Battle of the Bulge



The Battle of the Bulge was an important fight because it was one that could have turned World War II around for the Germans. The Battle of the Bulge took place on December 16 1944. The Germans mobilized the last chance they had to win the war. The Germans wanted to cut the American forces in to two parts, because this way they could easily be destroyed. Hitler felt this was his last chance to win, because his forces were being pushed back and soon they would run out of the resources they would need to win the war. Hitler was mobilizing a task force of 500,000 Germans soldiers. The allies were slowly pushing through the Ardennes Forest on the German, Belgium boarder, with a force of 600,000 American solders, and 55,000 British soldiers. Hitler hoped to surprise the Allies of guard and quickly separate the army. The allies pushed through this are because they felt this was the least likely place to set up an attack to assault the Allies. The Germans selected it because it was easy to hide troops in the hills. Hitler code-named this attack as the “Wacht am Rhein”. The Americans went through the area in a thin line to give support to the flank where the attack was expected.
During the War, Eisenhower and his staff felt this spot was the least likely to be attacked. The thought the Germans would not try anything through the narrow passageway. The American Army was kept long and thin whit a reinforced left and right flank to make sure of any attacks that would come right up the middle. “Thinking the Ardennes was the least likely spot for a German offensive, American Staff Commanders chose to keep the line thin, so that the manpower might concentrate on offensives north and south of the Ardennes. The American line was thinly held by three divisions and a part of a fourth, while the fifth was making a local attack and a sixth was in reserve. Division sectors were more than double the width of normal, defensive fronts.”( John Kline)The Germans wanted do of the opposite of what the Americans wanted to do. As stated above the Allied troops were \'resting\' and reforming; they consisted of General Simpson\'s 9th Army and General Hodges 1st US Army in the north and General Patton\'s 3rd Army to the south. The Ardennes was held by General Middleton who had the 8th US Army Corps, 106th and 26th Infantry Divisions and 4th and 9th Armoured Divisions.

“In late 1944 Germany was clearly losing the war. The Russian Red Army was steadily closing in on the Eastern front while German cities were being devastated by intense American bombing. The Italian peninsula had been captured and liberated, and the Allied armies were advancing rapidly through France and the Low Countries. Hitler knew the end was near if something couldn\'t be done to slow the Allied advance. He soon came up with a plan to do this.” (David Sargent). This shows how Hitler has to come up with a brilliant game paln to win the war. The object of the German offensive was to push through the Belgian Ardennes, cross the Meuse, retake Antwerp and its harbor facilities, thrust to the north and reach the sea. This would cut off the Allied troops in Holland and Belgium, making it impossible for them to withdraw. The success of the operation depended on three important parts; the speed of the initial breakthrough, the seizure of Allied fuel supplies and communications centers between St.Vith and Bastogne, and the widening of the breach in the Allied lines to allow German troops to pour into Belgium.
There would be three armies: the 15th Army in the North, 7th Army in the South and the main push by Sepp Dietrich\'s 6th and von Manteuffel\'s 7th Panzer Divisions in the center! Specially trained German soldiers who spoke English fluently were infiltrated behind the Allied lines wearing American uniforms with orders to disrupt the deployment of Allied units and prepare the way for the German advance. The crucial problem for the German was their lack of fuel and the whole \'adventure\' depended on their initial thrust capturing the allied supplies. without