99 days with the fighting 99th

As part of V Corps, the 99th was alerted for the attack Dec. 12, 1944, and doughs moved out at 0830 the following morning. In deep snow, 1st and 2nd Bns., 395th, and 2nd and 3rd Bns., 393rd, swung northeast to seize objectives in the outer belt of the Siegfried Line. These new positions were strengthened immediately despite intense enemy mortar and artillery fire. It was give and take the next two days as the Germans' stubborn pillbox defences slowed the progress.

It was a long way from the hot training grounds of the deep south to the misty, snow-hung Ardennes Forest, smack up against Hitler's vaunted West Wall. And it had taken some time, in November and early December, for 99th doughs to become accustomed to the freezing cold of the foxholes and the unmerciful whine of German artillery.

There had been little action in this sector for some time and it was a good spot for a new division to get used to burp guns, snipers and the sounds of different shells.

But, as an active front goes, there was little fighting. Occasionally, a pillbox was cleaned out and frequent patrols probed deep into the Siegfried Line. This was a quiet, strange sort of warfare.