Walter Model - Wikipedia
Walter Model was a German field marshal during World War II. Although he was a hard-driving, However, their relationship had broken down by the end of the war after Model was defeated at the Battle of the Bulge. Units under Model's command killed large numbers of Soviet civilians, and the Soviet Government indicted. Of the allied world War II generals, George Patton may be considered the most “ German. Having been on the receiving end, the German officers were . north within 72hours to fight the Battle of the Bulge, does not escape a. To mend the relationship between Americans and the British after the war . was finally pushed back to its original lines, thus ending the Battle of the Bulge.
The battle was fought on an mile front running from southern Belgium through the Ardennes Forest, and down to Ettelbruck in the middle of Luxembourg. Hitler's real target was the British-American alliance, and he saw the battle as a Juggernaut to break apart and defeat the Allied forces. That "surprise attack" would supposedly divide British and American forces, leaving the way wide open for the Wehrmacht German army to swing north and seize the port of Antwerp.
Thus they could cut off the main supply base for the Allied armies on the Western Front. Hitler believed that he could force the western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis' favor. He also believed that such factors as bad weather, bad terrain, and the Christmas holiday would help him catch the Allies by surprise.
In other words, he anticipated it to be a decisive battle to win. After all, the Allies were very much inferior to the Germans as far as their military strength was concerned. At the battle's beginning, the U. Army was equipped with 80, men, tanks, and guns, while the Germans hadmen, tanks, and 1, guns. The night before the battle, Hitler sent in soldiers to infiltrate the front. Some were dropped by parachute, others came in driving captured American jeeps. Those German soldiers spoke fluent English and wore U.
The Battle of the Bulge began with a German attack on the morning of December 16, Under cover of heavy fog, 38 German divisions struck along a mile front.
The German army managed to push American forces back nearly to the Meuse River and surround the town of Bastogne in Belgium. At that time, when ordered to surrender Bastogne, Brig.
Eisenhowerwere surprised by the force of the German attack. German troops used stolen U. Army uniforms to wreak havoc behind Allied lines. During the early stages of the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler ordered Austrian SS commando Otto Skorzeny to assemble an army of impostors for a top-secret mission known as Operation Greif. In a now-famous ruse, Skorzeny outfitted English speaking German soldiers with captured American weapons, jeeps and uniforms and had the men slip behind the U.
The German pretenders cut communication lines, switched road signs and committed other small acts of sabotage, but they were most successful at spreading confusion and terror. When word got out that German commandos were masquerading as Americans, G.
While they succeeded in capturing a few of the Germans, the roadblocks often produced farcical results. The German push toward the Meuse River partially hinged on the capture of Bastogne, a small Belgian town that served as a vital road junction.
The area was the scene of frantic fighting during the first few days of the battle, and by December 21, German forces had encircled town and pinned the U. The siege finally ended on December 26, when General George S. African-American troops at the Battle of the Bulge 6. All of this meant that the attack, when it came, completely surprised the Allied forces.
Because the Ardennes were considered a quiet sector, economy-of-force considerations led it to be used as a training ground for new units and a rest area for units that had seen hard fighting.
Two major special operations were planned for the offensive. By October, it was decided that Otto Skorzeny, the German commando who had rescued the former Italian dictator Benito Mussoliniwas to lead a task force of English-speaking German soldiers in Operation Greif. These soldiers were to be dressed in American and British uniforms and wear dog tags taken from corpses and POWs. By late November another ambitious special operation was added: German intelligence had set December 20 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.
Battle of the Bulge - Wikipedia
It was hoped that Stalin would delay the start of the operation once the German assault in the Ardennes had begun and wait for the outcome before continuing. In the final stage of preparations Hitler and his staff left their Wolf's Lair headquarters in East Prussia, in which they had co-ordinated much of the fighting on the Eastern Front. After a brief visit to Berlin, on December 11, they came to the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's headquarters in southern Germany, the site from which he had overseen the successful campaign against France and the low countries.
Byall three German armies attacked through the Ardennes. Vith, both road junctions of great strategic importance. In the south, Brandenberger's German 7th Army pushed towards Luxembourg in their efforts to secure the flank from Allied attacks. Attacks by the 6th SS Panzer Army infantry units in the north fared badly due to unexpectedly fierce resistance by the U.
Starting on December 16, however, snowstorms engulfed parts of the Ardennes area. While having the desired effect of keeping the Allied aircraft grounded, the weather also proved troublesome for the Germans as poor road conditions hampered their advance.
Poor traffic control led to massive traffic jams and fuel shortages in forward units.
The Germans fared better in the center the 20 mile wide Schnee Eifel sector as they attacked positions held by the U. The remarkable feature here was that the German attackers lacked any such overwhelming strength as had been deployed in the north; but it succeeded in surrounding two regiments nd and rd of the th Division in a pincer movement and forced their surrender.
The amount lost in arms and equipment, of course, was very substantial. The Schnee Eifel battle, therefore, represents the most serious reverse suffered by American arms during the operations of in the European theater. Panzer columns took the outlying villages. The struggle for these villages, and transport confusion on the German side, slowed the attack to allow the st Airborne Division along with units from the U. The fierce defense of Bastogne, in which American engineers particularly distinguished themselves, made it impossible for the Germans to rush the town, and the panzer columns swung past on either side, thus Bastogne was cut off on December Eisenhower and his principal commanders realized by December 17, that the fighting in the Ardennes was a major offensive and not a local counter-attack, and ordered vast reinforcements to the area.
Within a weektroops had been sent. The new drop time was set for hrs on December 17; their drop zone was 11 km north of Malmedy and their target was the "Baraque Michel" crossroads. Von der Heydte and his men were to take it and hold it for approximately twenty-four hours until being relieved by the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend, thereby hampering the Allied flow of reinforcements and supplies into the area.
As a result, many planes went off-course, and men were dropped as far as a dozen kilometers away from the intended drop zone, with only a fraction of the force landing near it. Strong winds also took off-target those paratroopers whose planes were relatively close to the intended drop zone and made their landings far rougher.
By noon, a group of around managed to assemble, but this force was too small and too weak to counter the Allies. Colonel von der Heydte abandoned plans to take the crossroads and instead ordered his men to harass the Allied troops in the vicinity with guerrilla -like actions.
Operation Greif Otto Skorzeny. After Operation Greif he was called "the most dangerous man in Europe" Skorzeny successfully infiltrated a small part of his battalion of disguised, English-speaking Germans behind the Allied lines. Although they failed to take the vital bridges over the Meuse, the battalion's presence produced confusion out of all proportion to their military activities, and rumors spread like wildfire. Even General Patton was alarmed and, on December 17, described the situation to General Eisenhower as "Krauts… speaking perfect English… raising hell, cutting wires, turning road signs around, spooking whole divisions, and shoving a bulge into our defenses.
Military policemen drilled servicemen on things which every American was expected to know, such as the identity of Mickey Mouse's girlfriend, baseball scores, or the capital of Illinois. This latter question resulted in the brief detention of General Omar Bradley himself; although he gave the correct answer—Springfield—the GI who questioned him apparently believed that the capital was Chicago.
The tightened security nonetheless made things harder for the German infiltrators, and some of them were captured. 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 Eisenhower. Security around the general was greatly increased, and he was confined to his headquarters.
Because these prisoners had been captured in American uniform they were later executed by firing squad; this was the standard practice of every army at the time, although it was left ambivalent under the Geneva Conventionwhich merely stated that soldiers had to wear uniforms that distinguished them as combatants.
In addition, Skorzeny was an expert at international law and knew that such an operation would be well within its boundaries as long as they were wearing their German uniforms when firing.
Skorzeny and his men were fully aware of their likely fate, and most wore their German uniforms underneath their Allied ones in case of capture. At hrs on December 17, they seized a U. At hrs, near the hamlet of Baugnez, on the height halfway between the town of Malmedy and Ligneuville, they encountered elements of the American th Field Artillery Observation Battalion.
After a brief battle the Americans surrendered. They were disarmed and, with some other Americans captured earlier approximately peoplesent to stand in a field near the crossroads. Here they were all shot. It is not known what caused the shooting and there is no record of an SS officer giving an execution order; such shootings of prisoners of war POWshowever, were more common by both sides on the Eastern Front.
News of the killings raced through Allied lines. Captured SS soldiers who were part of Kampfgruppe Peiper were tried in the Malmedy massacre trial following the war. He was already behind the timetable as it took 36 hours to advance from Eifel to Stavelot; it had taken just 9 hours in As the Americans fell back, they blew up bridges and fuel dumps, denying the Germans critically needed fuel and further slowing their progress.
The Wereth 11 Another, much smaller, massacre of eleven allied soldiers was committed in Wereth, Belgium, approximately a thousand yards north-east of Saint Vith by men of the 1st SS Division, belonging to Kampfgruppe Hansen.
Due to the lack of any verifiable evidence to identify the murderers, the murders went mostly unavenged and unpublicized.
The assault of Kampfgruppe Peiper Peiper entered Stavelot on December 18, but encountered fierce resistance by the American defenders. Unable to defeat the American force in the area, he left a smaller support force in town and headed for the bridge at Trois-Ponts with the bulk of his forces, but by the time he reached it, the retreating U. Peiper pulled off and headed for the village of La Gleize and from there on to Stoumont. There, as Peiper approached, the American engineers blew up the bridge and the American troops were entrenched and ready to fight a bitter battle.
His troops were cut off from the main German force and supplies when the Americans recaptured the poorly defended Stavelot on December As their situation in Stoumont was becoming hopeless, Peiper decided to pull back to La Gleize, where he set up his defenses, waiting for the German relief force.
As no relief force was able to penetrate the Allied line, on December 23, Peiper decided to break through back to the German lines. The men of the Kampfgruppe were forced to abandon their vehicles and heavy equipment, although most of the unit was able to escape.
Vith In the center, the town of St.TELLY SAVALAS 1922-1994 (battle of the bulge) 1965
Vith, a vital road junction, presented the main challenge for both von Manteuffel's and Dietrich's forces. The defenders, led by the U. Clarke, successfully resisted the German attacks, thereby significantly slowing the German advance.
Vith was given up on December 21; U. By December 23, as the Germans shattered their flanks, the defenders' position became untenable and U.
As the German plan called for the capture of St. Vith by hrs December 17, the prolonged action in and around it presented a major blow to their timetable.
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Eisenhower, realizing that the Allies could destroy German forces much more easily when they were out in the open and on the offensive than if they were on the defensive, told the generals, "The present situation is to be regarded as one of opportunity for us and not of disaster. There will be only cheerful faces at this table.
Then, we'll really cut'em off and chew'em up. He said he could do it in 48 hours, to the disbelief of the other generals present. Before he had gone to the meeting, in fact, Patton had ordered his staff to prepare to turn north; by the time Eisenhower asked him how long it would take the movement was already underway Ambrose, p Conditions inside the perimeter were tough—most of the medical supplies and medical personnel had been captured.
Food was scarce, and ammunition was so low that artillery crews were forbidden to fire on advancing Germans unless there was a large, heavy concentration of them. Despite determined German attacks, however, the perimeter held.
The German Commander sent this request to the American commander in Bastogne. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne: The fortune of war is changing. This time strong German armored units have encircled the U. There is no disagreement, however, as to what he wrote on the paper delivered to the Germans: Rather than launching one simultaneous attack all around the perimeter, the German forces concentrated their assaults on several individual locations attacked in sequence.
Although this compelled the defenders to constantly shift reinforcements in order to repel each attack, it tended to dissipate the Germans' numerical advantage. The Meuse To protect the crossings on the Meuse at Givet, Dinant, and Namur, on December 19, Montgomery ordered those few units available to hold the bridges. This led to a hastily assembled force including rear echelon troops, military police, and Army Air Force personnel.
The British 29th Armoured Brigade, which had turned in its tanks for re-equipping, was told to take back their tanks and head to the area. XXX Corps in Holland began their move to the area. Allied counter-offensive The Germans fell far short of achieving their objectives On December 23, the weather conditions started improving, allowing the Allied air forces to attack.
They launched devastating bombing raids on the German supply points in their rear, and Ps started attacking the German troops on the roads. The Allied air forces also helped the defenders of Bastogne, dropping much-needed supplies—medicine, food, blankets, and ammunition. A team of volunteer surgeons flew in by glider and began operating in a tool room.
By December 24, the German advance was effectively stalled short of the Meuse River. The Germans had outrun their supply lines and shortages of fuel and ammunition were becoming critical.