The Battle Of The Buldge Essay Research

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The Battle Of The Buldge Essay, Research Paper The Battle of The Bulge As 1945 approached it seemed, to most, that Germany’s surrender was only a matter of time. The Allies, having been on the offensive for so long, had an all time high determination and morale. The idea that Germany could muster the supplies, troops, or will to launch an offensive seemed crazy. In fact, many were already asking the questions of when and where the assault on the Rhine should be launched. Hitler, utilizing his talent of strategic vision, noticed a hole in the Allies defenses. He saw the Ardennes Forest of Belgium was lightly defended. The Ardennes Forest had traditionally been thought of as impassible to tanks and there fore not an option for either side. The Allies left only four divisions

to defend a front of over eighty miles. Because the Germans had now been pushed back almost to Germany, and in some places were already fighting on German soil, the Allies lost the important intelligence on troop movements provided by French and Belgium residents. As a result Germany was able to do major troop movements and buildups right behind the front lines. Hitler secretly assembled the twenty-one divisions that would later take place in The Battle of The Bulge with out the Allies even knowing. Field-Marshal von Rundsted is generally credited with the plans for the offensive, however in actuality he was strongly opposed to the plan. It was Hitler and his immediate staff who secretly developed the plan, and turned down all requests for changes or revisions. In one of von

Rundsted’s request for revisions Hitler responded “The Plan itself is irrevocable”(World War II Trevor Hall and Gerald Hughes, Smithmark Publisher) The plan was actually brilliant in its simplicity, and if Germany had the fuel, men and supplies that Hitler’s plan required, it could have succeeded giving Germany a major victory in the west. Fortunately for the Allies, Hitler’s idea of the amount of fuel and number of men at his disposal was greatly exaggerated, and his plan did not take into account that three of his Panzer tank divisions were down to roughly 100 tanks per division, less than half the amount in the American armored divisions. At 5:30 in the morning of December 16, 1944 with the benefit of fog and clouds keeping Allied planes on the ground, Hitler

attacked a 90 mile American front between Monschau and Echternach using twenty one German divisions high on morale but low on fuel. The first wave of the attack was by the 150th Panzer Brigade, a unit of about 2,000 English speaking Germans who knew American slang and customs. Under command of Colonel Otto Skorzeny, and using captured Jeeps and wearing American combat jackets, the Germans moved through the American lines cutting telephone wires, turning signpost, and setting up false mind field indicators. The 150th was under orders that if captured tell the Americans that thousands of Germans in Jeeps were behind the American lines. This operation was a huge success thirty-two of the forty Jeeps that went in came back, and the ones who did not make it kept their orders and

spread rumors of large number of undercover Germans. The Americans took the bait and set up checkpoints causing massive traffic jams and hundreds of American soldiers were sent to jail if they could not answer check questions such as the height of the Empire State Building. Later the Americans commended these under cover operations as “Military Genius”. Less respectable were the acts committed by the 1st SS Panzer Brigade known as Battle Group Peiper. This unit captured the city of Stavelot and discovered a group of civilians huddled in a basement, the Germans took them out and shot in cold blood. Later that same day the US 99th Infantry Division retook Stavelot and held their positions until reinforcements arrived. Ironically while Peiper was held up in Stavelot he was with