A Battery, 589th FAB
A gun crew of the 591st Field Artillery Battalion
The 106th Infantry Division, which did not arrive in the Ardennes until December 9, 1944, was one of the units that bore the brunt of the initial assault. Though fighting bravely, they suffered more than 8,000 killed, wounded and captured. But they managed to hold off the Germans long enough to throw off their very tight timetable. It was General Manteuffel, commander of the 5th Panzer Army, who stated that the Division’s action held up his units five days longer than planned.
The Division was formed in 1943 and spent 18 months preparing for combat. Like most U.S. infantry divisions, it was made up of three infantry regiments, three 105mm artillery battalions and one heavy 155mm battalion, along with various other support units. Not only did the enlisted men lack any combat experience, but most of its officers did as well. Even General Jones, the division commander, had never heard a shot fired in anger; but neither had Eisenhower for that matter. The Golden Lions, as men of the Division were known, spent the winter training in the mountains of Tennessee and the summer of 1944 sweltering at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Army brass assumed that if recruits received the toughest training the Army could offer, it would more than make up for any lack of experience.