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It was a German offensive intended to drive a wedge between the American and British armies in France and the Low Countries and recapture the port of Antwerp in The Netherlands to deny the Allies use of the port facilities.
It fell far short of its goals but managed to create a bulge in the American lines 50 miles wide and 70 miles deep, which gave the struggle its alliterative name. The initial German attack force consisted of more thanmen, around 1, tanks and assault guns including the new ton Tiger II tanks and 1, artillery pieces, supported by 2, aircraft, the latter including some Messerschmitt Me jets.
In the opening phases of the battle, they would be facing only some 80, men, less than pieces of armor and about artillery guns. Many of the American troops were inexperienced; the German force included battle-hardened veterans of the tough fighting on the Eastern Front, but they, too, had green units filled with boys and with men who normally would have been considered too old for military service.
During the course of the month-long battle, someGerman,American and 55, British troops became involved. The Germans lost somemen killed, wounded and missing, tanks and 1, aircraft, losses they could not replace.
Allied losses—the majority of them incurred during the first week—included 90, men, tanks and aircraft, but they could make up these losses.
In addition, an estimated 3, civilians died, some during the fighting and others executed by German combat and security forces. See " War Crimes in the Battle of the Bulge. Soviet forces were coming ever closer to the Fatherland from the east, and in the west Allied forces had crossed the German border.
German Chancellor Adolf Hitler intended to launch a surprise attack in the west that would divide and demoralize the Western Allies and, perhaps, convince them to join Germany in its war against the communists of the Soviet Union.
In Mayhe had gambled on a surprise attack through the dense Ardennes Forest into Belgium and France and had won a stunning victory. Now he planned for history to repeat itself: Other commanders also objected to taking resources away from the Eastern Front for this operation, but Hitler overruled them all.
Map by Petho Cartography. The build-up was given the defensive-sounding codename Watch on the Rhine. Strict security measures included no radio communication to prevent Allied radio intercepts.
Eisenhower was planning major operations in the northern and southern sectors of the front. Accordingly, the center, where the German attack was to fall, was the weakest part of the line.
The th Infantry and 9th Armored were green units, untested in combat. The 4th and 28th had suffered high numbers of casualties during operations in the Hurtgen Forest and were receiving thousands of inexperienced replacements.
This small, largely untried force had been assigned an mile-long front; normally, a corps would be defending an area only about one-third that length. Elsenborn Ridge and St.
Vith The German attack achieved the desired surprise but often encountered unexpectedly tough resistance.
Their timetable did not allow for delays, but time and again the Americans slowed the enemy advance. The road network in the Ardennes was narrow and rough. Along this ridge, ad-hoc groups of tanks, tank destroyers and dug-in infantry stubbornly resisted.
General Eisenhower, immediately realizing his men were facing a major attack in the Ardennes rushed artillery to support the ridge. The firepower from their guns left the narrow roads choked with wrecked vehicles, in addition to those that broke down on their own from mechanical failure.
After 10 days of intense fighting, Sixth Panzer Army abandoned its attempts to cross Elsenborn Ridge and sought other routes. Many villages saw intense fighting. Because of the road situation, towns where several roads converged were critically important; one such town south of Elsenborn Ridge was St.World War II was a defining event in world history that engulfed the lives of nearly two billion people, but the eastern front affected the outcome of the war to a much greater extent than is commonly remembered in western culture and historical writing.
The hard fighting that preceded the Battle of the Bulge has been recounted in two volumes, The Siegfried Line Campaign, and Dr.
Cole's own earlier work, The Lorraine Campaign. Events after it will be related in The Last Offensive, now in preparation. The Battle of Kursk was Germany's last attempt to launch an offensive attack in Russia during World War II. Although the number of tanks that were used in the battle has been disputed, it is generally believed that more tanks were used during the Battle of Kursk than in any other battle in history.
The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was Germany's last great tank offensive in World War II and the largest combat action in US military history. It took place in the Ardennes Forest in France, Luxembourg and Belgium and lasted from December 16, to January 25, By the time of World War II there were three battalions each with varying amounts of companies.
1st battalion was made up of A, B, C, and D companies. 2nd battalion made up of E, F, G, and H. 3rd battalion was the smallest and was only made up of three companies I, K, and L. The Battle of the Bulge becomes the largest battle fought along the Western Front during World War II, and the German forces are ultimately driven back by Allied troops.
February 4–11, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Premier Stalin meet in Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula.