Description: In the north the main armoured spearhead of the 6.SS Panzer-Armee, Kampfgruppe Peiper, consisting of 4,800 men and 600 vehicles under the command of Waffen-SS Colonel Jochen Peiper, pushed west into Belgium. At 0700 hrs December 17 they seized a U.S. fuel depot at Büllingen, where they paused to refuel before continuing westward. At 12:30 hrs, near the hamlet of Baugnez, on the height halfway between the town of Malmedy and Ligneuville, they encountered elements of the American 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion. After a brief battle the Americans surrendered. They were disarmed and, with some other Americans captured earlier (approximately 150 people), sent to stand in a field near the crossroads. Here they were all shot. It is not known what caused the shooting and there is no record of an SS officer giving an execution order; such shootings of prisoners of war (POWs), however, were more common by both sides on the Eastern Front. News of the killings raced through Allied lines. Afterwards, it became common for soldiers to take no SS or Fallschirmjäger soldiers prisoner. Captured SS soldiers who were part of Kampfgruppe Peiper were tried in the Malmedy massacre trial following the war.