Battle Of The Bulge Essay

1197 words - 5 pages

The Battle of the Bulge was one of the most important battles in the European Theater during the Second World War. It was also “The largest and bloodiest battle in American History”(4). The Battle of the Bulge was fought from December 16th 1944 to January 25th 1945 (4). The battle occurred in the Ardennes forest which is located in 4 countries, Luxembourg, Germany, France and Belgium. The Ardennes forest is heavily populated by trees and supposedly incapable of allowing tanks to travel through it. The notable cities in which the Battle of the Bulge was fought are Bastogne and St. Vith (4). The Americans lost over 100,000 troops to casualties making it one of the costliest battles in the European Theater of World War II and in the entire history of the United States Army (2). The Germans lost around 85,000 soldiers to casualties in this engagement in addition to a rather large loss of vehicles and equipment.
The Battle of the Bulge took place as a last ditch desperation attempt by the German Wehrmacht which is the German word for Army. The main intent of the attack was to divide the Allies and dramatically affect their ability to supply themselves (1). The battle began on December 16th, 1944, when the Wehrmacht gathered 200,000 troops and 1,000 tanks in a last-ditch attempt to swing the war in the favor of the Axis. On the first day of the offensive the Germans attacked the Allied front in the region of the Ardennes Forest, a seventy-five mile stretch of very dense forest. Prior to the attack the Ardennes Forest had been a quiet spot on the front where Allied units had been sent for “rest and seasoning”(3).
The German attack began this attack on the Ardennes Forest by parachuting troops behind the American lines with intention to disturb, distract and mislead the American troops. The troops that the German parachuted behind the American lines were fluent in English and disguised themselves by wearing American army uniforms. These troops were given the task of cutting of communications and taking strategically important bridges (3). When these specific German troops were captured, they were immediately executed as spies, as they did not receive protection as normal prisoners of war and rather qualified as spies, which are eligible for execution. These troops qualified as spies because they engaged in espionage against the Allied forces, by cutting telegraph wires and engaging in other activities. In the north the German attack continued by having the Sixth-panzer Army, which contained four SS panzer divisions, a parachute division and four infantry divisions, began advancing toward Antwerp, which was a very strategically important town in the war-torn country of Belgium. However the German’s attack quickly fell apart and fell behind schedule due to stiff American resistance and horrendously poor road conditions . In the south the German attack was led by the the fifth panzer army which was engage in the conflict primarily in a supporting role...

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