May 17, 2015

Yesterday’s Enemies – Today’s Friends

Bruce C. Clarke and Hasso von Manteuffel

Bruce C. Clarke and Hasso von Manteuffel discuss their participation in the Battle of St. Vith, part of the Ardennes Offensive in 1944. The discussion took place in 1964 and was part of a U.S. Army documentary titled "The Battle at St. Vith".

St. Vith
2. St. Vith is located
in eastern Belgium.
During the Ardennes offensive Clarke was a Brigadier General, commanding Combat Command B (CCB) of 7th Armored Division and Manteuffel was commanding 5.Panzerarmee. Clarke was sent to assist in the defence of the important road and rail center of St. Vith. Manteuffel expected to capture St. Vith on 17 December, but Clarke’s skillful use of his small force prevented that from happening until the 23rd of December. This afforded First US Army sufficient time to bring up reinforcements. After the war Manteuffel was surprised to learn that Clarke commanded a brigade size formation at St. Vith and not a Corps as he had thought during the battle.

Forty, George. Tank Aces – From Blitzkrieg to the Gulf War. Phoenix Mill: Sutton Publishing, 1997.

Photos attribution
1. United States Army Pictorial Center, Department of the Army (1965), Department of Defense, via Wikimedia Commons