Army General Creighton W. Abrams, was linked to the 87th Infantry Division and involved in probing operations along the Siegfried Line on the boundary with Lorraine. Plans were being prepared to withdraw the battalion for new equipment and reinforcements due to heavy combat. Abrams, who presently commands the 63rd Heavy Tank Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, positioned at Mannheim, and his men did not realize it at the time, they were going to dash miles north, fight their way through German forces around Bastogne and were the first element to reach U.
See Article History Alternative Title: Apart from an abortive thrust to ArnhemNetherlands, the efforts of the Allied armies in western Europe during September and October amounted to little more than a process of nibbling.
German numbers were also bolstered by those troops who had managed to withdraw from France. A general offensive launched in mid-November by all six Allied armies on the Western Front brought disappointingly small results at heavy cost; continued efforts merely exhausted the attacking troops.
Eisenhowerthe supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, had at his disposal 48 divisions distributed along a mile nearly 1,km front between the North Sea and Switzerland.
For the site of their counteroffensive, the Germans chose the hilly and wooded country of the Ardennes.
Because it was generally regarded as difficult country, a large-scale offensive there was likely to be unexpected. At the same time, the thick woods provided concealment for the massing of forces, whereas the high ground offered a drier surface for the maneuvers of tanks. An awkward feature from an offensive point of view, however, was the fact that the high ground was intersected with deep valleys where the through roads became bottlenecks where a tank advance was liable to be blocked.
The aims of the German counteroffensive were far-reaching: Overall command of the offensive was given to Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt. As it advanced, it was to build up a defensive flank barricade to shut off interference from the U.
To those two panzer armies the Germans gave the bulk of the tanks that they could scrape together. To minimize the danger from a speedy intervention of Anglo-American air powerwhich was vastly greater than their own, the Germans launched their stroke when the meteorological forecast promised them a natural cloak; indeed, for the first three days, mist and rain kept the Allied air forces on the ground.
Dietrich, SeppJosef Sepp Dietrich, Aided by its surprise, the German counteroffensive, which started before dawn on December 16,made menacing progress in the opening days, creating alarm and confusion on the Allied side.
Time and opportunities were lost, however, through gasoline shortages resulting from wintry weather and from growing Allied air attacks, and the German drive faltered. This frustration of the German advance was largely due to the way in which outflanked U.
First Army began a counteroffensive. Between January 8 and January 16 the Allied armies concentrated their strength and were attempting to pinch off the great German wedge driven into their front, but the Germans carried out a skillful withdrawal that took them out of the potential trap.
Viewed in relation to the whole situation, however, the counteroffensive had been a fatal operation. Germany had thus forfeited the chance of maintaining any prolonged resistance to a resumed Allied offensive. It brought home to the German troops their incapacity to turn the scales and thereby undermined such hopes as they had retained.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:Battle of the Bulge – Troops of the 82nd Airborne Division advance in a snowstorm behind the tank in a move to attack Herresbach, Belgium In the build-up to the Bulge, all Allied armored divisions on the Western Front were disengaged from combat.
This an intensely detailed account of one of the greatest battles fought during WWII in Europe, commonly called the Battle of the Bulge.
It is an account of the time from late summer to spring when the Allies slogged it out with the German alphabetnyc.coms: THE ARDENNES: BATTLE OF THE BULGE. by Hugh M. Cole. OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF MILITARY HISTORY DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY WASHINGTON, D.C., The account in later chapters shifts to the American camp in accordance with the measure to which the American forces had regained operational freedom.
The last phase of operations in the Ardennes, therefore, is properly part and parcel of the final Allied offensive in Europe, and so the course of battle beginning on 3 January is described in another and final volume of this subseries.
Four years later, he was discharged as a captain, with a Silver Star, Purple Heart, and four battle ribbons including the Battle of the Bulge. He was a medic in General Patton’s third army. I have the large, annotated maps on which my husband marked their route.
Oct 14, · The Battle of the Bulge was the costliest action ever fought by the U.S. Army, which suffered over , casualties. The Reader’s Companion to Military History.
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