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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 a supply of fuel they where siting ducks if they ever ran out. Hitler's last attack had to work or he would be defeated. The plan was to march 85 miles from Southern Belgium to Luxembourg and attack the allies by surprise.
He would attack during the Christmas season in the Ardennes Forest, an area where there were only a few allied soldiers. The invasion was designed to split the American and British armies in half. However it did not succeed. The German armies caught the allies by surprise. They had some success in the beginning and were able to take a lot of land from the allies and captured many allied soldiers. The allied forces fought Hitler's armies bravely.
They held on to their ground wherever they could. They slowed down the German armies until American and English reinforcements arrived to fight the Germans. The German army was no match for the allied forces. They were running out of fuel, men and ammunition. After fierce battles the German forces were pushed back and gave up all the land they had conquered in the beginning of the battle. The allied forces completely destroyed the German armies. From this time forward the Germans were never able to raise a large army again to attack the allies.
As 1945 approached it seemed, to most, that Germany's surrender was only a matter of time. The Allies, having been on the offensive for so long, had an all time high determination and morale. The idea that Germany could muster the supplies, troops, or will to launch an offensive seemed crazy. In fact, many were already asking the questions of when and where the assault on the Rhine should be launched. Hitler, utilizing his talent of strategic vision, noticed a hole in the Allies defenses. He saw the Ardennes Forest of Belgium was lightly defended.
The Ardennes Forest had traditionally been thought of as impassable to tanks and therefore not an option for either side. The Allies left only four divisions to defend a front of over eighty miles. Because the Germans had now been pushed back almost to Germany, and in some places were already fighting on German soil, the Allies lost the important intelligence on troop movements provided by French and Belgium residents. As a result Germany was able to do major troop movements and buildups right behind the front lines. Hitler secretly assembled the twenty-one divisions that would later take place in The Battle of The Bulge with out the Allies even knowing. Field-Marshal von Rundsted is generally credited with the plans for the offensive, however in actuality he was strongly opposed to the plan. It was Hitler ....
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