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Middleton’s reinforced VIII Corps, the westernmost force, would drive on Houffalize; the middle force, Millikin’s III Corps, would remain on Middleton’s right flank heading for St. Vith; and Eddy’s XII Corps would serve as an eastern hinge. Bradley’s choice made the best use of the existing roads; sending Millikin’s III Corps along advantageous terrain corridors avoided the favorable defensive ground on the successive ridges east of Bastogne. Once linked with the First Army, the 12th Army Group’s boundary would revert to its original northern line.

S. 3d Division. Reinforced by one of the 63d Infantry Division’s regiments, the 3d advanced over the first of several watercourses and cleared the Colmar Forest. It met resistance on the Ill River but continued to fight its way forward through enemy counterattacks, subsequently crossing the Colmar Canal and opening an avenue for the French 5th Armored Division. The Allies pushed further eastward in deepening snow and worsening weather, with the 28th and 75th Divisions from the Ardennes following.

Assuming control of the 3d, 28th, and 75th Divisions, the 12th Armored Division, which was shifted from reserves, and the French 5th Armored Division, the corps launched the final thrust to the Vauban Canal and Rhone-Rhine Canal bridges at Neuf-Brisach. Although the campaign was officially over on 25 January, the American and French troops did not completely clear the Colmar Pocket until 9 February. However, its successful reduction marked the end of both the German presence on French territory and the Nineteenth Army.

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Ardennes - Alsace Campaign by Blackhawk Films.; Eastin-Phelan Corporation

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