After their invasion of Normandy in June , the Allies moved across northern France into Belgium during the summer but lost momentum in the autumn. German numbers were also bolstered by those troops who had managed to withdraw from France. In mid-December Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower , the 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.
Despite their loyalty, none of the German field commanders entrusted with planning and executing the offensive believed it was possible to capture Antwerp. The aims of the German counteroffensive were far-reaching: to break through to AntwerpBelgium, by an degine move, to cut off the British army group from American forces as well as from its supplies, and then Battle bulge define crush the isolated British. The Ardennes. Casemate Publishers. Before the offensive the Allies were bluge blind to German troop movement. Given the reduced manpower of their land forces at the Battle bulge define, the Germans believed the best way to seize the initiative would be to attack in the West against the Battle bulge define Allied forces rather than against the Reality kimgs porn Soviet armies.
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Rundstedt later testified that while he Battle bulge define the merit of Hitler's operational plan, he saw from the very first that "all, absolutely all conditions for the possible success of such an offensive were lacking. Patton and Eisenhower both felt this was a misrepresentation of the relative share of the fighting played by the British Battle bulge define Americans in the Ardennes for every British soldier there were thirty to forty Americans in the Battle bulge defineand that it belittled the part played by Bradley, Patton and other American commanders. The fierce defense of Bastogne, in which American paratroopers particularly distinguished themselves, made it impossible for the Germans to take the town with its important road junctions. Indeed, General Bradley and his American commanders were already starting their counterattack by the time Montgomery was given command of 1st and 9th U. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Hitler's Last Gamble. The Drop Zone. Within a weektroops had been sent. Eisenhower wrote, " The continual Battle bulge define that overweight people have against excess fat. Fierce resistance on the northern shoulder of the offensive, around Elsenborn Ridgeand in the south, around Bastogneblocked German access to key roads Mens seperating underwear the northwest and west that they counted on for success. This was done by increasing the number of flak Fl ug a bwehr k anonen, i. New York City: Delacorte Press. German intelligence had set 20 Battle bulge define as the expected date for the start of the upcoming Soviet offensiveaimed at crushing what was left of German resistance on the Eastern Front and thereby opening the way to Berlin. VIII Corps after an advance of 6.
Army Group B :.
- Army Group B :.
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- Lasting six brutal weeks, from December 16, , to January 25, , the assault, also called the Battle of the Ardennes, took place during frigid weather conditions, with some 30 German divisions attacking battle-fatigued American troops across 85 miles of the densely wooded Ardennes Forest.
- After their invasion of Normandy in June , the Allies moved across northern France into Belgium during the summer but lost momentum in the autumn.
Lasting six brutal weeks, from December 16, , to January 25, , the assault, also called the Battle of the Ardennes, took place during frigid weather conditions, with some 30 German divisions attacking battle-fatigued American troops across 85 miles of the densely wooded Ardennes Forest.
The battle proved to be the costliest ever fought by the U. Army, which suffered over , casualties. The formerly serene, wooded region of Ardennes was hacked into chaos by fighting as the Americans dug in against the German advance at St. Did you ever see trees and stuff, twisted and broken off? The surprise German attack broke through the front on day one as stories quickly spread of massacred soldiers and civilians, according to the U.
Army Center of Military History. British veterans waited nervously to see how the Americans would react to a full-scale German offensive, and British generals quietly acted to safeguard the Meuse River's crossings. Even American civilians, who had thought final victory was near were sobered by the Nazi onslaught. Veteran Vernon Brantley, a private first class in the th Regiment, told the Fort Jackson Leader in that his unit had just arrived in Germany from France when they were told to load up and return to Luxembourg.
They were there to create confusion. Under the rules of the Hague Convention these Germans were classifiable as spies and subject to an immediate court martial by a military tribunal. After brief deliberation American officers found them guilty, and ordered the usual penalty for spies: death by firing squad. To stop infiltrators, the U. Omar Bradley recalled, according to the Washington Post. Dwight D. Eisenhower , the supreme Allied commander, and Lt. George S. Patton Jr. In the small, pivotal Belgian town of Bastogne, the Germans surrounded thousands of Allied troops.
Claiming victory of the battle on January 25, , and the Allies headed for Berlin. In all, according to the U. Department of Defense , 1 million-plus Allied troops, including some , Americans, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, with approximately 19, soldiers killed in action, 47, wounded and 23,plus missing. About , Germans were killed, wounded or captured.
Eisenhower, in his book, The Bitter Woods. For it was here that American and German combat soldiers met in the decisive struggle that broke the back of the Nazi war machine. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present.
The Battle of Midway was an epic clash between the U. The U. Army and U. Marine Corps troops descended on the Pacific island of Okinawa for a final push towards Dunkirk is a small town on the coast of France that was the scene of a massive military campaign during World War II.
An expeditionary force commanded by U. Major General John P. On September 15, , U. Over the next several weeks, ferocious Japanese resistance inflicted heavy casualties on U. The battle is infamous as one of the largest, longest and bloodiest engagements in modern warfare: From August through February This Day In History.
Battle of the Bulge. Germany Advances in the Battle of the Bulge. Allied Progress in the Battle of the Bulge. Battle of Okinawa. Battle of Dunkirk Dunkirk is a small town on the coast of France that was the scene of a massive military campaign during World War II. Battle of Peleliu On September 15, , U.
Battle of the Bulge. The Allies relied too much on Ultra, not human reconnaissance. For the offensive to be successful, four criteria were deemed critical: the attack had to be a complete surprise; the weather conditions had to be poor to neutralize Allied air superiority and the damage it could inflict on the German offensive and its supply lines;  the progress had to be rapid—the Meuse River, halfway to Antwerp, had to be reached by day 4; and Allied fuel supplies would have to be captured intact along the way because the combined Wehrmacht forces were short on fuel. Retrieved 23 February In the south, Brandenberger's Seventh Army pushed towards Luxembourg in its efforts to secure the flank from Allied attacks. According to Winston Churchill, the attack from the south under Patton was steady but slow and involved heavy losses, and Montgomery was trying to avoid this situation. According to the U.
Battle bulge define. Troops Faced Severe Cold
Accounts of the killing vary, but at least 84 of the POWs were murdered. A few survived, and news of the killings of prisoners of war spread through Allied lines. Driving to the south-east of Elsenborn, Kampfgruppe Peiper entered Honsfeld, where they encountered one of the 99th Division's rest centers, clogged with confused American troops.
They quickly captured portions of the 3rd Battalion of the th Infantry Regiment. To the north, the th Volksgrenadier Division attempted to break through the defending line of the U. The 12th SS Panzer Division , reinforced by additional infantry Panzergrenadier and Volksgrenadier divisions, took the key road junction at Losheimergraben just north of Lanzerath and attacked the twin villages of Rocherath and Krinkelt.
Another, smaller massacre was committed in Wereth , Belgium, approximately 6. Eleven black American soldiers were tortured after surrendering and then shot by men of the 1st SS Panzer Division belonging to Schnellgruppe Knittel. The perpetrators were never punished for this crime and recent research indicates that men from Third Company of the Reconnaissance Battalion were responsible.
By the evening the spearhead had pushed north to engage the U. Peiper's forces were already behind his timetable because of the stiff American resistance and because when the Americans fell back, their engineers blew up bridges and emptied fuel dumps.
Peiper's unit was delayed and his vehicles denied critically needed fuel. They took 36 hours to advance from the Eifel region to Stavelot, while the same advance required nine hours in Kampfgruppe Peiper attacked Stavelot on 18 December but was unable to capture the town before the Americans evacuated a large fuel depot. Following this, 60 grenadiers advanced forward but were stopped by concentrated American defensive fire.
After a fierce tank battle the next day, the Germans finally entered the town when U. When they reached it at on 18 December, retreating U. At Cheneux, the advance guard was attacked by American fighter-bombers, destroying two tanks and five halftracks, blocking the narrow road. The group began moving again at dusk at and was able to return to its original route at around Of the two bridges remaining between Kampfgruppe Peiper and the Meuse, the bridge over the Lienne was blown by the Americans as the Germans approached.
Peiper turned north and halted his forces in the woods between La Gleize and Stoumont. To Peiper's south, the advance of Kampfgruppe Hansen had stalled.
Knittel pressed forward towards La Gleize, and shortly afterward the Americans recaptured Stavelot. Peiper and Knittel both faced the prospect of being cut off.
He followed this with a Panzer attack, gaining the eastern edge of the town. An American tank battalion arrived but, after a two-hour tank battle, Peiper finally captured Stoumont at Knittel joined up with Peiper and reported the Americans had recaptured Stavelot to their east. Assessing his own situation, he determined that his Kampfgruppe did not have sufficient fuel to cross the bridge west of Stoumont and continue his advance.
He maintained his lines west of Stoumont for a while, until the evening of 19 December when he withdrew them to the village edge. On the same evening the U. James Gavin arrived and deployed at La Gleize and along Peiper's planned route of advance. German efforts to reinforce Peiper were unsuccessful. Kampfgruppe Hansen was still struggling against bad road conditions and stiff American resistance on the southern route.
Schnellgruppe Knittel was forced to disengage from the heights around Stavelot. Kampfgruppe Sandig, which had been ordered to take Stavelot, launched another attack without success. Small units of the U. They failed and were forced to withdraw, and a number were captured, including battalion commander Maj. Hal McCown. As he withdrew from Cheneux, American paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division engaged the Germans in fierce house-to-house fighting. The Americans shelled Kampfgruppe Peiper on 22 December, and although the Germans had run out of food and had virtually no fuel, they continued to fight.
In La Gleize, Peiper set up defenses waiting for German relief. When the relief force was unable to penetrate the Allied lines, he decided to break through the Allied lines and return to the German lines on 23 December. The US 99th Infantry Division, outnumbered five to one, inflicted casualties in the ratio of 18 to one.
German losses were much higher. Eisenhower wrote, " Army prevented the German forces from reaching the road network to their west. The objective was the " Baraque Michel " crossroads. Von der Heydte was given only eight days to prepare prior to the assault. He was not allowed to use his own regiment because their movement might alert the Allies to the impending counterattack.
Instead, he was provided with a Kampfgruppe of men. The II Parachute Corps was tasked with contributing men from each of its regiments.
In loyalty to their commander, men from von der Heydte's own unit, the 6th Parachute Regiment , went against orders and joined him. The parachute drop was a complete failure. Von der Heydte ended up with a total of around troops. Too small and too weak to counter the Allies, they abandoned plans to take the crossroads and instead converted the mission to reconnaissance. With only enough ammunition for a single fight, they withdrew towards Germany and attacked the rear of the American lines.
Only about of his weary men finally reached the German rear. The Germans lacked the overwhelming strength that had been deployed in the north, but still possessed a marked numerical and material superiority over the very thinly spread 28th and th divisions. They succeeded in surrounding two largely intact regiments nd and rd of the th Division in a pincer movement and forced their surrender, a tribute to the way Manteuffel's new tactics had been applied.
The official U. Army history states: "At least seven thousand [men] were lost here and the figure probably is closer to eight or nine thousand. The amount lost in arms and equipment, of course, was very substantial. In the center, the town of St. Vith, a vital road junction, presented the main challenge for both von Manteuffel's and Dietrich's forces.
Infantry Division. These units, which operated under the command of Generals Robert W. Jones th Infantry , successfully resisted the German attacks, significantly slowing the German advance. At Montgomery's orders, St. Vith was evacuated on 21 December; U. By 23 December, as the Germans shattered their flanks, the defenders' position became untenable and U.
Since the German plan called for the capture of St. Vith by on 17 December, the prolonged action in and around it dealt a major setback to their timetable. To protect the river crossings on the Meuse at Givet, Dinant and Namur, Montgomery ordered those few units available to hold the bridges on 19 December.
This led to a hastily assembled force including rear-echelon troops, military police and Army Air Force personnel. The British 29th Armoured Brigade of British 11th Armoured Division , which had turned in its tanks for re-equipping, was told to take back their tanks and head to the area.
British XXX Corps was significantly reinforced for this effort. Unlike the German forces on the northern and southern shoulders who were experiencing great difficulties, the German advance in the center gained considerable ground.
The Ourthe River was passed at Ourtheville on 21 December. Lack of fuel held up the advance for one day, but on 23 December the offensive was resumed towards the two small towns of Hargimont and Marche-en-Famenne. Hargimont was captured the same day, but Marche-en-Famenne was strongly defended by the American 84th Division.
Although advancing only in a narrow corridor, 2nd Panzer Division was still making rapid headway, leading to jubilation in Berlin. The narrow corridor caused considerable difficulties, as constant flanking attacks threatened the division. On 24 December, German forces made their furthest penetration west. A hastily assembled Allied blocking force on the east side of the river prevented the German probing forces from approaching the Dinant bridge.
By late Christmas Eve the advance in this sector was stopped, as Allied forces threatened the narrow corridor held by the 2nd Panzer Division. For Operation Greif " Griffin " , Otto Skorzeny successfully infiltrated a small part of his battalion of English-speaking Germans disguised in American uniforms behind the Allied lines.
Although they failed to take the vital bridges over the Meuse, their presence caused confusion out of all proportion to their military activities, and rumors spread quickly. Checkpoints were set up all over the Allied rear, greatly slowing the movement of soldiers and equipment.
American MPs at these checkpoints grilled troops on things that every American was expected to know, like the identity of Mickey Mouse 's girlfriend, baseball scores, or the capital of a particular U. General Omar Bradley was briefly detained when he correctly identified Springfield as the capital of Illinois because the American MP who questioned him mistakenly believed the capital was Chicago.
The tightened security nonetheless made things very hard for the German infiltrators, and a number of them were captured. Even during interrogation, they continued their goal of spreading disinformation ; when asked about their mission, some of them claimed they had been told to go to Paris to either kill or capture General Dwight Eisenhower.
Because Skorzeny's men were captured in American uniforms, they were executed as spies. Skorzeny was tried by an American military tribunal in at the Dachau Trials for allegedly violating the laws of war stemming from his leadership of Operation Greif, but was acquitted. He later moved to Spain and South America. These agents were tasked with using an existing Nazi intelligence network to bribe rail and port workers to disrupt Allied supply operations.
The operation was a failure. Further south on Manteuffel's front, the main thrust was delivered by all attacking divisions crossing the River Our , then increasing the pressure on the key road centers of St. Vith and Bastogne. The th and th Regiments of the 28th Division fared worse, as they were spread so thinly that their positions were easily bypassed. Both offered stubborn resistance in the face of superior forces and threw the German schedule off by several days.
Panzer columns took the outlying villages and widely separated strong points in bitter fighting, and advanced to points near Bastogne within four days.
The fierce defense of Bastogne, in which American paratroopers particularly distinguished themselves, made it impossible for the Germans to take the town with its important road junctions. The panzer columns swung past on either side, cutting off Bastogne on 20 December but failing to secure the vital crossroads. In the extreme south, Brandenberger's three infantry divisions were checked by divisions of the U. VIII Corps after an advance of 6. Eisenhower and his principal commanders realized by 17 December that the fighting in the Ardennes was a major offensive and not a local counterattack, and they ordered vast reinforcements to the area.
Within a week , troops had been sent. Senior Allied commanders met in a bunker in Verdun on 19 December. By this time, the town of Bastogne and its network of 11 hard-topped roads leading through the widely forested mountainous terrain with deep river valleys and boggy mud of the Ardennes region was under severe threat. There will be only cheerful faces at this table. Then, we'll really cut 'em off and chew 'em up.
To the disbelief of the other generals present, Patton replied that he could attack with two divisions within 48 hours. Unknown to the other officers present, before he left Patton had ordered his staff to prepare three contingency plans for a northward turn in at least corps strength. By the time Eisenhower asked him how long it would take, the movement was already underway. Armies from Gen.
Food was scarce, and by 22 December artillery ammunition was restricted to 10 rounds per gun per day. The weather cleared the next day and supplies primarily ammunition were dropped over four of the next five days. Despite determined German attacks the perimeter held. The German commander, Generalleutnant Lt. Anthony McAuliffe , acting commander of the st, was told of the Nazi demand to surrender, in frustration he responded, "Nuts!
One officer, Lt. Harry Kinnard , noted that McAuliffe's initial reply would be "tough to beat. Both 2nd Panzer and Panzer-Lehr division moved forward from Bastogne after 21 December, leaving only Panzer-Lehr division's st Regiment to assist the 26th Volksgrenadier-Division in attempting to capture the crossroads.
Because it lacked sufficient troops and those of the 26th VG Division were near exhaustion, the XLVII Panzerkorps concentrated its assault on several individual locations on the west side of the perimeter in sequence rather than launching one simultaneous attack on all sides. The assault, despite initial success by its tanks in penetrating the American line, was defeated and all the tanks destroyed. On the following day of 26 December the spearhead of Gen.
On 23 December the weather conditions started improving, allowing the Allied air forces to attack. They launched devastating bombing raids on the German supply points in their rear, and P Thunderbolts started attacking the German troops on the roads. Allied air forces also helped the defenders of Bastogne, dropping much-needed supplies—medicine, food, blankets, and ammunition.
A team of volunteer surgeons flew in by military glider and began operating in a tool room. By 24 December the German advance was effectively stalled short of the Meuse. Up to this point the German losses had been light, notably in armor, with the exception of Peiper's losses.
Hitler rejected this. Disagreement and confusion at the Allied command prevented a strong response, throwing away the opportunity for a decisive action. As result, parts of the 2nd Panzer Division were cut off. The Panzer-Lehr division tried to relieve them, but was only partially successful, as the perimeter held. For the next two days the perimeter was strengthened. On 26 and 27 December the trapped units of 2nd Panzer Division made two break-out attempts, again only with partial success, as major quantities of equipment fell into Allied hands.
Further Allied pressure out of Marche finally led the German command to the conclusion that no further offensive action towards the Meuse was possible.
In the south, Patton's Third Army was battling to relieve Bastogne. On 1 January, in an attempt to keep the offensive going, the Germans launched two new operations. At , the Luftwaffe launched Unternehmen Bodenplatte Operation Baseplate , a major campaign against Allied airfields in the Low Countries , which are nowadays called the Benelux States.
Hundreds of planes attacked Allied airfields, destroying or severely damaging some aircraft. The Germans suffered heavy losses at an airfield named Y , losing 40 of their own planes while damaging only four American planes. While the Allies recovered from their losses within days, the operation left the Luftwaffe ineffective for the remainder of the war. The weakened Seventh Army had, at Eisenhower's orders, sent troops, equipment, and supplies north to reinforce the American armies in the Ardennes, and the offensive left it in dire straits.
With casualties mounting, and running short on replacements, tanks, ammunition, and supplies, Seventh Army was forced to withdraw to defensive positions on the south bank of the Moder River on 21 January. The German offensive drew to a close on 25 January.
In the bitter, desperate fighting of Operation Nordwind, VI Corps, which had borne the brunt of the fighting, suffered a total of 14, casualties.
The total for Seventh Army for January was 11, While the German offensive had ground to a halt during January , they still controlled a dangerous salient in the Allied line. Patton's Third Army in the south, centered around Bastogne, would attack north, Montgomery's forces in the north would strike south, and the two forces planned to meet at Houffalize.
The temperature during that January was extremely low, which required weapons to be maintained and truck engines run every half-hour to prevent their oil from congealing. The offensive went forward regardless. At the start of the offensive, the First and Third U.
American progress in the south was also restricted to about a kilometer or a little over half a mile per day. On 7 January Hitler agreed to withdraw all forces from the Ardennes, including the SS-Panzer divisions, thus ending all offensive operations. On January 14, Hitler granted Gerd von Rundstedt permission to carry out a fairly drastic retreat in the Ardennes region. Houffalize and the Bastogne front would be abandoned.
Vith was recaptured by the Americans on 23 January, and the last German units participating in the offensive did not return to their start line until 25 January. Winston Churchill , addressing the House of Commons following the Battle of the Bulge said, "This is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever-famous American victory.
Infantrymen fire at German troops in the advance to relieve the surrounded paratroopers in Bastogne.
Americans of the st Engineers near Wiltz , Luxembourg, January The plan and timing for the Ardennes attack sprang from the mind of Adolf Hitler. He believed a critical fault line existed between the British and American military commands, and that a heavy blow on the Western Front would shatter this alliance.
Planning for the "Watch on the Rhine" offensive emphasized secrecy and the commitment of overwhelming force. Due to the use of landline communications within Germany, motorized runners carrying orders, and draconian threats from Hitler, the timing and mass of the attack was not detected by ULTRA codebreakers and achieved complete surprise.
He entrusted them with carrying out his decisive counterattack. The leadership composition of the Sixth Panzer Division had a distinctly political nature. Despite their loyalty, none of the German field commanders entrusted with planning and executing the offensive believed it was possible to capture Antwerp. Model and Manteuffel, technical experts from the eastern front, told Hitler that a limited offensive with the goal of surrounding and crushing the American 1st Army would be the best goal their offensive could hope to achieve.
Their ideas shared the same fate as Dietrich's objections. The German staff planning and organization of the attack was well done. The headlong drive on Elsenborn Ridge lacked needed support from German units that had already bypassed the ridge. Eisenhower 's commitment to a broad front advance. This view was opposed by the British Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Field Marshal Alan Brooke , as well as Field Marshal Montgomery, who promoted a rapid advance on a narrow front, with the other allied armies in reserve.
Major General Freddie de Guingand , Chief of Staff of Montgomery's 21st Army Group, rose to the occasion, and personally smoothed over the disagreements on 30 December.
The First Army was fighting desperately. I found the northern flank of the bulge was very disorganized. Ninth Army had two corps and three divisions; First Army had three corps and fifteen divisions. Neither Army Commander had seen Bradley or any senior member of his staff since the battle began, and they had no directive on which to work.
The first thing to do was to see the battle on the northern flank as one whole , to ensure the vital areas were held securely, and to create reserves for counter-attack. I embarked on these measures: I put British troops under command of the Ninth Army to fight alongside American soldiers, and made that Army take over some of the First Army Front. I positioned British troops as reserves behind the First and Ninth Armies until such time as American reserves could be created.
Slowly but surely the situation was held, and then finally restored. Similar action was taken on the southern flank of the bulge by Bradley, with the Third Army.
Due to the news blackout imposed on the 16th, the change of leadership to Montgomery did not become public information until SHAEF announced that the change in command had "absolutely nothing to do with failure on the part of the three American generals". Montgomery requested permission from Churchill to give a press conference to explain the situation.
Though some of his staff were concerned at how the press conference would affect Montgomery's image, it was cleared by CIGS Alan Brooke, who was possibly the only person from whom Montgomery would accept advice.
On the same day as Hitler's withdrawal order of 7 January, Montgomery held his press conference at Zonhoven. On our team, the captain is General Ike. Then Montgomery described the course of the battle for a half-hour. Coming to the end of his speech he said he had "employed the whole available power of the British Group of Armies; this power was brought into play very gradually Finally it was put into battle with a bang Despite his positive remarks about American soldiers, the overall impression given by Montgomery, at least in the ears of the American military leadership, was that he had taken the lion's share of credit for the success of the campaign, and had been responsible for rescuing the besieged Americans.
His comments were interpreted as self-promoting, particularly his claim that when the situation "began to deteriorate," Eisenhower had placed him in command in the north. Patton and Eisenhower both felt this was a misrepresentation of the relative share of the fighting played by the British and Americans in the Ardennes for every British soldier there were thirty to forty Americans in the fight , and that it belittled the part played by Bradley, Patton and other American commanders.
In the context of Patton's and Montgomery's well-known antipathy, Montgomery's failure to mention the contribution of any American general besides Eisenhower was seen as insulting. Indeed, General Bradley and his American commanders were already starting their counterattack by the time Montgomery was given command of 1st and 9th U.
According to Winston Churchill, the attack from the south under Patton was steady but slow and involved heavy losses, and Montgomery was trying to avoid this situation. Many American officers had already grown to dislike Montgomery, who was seen by them as an overly cautious commander, arrogant, and all too willing to say uncharitable things about the Americans.
The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill found it necessary in a speech to Parliament to explicitly state that the Battle of the Bulge was purely an American victory. Montgomery subsequently recognized his error and later wrote: "Not only was it probably a mistake to have held this conference at all in the sensitive state of feeling at the time, but what I said was skilfully distorted by the enemy. Chester Wilmot  explained that his dispatch to the BBC about it was intercepted by the German wireless, re-written to give it an anti-American bias, and then broadcast by Arnhem Radio, which was then in Goebbels ' hands.
Monitored at Bradley 's HQ, this broadcast was mistaken for a BBC transmission and it was this twisted text that started the uproar. Montgomery later said, "Distorted or not, I think now that I should never have held that press conference. So great were the feelings against me on the part of the American generals that whatever I said was bound to be wrong. I should therefore have said nothing.
They believed he had belittled them—and they were not slow to voice reciprocal scorn and contempt. Bradley and Patton both threatened to resign unless Montgomery's command was changed.
Eisenhower, encouraged by his British deputy Arthur Tedder , had decided to sack Montgomery. Freddie de Guingand , and Lt. Walter Bedell Smith , moved Eisenhower to reconsider and allowed Montgomery to apologize. Speaking subsequently to a British writer while himself a prisoner in Britain, the former German commander of the 5th Panzer Army , Hasso von Manteuffel said of Montgomery's leadership:. The operations of the American 1st Army had developed into a series of individual holding actions.
Montgomery's contribution to restoring the situation was that he turned a series of isolated actions into a coherent battle fought according to a clear and definite plan. It was his refusal to engage in premature and piecemeal counter-attacks which enabled the Americans to gather their reserves and frustrate the German attempts to extend their breakthrough. However Ambrose, writing in , maintained that "Putting Monty in command of the northern flank had no effect on the battle".
Casualty estimates for the battle vary widely. According to the U. Department of Defense , American forces suffered 89, casualties including 19, killed, 47, wounded and 23, missing. Armies listed 75, casualties 8, killed, 46, wounded and 21, missing. British casualties totaled 1, with deaths. The German High Command estimated that they lost between 81, and 98, men in the Bulge between 16 December and 28 January ; the accepted figure was 81,, of which 12, were killed, 38, were wounded, and 30, were missing.
Although the Germans managed to begin their offensive with complete surprise and enjoyed some initial successes, they were not able to seize the initiative on the Western front. While the German command did not reach its goals, the Ardennes operation inflicted heavy losses and set back the Allied invasion of Germany by several weeks. The High Command of the Allied forces had planned to resume the offensive by early January , after the wet season rains and severe frosts, but those plans had to be postponed until 29 January in connection with the unexpected changes in the front.
By the beginning of February , the lines were roughly where they had been in December In early February, the Allies launched an attack all along the Western front: in the north under Montgomery toward Aachen; in the center, under Courtney Hodges ; and in the south, under Patton.
The German losses in the battle were especially critical: their last reserves were now gone, the Luftwaffe had been shattered, and remaining forces throughout the West were being pushed back to defend the Siegfried Line.
Intercepted German communications indicating a substantial German offensive preparation were not acted upon by the Allies. The battle around Bastogne received a great deal of media attention because in early December it was a rest and recreation area for many war correspondents. The rapid advance by the German forces who surrounded the town, the spectacular resupply operations via parachute and glider, along with the fast action of General Patton's Third U. At Bletchley Park, F.
Lucas and Peter Calvocoressi of Hut 3 were tasked by General Nye as part of the enquiry set up by the Chiefs of Staff with writing a report on the lessons to be learned from the handling of pre-battle Ultra. For its part, Hut 3 had grown "shy of going beyond its job of amending and explaining German messages.
Drawing broad conclusions was for the intelligence staff at SHAEF, who had information from all sources," including aerial reconnaissance. Rose, head Air Adviser in Hut 3, read the paper at the time and described it in as "an extremely good report" that "showed the failure of intelligence at SHAEF and at the Air Ministry".
Copy No. After the war ended, the U. Army issued battle credit in the form of the Ardennes-Alsace campaign citation to units and individuals that took part in operations in northwest Europe. Third Army racing north, engaged in the concurrent Operation Nordwind diversion in central and southern Alsace launched to weaken Allied response in the Ardennes, and provided reinforcements to units fighting in the Ardennes.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 22 October For other uses, see Battle of the Bulge disambiguation. Vith during the Battle of the Bulge, January Dwight D.
Battle of the Bulge. West European Campaign — Front line, 16 December. Front line, 20 December. Front line, 25 December. Allied movements. German movements. Main article: Wehrmacht forces for the Ardennes Offensive. See also: Battle of the Bulge order of battle. Planning the Counteroffensive. Troops and Terrain. There is a popular impression that the chief trouble in the Ardennes is the lack of good roads.
The continual battle that overweight people have against excess fat. I'm 10 kilos overweight - I have an ongoing battle of the bulge. Battle of the bulge unknown. When one's trouser's surface rises above " sea level ". The result of one's sexual arousal. Little did I know it, but he was experiencing a Battle of the Bulge as he looked me over. A decisive battle during the Second World War in which, surrounded, American troops sent out underwear model Richard Couverant to engage in one-on-one combat with model Heinrich Herzog.
The bout culminated in a sword fight between their semi-erect Wilhelms. In lieu of him, the military hired fashion photographer Richard Avedon.
Unfortunately, to preserve the fighters' integrity, the treaty required the negatives to be burnt. Despite this, the event is survived in print due to a soldier who totally snuck a pic while no one was looking. Sexually repressed Southerners often enjoy reenacting the Battle of the Bulge. I was in class today when Michelle walked by in her short shorts. It was the battle of the bulge, big time. This time I am winning the Battle of the Bulge.
Battle of the Bulge - Definition, Dates & Who Won - HISTORY
Army Group B :. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in eastern Belgium , northeast France , and Luxembourg , towards the end of the war in Europe. The offensive was intended to stop Allied use of the Belgian port of Antwerp and to split the Allied lines, allowing the Germans to encircle and destroy four Allied armies and force the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis powers ' favor.
The Germans achieved a total surprise attack on the morning of 16 December , due to a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with Allied offensive plans, and poor aerial reconnaissance due to bad weather. American forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred their highest casualties of any operation during the war. Fierce resistance on the northern shoulder of the offensive, around Elsenborn Ridge , and in the south, around Bastogne , blocked German access to key roads to the northwest and west that they counted on for success.
Columns of armor and infantry that were supposed to advance along parallel routes found themselves on the same roads. This, and terrain that favored the defenders, threw the German advance behind schedule and allowed the Allies to reinforce the thinly placed troops. Although the offensive was effectively broken by 27 December, when the trapped units of 2nd Panzer Division made two break-out attempts with only partial success, the battle continued for another month before the front line was effectively restored to its position prior to the attack.
In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment, as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. Between 63, and 98, of these men were killed , missing , wounded in action , or captured. For the Americans, out of a peak of , troops,  89,  became casualties out of which some 19, were killed. General Dwight D. Eisenhower the Supreme Allied Commander on the Western Front and his staff chose to hold the Ardennes region which was occupied by the U.
First Army. The Allies chose to defend the Ardennes with as few troops as possible due to the favorable terrain a densely wooded highland with deep river valleys and a rather thin road network and limited Allied operational objectives in the area.
They also had intelligence that the Wehrmacht was using the area across the German border as a rest-and-refit area for its troops. The speed of the Allied advance coupled with an initial lack of deep-water ports presented the Allies with enormous supply problems. The only deep-water port the Allies had captured was Cherbourg on the northern shore of the Cotentin peninsula and west of the original invasion beaches,  but the Germans had thoroughly wrecked, and mined, the harbor before it could be taken.
It took many months to rebuild its cargo-handling capability. The Allies captured the port of Antwerp intact in the first days of September, but it was not operational until 28 November. The estuary of the Schelde river , that controlled access to the port, had to be cleared of both German troops and naval mines. The Allies' efforts to destroy the French railway system prior to D-Day were successful.
This destruction hampered the German response to the invasion, but it proved equally hampering to the Allies, as it took time to repair the rail network's tracks and bridges. A trucking system nicknamed the Red Ball Express brought supplies to front-line troops, but used up five times as much fuel to reach the front line near the Belgian border.
By early October, the Allies had suspended major offensives to improve their supply lines and supply availability at the front. Montgomery and Bradley both pressed for priority delivery of supplies to their respective armies so they could continue their individual lines of advance and maintain pressure on the Germans, while Eisenhower preferred a broad-front strategy.
He gave some priority to Montgomery's northern forces. This had the short-term goal of opening the urgently needed port of Antwerp and the long-term goal of capturing the Ruhr area , the biggest industrial area of Germany. Field Marshal Montgomery's Operation Market Garden achieved only some of its objectives, while its territorial gains left the Allied supply situation stretched further than before.
As a result, by the end of October, the supply situation had eased somewhat. Despite a lull along the front after the Scheldt battles, the German situation remained dire. The Allies were slowly pushing towards Germany , but no decisive breakthrough was achieved. Additional Allied airborne units remained in England. The Germans could field a total of 55 understrength divisions. Adolf Hitler first officially outlined his surprise counter-offensive to his astonished generals on September 16, The assault's ambitious goal was to pierce the thinly held lines of the U.
The extremely swift operation ended only when the advancing Soviet Red Army forces outran their supplies. By November, it was clear that Soviet forces were preparing for a winter offensive.
Meanwhile, the Allied air offensive of early had effectively grounded the Luftwaffe , leaving the German Army with little battlefield intelligence and no way to interdict Allied supplies. The converse was equally damaging; daytime movement of German forces was rapidly noticed, and interdiction of supplies combined with the bombing of the Romanian oil fields starved Germany of oil and gasoline. Their front lines in the west had been considerably shortened by the Allied offensive and were much closer to the German heartland.
This drastically reduced their supply problems despite Allied control of the air. Additionally, their extensive telephone and telegraph network meant that radios were no longer necessary for communications, which lessened the effectiveness of Allied Ultra intercepts. Nevertheless, some 40—50 messages per day were decrypted by Ultra. Hitler felt that his mobile reserves allowed him to mount one major offensive.
Although he realized nothing significant could be accomplished in the Eastern Front , he still believed an offensive against the Western Allies, whom he considered militarily inferior to the Red Army, would have some chances of success.
After the war ended, this assessment was generally viewed as unrealistic, given Allied air superiority throughout Europe and their ability to continually disrupt German offensive operations. Given the reduced manpower of their land forces at the time, the Germans believed the best way to seize the initiative would be to attack in the West against the smaller Allied forces rather than against the vast Soviet armies.
Even the encirclement and destruction of multiple Soviet armies, as in , would still have left the Soviets with a numerical superiority. Hitler's plan called for a Blitzkrieg attack through the weakly defended Ardennes, mirroring the successful German offensive there during the Battle of France in —aimed at splitting the armies along the U.
The disputes between Montgomery and Bradley were well known, and Hitler hoped he could exploit this disunity. If the attack were to succeed in capturing Antwerp, four complete armies would be trapped without supplies behind German lines. Several senior German military officers, including Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model and Gerd von Rundstedt , expressed concern as to whether the goals of the offensive could be realized.
Model and von Rundstedt both believed aiming for Antwerp was too ambitious, given Germany's scarce resources in late At the same time, they felt that maintaining a purely defensive posture as had been the case since Normandy would only delay defeat, not avert it.
The two field marshals combined their plans to present a joint "small solution" to Hitler. Rundstedt later testified that while he recognized the merit of Hitler's operational plan, he saw from the very first that "all, absolutely all conditions for the possible success of such an offensive were lacking. In the west supply problems began significantly to impede Allied operations, even though the opening of the port of Antwerp in late November improved the situation somewhat.
The positions of the Allied armies stretched from southern France all the way north to the Netherlands. German planning for the counteroffensive rested on the premise that a successful strike against thinly manned stretches of the line would halt Allied advances on the entire Western Front.
The Wehrmacht ' s code name for the offensive was Unternehmen [g] Wacht am Rhein "Operation Watch on the Rhine" , after the German patriotic hymn Die Wacht am Rhein , a name that deceptively implied the Germans would be adopting a defensive posture along the Western Front. The Germans also referred to it as "Ardennenoffensive" Ardennes Offensive and Rundstedt-Offensive, both names being generally used nowadays in modern Germany.
The battle was militarily defined by the Allies as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, which included the German drive and the American effort to contain and later defeat it.
The phrase Battle of the Bulge was coined by contemporary press to describe the way the Allied front line bulged inward on wartime news maps. The OKW decided by mid-September, at Hitler's insistence, that the offensive would be mounted in the Ardennes, as was done in In German forces had passed through the Ardennes in three days before engaging the enemy, but the plan called for battle in the forest itself. The main forces were to advance westward to the Meuse River, then turn northwest for Antwerp and Brussels.
The close terrain of the Ardennes would make rapid movement difficult, though open ground beyond the Meuse offered the prospect of a successful dash to the coast. Four armies were selected for the operation. Adolf Hitler personally selected for the counter-offensive on the northern shoulder of the western front the best troops available and officers he trusted. As a result, they made little progress throughout the battle.
Recently brought back up to strength and re-equipped after heavy fighting during Operation Market Garden, it was located on the far north of the Ardennes battlefield and tasked with holding U. For the offensive to be successful, four criteria were deemed critical: the attack had to be a complete surprise; the weather conditions had to be poor to neutralize Allied air superiority and the damage it could inflict on the German offensive and its supply lines;  the progress had to be rapid—the Meuse River, halfway to Antwerp, had to be reached by day 4; and Allied fuel supplies would have to be captured intact along the way because the combined Wehrmacht forces were short on fuel.
The General Staff estimated they only had enough fuel to cover one-third to one-half of the ground to Antwerp in heavy combat conditions. These 30 newly rebuilt divisions used some of the last reserves of the German Army. Among them were Volksgrenadier "People's Grenadier" units formed from a mix of battle-hardened veterans and recruits formerly regarded as too young, too old or too frail to fight.
Training time, equipment and supplies were inadequate during the preparations. German fuel supplies were precarious—those materials and supplies that could not be directly transported by rail had to be horse-drawn to conserve fuel, and the mechanized and panzer divisions would depend heavily on captured fuel. As a result, the start of the offensive was delayed from 27 November to 16 December.
Before the offensive the Allies were virtually blind to German troop movement. During the liberation of France, the extensive network of the French resistance had provided valuable intelligence about German dispositions. Once they reached the German border, this source dried up. In France, orders had been relayed within the German army using radio messages enciphered by the Enigma machine , and these could be picked up and decrypted by Allied code-breakers headquartered at Bletchley Park , to give the intelligence known as Ultra.
In Germany such orders were typically transmitted using telephone and teleprinter , and a special radio silence order was imposed on all matters concerning the upcoming offensive. The foggy autumn weather also prevented Allied reconnaissance aircraft from correctly assessing the ground situation. German units assembling in the area were even issued charcoal instead of wood for cooking fires to cut down on smoke and reduce chances of Allied observers deducing a troop buildup was underway.
For these reasons Allied High Command considered the Ardennes a quiet sector, relying on assessments from their intelligence services that the Germans were unable to launch any major offensive operations this late in the war. What little intelligence they had led the Allies to believe precisely what the Germans wanted them to believe-—that preparations were being carried out only for defensive, not offensive, operations.
The Allies relied too much on Ultra, not human reconnaissance. This was done by increasing the number of flak Fl ug a bwehr k anonen, i. The Allies at this point thought the information was of no importance. All of this meant that the attack, when it came, completely surprised the Allied forces. Remarkably, the U. VIII Corps area. These predictions were largely dismissed by the U. Bradley's response was succinct: "Let them come.
O'Donnell writes that on 8 December U. The next day GIs who relieved the Rangers reported a considerable movement of German troops inside the Ardennes in the enemy's rear, but that no one in the chain of command connected the dots.