In the summer of 1944, General George S. Patton and his 3rd Army successfully broke through heavy German Forces resistance from the Normandy invasion. German forces were in total disarray by the end of August 1944. Patton pleaded with his boss, General Omar Bradley, that if 3rd U.S. Army could be allocated as little as 400,000 gallons of fuel, he could be inside Germany in two days. Time was crucial before the inevitable reaction by the Germans to shore up their defense, preventing Patton from advancing. General Bradley refused Patton's request for more fuel; Unfortunately, General Patton advanced to Germany. Morale ran high throughout Patton’s Army, and there was no sign of heavy resistance before the German border. Consequently, by early September, the 3rd U.S Army had ground to a virtual halt along the flooded Moselle River. In places, Patton's tanks and vehicles ran out of fuel on the battlefield and their swift momentum outran their supply lines (Fugate, 1999). Lack of logistics allowed the German forces to take advantage of Patton’s Army and initiate one of the largest tank battles of World War II, the Battle of Arracourt.
THE BATTLE OF ARRACOURT
I. Define the Subject.
a. Define the Battle to be analyzed.
(1). The Battle of Arracourt took place in Arracourt, Lorraine Province, France. The Province of Lorraine was along the shortest route from Normandy to Germany through France. Arracourt was a small town located on the Mosselle River on the French and German border. The principle adversaries in the Battle of Arracourt were General George S. Patton’s 3rd U.S. Army led by the 4th Armored Division. The 3rd Army had more than 160,000 Soldier, 1,500 Artillery pieces, and 930 Sherman Medium Tanks. The German Forces initiated at the Battle of Arracourt and they included the German’s 5th Panzer Army with the strength of 75 Panzer IV, 107 Mark V Panther tanks, 80 assault guns and 262 vehicles.
(2). The Battle of Arracourt began on September 19, 1944. On September 1, 1944 the 4th Armored Division which led Patton’s 3rd U.S. Army came to a screeching halt approximately 20 miles from the border of Germany and France. The 3rd U.S. Army was halted for several days, which slowed the momentum and success they had following the Normandy invasion and their movement through France. The 3rd U.S. Army halted because they outran their logistical supplies and had no fuel. Fuel and supplies finally arrived to the 3rd U.S. Army, but on 19 September 1944, German forces took advantage of the 3rd U.S. Army’s halted momentum. Germany’s Panzer began the counterattacked on Patton’s Army, to begin the Battle of Arracourt.
II. Review the Setting:
a. Strategic/Operation Overview
(1). The Battle of Arracourt was fought during World War II, shortly after the Normandy invasion of France. The Battle of Arracourt is known as one of the greatest tank battles of World War II. The Germans were beat down and on the...