A simply sublime diorama from one of my favourite modellers Tetsuo Horikawa and his fantastic Siege of Bastogne
On 16 December, the Germans launched a major offensive throughout the Ardennes region of the Western Front, which would later become known as the Battle of the Bulge The 705th, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Clifford D. Templeton, was ordered by Ninth Army to move south in the evening of 18 December, and join VIII Corps at Bastogne, a town on a critical road junction in the southern Ardennes. After delays to secure the town of La Roche, and a short engagement in which the command group was attacked, the command and combat elements of the battalion had fully arrived in Bastogne late on the night of 19 December. Templeton detached two platoons to hold a bridge at Ortheuville and a platoon to La Roche, and the supply and support elements were sent west, escorted by a single M18 and instructed to "hook up with some big friends". A platoon was sent north from Bastogne on the early morning of the 20th to help relieve Task Force Desobry, defending the northeast approaches to the town. The platoon, accompanying a battalion of paratroopers, blunted the attack of the 2nd Panzer Division, destroying a number of German tanks. The battalion was formally attached to the 101st Airborne Division, the formation holding Bastogne, on 20 December, and was engaged throughout the siege, fighting a number of small actions. It provided a major part of the 101st's combat capabilities; on the 21st, the total armoured reserve available other than the 705th amounted to about forty operable medium tanks. Throughout the siege, the battalion destroyed around 40 German tanks, and lost only six M18s. The battalion remained stationed in Bastogne for the remainder of the Battle of the Bulge, being released by the 101st on 18 January, and withdrawn to rest and refit. The battalion would later be awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its role in the defence of Bastogne.