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.

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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

Battle of the Bulge

The Ardennes offensive was a last ditch effort by the Germans to achieve an advantage in the war, but it turned out to be an acceleration of Germanys ultimate demise. Previous to the offensive the Allies had managed to achieve a beach head and advance toward Germany from almost every direction. On the eastern front Russia was steadily advancing on Berlin. The western front was around the Belgium and German border. Germanys fate seemed to be determined but Hitler would not let the thought of defeat enter his or his commands mind. He started planning for a massive offensive against the Allies on the western front. He believed that the relationship of the Allies was very unstable and that if he could penetrate through the western front and reach the port of Antwerp that they would bicker among themselves and eventually fall apart.

In the fall of 1944 as General Eisenhower had promised the Allied forces had successfully fought their way through Europe and established a front from the North Sea to Switzerland. The lines were stretched very thin. Only 65 divisions of infantry, armor, and airborne were available to hold the 500 mile long line. Having landed at Normandy in June of the same year Allies had made very quick advances on the Germans positions. General Patton expressed it well when giving his famous speech to the Third Army
I dont want to get any messages saying, I am holding my position.

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We are not holding a goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that.

We are advancing constantly and not interested in holding anything
but the enemies b***s. (Province 5)
The Allies were no longer worried about losing the war it was just a matter of time before Germany fell.

Hitler however was not as willing to succumb to that realization. After a failed assassination attempt and suffering from bad health many say that by this time in the war Hitlers judgment and state of mind had become very unstable. He felt that if he could organize a strike against the Allies on the western front and reach Antwerp that by dividing the lines of the Allies they would start to turn against each other. Germany felt that the union of the Allies was weak and could be broken easily. This was one of the major faults in Hitlers plan.

The union of the Allies was an uncomfortable one but it was held together because of their determination to destroy the German regime. They were fighting a war of attrition. That is where you keep attacking the enemy over and over again slowly breaking down their structure until they finally fall. Conferences between the leaders of the major countries for the Allies had conferences starting the negotiations of what would be done with Germany and the other territories after the war in Europe was over.
On September 16, 1944 Hitler announces his plan for a major offensive on the western front to his operation staff. The location and objective of the offensive were also revealed and the project was codenamed Wacht am Rhine ( Watch on the Rhine). They chose this name in an attempt to try to confuse the Allies into thinking that the plan was defensive. This tactic worked well since the Allies were unprepared for the attack even after intercepting transmissions where they heard the codename and the approximate date of its initiation. A transmission from Japanese ambassador Baron Oshima to Japan was one of those Decoded by the Allies using the MAGIC code breaker. This was after messages between German command was intercepted using the ULTRA machine. The information picked up from this transmission was about planning reconnaissance and troop movements into positions where they are more suitable to attack.

Many times Hitlers staff tried to convince him to reconsider his plan for the massive offensive. Most thought that the German army would be best to setup a strong defensive strategy and by stalling have time to implement many of the secret weapons that were in development at the time. None of his advisors thought that the German army was strong enough at the time to take advance to Antwerp. One of his advisors was quoted This plan hasnt got

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