Situated several kilometies west of the fiont lines on 16 December, Ligneuville had been considered relatively 'safe and secure' by GIs of Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division and the staff of Brigadier General Edward W. Tmberiakess 49th Anti-aircraft Artillery Brigade. The Service Companies of the 14th Tank, 16th Field Artillery and 27th Armored Infanhy Battalions were scattered about the village. Two companies were across the Ambleve River to the south and that of the 14th Tank Battalion in the vicinity of the hotel. . The Hotel Du Moulin, reputed for its fine cuisine, served as General Timberlake's headquarters. Early that morning. General Timberlake learned of the breakthrough in the 99th Division sector via a radio message from one of his front line firing batteries near Bütgenbach and prepared his headquarters to evacuate LigneuviUe at short notice. Shortly after 13:00, Timberlake and his staff hurriedly departed. Tanks and halftracks of SS-Obersturmfuhrer Werner Sternebeck's spearhead led the rest of the Kampfgruppe down into the village. Here, the German column encountered its first American armour in the shape of tanks of the 14th Tank Battalion. As Sternebeck's vehicles moved down into the village they came under fire from an American tank-dozer (A Sherman tank with a bulldozer blade attached) positioned in a bam on the high groimd to your right rear. The American tank knocked out the third tank in the column, a Panther commanded by SS-Untersturmfuhrer Arndt Fischer, as it passed the Hotel Du Moulin on the right and then the village church off to its left. The tank-dozer then hit a follow-up halftrack which burst into flames outside a small house about 75 yards up the hill to your left rear. .
AircraftArdennesBattle for the BulgeLigneuvilleNormandiePeiperTypeVadVarVemAviation