249th Engineer Battalion

Image: Knocked out tank in the Battle of the Bulge
Knocked out tank in the Battle of the Bulge. Photo by Bruce Burdett, 188th ECB veteran

Comment by Colonel John K. Addison, Ret., 249th Engineer Battalion

"On the day before Christmas, Brigadier General Harlan Harkness, the assistant division commander, came to me with verbal orders for us (249th Engineer Battalion) to take over the towns of Arsdorf and Bigonville, to the north of the 26th Division and in the zone of the Fourth Armored Division. The division supposedly had occupied the towns, and we were to relieve their units so their attack could move forward.

I gave this mission to C (=>Arsdorf) and A (=>Bigonville) Companies, commanded by Captains Joseph Cissna and Richard Sullivan. The thought that the information given me was partly faulty never entered my mind. But as it turned out, Arsdorf had never been entered by the Fourth Armored and Captain Cissna and his men walked into trouble and soon found themselves involved in a heavy firefight."