Dezember 1944, einem Sonnabend, zwei Stunden vor der Dämmerung schweres Vorbereitungsfeuer einsetzte, waren die US-Truppen völlig überrascht. Schlagzeilen, Meldungen und alles Wichtige. [98] When Brig. The Germans had attacked a weakly defended section of the Allied line, taking advantage of heavily overcast weather conditions that grounded the Allies' superior air forces. [54], Despite their loyalty, none of the German field commanders entrusted with planning and executing the offensive believed it was possible to capture Antwerp. The struggle for the villages and American strong points, plus transport confusion on the German side, slowed the attack sufficiently to allow the 101st Airborne Division (reinforced by elements from the 9th and 10th Armored Divisions) to reach Bastogne by truck on the morning of 19 December. [citation needed], The Allies' efforts to destroy the French railway system prior to D-Day were successful. The first 5 days are considered one of the most effective for the entire time of this offensive operation for Germany. [161][citation needed]. [72] Peiper ordered Knittel to retake Stavelot. Similar action was taken on the southern flank of the bulge by Bradley, with the Third Army.[117]. Weltkrieg (Darsteller), Schlachtschiffe (Darsteller), Dx3f (Regisseur), Zeitgeschichte (Regisseur) & 1 mehr Alterseinstufung: Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren Format: DVD Even during interrogation, they continued their goal of spreading disinformation; when asked about their mission, some of them claimed they had been told to go to Paris to either kill or capture General Dwight Eisenhower. These units, which operated under the command of Generals Robert W. Hasbrouck (7th Armored) and Alan W. Jones (106th Infantry), successfully resisted the German attacks, significantly slowing the German advance. SS-Sturmbannführer Knittel crossed the bridge at Stavelot around 19:00 against American forces trying to retake the town. The positions of the Allied armies stretched from southern France all the way north to the Netherlands. Their job was to go behind American lines and change signposts, misdirect traffic, generally cause disruption and seize bridges across the Meuse River. The men of the Kampfgruppe were forced to abandon their vehicles and heavy equipment, although most of the 800 remaining troops were able to escape. It came to me as an order complete to the last detail. As a result, the start of the offensive was delayed from 27 November to 16 December. 1794 besetzten die Franzosen das gesamte linksrheinische Gebiet und gliederten es später in die französische Staatsverwaltung ein. This included SS-Gruppenführer (Major General) Kurt Meyer, commander of the 12th SS Panzer (Armor) Division, captured by Belgian partisans on 6 September 1944. Montgomery wrote about the situation he found on 20 December: The First Army was fighting desperately. Copy No. I embarked on these measures: I put British troops under command of the Ninth Army to fight alongside American soldiers, and made that Army take over some of the First Army Front. Damit wollte er nicht nur den leistungsfähigsten Hafen, über den die Alliierten auf dem Kontinent verfügten, ausschalten, sondern ihnen auch ein „zweites Dünkirchen“ zufügen, die also zur Flucht über das Meer zwingen. [27]:page needed. On 24 December, German forces made their furthest penetration west. Dagegen war die 6. "[123], Montgomery later said, "Distorted or not, I think now that I should never have held that press conference. This fuel shortage intensified after the Soviets overran those fields in the course of their August 1944 Jassy-Kishinev Offensive. Montgomery, refusing to risk underprepared infantry in a snowstorm for a strategically unimportant area, did not launch the attack until 3 January, by which time substantial numbers of German troops had already managed to fall back successfully, but at the cost of losing most of their heavy equipment. While the German command did not reach its goals, the Ardennes operation inflicted heavy losses and set back the Allied invasion of Germany by several weeks. So great were the feelings against me on the part of the American generals that whatever I said was bound to be wrong. Zum Andenken an die Einigung Deutschlands 1870/71. Patton and Eisenhower both felt this was a misrepresentation of the relative share of the fighting played by the British and Americans in the Ardennes (for every British soldier there were thirty to forty Americans in the fight), and that it belittled the part played by Bradley, Patton and other American commanders. "Initial" is the sum total of all unit rosters of the respective combatants at the point at which those units entered the battle, while "Final" reflects the state of those units on 16 January 1945. Hitlers Tod kam 18 Tage später. The 112th Infantry Regiment (the most northerly of the 28th Division's regiments), holding a continuous front east of the Our, kept German troops from seizing and using the Our River bridges around Ouren for two days, before withdrawing progressively westwards. In the south, Patton's Third Army was battling to relieve Bastogne. By October it was decided that Otto Skorzeny, the German SS-commando who had rescued the former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, was to lead a task force of English-speaking German soldiers in "Operation Greif". German losses were much higher. The General Staff estimated they only had enough fuel to cover one third to one half of the ground to Antwerp in heavy combat conditions. ... Literatur über den 1. bzw. THE MASTER STROKE-WACHT AM RHEIN For Germany, December 1944 was a bleak time. This destruction hampered the German response to the invasion, but it proved equally hampering to the Allies, as it took time to repair the rail network's tracks and bridges. By this time the German Army suffered from an acute manpower shortage, and the force had been reduced to around 30 divisions. Neither Army Commander had seen Bradley or any senior member of his staff since the battle began, and they had no directive on which to work. The German staff planning and organization of the attack was well done. The High Command of the Allied forces had planned to resume the offensive by early January 1945, after the wet season rains and severe frosts, but those plans had to be postponed until 29 January 1945 in connection with the unexpected changes in the front. [k], Both 2nd Panzer and Panzer-Lehr division moved forward from Bastogne after 21 December, leaving only Panzer-Lehr division's 901st Regiment to assist the 26th Volksgrenadier-Division in attempting to capture the crossroads. Das vielleicht bekannteste Bild eines deutschen Soldaten entstand wahrscheinlich am 18. Some of the injuries sustained before death included bayonet wounds to the head, broken legs, and their fingers cut off. Eisenhower, after saying he was not that optimistic, asked Patton how long it would take to turn his Third Army, located in northeastern France, north to counterattack. Millward, William, "Life in and out of Hut 3" in F. H. Hinsley and Alan Strip, eds. Bastogne had previously been the site of the VIII Corps headquarters. The headlong drive on Elsenborn Ridge lacked needed support from German units that had already bypassed the ridge. Doch Hitler lehnte ab, wie Keitel und der Chef des Wehrmachtsführungsstabes Alfred Jodl. The Germans also referred to it as Ardennenoffensive ("Ardennes Offensive") and Rundstedt-Offensive, both names being generally used nowadays in modern Germany. [60], Driving to the south-east of Elsenborn, Kampfgruppe Peiper entered Honsfeld, where they encountered one of the 99th Division's rest centers, clogged with confused American troops. The Allies pressed their advantage following the battle. The amount lost in arms and equipment, of course, was very substantial. German intelligence had set 20 December as the expected date for the start of the upcoming Soviet offensive, aimed at crushing what was left of German resistance on the Eastern Front and thereby opening the way to Berlin. Welcome to the official wiki for Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg, an alternative history mod for Hearts of Iron II, Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game, and Hearts of Iron IV by Paradox Interactive that asks the question: " What if Germany had won the First World War? This is a grand tactical simulation of the Battle of the Bulge. [114]:224 Dietrich's decision unknowingly played into American hands, as Robertson had already decided to abandon the villages. Because Skorzeny's men were captured in American uniforms, they were executed as spies. He gave some priority to Montgomery's northern forces. As the battle ensued, on the northern shoulder of the offensive, Dietrich stopped the armored assault on the twin villages after two days and changed the axis of their advance southward through the hamlet of Domäne Bütgenbach. [160] It sets out the various indications of an impending offensive that were received, then offers conclusions about the wisdom conferred by hindsight; the dangers of becoming wedded to a fixed view of the enemy's likely intentions; over-reliance on "Source" (i.e. Converging enemy armies were poised to crush the Fatherland. [87], For Operation Greif ("Griffin"), Otto Skorzeny successfully infiltrated a small part of his battalion of English-speaking Germans disguised in American uniforms behind the Allied lines. [12] Allied estimates on German casualties range from 81,000 to 103,000. [103] First, Third, and Seventh Armies suffered a total of 17,000 hospitalized from the cold.[18][l]. The phrase "Battle of the Bulge" was coined by contemporary press to describe the bulge in German front lines on wartime news maps,[38][o][39] and it became the most widely used name for the battle. Bradley's response was succinct: "Let them come. [79] After more than 10 days of intense battle, they pushed the Americans out of the villages, but were unable to dislodge them from the ridge, where elements of the V Corps of the First U.S. Army prevented the German forces from reaching the road network to their west. After the war ended, the U.S. Army issued battle credit in the form of the Ardennes-Alsace campaign citation to units and individuals that took part in operations in northwest Europe. As a result, they made little progress throughout the battle. The Germans could field a total of 55 understrength divisions. The extremely swift operation ended only when the advancing Soviet Red Army forces outran their supplies. — Theodore Draper, 84th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Ardennes, December 1944 - January 1945, 1945, p. 11 of 58. Kampfgruppe Sandig, which had been ordered to take Stavelot, launched another attack without success. The phrase "Battle of the Bulge" was coined by contemporary press to describe the bulge in German front lines on wartime news maps, [38] [o] [39] and it became the most widely used name for the battle. Training time, equipment and supplies were inadequate during the preparations. Der Plan war die ureigenste Idee des „Führers“. By December 11-12, 1944, the snow that fell in November had already completely melted. They succeeded in surrounding two largely intact regiments (422nd and 423rd) of the 106th Division in a pincer movement and forced their surrender, a tribute to the way Manteuffel's new tactics had been applied. With casualties mounting, and running short on replacements, tanks, ammunition, and supplies, Seventh Army was forced to withdraw to defensive positions on the south bank of the Moder River on 21 January. Columns of armor and infantry that were supposed to advance along parallel routes found themselves on the same roads. There will be only cheerful faces at this table." The more experienced U.S. 28th Infantry Division put up a much more dogged defense than the inexperienced soldiers of the 106th Infantry Division. [68] Three tanks attempted to take the bridge, but the lead vehicle was disabled by a mine. He later attributed this to needing more time for preparation on the northern front. Instead, he was provided with a Kampfgruppe of 800 men. [18] Total casualties included at least 9,000 wounded. They launched devastating bombing raids on the German supply points in their rear, and P-47 Thunderbolts started attacking the German troops on the roads. This had the short-term goal of opening the urgently needed port of Antwerp and the long-term goal of capturing the Ruhr area, the biggest industrial area of Germany. A single 18-man Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon from the 99th Infantry Division along with four Forward Air Controllers held up the battalion of about 500 German paratroopers until sunset, about 16:00, causing 92 casualties among the Germans. To the north, the 277th Volksgrenadier Division attempted to break through the defending line of the U.S. 99th and the 2nd Infantry Divisions. On the evening of 24 December, General Hasso von Manteuffel recommended to Hitler's Military Adjutant a halt to all offensive operations and a withdrawal back to the Westwall (literally Western Rampart). The German High Command estimated that they lost between 81,834 and 98,024 men in the Bulge between 16 December 1944 and 28 January 1945; the accepted figure was 81,834, of which 12,652 were killed, 38,600 were wounded, and 30,582 were missing. [81] They had little time to establish any unit cohesion or train together. In der Kriegspropaganda waren Variationen auf die "Wacht am Rhein" ungemein beliebt. One of the fault lines between the British and American high commands was General Dwight D. Eisenhower's commitment to a broad front advance. Assessing his own situation, he determined that his Kampfgruppe did not have sufficient fuel to cross the bridge west of Stoumont and continue his advance. The parachute drop was a complete failure. The leadership composition of the Sixth Panzer Division had a distinctly political nature. Hargimont was captured the same day, but Marche-en-Famenne was strongly defended by the American 84th Division. The Fifth Panzer Army under General Hasso von Manteuffel was assigned to the middle sector with the objective of capturing Brussels. Operation Stösser was a paratroop drop into the American rear in the High Fens (French: Hautes Fagnes; German: Hohes Venn; Dutch: Hoge Venen) area. Ninth Army had two corps and three divisions; First Army had three corps and fifteen divisions. Dezember 1944 festgesetzt. [71] He learned that Stoumont was strongly held and that the Americans were bringing up strong reinforcements from Spa. Schnellgruppe Knittel was forced to disengage from the heights around Stavelot. On 2 January, the Tiger IIs of German Heavy Tank Battalion 506 supported an attack by the 12th SS Hitlerjugend division against U.S. positions near Wardin and knocked out 15 Sherman tanks. These predictions were largely dismissed by the U.S. 12th Army Group. Intercepted German communications indicating a substantial German offensive preparation were not acted upon by the Allies. He later moved to Spain and South America. This, and terrain that favored the defenders, threw the German advance behind schedule and allowed the Allies to reinforce the thinly placed troops. [34][90] This was the standard practice of every army at the time, as many belligerents considered it necessary to protect their territory against the grave dangers of enemy spying. Sie wurde aus Resten mehrerer abgekämpfter SS-Panzer-Divisionen gebildet, um das „Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein“ (später umbenannt in „Herbstnebel“) durchzuführen. Schließlich wurde, nach einem Temperatursturz und heftigen Schneefällen, die mindestens eine Woche andauern sollten, der Angriffstermin auf den 16. The battle was militarily defined by the Allies as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, which included the German drive and the American effort to contain and later defeat it. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, American forces suffered 89,500 casualties including 19,000 killed, 47,500 wounded and 23,000 missing. Chronologie. [24] With the Allies stalled, German Generalfeldmarschall (Field Marshal) Gerd von Rundstedt was able to reorganize the disrupted German armies into a coherent defensive force. [144], During World War II, most U.S. black soldiers still served only in maintenance or service positions, or in segregated units. The battle also severely depleted Germany's armored forces, and they were largely unable to replace them. November 1944 hatte Hitler die abschließenden Befehle für die Offensive erlassen. The total for Seventh Army for January was 11,609. This Army was made up of only four infantry divisions, with no large-scale armored formations to use as a spearhead unit. The German offensive drew to a close on 25 January. Units of the corps which fought in the Ardennes were the 51st (Highland) and 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Divisions, the British 6th Airborne Division, the 29th and 33rd Armoured Brigades, and the 34th Tank Brigade. Hitler rejected this. The Germans called the operation WACHT AM RHEIN but it is commonly referred to as the Battle of the Bulge. The Germans' initial attack involved 410,000 men; just over 1,400 tanks, tank destroyers, and assault guns; 2,600 artillery pieces; 1,600 anti-tank guns; and over 1,000 combat aircraft, as well as large numbers of other armored fighting vehicles (AFVs). German offensive exhausts their resources on the, troops were fatigued by weeks of continuous combat, supply lines were stretched extremely thin. ", Checkpoints were set up all over the Allied rear, greatly slowing the movement of soldiers and equipment. After turning to other pressing issues, his staff reminded him that they should reply to the German demand. Am 10. The foggy autumn weather also prevented Allied reconnaissance aircraft from correctly assessing the ground situation. After the war ended, this assessment was generally viewed as unrealistic, given Allied air superiority throughout Europe and their ability to continually disrupt German offensive operations. These 30 newly rebuilt divisions used some of the last reserves of the German Army. Most of the units committed to the offensive reached their jump off points undetected. A team of volunteer surgeons flew in by military glider and began operating in a tool room.[100]. [43], For these reasons Allied High Command considered the Ardennes a quiet sector, relying on assessments from their intelligence services that the Germans were unable to launch any major offensive operations this late in the war. The 12th SS Panzer Division, reinforced by additional infantry (Panzergrenadier and Volksgrenadier) divisions, took the key road junction at Losheimergraben just north of Lanzerath and attacked the twin villages of Rocherath and Krinkelt. Die Ardennenoffensive ware eine ab dem 16.12.1944 nach dem Plan Wacht am Rhein durchgeführte Angriffsoperation der Wehrmacht zur Wiedergewinnung der Initiative im Westen. It was led by Oberst Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte, considered by Germans to be a hero of the Battle of Crete.[80]. The Allies captured the port of Antwerp intact in the first days of September, but it was not operational until 28 November. Hinter dem Plan steckte eine Vorstellung, die für Hitler seit der Kriegswende von Stalingrad 1942/43 typisch geworden war: Abwechselnd redete er sich ein, mit einem massiven Sieg entweder gegen die Rote Armee oder gegen den Westen die Koalition seiner Gegner spalten zu können und so den nicht zu gewinnenden Zweifrontenkrieg zu beenden. Newsticker, Schlagzeilen und alles, was heute wichtig ist, im Überblick. This view was opposed by the British Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Field Marshal Alan Brooke, as well as Field Marshal Montgomery, who promoted a rapid advance on a narrow front, with the other allied armies in reserve. 2 2. The offensive was planned by the German forces with utmost secrecy, with minimal radio traffic and movements of troops and equipment under cover of darkness. [111]:10[112]:308 Thus Hitler gave responsibility for the key right flank of the assault to the best SS troops and a few Volksgrenadier units under the command of "Sepp" (Joseph) Dietrich, a fanatical political disciple of Hitler, and a loyal follower from the early days of the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Fierce resistance on the northern shoulder of the offensive, around Elsenborn Ridge, and in the south, around Bastogne, blocked German access to key roads to the northwest and west that they counted on for success. Über 200.000 deutsche Soldaten, die sich in den vorausgegangenen Wochen im Schutz der bewaldeten Eifel gesammelt hatten, gingen am 16. The Allies called it the Ardennes Counteroffensive. 1. American progress in the south was also restricted to about a kilometre or a little over half a mile per day. Further Allied pressure out of Marche finally led the German command to the conclusion that no further offensive action towards the Meuse was possible.[101]. In foreground a platoon leader indicates the target to a rifleman by actually firing on the target. The perpetrators were never punished for this crime. Sie wurde aus Resten mehrerer abgekämpfter SS-Panzer-Divisionen gebildet, um das „Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein“ (später umbenannt in „Herbstnebel“) durchzuführen. German units assembling in the area were even issued charcoal instead of wood for cooking fires to cut down on smoke and reduce chances of Allied observers deducing a troop buildup was underway. Armee eingekesselt worden, wenn deutsche Truppen die Scheldemündung erreicht hätten. General Omar Bradley was briefly detained when he correctly identified Springfield as the capital of Illinois because the American MP who questioned him mistakenly believed the capital was Chicago. [73], Small units of the U.S. 2nd Battalion, 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division, attacked the dispersed units of Kampfgruppe Peiper on the morning of 21 December. In France, orders had been relayed within the German army using radio messages enciphered by the Enigma machine, and these could be picked up and decrypted by Allied code-breakers headquartered at Bletchley Park, to give the intelligence known as Ultra. Der Text wurde 1840 während der Rheinkrise von Max Schneckenburger verfasst. The Germans achieved a total surprise attack on the morning of 16 December 1944, due to a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with Allied offensive plans, and poor aerial reconnaissance due to bad weather. It was Germany’s attempt to seize the port of Antwerp in order to severely disrupt Allied supplies and cause a political rift between United States and British leadership. [34], Hitler's plan called for a Blitzkrieg attack through the weakly defended Ardennes, mirroring the successful German offensive there during the Battle of France in 1940—aimed at splitting the armies along the U.S.—British lines and capturing Antwerp. The last major German offensive on the Western Front. The group began moving again at dusk at 16:00 and was able to return to its original route at around 18:00. ↑ Siehe Lipperheide und Scherer, S. 13f; die Autographe sind dort ebenfalls wiedergegeben: die Tagebuchfassung auf S. Adolf Hitler personally selected for the counter-offensive on the northern shoulder of the western front the best troops available and officers he trusted. Wacht am Rhein campaign, December 16-21, 1944. Dupuy, p. 501. But the VI Corps AAR for January 1945 puts its total losses at 14,716 (773 killed, 4,838 wounded, 3,657 missing, and 5,448 nonbattle casualties); and Albert E. Cowdrey and Graham A. Cosmas, "U.S. infantrymen fire at German troops in the advance to relieve the surrounded paratroopers in Bastogne. A few survived, and news of the killings of prisoners of war spread through Allied lines. Model told him it was necessary to make the attempt: "It must be done because this offensive is the last chance to conclude the war favorably. [d] The Allies faced several military logistics issues: General Dwight D. Eisenhower (the Supreme Allied Commander on the Western Front) and his staff chose to hold the Ardennes region which was occupied by the U.S. First Army. The temperature during that January was extremely low, which required weapons to be maintained and truck engines run every half-hour to prevent their oil from congealing. Because the Ardennes was considered a quiet sector, considerations of economy of force led it to be used as a training ground for new units and a rest area for units that had seen hard fighting. Because it lacked sufficient troops and those of the 26th VG Division were near exhaustion, the XLVII Panzerkorps concentrated its assault on several individual locations on the west side of the perimeter in sequence rather than launching one simultaneous attack on all sides. While operations continued in the autumn, notably the Lorraine Campaign, the Battle of Aachen and fighting in the Hürtgen Forest, the strategic situation in the west had changed little. Peiper's unit was delayed and his vehicles denied critically needed fuel. „Nach einer entscheidenden Niederlage der Verbündeten wäre das Reich dann in der Lage“, fasst der Militärhistoriker Detlef Vogel im Standardwerk „Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg“ zusammen, „der erwarteten sowjetischen Winteroffensive zu begegnen.“.