February 21, 2019:
Specifically, the 116th Panzer Division trying to get into Hotton, Belgium; versus Company E, 334th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division, ambushing them on December 26th 1944 inside a village named Menil-Favay, a few thousand yards south of Hotton.
Perry S. Wolff, Fortune favored the brave: A history of the 334th infantry, 84th division:
Meanwhile another large force of German armor and infantry suddenly swung from the hills to the road between Verdenne and Marenne. This force swung into Marenne, defended by a few L Company men. It was useless to fight. The men hid in the houses when it became apparent the Germans were not going to stop in the town. These two forces had radio communication and were aiming to strike at Menil simultaneously from the right and front. Our forces in Menil were radioed to be prepared. E Company, a platoon of Anti-Tank Company, and I Company, 333d, were in town.
In the time it took for the German armor to traverse the distance to Menil "daisy chains" were set out, and a few riflemen moved to foxholes along the road. AiT Company had sown the area around Menil with mines, but the firmness of the frozen earth had made it impossible to bury the charges. The only communication open was a small SCR 300 set manned by Pfc Raymond Beauchamp, and after the initial warning every set in the regiment and many in the division tried to pick him up. A real fight was coming.
Our meager plan was to allow the first tank to come into town where a bazooka team headed by Pfc William Ivler would knock it out. The second tank was to be "daisy chained" by a crew hidden in a cellar. From then on it was anybody's fight. In the meanwhile, the artillery had fired an emergency concentration of the Menil—Hampteau road, forcing the Germans to come into Menil frontarlly.
Beauchamp reported that the head of the column was in sight. A motorcycle led the column, blinking a green headlight. When the column closed near the town the motorcycle allowed the first tank to pass. The first tank, earmarked for a bazooka shell, tried to make a small turn in the street and slammed against eleven anti-tank mines piled against the building. Sixty-six pounds of TNT went off. The tank was destroyed.
The German column began to deploy. The few American rifleman opened up. Beauchamp went off the air "to catch himself a couple of Krauts." Led by the German infantry, the deployed tanks came to a mine field on the south edge of town. Their infantry did not warn them or did not see the mines. The first tank hit a mine and was knocked out. The second vehicle, a half-track, echeloned slightly to the rear, struck a mine a moment later and was knocked out. In quick succession the rest of the column found mines on which to destroy themselves. Panic stricken, three halftracks swung beyond the minefield only to destroy themselves in a secondary field in the southwest corner of town. As the balance fled, our artillery continued destroying more vehicles. Except for the mopping up, the battle was over. We had knocked out four Panther tanks, 13 half-tracks, and eight motorcycles and had captured over 100 prisoners. Again Cannon Company and the 326th FA supported us so fully that only forty rounds were left when the battle was over.
Peter Caddick-Adams, Snow & Steel, the Battle of the Bulge, 1944-45:
On 26 December the 84th Hatchet Men went on to ambush an armoured column at Menil-Favay. The leading panzer ran over a pile of anti-tank mines which exploded with such force as to blow the tank on to its side, ripping a hole in its belly armour; and killing the crew; this blockaded the advance of the vehicles behind, leading to the destruction of twenty-six Windhund [116 Panzer] vehicles, including six tanks