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. [154], For its part, Hut 3 had grown "shy of going beyond its job of amending and explaining German messages. Montgomery requested permission from Churchill to give a press conference to explain the situation. He left Missouri for sunny California.

This is what happened in the Belgium city of Bastogne. Your email address will not be published. In the northern sector opposite the 99th, this included more than 4,000 deaths and the destruction of 60 tanks and big guns. [101] First, Third, and Seventh Armies suffered a total of 17,000 hospitalized from the cold.[18][l]. German historian Hermann Jung lists 67,675 casualties from 16 December 1944 to late January 1945 for the three German armies that participated in the offensive. By November, it was clear that Soviet forces were preparing for a winter offensive.[30]. windowHref += '&'; The Allies at this point thought the information was of no importance. The Germans had attacked a weakly defended section of the Allied line, taking advantage of heavily overcast weather conditions that grounded the Allies' overwhelmingly superior air forces.

SS-Sturmbannführer Knittel crossed the bridge at Stavelot around 19:00 against American forces trying to retake the town. The 101st held strong. 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. 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. The weather cleared the next day and supplies (primarily ammunition) were dropped over four of the next five days. 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. Battle of the Bulge (December 16, 1944–January 16, 1945), the last major German offensive on the Western Front during World War II. 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. Their ideas shared the same fate as Dietrich's objections.[112]. During the liberation of France, the extensive network of the French Resistance had provided valuable intelligence about German dispositions.
liberate Europe from Nazi control went on. On 16 December 1944 at 05:30, the Germans began the assault with a massive, 90-minute artillery barrage using 1,600 artillery pieces[50] across a 130-kilometer (80 mi) front on the Allied troops facing the 6th Panzer Army. Were any of your ancestors involved in the Battle of the Bulge? font-weight: 500; Instead, he was provided with a Kampfgruppe of 800 men. He later attributed this to needing more time for preparation on the northern front. Two major special operations were planned for the offensive. 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 quickly captured portions of the 3rd Battalion of the 394th Infantry Regiment. 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". Calvocoressi, Peter (1980). By 15 January Seventh Army's VI Corps was fighting on three sides in Alsace. Units of the British XXX Corps were holding the bridges at Dinant, Givet, and Namur and U.S. units were about to take over. In fact, because of the Germans' efforts, the Allies were led to believe that a new defensive army was being formed around Düsseldorf in the northern Rhineland, possibly to defend against British attack.

[114] Consequently, at 10:30 a.m. on 20 December, Eisenhower transferred the command of the U.S. First and Ninth Armies temporarily from Bradley to Montgomery. Chester Wilmot[124] explained that his dispatch to the BBC about it was intercepted by the German wireless, re-written to give it an anti-American bias, and then broadcast by Arnhem Radio, which was then in Goebbels' hands. Headquarters now freed up the 9th Panzer Division for Fifth Panzer Army, which was deployed at Marche. [80], Following the Malmedy massacre, on New Year's Day 1945, after having previously received orders to take no prisoners,[81] American soldiers murdered approximately sixty German prisoners of war near the Belgian village of Chenogne (8 km from Bastogne).

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