As expected and in reality the ill-trained FJ parachute drop came to nothing with them being dispersed and captured and the fighting on the front around Elsenborn and Monchau proving difficult for the SS units to make much progress.
The area facing the 6th Panzer Army offers a tantalizing opportunity for the SS units to break through past the US defenders on the Elsenborn Ridge to take the towns of Elsenborn and hopefully Monchau before pressing on to the next key line of Malmedy, the fuel dump on the Malmedy Road and Eupen beyond. However the US units on this front present a tough opponent with rapid reinforcement should a breakthrough fail to materialize and despite my best efforts using SS Kampfgruppe Peiper and the 12th SS to open up the main road on their respective fronts, which with Peiper was managed, the fighting to do it left no opportunity to move other units forward to secure key points.
The 12th SS attempted to break the line around Monschau with a 5:1 attack on the weakest part of the line only to have their attack aborted by a Time on Target US artillery strike on their forming up positions that completely unhinged and stopped the attack, (US artillery on the defence most commonly lowers the attack ratio by one or two levels but has to be treated with caution, as with a '1' rolled, as Steve managed, they can get a TOT barrage) whilst Peiper on the road with 1st SS failed to clear US blocking units, forcing me to throw in Panzer Brigade 150 with their disguised US armour to help the attack.
The afternoon of the 17th saw US troops pushing forward engineer battalions into key towns just behind the front line as their comrades further forward sought out blocking positions in forests close to main roads to force follow up German units to deal with them before pressing on to their key targets.
So with half the German objectives achieved in the first two days of Operation Wacht am Rhein and with the first truck loads of US Airborne troops arriving from Paris it would be all to play for on the 18th December to grab the other five key areas and hold on to them as US reinforcements are rushed forward.