U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Div. Tank Destroyers in Battle of the Bulge, 1944

U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Div. Tank Destroyers in Battle of the Bulge, 1944

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This photo was taken 20 December 1944 by a U.S. Army Signal Corps photographer near Werbomont, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. In thick fog, tank destroyers from the 103rd TD, 82nd Airborne Div. are moving up to try to stop German advances. The Signal Corps photo ID is on the lower right.

On the morning of 18 December the 82d Airborne Division started for Bastogne but was diverted to Werbomont. Maj. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, who had resumed command of the XVIII Airborne Corps, opened his corps command post near that of the 82d, under Gen. Gavin. The corps' mission was to block further German advances along a line northwest of Bastogne. A much heavier German force, Peiper's 1st SS Panzer Division. was in the area unknown to the Americans. Tank duels and small unit engagements were common as the Germans and Americans tested each other's lines. The action on 20 December was mainly to discover forces and gauge their strength with the decisive battles still to come.

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