The sharp part of the German spear was Task Force (Joachim) Peiper, on the north end of the line. He had the heaviest concentration of armor and truck-mounted infantry, built around his own SS Division. Peiper was to bypass fighting and make for the Meuse as fast as he could. Units to his south would try to encircle Allied units while also pushing on to support his left. Appallingly cold, overcast, wet weather hampered both sides. Allied tactical air could not fly for the first few days. Narrow and muddy secondary roads and farm lanes slowed the Germans, especially Peiper's tanks.
|Battle of the Bulge: this map shows the deepest penetration of German units, although the bulk of them did not get much past Bastogne on the south and Trois Ponts (Peiper's Task Force) on the north.|
|Joachim Peiper was a committed Nazi with a superb combat record on the Eastern Front, where "civilized warfare" was not practiced--least of all by S.S. Divisions like the one he commanded and brought west to form the nucleus of his task force.|
|For good measure, Peiper's troops gratuitously executed a few more Belgian civilians in Trois Ponts.|
|The other part of the War Memorial in La Gleize. 'Nuff said.|