The 4th Infantry Division had lost 7,500 casualties in the Huertgen Forest before moving into the Ardennes for a rest in early December, 1944. It was deployed with three understrength regiments on line, but only the northernmost (le-thand) regiment, the 12th Infantry, was hit by the left flank of the German offensive on 16 December 1944. The German forces in this area had no priority on bridging, artillery, and heavy weapons, and, therefore, were unable to exploit their initial surprise and wipe out s.trviving outposts of the 12th Infantry. Thereafter, the 4'a conucuted a series of local counterattacks on 17-19 December, forcing the German LXCO Corps into the defensive, setting up later counterattacks conducted by the 4th Infantry Division and other units coming from Patton's Third Army. Thus the 4th Infantry held the southern shoulder of the German penetration, Just as the 99th Infantry and 7th Armored Divisions held the northern shoulder.