Battle of the Bulge Facts

Battle of the Bulge Facts
The Battle of the Bulge, which took place from December 16 1944 to January 25, 1945, was the last major German offensive on the Western Front. At the time of the attack, the Allies were quickly working their way into the Low Countries, preparing for their final push across the Rhine River into Germany. The German forces were camped out in the Ardennes Forest, behind the fortifications of the Siegfried Line, where they struck the Allies in a surprise attack. The German plan was to push toward the coast, capture the port of Antwerp and capture several Allied armies, thereby forcing the Allies to accept an honorable German surrender. The initial stages of the battle went well for the Germans, but they were stretched too thin from previous losses and could not overcome the superior numbers of the Allies or the freshness of the American troops. The casualties were high on both sides, with more than 19,000 American soldiers killed. The loss opened the route for the Allied forces to take western German easily in the next few months.
Interesting Battle of the Bulge Facts:
The Battle of the Bulge is also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive because it was Germany's last counteroffensive on the Western Front.
The Germans referred to the offensive as "Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein:" "Operation Watch on the Rhine."
It became known as the Battle of the Bulge because the surprise German attack created a bulge in the Allies' front line.
Western Europe was hit with a particularly cold and snowy winter that season, which made the fighting that much more difficult.
The poor weather actually worked to the Germans' advantage. The Allies had air superiority, but aircraft of the time, which didn't have radar, could not operate properly in snow, rain, or fog.
The senior German generals who led the offensive were led by Walter Model and Gerd von Rundstedt.
One of the reasons why the Germans were able to gain so much ground so rapidly is because the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, Dwight D. Eisenhower, favored a broad front.
American general George Patton led much of the defensive on the ground.
The 1st and 12th Waffen SS Panzer divisions were brought in to lead the armored attack against the Allies.
Although a number of different Allied forces took part in the battle, it was overwhelming an American versus German battle. Only 200 British were killed in the battle.
The Battle of the Bulge was the second most deadly battle in American history.
The 82nd Airborne Division was involved in heavy fighting, but since it was primarily a defensive battle for the Americans the airborne unit never paradropped during the fighting.
After the battle Winston Churchill addressed the House of Commons and said, "This is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever-famous American victory."


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