Snow began to fall on the December 21, 1944. Troops on the line were now faced with freezing temperatures and the threat of frostbite or “trench foot.” On the night of the 20th, the Germans succeeded in blocking the road to Neufchateau, effectively closing the encirclement of Bastogne. All access in and out of the town was blocked.
Dec. 21st. 1944
Boy big stuff coming in all day long. Bigger than one-five-fives.
Moved into the cellar of mess hall last nite. General his staff and officer’s are down there too.
Still surrounded got a lot around
us but the boys seem all right
“Knocked off plenty of the tanks last nite.”
Forfeit of C.O.C. says things are heating up in the town lots of stuff landing there.
- M114 155 mm howitzer (cannon) medium artillery weapon.↵
- “The cellar was about seven feet deep, ceilinged by joists and flooring of the building overheard and partitioned into six small rooms, three on either side of a corridor running end to end…Dusty, acrid-smelling coal was piled nearly to the ceiling at one end (MacKenzie, 149).”↵
- Abbreviation unidentified↵
- After Bastogne was encircled, General McAuliffe was given command of over Colonel Roberts’ Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division (the only armored division defending Bastogne at the time of the siege). Until this point the infantry (paratroopers) and armored division had acted separately. By consolidating command under General McAuliffe the mission across all divisions was to “hold the Bastogne line at all costs (Marshall, 108-109.”↵
- General Staff determined the Command Post (C.P.), initially located in the German barracks, was too much of an artillery target so the Operations Room and Message Center (possibly referred to by “C.O.C” or Command Operations Center in the diary) were moved into the cellar of an administrative building. Since Bastogne was surrounded every precaution was taken to protect the intelligence and communication efforts of the defense.↵