26 Dec- The siege of Bastogne, for purposes of historic record, may be considered ended at 1645 on 26 December when the 326th Airborne engineers reported contact with "three light tanks believed friendly." True, the breach in the German-held ring opened by the 4th Armored Division was narrow and precarious, but it would not be closed despite the most strenuous enemy efforts in coming days. The staunch defense of Bastogne had impeded the Fifth Panzer Army drive to the west,… The human cost of the Bastogne battle, therefore, probably was not out of proportion to the military gains achieved. The 101st Airborne Division suffered battle casualties numbering 105 officers and 1,536 men. CCB of the 10th Armored Division had approximately 25 officers and 478 men as battle casualties. There is no means of numbering the killed, wounded, and missing in the miscellany of unrecorded tankers, gunners, infantry, and others who shared in the defense of Bastogne.
--From THE ARDENNES: BATTLE OF THE BULGE by Hugh M. Cole
As Nichols reports in Impact:
26 Dec- The Tigers’ Christmas present, though a day later, was delivered. The iron ring of German panzers was pierced and the rescue was begun… [H]ard fighting was still required of all units. This was necessary in order to widen the corridor during the ensuing days.
|Bastogne, 26 Dec 1944|
|Painting 'Medics Moving in Near Bastogne / Relief Station at Bastogne' (Belgium) by Olin Dows, 1945|
Meanwhile, the rest of the 10th Armored, minus CCB, was kept busy on the southern end of the bulge. They had been “jabbing and sparring” just north of the Saar-Moselle Triangle to keep the Germans off balance. At the center of this was Combat Command A (CCA). Their part of General Patton’s great offensive against the Bulge was a success.
28 Dec- 10th Armored’s defensive positions secured.
31 Dec- 10th Armored (minus CCB) moved south to Metz for rehabilitation and training, ending the most hotly contested battle in the Division’s brief but rugged operational history since its November baptism of fire at the swollen Moselle.