The Ardennes Offensive: The Battle Of The Bulge

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The Battle of the Bulge was a battle that was a final desperation offensive launched by Adolf Hitler to secure the port city of Antwerp in Belgium. Even though Hitler launched a massive attack to separate the Allied lines at the Ardennes Forest, he was unable to stop the U.S and allied forces pushing towards the Rhine River and into the heart of Germany. The Battle of the Bulge, also called the Ardennes Offensive, was Hitler’s last major offensive on the Western Front. The allied forces would face their ultimate test in a battle that would last 6 weeks against the Germans. The attack made Germany and the Allied forces employ strategic attacks, maximize use of the right weapons and assets, work in deplorable conditions, and, of course, cause…show more content…
Allied Supreme Commander, Gen. Eisenhower, rushed the 101st Airborne Division to Bastogne. Even though the 101st was ill equipped to fight in the harsh winter conditions, they persevered and helped in the toughest defensive fight ever fought by American troops. On December 22 the Germans demanded the surrender of the 101st Airborne Division, who called themselves “Battered Bastards of Bastogne”, but they refused to surrender. The American commander, Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe, responded with, “Nuts!” (Hogg, 1980), while laughing. That same day, the U.S. Third Army, began to drive to Bastogne’s aid. The clearing weather on 23 December enabled American planes to drop supplies to US and Allied forces. “Although the Germans attacked fiercely on Christmas Day, the defenses held, and on 26 December, tanks of the Fourth Armored Division broke the siege and helped weaken the Germans” (Bulge, 2003). The First and Third Army began to counterattack on January 3, 1945 as the Germans continued to fight; the First and Third Army were attacking from the north and south. “On January 16, 1945, the American and Allied forces closed in on Houffalize, a town north of Bastogne, to speed up a slow German withdrawal” (Cole, 1993). In the end, the deaths resulting from the Battle of the Bulge totaled nearly 200,000 troops. Although the number of dead for the Americans was very large, the number for German deaths was larger. This battle without a doubt weakened the German forces. 19,000 American troops were killed, 47,500 troops were wounded, and 23,000 troops were captured as prisoners of war. The British suffered 200 troops killed and 1,200 captured. It is known, however, that the Germans had over 100,000 troops either

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