Division, 8-10 January.

755th Field Artillery Battalion (155 How.), 19 December- 12 January.

969th Field Artillery Battalion (155 How.), 19 December- 15 January.

775th Field Artillery Battalion (4.5" Gun), 19 December- 15 January.

333d Field Artillery Group, 20-28 December.

559th Field Artillery Battalion (155 Gun), 1-3 January, 11-12 February.

687th Field Artillery Battalion (105-How.), 12-18 January.

770th Field Artillery Battalion (4.5" Gun), 13-14 January.

193d Glider Infantry, 3-7 January, 14-18 January.

705th TD Battalion, 20 December-18 January.

Co. B, 811th TD Battalion, 3-11 January.

Co. C, 704th TD Battalion, 4-6 January.

Co. A, 602d TD Battalion, 4-6 January.

- 2 -

611th TD Battalion, 6-7 January.

Co. B, 704th TD Battalion, 9-11 January.

Co. C, 609th TD Battalion, 11-12 January.

In Alsace, the 101st Airborne Division held a defensive sector from 26 January until 25 February. Attachments were as follows:

Batteries A, B, & C, 61st Airborne AA Battalion, entire period.

567th AAA (AW) Battalion, 23-25 February.

Co. A and 1st Platoon, Co. D, 781st Tank Battalion, 26-28 January.

Co. A, 47th Tank Battalion, 5-14 February.

Co. A and 3d Platoon, Co. D, 781st Tank Battalion, 6-7 February.

1st Platoon, Co. D, 47th Tank Battalion, 7-13 February.

2d Platoon, Co. D, 47th Tank Battalion, 13-19 February.

Co. B, 47th Tank Battalion, 14-25 February.

807th TD Battalion, entire period.

242d Field Artillery Battalion (105-How.), entire period.

499th Armored Field Artillery Battalion (105-How. SP), undetermined period.

A third airborne division, the 17th, entered combat in the Ardennes on 3 January northwest of Bastogne as part of the Third Army's VIII Corps. As part of this corps and later (26 January) III Corps, the division had reached the German frontier at the Our River by 31 January. For five days the division held defensive positions, then on 6 February launched a limited objective attack to secure a bridgehead over the Our. On 10 February the division reverted to strategic reserve.

Attachments for the combat period were as follows:

398th QM Truck Company, entire period.

802d Field Artillery Battalion (105-How.), 3-5 January.

630th TD Battalion, 3 January for an undetermined period.

811th TD Battalion (SP), 17-27 January.

761st Tank Battalion, 15-27 January.

Co. C, 15th Tank Battalion, 31 January-7 February.

Co. C, 707th Tank Battalion, 3 January for an undetermined period.

447th AAA (AW) Battalion (less Battery A), 3 January for an undetermined period.

- 3 -

274th Armored Field Artillery Battalion (105-How.), 3 January for an undetermined period.

Ambulance Platoon, 416th Medical Collecting Company, 18-28 January.

1st Platoon, 623d Medical Clearing Company, 20 January-10 February.

Edited by ianhay_7, 16 March 2006 - 05:12 AM.

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