On Tuesday, 19 December 1944, a mixed bag of American troops defended Stoumont. They included ten tanks of the 743rd Tank Battalion, elements of the 1st and 3rd Battalions, 119th Infantry and eight tank destroyers of Company A, 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion as well as three 57mm anti-tank guns in nearby Roua. At 08.30am, eight or nine German tanks drove straight down the main street into the village as SS Panzergrenadiers, pioneers and paratroopers, moved around the south edge of Stoumont on foot. Reduced visibility enabled German infantry to get in among the tank destroyers and overrun them before they could fire a shot. American tanks were able to evacuate some of the infantrymen while others fled through the woods north of town. Manv never escaped and the Germans captured them. Throughout the fighting, many civilians sought refuge in the basement of the 'Preventorium St. Edouard', an imposing stone building at the western edge of Stoumont.
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