The Clerf crossings lay only about 17 road miles from Bastogne. In the opening onslaught, the Germans swept the first line of defense with machine-gun fire to clear out any infantry that might be protecting the tanks. The personnel of CCR, 9th Armored Division who managed to make it to Bastogne and regroup were able to assist the 101st Airborne Division by acting as either mobile emergency relief strike forces, armored support for the lightly armed paratroopers, or direct infantry augmentation to the defense line. Rose (Task Force Rose), consisted of a company of Sherman tanks (A Company, 2d Tank Battalion), one armored infantry company (C Company, 52nd AIB), and a platoon of armored engineers. But there’s NEVER been anything like THIS before. The devastating successes of the German armored units in Poland and France underscored America's need for an effective armored force. Prior to its commitment to the Ardennes offensive, 2nd Panzer was supplied with the newer model Panther medium tanks equipped for night fighting with the new infrared sighting apparatus and high-velocity 75mm cannon. Harper next tried to set up a defensive line at Houffalize to stop the Germans and during the night engaged the forward elements of the 116th Panzer Division. As much as Harper wanted to assist Task Force Rose, Middleton was not allowing him independent control of Task Force Harper, and Middleton would not allow any part of Task Force Harper to assist Task Force Rose. The 26th VGD commander, General Heinz Kokott, was given the mission of forcing crossings at the Our and Clerf Rivers on the left of the Panzer Corps, holding them open for the armor of the 2nd Panzer Division, then following it to Bastogne. With its primary mission now canceled with the destruction of Task Force Harper, Team Booth weighed its options of either defending in place or heading for Bastogne. Lt. Col. Robert M. Booth, commander of the 52nd AIB, was informed at a midday briefing that there was nothing to worry about. In the 9th Armored Division’s CCR sector, the 52nd Armored Infantry Battalion seemed to be the primary target of the shelling. US-Panzerdivision, Beiname Phantom Division) war eine Panzerdivision der United States Army. A few minutes later an entire German tank column barreled down on Task Force Rose from the north. While Task Force Rose’s complement of Shermans was slowly dwindling, 2nd Panzer Division tanks kept multiplying as more of the division rolled up from Clervaux. 9th Armored Division – WW-2. Troy H. Middleton’s U.S. Army VIII Corps was such a unit. WWII Quarterly, the hardcover journal of the Second World War that is not available in bookstores or on newsstands, and can only be obtained and collected through a personal subscription through the mail. The 9th Armored Division traced its origins back to the 2nd Cavalry Division stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas. Task Force Rose’s commander, seeing that his command was quickly dissolving against the overwhelming strength of the enemy, dispatched two Shermans along Highway N-12 to the Allerborn roadblock along with a plea for immediate assistance. These enemy forces were the lead elements of the 116th Panzer Division, which were on their way to Houffalize after taking Trois Vierges. In honor of their World War II service, the 9th was officially nicknamed the "Phantom Division." They were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their heroism. Combat Command R, unlike its two sister combat commands within the 9th Armored Division, would not be given a chance to prove itself as an independent unit in combat. History of the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion - Pages 42 to 80. 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