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Battle Of The Bulge: Effects On The War

1463 words - 6 pages

Battle of the Bulge: Effects on the WarIt is now late 1944; the Allies had gained a lot of momentum moving across Belgium. Allied landings in Normandy, on D-Day, were the start of the Allied campaign across northwest Europe. Now in their sights was the Rhineland. Hitler planned an offensive to retake the city of Antwerp, which he hoped would lead to quarreling between the Allied powers (Pimlott 14). This great battle will prove to be Hitler's last breath of command for the Germans. The capture of Antwerp would also slow their progress and allow for German regrouping.Just when the Allies had become heady with victory, Hitler, in a desperate, bold move, threw most of his remaining armored reserves at them through the foggy, cold Ardennes. His gamble was to captureenough gasoline to regain Liege and Antwerp. His plan, code-named Wacht am Rheim, depended on speed and accuracy. Hitler thought he would utilize weather, so the deadly Allied air forces would be grounded. His plan was to time the annual clouding over and hard snow so his men would be shrouded during the attack. The major goals of the German offensive were to reach sea, trap four Allied armies and impel a negotiated peace on the western front. First, Hitler's goal was to severe American communication lines (Pimlott 17). The plan was to be put into action between the Aachan and southern Luxembourg area in France.At 5:30 A.M on December 16, 1944 "pinpoints" of light were spotted on German lines, seconds later, shells crashed down and American soldiers realized it was the muzzle-flashes from hundreds of German guns (Goolrick 48). Hitler had ordered the Seventh, Fifth, and Sixth Panzer armies to attack over a seventy-five-mile front held by five U.S. divisions. The strike took the Allies by surprise. The sector was supposed to be a great place to be right before Christmas, afterthe frigid fighting through the snows of the Huertgen Forest. GIs relaxed with luxurious spas and Luxembourg beer. American forces were outnumbered during the attack by about 167,000 men, but held the majority of the 85 miles of lines (Goolrick 50). American Staff commanders had left the Ardennes lines lightly defended due to the unlikeness of an attack coming from the Ardennes Forest (Microsoft NP).On the northern Ardennes Front two U.S. divisions held a small area around the Elseborn ridge, there Germans dropped 300 dummies directly inside the front while a small group of commandos were put just behind it (Goolrick 173).Allied aviation corps had been out of action due to the thick overcast skies, and Wehrmacht, an experienced German general, took advantage of the opening and tore two large gaps in the Allied lines. The Second Infantry slowed them in heavy fighting and the Seventh Armored hung on grimly at the St. Vith to split their advance (Microsoft NP). The First Army turned south to block the way to Liege and other troops were sent to prevent a crossing of the Meuse, allwhile Patton smashed at the southern flank....

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