Questionable performance of 60th Armored Infantry Battalion company commanders first days of the Bulge

Keydet

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Recall all 3 rifle companies were surrounded for several days. These did eventually E&E back to the newly formed lines. However the companies suffered heavy combat casualties. And then there were the cold weather injuries dealt with after the withdrawal. (The cold weather injuries I'll address in a reply tomorrow)

As of Dec 15 C on the left and A on the right. Large unobserved wooded gap between the two companies directly opposite one of the three principal German crossing. Furthermore a large wooded ravine gap between A's left most platoon and the rest of the company. Both company commanders CP were 1 mi or so from platoons. Only comm was wire. Radios remained with half-tracks in Bn motor pool well to the rear. Wire was shot out in opening barrage. As the days proceeded these two commanders had only incidental presence or impact on the platoons. The reserve B company advanced to partially fill the gap between C and A. Not much is said about B Co commanders personal participation in the fighting advance but it's clear after the platoons took up defensive positions the commander was no longer present. The C Co Commander did order his company reserve to extend the right. But he did nothing more then send them off to the platoon leader on the right, who then placed them. Back to the combat loses: C Co lost a whole squad of the 1st platoon the first morning and the whole 2nd platoon late the first day.

I am certain my battalion commander would have relieved me if I fought my platoons this way. None of the detailed company level accounts I have read depict company commanders so detached from the fighting. McDonalds "Company Commander" comes to mind. Also "Band of Brothers".
 
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Keydet

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Cold weather injury evacuations:
Co B 28
Co A 11
Co C 5
Author reported reason Co B had so many "was lack of food, warm clothes, and blankets which were left in Beaufort when suddenly ordered into the line on the afternoon of December 16."

This is an indicator of inexperience. The CO Co A 109th RCT told me as soon as the arty prep ceased the co commanders and Bn commander immediately got the battalion dispersed and ready to move. During the hours before orders were received they were chowing down and bulking up on ammo and supplies.
 

Keydet

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For years I have wondered why Middleton was not more aggressive with 9th AD. I've come round to the belief he understood the limits of 9th AD capability or simply expected it to be like all the other new units. It looks like all 9th AD units experience should not even be Blooded. 2nd Panzer Division used a limited force to work it's way through CCR. The account by Peterson of 27th AIB (CCB 9AD) shows the unit being roughly handled by the 62 VGD in their meeting engagement. One of the companies didn't even get into the fight. A Very Dark Day for Members of the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion.
 

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