This helps raise public awareness about activities that are being organized by various groups to commemorate the 75th anniversary of important events that took place during World War II (1941 - 1945). American troops began gaining ground in their counteroffensive in the Battle of the Bulge. However, this also came at a cost of 277 aircraft and 253 pilots. It became a struggle of attrition, characterised by poor weather and boggy underfoot conditions. "The best indication was that no reinforcements were made in [the American] sector before the attack." A German officer carrying several copies of Operation Greif (the codename for Otto Skorzeny's infiltration of "fake Americans" to cause confusion ahead of the Ardennes Offensive) was taken prisoner and the treacherous plan was revealed. In Belgium, north of Bastogne, US and British forces linked up near La Roche-en-Ardenne. South of Bastogne, the German troops that originally surrounded Bastogne defended against the counterattack gallantly. The American leaders attribute the German failure largely to the ability for Allied leaders to recover from the initial surprise and the bravery of American troops at key locations such as St. Vith and Spa. Giving in to de Gaulles' demands, Eisenhower changed his plans and defended Strasbourg successfully against this German offensive. German strength had been irredeemably impaired. ww2dbaseThe eventual plan was prepared by Alfred Jodl and presented to Hitler on 9 Oct. With some alterations, the plan was adopted and was renamed Wacht Am Rhein, "Watch on the Rhine"; this plan called for an attack by infantry to open a gap in the thinly defended Ardennes forest, allowing German tanks to punch through the gaps. This operation failed to achieve its goal of wiping out Allied air power based in the region. Once Eisenhower confirmed that the Meuse River crossings were no longer under any threat, a number of divisions were released to attack the German forces at Bastogne. This was a critical event in the later tension between Montgomery and his American counterparts. The Battle of the Bulge was the largest single battle on the Western Front. The Allies suffered 76,890 casualties (with 8,607 Americans killed) and lost 733 tanks; the German forces suffered an estimated 68,000 casualties with 12,000 killed, and lost about the same number of tanks. On 18 Dec, the 30th Division rushed in to reinforce the town's defense, and was able to save the town. In Bastogne, Belgium, the German surrender demand is rebuffed by General McAuliffe with the famous response "Nuts! Perhaps suggestive of the name of the operation, the 6th SS Mountain Division and the 7th Parachute Division were transferred southwards from Norway and Netherlands, respectively, to bolster this offensive. 150 prisoners of war of US 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion were massacred by Waffen-SS forces at Malmédy, Belgium. As a result, it created unnecessary delays in getting the supplies out to the rapidly advancing armies. First, it is aiming to offer interesting Such communications delays, Hitler thought, would give the surprise German offensive yet another upper hand. Meanwhile, Dietrich's 6th SS Panzer Army surrounded the town on three sides. In response the Luftwaffe launched a great raid, Operation Bodenplatte, on 1 Jan 1945 against Allied airfields in France and the Low Countries, greatly limiting the air capabilities of the Allies in the short run while destroying or damaging 260 planes. However, with the element of surprise, Field Marshal Walther Model believed that the 30 German divisions gathered still had an excellent opportunity to strike down the Allied forces on the western front. HTML tags are not allowed. ww2dbaseAfter the war, many German leaders were interviewed for their takes on how the Ardennes Offensive had played out. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. The Americans suffered some 75,000 casualties in the Battle of the Bulge, but the Germans lost 80,000 to l00,000. Detailed account of the Ardennes Counteroffensive from American Military History, vol II, Chapter 5, Detailed account of the Ardennes Counteroffensive from, DoD 60th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. However, as the German troops failed to reach the Meuse River as quickly as they originally wished, the German focus turned to the east side of the river to consolidate their gains thus far. Nevertheless, the Germans had fought with a much greater strength and determination than what the Allies believed possible at this stage of the war, but like the Allies out of Normandy, they had outrun their supplies and the ammunition and fuel were running out. This demand was actually against Hitler's orders, as the German leader did not wish to allow the Americans to surrender. After the 150 American prisoners fell, the Germans allegedly went around to kick each downed prisoner, and shot each that still showed sign of life with their sidearms, reported the 43 Americans who miraculously cheated death. ww2dbaseBefore Patton reached Bastogne to relieve the defenders, however, the defenders endured a hellish series of offensives. Hasso von Manteuffel's 5th Panzer Army, marching in the center toward Brussels. General Disclaimer - This is a private sector project developed by. The attack completely surprised the American defenders at the front lines as Jodl had strived for, with many troops surrendering or withdrawing in confusion. ww2dbaseA renewed German offensive was launched in the first week of Jan 1945 in attempt to keep the Allied troops off-balance. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, American forces suffered 89,500 casualties including 19,000 killed, 47,500 wounded and 23,000 missing. and useful information about WW2. Josef Dietrich's 6th SS Panzer Army with two SS Panzer divisions. By 16 Jan, the Allied forces regained a bulk of the territory held before the Bulge offensive, and on 23 Jan St. Vith was retaken. ww2dbaseRecall Hitler's earlier assumption that Eisenhower would have to communicate the strategic shift to his superiors before he could cancel his current offensives to deal with the German attack; largely, the German leader was wrong. The final destination was Antwerp, the newly acquired port that was critical in the Allies' logistical operations. Soldiers rushing to pull away debris found themselves also machine gunned by the low-flying bombers. Montgomery did not commit his forces until 3 Jan, by then it was too late to surround the majority of the German troops. Playing well into the Wacht Am Rhein misinterpretation, this order successfully downplayed any Allied suspicion of German preparing for an offensive. Troops moved into the Ardennes under the cover of the night, and during the day the thick forest provided excellent cover. The episode infuriated the Americans, and they called for killing all SS officers and troops on sight without giving an opportunity to surrender. "[O]ur losses were so high taht a continuation of such attacks had to be given up", noted Hitler in his personal journals. The German attack on Bastogne, Belgium was called off. General Bruce Clarke led his men to fight on bravely against overwhelming numbers for four days before turning control of St. Vith to the Germans, and even then they fell back to entrenched positions nearby to continue to hold back German advances. Hitler himself viewed the town as a threat to German communications, and ordered a concentrated attack to take the town. ww2dbaseThe German units summoned for this Dec 1944 offensive (delayed from its original Nov target date) were: ww2dbaseOverall, the offensive force was 15 divisions weaker than originally called for, plus the fact that many of the troops were the last of Germany's reserves (those who were too young or too old to be drafted earlier in the war). The three–storey building collapsed on top of the wounded patients and set the ruins on fire. He recalled the German assault: ww2dbaseIn Robert Merriam's The Battle of the Bulge and Dark December, he claimed that post-war interviews with Eisenhower and Bradley indicated that both were taken completely by surprise with the German offensive through the Ardennes. When Eisenhower had finally given the order for Patton to counterattack, his troops moved out the next minute. Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel knew that further discoveries of the offensive preparations were unavoidable, so he issued a fake order that had the German troops in the Cologne and Bonn areas prepare for a suspected Allied invasion. ww2dbaseWith the arrival of the Third Army to the region, the Americans planned a counterattack on 29 Dec. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB. Hitler's generals were opposed to the plan, but the Fuhrer's will prevailed and the counteroffensive was launched on 16 December by some 30 German divisions against Allied lines in the Ardennes region. British forces captured La Roche-en-Ardenne, Belgium, northwest of Bastogne. Out of American 610,000 troops involved in the battle, 89,000 were casualties with over 10,000 killed or missing. To mend the relationship between Americans and the British after the war Eisenhower noted that he had given Montgomery the order that the British would only attack when Montgomery had gathered enough force. The first of Skorzeny's plans called for a Trojan horse mission with the 150th Panzer Brigade driving captured American and British tanks; the objective was the capture of bridges on the Meuse. 44 of such commandos were sent, and only 8 returned at the end of the battle, achieving various degrees of success. The field commanders saw a different picture, however. German Counteroffensive (Battle of the Bulge). However, even Dickson underestimated the strength of the attack. Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Armored elements of German 6.SS-Panzerarmee captured Stavelot, Belgium, capturing the US fuel supply stored there for their own use. ww2dbaseAfter the weather cleared up, the men inside the besieged Bastogne received much needed air-dropped supplies totalling 800,000 pounds. "[T]he ground rocked and pitched as in an earthquake." A southern pincer column was also launched, with the goal of cutting off the southern maneuver room on the Alsatian plain. The offensive relied on a surprise element, and the Germans did not enjoy surprise this time around. C. Peter Chen of Lava Development, LLC. The Americans suffered some 75,000 casualties in the Battle of the Bulge, but the Germans lost 80,000 to l00,000. Summary of the Battle of the Bulge 20,876 Allied soldiers were killed during the Battle of the Bulge, with 42,893 wounded and 23,554 reported captured or missing.

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