* Western Allied offensive plans delayed by five or six weeks
* Disastrous offensive in the
COMMANDERS AND LEADERS
Dwight D. Eisenhower
* (Supreme Allied Commander )
21st Army Group , First U.S. Army , Ninth U.S. Army )
* (12th U.S. Army Group )
* (First U.S. Army )
George S. Patton
16 December 6 infantry divisions 2 armored divisions 16 January 22 infantry divisions 8 armored divisions 2 armored brigades 16 December 13 infantry divisions 7 armored divisions 1 brigade 16 January 16 infantry divisions 8 armored divisions 2 infantry brigades
CASUALTIES AND LOSSES
American 105,102 casualties. :92 19,000 killed, 62,500 wounded, 23,500 captured or missing 700–800+ tanks, tank destroyers, and assault guns destroyed 647 aircraft lost British 1,408 (200 killed, 969 wounded, and 239 missing) 67,459 – 125,000 casualties (includes killed, wounded, missing, captured) 600–800+ tanks and assault guns destroyed ~800 aircraft lost, over 500 in December and 280 during Unternehmen Bodenplatte
Approximately 3,000 civilians killed
* v * t * e
* Vianden * Kesternich * Wehlerscheid
------------------------- Initial German assault
------------------------- Allied defense and counteroffensive
------------------------- German counterattack
* _Bodenplatte _ * _Nordwind _
* German forces * Order of battle
* v * t * e
West European Campaign (1944–45)
* _Overlord _
* _Dragoon _
* Paris to the Rhine
* Channel Coast
* _Market Garden _
* Hürtgen Forest
* v * t * e
Western Front of
World War II
* Phoney War * Saar * The Heligoland Bight
* The Netherlands
* The Hague * Rotterdam * Zeeland * Rotterdam Blitz
* Fort Eben-Emael * Hannut * Gembloux * La Lys
* _Sea Lion_
* _Overlord_ * _Dragoon_ * Siegfried Line
* _Market Garden_
* Hürtgen Forest
* _Nordwind_ * _Bodenplatte_
* Colmar Pocket * Atlantic Pockets * Invasion of Germany
Map showing the swelling of "the Bulge" as the German offensive progressed creating the nose-like salient during 16–25 December 1944. Front line, 16 December Front line, 20 December Front line, 25 December Allied movements German movements
The BATTLE OF THE BULGE (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was
the last major German offensive campaign in its western theater during
World War II
The Germans officially referred to the offensive as _UNTERNEHMEN
WACHT AM RHEIN_ ("Operation Watch on the Rhine "), while the Allies
designated it the ARDENNES COUNTEROFFENSIVE. The phrase "Battle of the
Bulge" was coined by contemporary press to describe the bulge in
German front lines on wartime news maps, and it became the most
widely used name for the battle. The German offensive was intended to
stop Allied use of the Belgian port of
The Germans achieved total surprise on the morning of 16 December 1944, due to a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with Allied offensive plans, and poor aerial reconnaissance . The Germans attacked a weakly defended section of the Allied line, taking advantage of heavily overcast weather conditions that grounded the Allies' overwhelmingly superior air forces. 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. Improved weather conditions permitted air attacks on German forces and supply lines , which sealed the failure of the offensive. 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 .
The Germans' initial attack involved 406,000 men; 1,214 tanks, tank
destroyers, and assault guns; and 4,224 artillery pieces. These were
reinforced a couple of weeks later, bringing the offensive's total
strength to around 450,000 troops, and 1,500 tanks and assault guns.
Between 67,200 and 125,000 of their men were killed , missing , or
wounded in action . For the Americans, out of 610,000 troops involved
in the battle, 89,000 were casualties. While some sources report
that up to 19,000 were killed, Eisenhower 's personnel chief put the
number at about 8,600. British historian
Antony Beevor reports the
number killed as 8,407. It was the largest and bloodiest battle
fought by the
* 1 Background
* 1.1 Allied supply issues * 1.2 German plans * 1.3 Drafting the offensive * 1.4 Operation names * 1.5 Planning
* 2 Initial German assault
* 3 Attack on the northern shoulder
* 3.1 Best German divisions assigned
* 3.2 German forces held up
* 4 Attack in the center
* 5 Attack in the south
* 5.1 Siege of Bastogne
* 6 Allied counteroffensive
* 7 German counterattack
* 7.1 Allies prevail
* 8 Force comparisons by date
* 9 Strategy and leadership
* 9.1 Hitler\'s chosen few * 9.2 Allied high-command controversy * 9.3 Montgomery\'s actions
* 10 Casualties * 11 Result * 12 Media attention * 13 Battle credit * 14 In popular culture * 15 See also * 16 Notes * 17 References * 18 Bibliography * 19 Further reading * 20 External links
After the breakout from Normandy at the end of July 1944 and the
Allied landings in southern
* troops were fatigued by weeks of continuous combat * supply lines were stretched extremely thin * supplies were dangerously depleted.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (the Supreme Allied Commander on the
Western Front ) and his staff chose to hold the
ALLIED SUPPLY ISSUES
The speed of the Allied advance coupled with an initial lack of
deep-water ports presented the Allies with enormous supply problems.
Over-the-beach supply operations using the Normandy landing areas and
direct landing LSTs on the beaches were unable to meet operational
needs. 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
German forces remained in control of several major ports on the English Channel coast until May 1945. The Allies' efforts to destroy the French railway system prior to D-Day, successful in hampering German response to the invasion, proved equally restrictive to the Allies. 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 as was delivered. By early October, the Allies had suspended major offensives to improve their supply lines and availability.
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. Eisenhower,
however, 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
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. In October, the First
Canadian Army fought the
Battle of the Scheldt , opening the port of
Despite a lull along the front after the
Hitler initially promised his generals a total of 18 infantry and 12
armored or mechanized divisions "for planning purposes." The plan was
to pull 13 infantry divisions, two parachute divisions and six
panzer-type divisions from the Oberkommando der
Meanwhile, the Allied air offensive of early 1944 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 almost instantly noticed, and interdiction of supplies combined with the bombing of the Romanian oil fields starved Germany of oil and gasoline.
One of the few advantages held by the German forces in November 1944
was that they were no longer defending all of Western Europe. 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
DRAFTING THE OFFENSIVE
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. Hitler believed he could split the Allied forces and compel the Americans and British to settle for a separate peace, independent of the Soviet Union. Success in the west would give the Germans time to design and produce more advanced weapons (such as jet aircraft , new U-boat designs and super-heavy tanks ) and permit the concentration of forces in the east. 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 1941, would still have left the Soviets with a numerical superiority.
Hitler's plan called for a classic Blitzkrieg attack through the weakly defended Ardennes, mirroring the successful German offensive there during the Battle of France in 1940—aimed at splitting the armies along the U.S.—British lines and capturing Antwerp. The plan banked on unfavorable weather, including heavy fog and low-lying clouds, which would minimize the Allied air advantage. Hitler originally set the offensive for late November, before the anticipated start of the Russian winter offensive . 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. :19
Several senior German military officers, including
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
Model, commander of German Army Group B (Heeresgruppe B), and von Rundstedt, overall commander of the German Army Command in the West (OB West), were put in charge of carrying out the operation.
In the west supply problems began significantly to impede Allied
operations, even though the opening of the port of
Wikisource has original text related to this article: PLANNING THE COUNTEROFFENSIVE
Wikisource has original text related to this article: TROOPS AND TERRAIN
Wikisource has original text related to this article: PREPARATIONS
The German plan.
The OKW decided by mid-September, at Hitler's insistence, that the
offensive would be mounted in the Ardennes, as was done in 1940 . In
1940 German forces had passed through the
Four armies were selected for the operation.
The Fifth Panzer Army under General Hasso von Manteuffel was assigned to the middle sector with the objective of capturing Brussels.
The Seventh Army , under General Erich Brandenberger , was assigned to the southernmost sector, near the Luxembourgish city of Echternach , with the task of protecting the flank. This Army was made up of only four infantry divisions, with no large-scale armored formations to use as a spearhead unit. As a result, they made little progress throughout the battle.
Also participating in a secondary role was the Fifteenth Army , under
Gustav-Adolf von Zangen . 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
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
The plan originally called for just under 45 divisions, including a dozen panzer and panzergrenadier divisions forming the armored spearhead and various infantry units to form a defensive line as the battle unfolded. By this time, however, the German Army suffered from an acute manpower shortage, and the force had been reduced to around 30 divisions. Although it retained most of its armor, there were not enough infantry units because of the defensive needs in the East. 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
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 major crackdown in the
For these reasons Allied High Command considered the
Two major special operations were planned for the offensive. By October it was decided that Otto Skorzeny , the German SS-commando who had rescued the former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini , was to lead a task force of English-speaking German soldiers in "Operation Greif ". These soldiers were to be dressed in American and British uniforms and wear dog tags taken from corpses and prisoners of war. Their job was to go behind American lines and change signposts, misdirect traffic, generally cause disruption and seize bridges across the Meuse River. By late November another ambitious special operation was added: Col. Friedrich August von der Heydte was to lead a Fallschirmjäger - Kampfgruppe (paratrooper combat group) in Operation Stösser , a night-time paratroop drop behind the Allied lines aimed at capturing a vital road junction near Malmedy .
German intelligence had set 20 December as the expected date for the
start of the upcoming Soviet offensive , aimed at crushing what was
left of German resistance on the Eastern Front and thereby opening the
way to Berlin. It was hoped that Soviet leader Stalin would delay the
start of the operation once the German assault in the
After the 20 July attempt on Hitler's life, and the close advance of
Von Rundstedt set up his operational headquarters near Limburg , close enough for the generals and Panzer Corps commanders who were to lead the attack to visit Adlerhorst on 11 December, travelling there in an SS-operated bus convoy. With the castle acting as overflow accommodation, the main party was settled into the Adlerhorst's Haus 2 command bunker, including Gen. Alfred Jodl , Gen. Wilhelm Keitel , Gen. Blumentritt , von Manteuffel and SS Gen. Joseph ("Sepp") Dietrich.
In a personal conversation on 13 December between Walter Model and Friedrich von der Heydte , who was put in charge of Operation Stösser, von der Heydte gave Operation Stösser less than a 10% chance of succeeding. Model told him it was necessary to make the attempt: "It must be done because this offensive is the last chance to conclude the war favorably."
INITIAL GERMAN ASSAULT
Situation on the Western Front as of 15 December 1944
On 16 December 1944 at 05:30, the Germans began the assault with a
massive, 90-minute artillery barrage using 1,600 artillery pieces
across a 130-kilometre (80 mi) front on the Allied troops facing the
6th Panzer Army. The Americans' initial impression was that this was
the anticipated, localized counterattack resulting from the Allies'
recent attack in the Wahlerscheid sector to the north, where the 2nd
Division had knocked a sizable dent in the Siegfried Line. Heavy
snowstorms engulfed parts of the
In the center, von Manteuffel's Fifth Panzer Army attacked towards
St. Vith , both road junctions of great strategic
importance. In the south, Brandenberger's Seventh Army pushed towards
ATTACK ON THE NORTHERN SHOULDER
Wikisource has original text related to this article: THE SIXTH PANZER ARMY ATTACK
Main article: Battle of Elsenborn Ridge
While the Siege of Bastogne is often credited as the central point where the German offensive was stopped, the battle for Elsenborn Ridge was actually the decisive component of the Battle of the Bulge, stopping the advance of the best equipped armored units of the German army and forcing them to reroute their troops to unfavorable alternative routes that considerably slowed their advance.
BEST GERMAN DIVISIONS ASSIGNED
The attack on Monschau, Höfen, Krinkelt-Rocherath, and then Elsenborn Ridge was led by the units personally selected by Adolf Hitler. The 6th Panzer Army was given priority for supply and equipment and were assigned the shortest route to the ultimate objective of the offensive, Antwerp. The 6th Panzer Army included the elite of the Waffen-SS, including four Panzer divisions and five infantry divisions in three corps. SS Obersturmbannführer Joachim Peiper led Kampfgruppe Peiper, consisting of 4,800 men and 600 vehicles, which was charged with leading the main effort. However, its newest and most powerful tank, the Tiger II heavy tank, consumed 3.8 litres (1 gal) of fuel to go 800 m (.5 mi), and the Germans had less than half the fuel they needed to reach Antwerp. :age needed
GERMAN FORCES HELD UP
Sepp Dietrich led the Sixth Panzer Army in the northernmost attack route.
The attacks by the Sixth Panzer Army's infantry units in the north fared badly because of unexpectedly fierce resistance by the U.S. 2nd and 99th Infantry Divisions. Kampfgruppe Peiper, at the head of the Sepp Dietrich's Sixth Panzer Army, had been designated to take the Losheim-Losheimergraben road, a key route through the Losheim Gap , but it was closed by two collapsed overpasses that German engineers failed to repair during the first day. Peiper's forces were rerouted through Lanzerath .
To preserve the quantity of armor available, the infantry of the 9th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment, 3rd Fallschirmjaeger Division , had been ordered to clear the village first. A single 18-man Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon from the 99th Infantry Division along with four Forward Air Controllers held up the battalion of about 500 German paratroopers until sunset, about 16:00, causing 92 casualties among the Germans.
This created a bottleneck in the German advance. Kampfgruppe Peiper did not begin his advance until nearly 16:00, more than 16 hours behind schedule and didn't reach Bucholz Station until the early morning of 17 December. Their intention was to control the twin villages of Rocherath-Krinkelt which would clear a path to the high ground of Elsenborn Ridge. Occupation of this dominating terrain would allow control of the roads to the south and west and ensure supply to Kampfgruppe Peiper's armored task force. German troops advancing past abandoned American equipment
At 12:30 on 17 December,
Kampfgruppe Peiper was near the hamlet of
Baugnez , on the height halfway between the town of
Ligneuville, when they encountered elements of the 285th Field
KAMPFGRUPPE PEIPER DEFLECTED SOUTHEAST
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 394th Infantry Regiment . They destroyed a number of American armored units and vehicles, and took several dozen prisoners who were subsequently murdered. Peiper also captured 50,000 US gallons (190,000 l; 42,000 imp gal) of fuel for his vehicles.
Peiper then advanced north-west towards Büllingen , keeping to the plan to move west, unaware that if he had turned north he had an opportunity to flank and trap the entire 2nd and 99th Divisions. Instead, intent on driving west, Peiper turned south to detour around Hünningen, choosing a route designated Rollbahn D as he had been given latitude to choose the best route west.
To the north, the 277th Volksgrenadier Division attempted to break through the defending line of the U.S. 99th and the 2nd Infantry Divisions . 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.
Main article: 333rd Artillery Battalion (United States)
Another, smaller massacre was committed in Wereth , Belgium, approximately 6.5 miles (10.5 km) northeast of Saint-Vith on 17 December 1944. 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.
GERMANS ADVANCE WEST
By the evening the spearhead had pushed north to engage the U.S. 99th
Infantry Division and
Kampfgruppe Peiper arrived in front of Stavelot
. 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
Kampfgruppe Peiper attacked Stavelot on 18 December but was unable to capture the town before the Americans evacuated a large fuel depot. Three tanks attempted to take the bridge, but the lead vehicle was disabled by a mine. 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.S. engineers failed to blow the bridge. An American soldier escorts a German crewman from his wrecked Panther tank during the Battle of Elsenborn Ridge
Capitalizing on his success and not wanting to lose more time, Peiper rushed an advance group toward the vital bridge at Trois-Ponts , leaving the bulk of his strength in Stavelot. When they reached it at 11:30 on 18 December, retreating U.S. engineers blew it up. Peiper detoured north towards the villages of La Gleize and Cheneux. At Cheneux, the advance guard was attacked by American fighter-bombers, destroying two tanks and five halftracks, blocking the narrow road. The group got moving again at dusk at 16:00 and was able to return to its original route at around 18:00. Of the two bridges now 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 . He learned that Stoumont was strongly held and that the Americans were bringing up strong reinforcements from Spa .
To Peiper's south, the advance of Kampfgruppe Hansen had stalled. SS Oberführer Mohnke ordered Schnellgruppe Knittel, which had been designated to follow Hansen, to instead move forward to support Peiper. SS Sturmbannführer Knittel crossed the bridge at Stavelot around 19:00 against American forces trying to retake the town. Knittel pressed forward towards La Gleize, and shortly afterward the Americans recaptured Stavelot. Peiper and Knittel both faced the prospect of being cut off.
GERMAN ADVANCE HALTED
American M36 tank destroyers of the 703rd TD, attached to the 82nd Airborne Division, move forward during heavy fog to stem German spearhead near Werbomont, Belgium, 20 December 1944.
At dawn on 19 December, Peiper surprised the American defenders of Stoumont by sending infantry from the 2nd SS Panzergrenadier Regiment in an attack and a company of Fallschirmjäger to infiltrate their lines. 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 10:30. Knittel joined up with Peiper and reported the Americans had recaptured Stavelot to their east. Peiper ordered Knittel to retake Stavelot. 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.S. 82nd Airborne Division under Maj. Gen. 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. Sixth Panzer Army commander Sepp Dietrich ordered Hermann Prieß , commanding officer of the I SS Panzer Corps, to increase its efforts to back Peiper's Kampfgruppe, but Prieß was unable to break through. Froidcourt castle near Stoumont in 2011
Small units of the U.S. 2nd Battalion, 119th Infantry Regiment , 30th Infantry Division, attacked the dispersed units of Kampfgruppe Peiper on the morning of 21 December. They failed and were forced to withdraw, and a number were captured, including battalion commander Maj. Hal McCown. Peiper learned that his reinforcements had been directed to gather in La Gleize to his east, and he withdrew, leaving wounded Americans and Germans in the Froidcourt Castle (fr). 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. A Luftwaffe resupply mission went badly when SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke insisted the grid coordinates supplied by Peiper were wrong, parachuting supplies into American hands in Stoumont.
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 men of the Kampfgruppe were forced to abandon their vehicles and heavy equipment, although most of the 800 remaining troops were able to escape.
The 99th Infantry Division as a whole, outnumbered five to one,
inflicted casualties in the ratio of 18 to one. The division lost
about 20% of its effective strength, including 465 killed and 2,524
evacuated due to wounds, injuries, fatigue, or trench foot. German
losses were much higher. In the northern sector opposite the 99th,
this included more than 4,000 deaths and the destruction of 60 tanks
and big guns. Historian John S.D. Eisenhower wrote, "... the action
of the 2nd and 99th Divisions on the northern shoulder could be
considered the most decisive of the
The stiff American defense prevented the Germans from reaching the vast array of supplies near the Belgian cities of Liège and Spa and the road network west of the Elsenborn Ridge leading to the Meuse River. After more than 10 days of intense battle, they pushed the Americans out of the villages, but were unable to dislodge them from the ridge, where elements of the V Corps of the First U.S. Army prevented the German forces from reaching the road network to their west.
Main article: Operation Stösser
Operation Stösser was a paratroop drop into the American rear in the High Fens (French: _Hautes Fagnes_; German: _Hohes Venn_; Dutch : _Hoge Venen_) area. The objective was the " Baraque Michel " crossroads. It was led by Oberst Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte , considered by Germans to be a hero of the Battle of Crete .
It was the German paratroopers' only night time drop during World War II. 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 800 men. The II Parachute Corps was tasked with contributing 100 men from each of its regiments. In loyalty to their commander, 150 men from von der Heydte's own unit, the 6th Parachute Regiment , went against orders and joined him. They had little time to establish any unit cohesion or train together.
The parachute drop was a complete failure. Von der Heydte ended up with a total of around 300 troops. Too small and too weak to counter the Allies, they abandoned plans to take the crossroads and instead converted his 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 100 of his weary men finally reached the German rear.
Main article: Chenogne massacre
Following the Malmedy massacre, on New Year's Day 1945, after having previously received orders to take no prisoners, American soldiers allegedly shot approximately sixty German prisoners of war near the Belgian village of Chenogne (8 km from Bastogne).
ATTACK IN THE CENTER
Wikisource has original text related to this article: ST. VITH IS LOST
Hasso von Manteuffel led Fifth Panzer Army in the middle attack route
The Germans fared better in the center (the 32 km (20 mi) Schnee
BATTLE FOR ST. VITH
Main article: Battle of St. Vith
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. The defenders, led by the 7th Armored Division , included the remaining regiment of the 106th U.S. Infantry Division, with elements of the 9th Armored Division and 28th U.S. Infantry Division. These units, which operated under the command of Generals Robert W. Hasbrouck (7th Armored) and Alan W. Jones (106th Infantry), successfully resisted the German attacks, significantly slowing the German advance. At Montgomery's orders, St. Vith was evacuated on 21 December; U.S. troops fell back to entrenched positions in the area, presenting an imposing obstacle to a successful German advance. By 23 December, as the Germans shattered their flanks, the defenders' position became untenable and U.S. troops were ordered to retreat west of the Salm River . Since the German plan called for the capture of St. Vith by 18:00 on 17 December, the prolonged action in and around it dealt a major setback to their timetable. :407
MEUSE RIVER BRIDGES
British Sherman "Firefly" tank in Namur on the
To protect the river crossings on the
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 Fifth Panzer Army was spearheaded by
2nd Panzer Division
On 22/23 December German forces reached the woods of Foy-Nôtre-Dame
, only a few kilometers ahead of Dinant. However, the narrow corridor
caused considerable difficulties, as constant flanking attacks
threatened the division. On 24 December, German forces made their
furthest penetration west. The Panzer Lehr Division took the town of
Celles , while a bit farther north, parts of
2nd Panzer Division
OPERATION GREIF AND OPERATION WäHRUNG
Wikisource has original text related to this article: THE 1ST SS PANZER DIVISION\\'S DASH WESTWARD, AND OPERATION GREIF
Main article: Operation Greif
Operation Greif ("
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.S. state—though many could not remember or did not know. 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. Security around the general was greatly increased, and Eisenhower was confined to his headquarters. Because Skorzeny's men were captured in American uniforms, they were executed as spies. This was the standard practice of every army at the time, as many belligerents considered it necessary to protect their territory against the grave dangers of enemy spying. Skorzeny said that he was told by German legal experts that as long he did not order his men to fight in combat while wearing American uniforms, such a tactic was a legitimate ruse of war . Skorzeny and his men were fully aware of their likely fate, and most wore their German uniforms underneath their American ones in case of capture. Skorzeny was tried by an American military tribunal in 1947 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.
Operation Währung was carried out by a small number of German agents who infiltrated Allied lines in American uniforms. 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.
ATTACK IN THE SOUTH
Erich Brandenberger led Seventh Army in the southernmost attack route
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 more experienced 28th Infantry Division put up a much more dogged defense than the inexperienced soldiers of the 106th Infantry Division. The 112th Infantry Regiment (the most northerly of the 28th Division's regiments), holding a continuous front east of the Our, kept German troops from seizing and using the Our River bridges around Ouren for two days, before withdrawing progressively westwards. Belgian civilians killed by German units during the offensive
The 109th and 110th Regiments of the 28th Division, however, 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. The 110th's situation was by far the worst, as it was responsible for an 18-kilometre (11 mi) front while its 2nd Battalion was withheld as the divisional reserve. Panzer columns took the outlying villages and widely separated strong points in bitter fighting, and advanced to points near Bastogne within four days. The struggle for the villages and American strong points, plus transport confusion on the German side, slowed the attack sufficiently to allow the 101st Airborne Division (reinforced by elements from the 9th and 10th Armored Divisions ) to reach Bastogne by truck on the morning of 19 December. 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.S. VIII Corps after an advance of 6.4 km
(4 mi); that front was then firmly held. Only the 5th Parachute
Division of Brandenberger's command was able to thrust forward 19 km
(12 mi) on the inner flank to partially fulfill its assigned role.
Eisenhower and his principal commanders realized by 17 December that
the fighting in the
SIEGE OF BASTOGNE
U.S. POWs on 22 December 1944 Letter to 101st soldiers, containing Gen. McAullife's "NUTS!" response to the Germans Main article: Siege of Bastogne
By the time the senior Allied commanders met in a bunker in Verdun on
19 December, 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
Gen. Eisenhower, realizing that the Allies could destroy German forces much more easily when they were out in the open and on the offensive than if they were on the defensive, told his generals, "The present situation is to be regarded as one of opportunity for us and not of disaster. There will be only cheerful faces at this table." Patton, realizing what Eisenhower implied, responded, "Hell, let's have the guts to let the bastards go all the way to Paris. Then, we'll really cut 'em off and chew 'em up." Eisenhower, after saying he was not that optimistic, asked Patton how long it would take to turn his Third Army, located in northeastern France, north to counterattack. 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. On 20 December, Eisenhower removed the First and Ninth U.S. Armies from Gen. Bradley's 12th Army Group and placed them under Montgomery's 21st Army Group .
By 21 December the Germans had surrounded
Bastogne , which was
defended by the
101st Airborne Division
Despite determined German attacks, however, the perimeter held. The German commander, Generalleutnant (Lt. Gen.) Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz , requested Bastogne's surrender. When Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe , acting commander of the 101st, was told of the Nazi demand to surrender, in frustration he responded, "Nuts!" After turning to other pressing issues, his staff reminded him that they should reply to the German demand. One officer, Lt. Col. Harry Kinnard , noted that McAuliffe's initial reply would be "tough to beat." Thus McAuliffe wrote on the paper, which was typed up and delivered to the Germans, the line he made famous and a morale booster to his troops: "NUTS!" That reply had to be explained, both to the Germans and to non-American Allies.
Both 2nd Panzer and Panzer-Lehrdivision moved forward from Bastogne after 21 December, leaving only Panzer-Lehrdivision's 901st Regiment to assist the 26th Volksgrenadier-Division in attempting to capture the crossroads. The 26th VG received one Panzergrenadier Regiment from the 15th Panzergrenadier Division on Christmas Eve for its main assault the next day. 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. The next day, 26 December, the spearhead of Gen. Patton's 4th Armored Division, supplemented by the 26th (Yankee) Infantry Division, broke through and opened a corridor to Bastogne.
The original objectives are outlined in red dashed lines. The orange line indicates their furthest advance.
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-47 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. Units of the British XXX Corps were holding the bridges at Dinant, Givet, and Namur and U.S. units were about to take over. The Germans had outrun their supply lines, and shortages of fuel and ammunition were becoming critical. Up to this point the German losses had been light, notably in armor, which was almost untouched with the exception of Peiper's losses. On the evening of 24 December, General Hasso von Manteuffel recommended to Hitler's Military Adjutant a halt to all offensive operations and a withdrawal back to the Westwall (literally _Western Rampart_). Hitler rejected this.
However, disagreement and confusion at the Allied command prevented a
strong response, throwing away the opportunity for a decisive action.
In the center, on Christmas Eve, the 2nd Armored Division attempted to
attack and cut off the spearheads of the
2nd Panzer Division
In the south, Patton's Third Army was battling to relieve Bastogne. At 16:50 on 26 December, the lead element, Company D, 37th Tank Battalion of the 4th Armored Division , reached Bastogne, ending the siege.
On 1 January, in an attempt to keep the offensive going, the Germans
launched two new operations. At 09:15, the
Unternehmen Bodenplatte (Operation Baseplate), a major campaign
against Allied airfields in the
On the same day, German Army Group G (Heeresgruppe G) and Army Group Upper Rhine (Heeresgruppe Oberrhein) launched a major offensive against the thinly-stretched, 110 kilometres (70 mi) line of the Seventh U.S. Army. This offensive, known as Unternehmen Nordwind (Operation North Wind), was the last major German offensive of the war on the Western Front. 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.
By 15 January Seventh Army's VI Corps was fighting on three sides in
Infantrymen fire at German troops in the advance to relieve the surrounded paratroopers in Bastogne. Erasing the Bulge—The Allied counterattack, 26 December – 25 January Americans of the 101st Engineers near Wiltz , Luxembourg, January 1945. U.S. 6th Armored Division tanks moving near Wardin, Belgium, January 1945.
While the German offensive had ground to a halt, 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 January 1945 was extremely low. Weapons had to be maintained and truck engines run every half-hour to prevent their oil from congealing. The offensive went forward regardless.
Eisenhower wanted Montgomery to go on the counter offensive on 1 January, with the aim of meeting up with Patton's advancing Third Army and cutting off most of the attacking Germans, trapping them in a pocket. However, Montgomery, refusing to risk underprepared infantry in a snowstorm for a strategically unimportant area, did not launch the attack until 3 January, by which time substantial numbers of German troops had already managed to fall back successfully, but at the cost of losing most of their heavy equipment.
At the start of the offensive, the First and Third U.S. Armies were separated by about 40 km (25 mi). American progress in the south was also restricted to about a kilometer a day. The majority of the German force executed a successful fighting withdrawal and escaped the battle area, although the fuel situation had become so dire that most of the German armor had to be abandoned. On 7 January 1945 Hitler agreed to withdraw all forces from the Ardennes, including the SS-Panzerdivisionen, thus ending all offensive operations. However, considerable fighting went on for another 3 weeks; St. 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.
FORCE COMPARISONS BY DATE
FORCE ALLIED AXIS
MONTH DECEMBER JANUARY DECEMBER JANUARY
DATE 16TH 24TH 2ND 16TH 16TH 24TH 2ND 16TH
MEN 228,741 ~541,000 ~705,000 700,520 406,342 ~449,000 ~401,000 383,016
TANKS 483 1,616 2,409 2,428 557 423 287 216
OTHER AFVS 1,921 5,352 7,769 7,079 1,261 1,496 1,090 907
Anti-tank and artillery pieces 971 2,408 3,305 3,181 4,224 4,131 3,396 3,256
ARMORED DIVISIONS 2 6 8 8 7 8 8 8
1 2 2 1 1 1
INFANTRY DIVISIONS 6 15 22 22 13 16 15 16
2 2 2
STRATEGY AND LEADERSHIP
HITLER\'S CHOSEN FEW
The plan and timing for the
Hitler had always resented the blue-blood Prussian leadership of the German army. So, when selecting leadership for the attack, he felt that the implementation of this decisive blow should be entrusted to his own Nazi party army, the Waffen-SS. Ever since German regular Army officers attempted to assassinate him, he had increasingly trusted only the SS and its heavily armed branch, the Waffen-SS. After the invasion of Normandy, the SS armored units had suffered significant leadership casualties. These losses included SS-Gruppenführer (Major General) Kurt Meyer , commander of the 12th SS Panzer (Armor) Division, captured by Belgian partisans on 6 September 1944. :10 :308 The tactical efficiency of these units were somewhat reduced. The strong right flank of the assault was therefore composed mostly of SS Divisions under the command of "Sepp" (Joseph) Dietrich, a fanatical political disciple of Hitler, and a loyal follower from the early days of the rise of National Socialism in Germany. The leadership composition of the Sixth Panzer Division had a distinctly political nature. German field commanders plan the advance.
None of the German field commanders entrusted with planning and
executing the offensive believed it was possible to capture Antwerp.
Even Sepp Dietrich, commanding the strongest arm of the attack, felt
ALLIED HIGH-COMMAND CONTROVERSY
Field Marshal Montgomery General Eisenhower , the Supreme Allied Commander General Bradley , pictured after the war.
One of the fault lines between the British and American high commands was General Dwight D. 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 , who promoted a rapid advance on a narrow front, with the other allied armies in reserve. :91
British Field Marshal
Bernard Montgomery had differing views of how
to approach the German attack with the U.S. command. His ensuing
public pronouncements of opinion caused tension in the American high
command. Major General
Freddie de Guingand ,
Chief of Staff
Describing the situation as he found it on 20 December, Montgomery wrote;
The First Army was fighting desperately. Having given orders to Dempsey and Crerar , who arrived for a conference at 11 am, I left at noon for the H.Q. of the First Army, where I had instructed Simpson to meet me. 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 known to the outside world until eventually SHAEF made a public announcement making clear that the change in command was "absolutely nothing to do with failure on the part of the three American generals". :198 This resulted in headlines in British newspapers. The story was also covered in _Stars and Stripes_ and for the first time British contribution to the fighting was mentioned.
Montgomery asked Churchill if he could give a conference to the press to explain the situation. Though some of his staff were concerned at the image it would give, the conference had been cleared by Alan Brooke , the CIGS , who was possibly the only person to whom Monty would listen.
On the same day as Hitler's withdrawal order, 7 January, Montgomery held his press conference at Zonhoven. Montgomery started with giving credit to the "courage and good fighting quality" of the American troops, characterizing a typical American as a "very brave fighting man who has that tenacity in battle which makes a great soldier", and went on to talk about the necessity of Allied teamwork, and praised Eisenhower, stating, "Teamwork wins battles and battle victories win wars. 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 ... you thus have the picture of British troops fighting on both sides of the Americans who have suffered a hard blow." He stated that he (i.e., the German) was "headed off ... seen off ... and ... written off". "The battle has been the most interesting, I think possibly one of the most interesting and tricky battles I have ever handled.".
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
claiming 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
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
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
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." Eisenhower commented in his own memoirs: "I doubt if Montgomery ever came to realize how resentful some American commanders were. 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. However, intervention by Montgomery's and Eisenhower's Chiefs of Staff , Maj. Gen. Freddie de Guingand , and Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith , moved Eisenhower to reconsider and allowed Montgomery to apologize.
The 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.
Casualty estimates for the battle vary widely. According to the U.S.
Department of Defense , American forces suffered 89,500 casualties
including 19,000 killed, 47,500 wounded and 23,000 missing. An
official report by the
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
The Allies pressed their advantage following the battle. By the beginning of February 1945, the lines were roughly where they had been in December 1944. 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. Montgomery's behavior during the months of December and January, including the press conference on 7 January where he appeared to downplay the contribution of the American generals, further soured his relationship with his American counterparts through to the end of the war.
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 .
In response to the early success of the offensive, on 6 January
Churchill contacted Stalin to request that the Soviets put pressure on
the Germans on the Eastern Front. On 12 January, the Soviets began
Vistula–Oder Offensive , originally planned for 20
January. :39 However it had been brought forward from 20 January to 12
January because meteorological reports warned of a thaw later in the
month, and the tanks needed hard ground for the offensive (and the
advance of the
Battle of the Bulge
The battle around Bastogne received a great deal of media attention because in early December 1944 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.S. Army, all were featured in newspaper articles and on radio and captured the public's imagination; but there were no correspondents in the area of Saint-Vith , Elsenborn , or Monschau-Höfen. The static, stubborn resistance of troops in the north, who refused to yield their ground in the cold snow and freezing rain despite the heavy German attacks, did not get a casual observer excited. The images of supply troops trying to bring ammunition and cold food, crawling through mud and snow, to front-line troops dug into frozen foxholes around Montjoie, Elseborn and Butgenbach were not exciting news.
After the war ended, the U.S. Army issued battle credit in the form
of the Ardennes-
IN POPULAR CULTURE
The battle has been depicted in numerous works of art, entertainment, and media, including:
* Films, e.g., _Battleground _ (1949), _Attack _ (1956), _Battle
of the Bulge _ (1965), and _
A Midnight Clear _ (1992)
* Games: Over 70 board wargames have been created about the battle,
the earliest in 1965. Also, As of 2014 , the battle has been the
scene for about 30 video games , mostly strategy games , beginning
Tigers in the Snow _ (1981).
* Literature: In
Kurt Vonnegut 's postmodern novel
_Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children\'s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with
Death _ (1969), the protagonist Billy Pilgrim is captured by the
advancing German army during the Battle of the Bulge.
* Television: The battle was the subject of the
* ^ Includes two parachute divisions.
* ^ 10,749 dead; 34,225 wounded; 22,487 captured
* ^ Eggenberger 1985 cites the official name as Ardennes-Alsace
campaign; David Eggenberger describes this battle as the "Second
Battle of the Ardennes".
Operation Overlord planned for an advance to the line of the
Seine by D+90 (i.e., the 90th day following D-Day ) and an advance to
the German frontier sometime after D+120.
* ^ The Ardennenoffensive was also named Rundstedt-Offensive, but
von Rundstedt strongly objected "to the fact that this stupid
operation in the
* ^ Bergström 2014 , p. 428.
* ^ Bergström 2014 , p. 358.
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HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-016627-4 . Page 18.
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Shaw 2000 , p. 168.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Vogel 2001 , p. 632.
* ^ Ellis 2009 , p. 195.
* ^ Cirillo 2003
* ^ _A_ _B_ Astor, Gerald (1992). _A Blood Dimmed Tide, The Battle
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* ^ Shirer 1990 , p. 1095.
* ^ Parker 1991 , pp. 338
* ^ Parker 1991 , pp. 339
* ^ Schrijvers 2005 , p. xiv.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Cirillo 2003 , p. 4.
* ^ Stanton 2006 , p. .
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* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Cirillo 2003 , p. 53.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Miles 2004 .
* ^ _A_ _B_ MacDonald 1998 , p. 618.
* ^ _Dark December: The Full Account of the Battle of the Bulge_
(1st ed.). Westholme Publishing. 2011.
* ^ Beevor, Antony (2015). _
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