Background[ edit ] After the breakout from Normandy at the end of July and the Allied landings in southern France on 15 Augustthe Allies advanced toward Germany more quickly than anticipated. Eisenhower the Supreme Allied Commander on the Western Front and his staff chose to hold the Ardennes region which was occupied by the U. The Allies chose to defend the Ardennes with as few troops as possible due to the favorable terrain a densely wooded highland with deep river valleys and a rather thin road network and limited Allied operational objectives in the area. They also had intelligence that the Wehrmacht was using the area across the German border as a rest-and-refit area for its troops.
The Battle of the Bulge Citation: The History Learning Site, 20 Apr The Battle of the Bulge, fought over the winter months of —was the last major Nazi offensive against the Allies in World War Two.
The battle was a last ditch attempt by Hitler to split the Allies in two in their drive towards Germany and destroy their ability to supply themselves. The Battle of the Bulge started on December 16th Hitler had convinced himself that the alliance between Britain, France and America in the western sector of Europe was not strong and that a major attack and defeat would break up the alliance.
Therefore, he ordered a massive attack against what were primarily American forces. The attack is strictly known as the Ardennes Offensive but because the initial attack by the Germans created a bulge in the Allied front line, it has become more commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge.
The Fifteenth Army was to be held in reserve to counter any Allied attack when they took place.
On paper, it was a seemingly absurd plan — especially as Germany had been in retreat since D-Day, her military was depleted of supplies and was facing the awesome might of the Allies. However, Hitler, as commander-in-chief of the military, decreed that the attack should take place.
The battle started with a two hour bombardment of the Allies lines that was followed by a huge armoured attack with the majority of the German armoured might based at the Schnee Eifel.
The Germans experienced great success to start with. The Allies were surprised by the attack. They had received little intelligence that such an attack would take place.
Before the attack started, English speaking German soldiers dressed in American uniforms went behind the lines of the Allies and caused havoc by spreading misinformation, changing road signs and cutting telephone lines.
Those who were caught were shot after a court martial. Low cloud and fog meant that the superior air force of the Allies could not be used — especially the tank-busting Typhoons of the RAF or Mustang fighters from the USAAF which would have been used against the German tanks.
Though the weather was typical for the Ardennes in winter, the ground was hard enough for military vehicles to cross and this suited the armoured attack Hitler envisaged.
However, the success of the Germans lasted just two days. Despite punching a bulge into the Allies front line, the Germans could not capitalise on this. The Germans had based their attack on a massive armoured onslaught. However, such an attack required fuel to maintain it and the Germans simply did not possess such quantities of fuel.
By December 22nd, the weather started to clear, thus allowing the Allies to bring their air power into force and on the following day, the Americans started a counter-attack against the Germans.
On Christmas Eve, the Allies experienced the first ever attack by jet bombers. However, without fuel for their armoured vehicles, any success in the air was meaningless.
The Germans had advanced 60 miles in two days but from December 18th on, they were in a position of stalemate. The fighting was ferocious. This time in the Ardennes coincided with a period of intense cold and rain and the soldiers on the ground faced very difficult conditions.
Trench foot was a common problem for infantrymen, as was exposure. By mid-Januarythe effect of lack of fuel was becoming evident as the Germans had to simply abandon their vehicles.
The Americans lost 81, men while the Germans lostkilled, wounded and captured. Could the Germans have won the battle?
Almost certainly not, as they had one huge problem — their inability to keep their armoured columns supplied with fuel. Any form of armoured attack needed a constant supply of fuel — and Allied bombing of fuel plants in Germany meant that such supplies did not exist.
Field Marshall von Rundstedt believed all along that the plan was too ambitious. Our precious reserves had been expended, and nothing was available to ward off the impending catastrophe in the east.
If anything, such an attack helped to engender a greater feeling of kinship with one consolidated aim — to defeat Nazi Germany.The Battle of the Bulge was the largest battle fought by the Americans in World War Two.
, American troops were involved in the battle. The Americans lost 81, men while the Germans lost , killed, wounded and captured. Oct 14, · The Battle of Okinawa was the last major battle of World War II, and one of the bloodiest.
On April 1, —Easter Sunday—the Navy’s Fifth Fleet and more than , U.S. Army and U.S. The Battle of the Bulge was a surprise German offensive that took place between Trier and Monschau in late to early The battle was a surprise offensive by the Germans and is also known as the Von Rundstedt Offensive or the Ardennes Offensive.
This is the order of battle of German and Allied forces during the Battle of the Bulge — specifically, at a point near the end of the battle, which lasted from 16 December until 25 January Battle Of The Bulge summary: The Battle of the Bulge (December 16, –January 16, ), also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was the largest battle fought on the Western Front in Europe during World War II; it is also the largest battle ever fought by the United States Army.
It was a German offensive intended to drive a wedge between the. General Kohler (Werner Peters) tries hard to impress upon Hessler (Robert Shaw) just how prepared and diabolical the remaining German army is, early in director Ken Annakin's Battle Of The Bulge,