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The Battle of the Bulge was a battle that changed the world forever. This battle was started by Adolf Hitler on December 16, 2010. He saw the allied alliance between Britain, France, and the United States and claimed it was too weak. After he noticed this, he devised a plan that would destroy the allied forces and hopefully win them the war. After planning, he decided that we would launch an attack on Antwerp and Brussels. This battle would take place over one of the coldest and harshest winters during the war. This battle was the largest in World War Two leaving 81,000 Americans and 100,000 Germans dead.
Starting The Battle
The Battle of the Bulge was also commonly referred to as The Battle of Ardennes. It was then said to be called the Battle of the Bulge when Winston Churchill called it that due to the tactics of the Germans. This was Hitler’s last attempt at trying to win this war. This was fought in the winter of 1944-1945, toward the end of the war. The Nazi party was declining and if Hitler didn’t win this battle, than he knew the war would be over. To Hitler, the risk was worth it. If he won this, the Nazi party could grow and the Allies would decline. Hitler’s plan was to use the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Fifteenth Panzer Armies to launch a devastating attack on the Allied Forces. His main plan was to capture Antwerp, which held a port which greatly supplied the Allied Forces. He would use the Sixth Panzer Army to capture Antwerp and that would devastate the Allied forces. The Fifth Panzer Army would attack the main center of the American Forces and drive them away. They would then go on to capture Brussels. The Seventh Panzer Army would attack on the other side of the Sixth, the southern flank. This would stop the U.S. from turning around and trying to stop the Fifth Panzer Army. The Fifteenth Panzer army would be used to counter any other attacks made by the Allied Forces. This attack would require over 1,000 armored vehicles and hundreds of thousands of troops. This battle started with a two hour bombing of the Allied forces by Germany. The U.S. was surprised by the attack and was not prepared to defend from it. After the bombardment, the Germans then set off in a massive vehicle attack. The Germans looked as if they were going to win the battle. Prior to the battle, English speaking Germans went into the camp with American uniforms and sent out misleading information about an attack. They also did such things as cut telephone lines, and changed road signs to disorient the Allied Forces. The beginning of the battle looked great for the Germans. The weather also played a big role in the start of the battle. It was a low level fog type day. This was typical for Ardennes in the winter. For the Germans, everything went right, for the Allies, everything went wrong. The Germans were proceeding rapidly and could not be stopped at the moment.
During the War
The Germans got off to a strong start. Everything was going well until things turned around. The Germans could not capitalize on their great attack at the beginning of the battle.
Their massive attack lasted only two days and the weather started to clear. Since Germany constructed a massive military vehicle attack, the Germans needed a lot of fuel. They did not have this. Now that they were running out of fuel, Germans were forced to abandon their vehicles and the Allies launched their counter attack. Since weather had cleared, The Royal Air Force and the United States of America Air Force could begin their attack. They brought in tank-busting planes and other planes to destroy the remaining German vehicles. On Christmas Eve, the Allied forces faced their first airborne military attack. The Germans brought in sixteen Me-262s and tried to attack a rail yard that supplied Allied Forces. From the start of the battle, the Germans had advanced 60+ miles but now, out of fuel, they would no longer advance by vehicle but try to advance by foot. That winter was a horrific winter. The temperature got extremely cold and many got frost bite, exposure, and trench foot. The winter was also a time of intense fighting. Both sides, Allied and German, fought ferociously. The Germans knew what was happening and had to fight back or retreat. They fought and fought until they couldn’t find anymore. On December 26, 1944, General George P. Patton’s 4th Armored Division delivered the final blow to Germany. They caught the Germans from behind and that insured an Allied victory
Ending the War
Heading into January, the Germans were running very, very low on fuel. This is when most Germans had to abandon their vehicles. Some of the Panzer divisions had to retreat back to Germany on foot. Germany was getting destroyed and the Allied Forces had taken back all the ground they had lost during the battle. This was a turning point in the war and Germany knew it. Germany had suffered major fatalities but the Allied fatalities weren’t far behind. This was a giant point in the war. The allied Forces just pushed the Nazis back as far as they could before they were all gone or dead. Hitler knew it was over.
Germany knew before this battle that if they won this would have a devastating blow to the Allies, but if they lost, it would be the opposite. Hitler was willing to take that risk. The Germans had a strong start but it just wasn’t strong enough. This was a huge point in the war and now the collapse and conquering of Germany was only a matter of time. This would lead to the collapse of the Nazi party and would eventually lead Hitler to suicide.
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