The time is December, 1944. The war was finally coming to a close. The American soldiers were relaxing, and even going to parties. They were finally having fun.
Little did they know, Hitler was planning a desperate thrust at the Americans. He was planning one of the most famous counterattacks of all time. It would be a battle where more than 1 million men were involved. About 600,000 Germans were involved, 500,000 Americans, and 55,000 British.
The battle was called the Battle of the Bulge. It is called this, because Germans could only create a bulge in America's front line.
Wilhelm Kertal and Alfred Jodl attended Hitler's meeting in East Prussia. Hitler said they were losing the war, and needed a plan to take back the war. He told Jodl to come up with a plan to disrupt the American's line. Hitler wanted the attack to be during bad weather and sometime in November. The attack didn't come until December 16, 1944. He wanted the attackers to be swift and accurate. Without those two elements, the counterattack would not be successful.
Hitler's plan was to retake Antwerp because he felt the Allies would become irritated. He felt the Allies were united, but were loosely tied together. However, he didn't count on one thing: The Allies were strictly determined to wipe out the German army. Hitler chose the attack spot, which was on the Ardennes mountains. He believed this attack would work, because it was very successful when Hitler launched his surprise attack on France years before.
The attack came on December 16. Eight German divisions and thirteen infantry divisions launched a surprise attack on 5 american divisions. Multiple guns and rocket launchers were fired upon the Americans. They were quickly surrounded, and surrenders were made. In other areas, the Americans were more defensive. The Americans held the Germans at Saint Vith and made their plan for fast timing a disaster. Saint Vith was a road that led to Anthwep. About 140 americans were taken prisoner at Baugnez. They were later shot and killed at Malmedy. This was called the Malmedy Massacre. Only 43 survived.
Bastogne was an important city because it was a crucial military base. The Germans and Americans knew this. It was just a question of who got there first. The Americans got there first, and the Germans were not far behind. The Germans surrounded the city completely, and there was no way the Americans could get supplies because of the bad weather. The Germans requested that the Americans surrender, but the Americans bluntly said no.
The Americans at Bastogne had support however, The VII Corps came to help the front line, and even pushed the Germans back from Bastogne. The weather finally cleared up on December 29, and air drops were finally possible. The Americans set up for a counteroffensive. The counteroffensive came two days before the New Year. Germany had other plans.
On New Years Day, Hitler launched a plan he called "The Great Blow." He ordered all available fleets to be launched and caused chaos over airfields all over Belgium, France, and Holland. Many of the Allies bases are ruined, and many planes are destroyed. Hitler, however, received the greatest blow with 300 planes gone and 253 of his best pilots dead.
Hitler, feeling defeated, ordered his troops to withdraw from the bulge they had created. By January 16th, the Americans controlled the original front line. On January 23, the Americans regained Saint Vith. The Battle of the Bulge had come to a close.
The losses for the Allies and Germans were great. Germans lost most of their equipment and air power. The Allies lost a lot of equipment and air power as well. The Allies, however, had plently left. The Germans were running on fumes. It was only a matter of time...