In response to the German breakthrough during the Battle of the Bulge, several American units were sent to Bastogne to defend this crucial crossroad town. One of these units was Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division. After arriving in Bastogne on the evening of December 18, 1944, Combat Command B was split into three teams, each to block one of the roads east of the town.
Team Cherry was sent to Longvilly and Mageret where they arrived on the night of December 18-19, 1944. Not much later, however, the way back to Bastogne was cut off by German units. In the afternoon of December 19, 1944, German units attacked the vulnerable American column trapped on the road between Longvilly and Mageret from three sides.
Under heavy pressure they held out at the grotto of St-Michael, but after the situation became hopeless, the men of Team Cherry were ordered to rescue themselves if possible, leaving all vehicles behind. At the grotto of St-Michael you can still see the impacts that recall this battle in December 1944.
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- Text: Barry van Veen
- Photos: Barry van Veen