The following sample essay on Ardennes offensive was a last ditch effort by the Germans to achieve an advantage in the war, but it turned out to be an acceleration of GermanyOs ultimate demise. Previous to the offensive the Allies had managed to achieve a beach head and advance toward Germany from almost every direction. On the eastern front Russia was steadily advancing on Berlin. The western front was around the Belgium and German border.
GermanyOs fate seemed to be determined but Hitler would not let the thought of defeat enter his or his commandOs mind. He started planning for a massive offensive against the Allies on the western front. He believed that the relationship of the Allies was very unstable and that if he could penetrate through the western front and reach the port of Antwerp that they would bicker among themselves and eventually fall apart. In the fall of 1944 as General Eisenhower had promised the Allied forces had successfully fought their way through Europe and established a front from the North Sea to Switzerland.
The lines were stretched very thin. Only 65 divisions of infantry, armor, and airborne were available to hold the 500 mile long line. Having landed at Normandy in June of the same year Allies had made very quick advances on the Germans positions. General Patton expressed it well when giving his famous speech to the Third Army I donOt want to get any messages saying, I am holding my position.
We are not holding a goddamned thing. Let the GermanOs do that.We are advancing constantly and not interested in holding anything but the enemies. The Allies were no longer worried about losing the war it was just a matter of time before Germany fell. Hitler however was not as willing to succumb to that realization. After a failed assassination attempt and suffering from bad health many say thatby this time in the war HitlerOs judgment and state of mind had become very unstable.
If you were the commander of a huge military force, would you rush your men into battle if you were not sure of the outcome?Hitler’s Plan for turning the war around was totally outrageous.Many of the German plans were being over heard by Allied forces.The fierce battle for Bastogne starts.Hitler’s’ last hopes were put out when the bombing did not go as good as he had planned.Some facts about the battle are quite unbelievable. What is the Battle of the Bulge?The bulge was actually the Germans expanding their territory.They were pushing the Allied forces, mainly the United States and Britain, west.The Allies pushed the Germans back into Germany ending the war. On September 16, 1944, Adolf Hitler called a meeting in East Prussia.Here he unfolded his plans for a large attack on Antwerp.This attack was in hopes of breaking up communication between the Allies.They would become frustrated with one another, which would finally lead to a delay in the attack on Germany forces.This would allow Hitler enough time to obtain more natural resources and manpower.Hitler’s advisers did not agree with him and offered him a smaller attack to cripple the defenses at Antwerp so a future attack would be easier.Hitler objected.The mission was call WACHT AM RHEIN which means Defense of the Rhein.Hitler hoped that the Allies would believe that Germany was actually taking a defensive position.Hitler also hoped for bad weather so that Allied forces airplanes would have to stay on the ground. Hitler’s plan was to have twenty-one divisions move from Germany to the Meuse River.On the way, the Germans had to conquer four Allied armies and go without reinforcements or being re-supplied.During this time, many messages were sent and some were actually decoded.However, Hitler kept the build up very quiet.The commanding officers had to sign a paper swearing to keep it a secret.
In September of 1944 all signs pointed to a resounding Allied victory and the end of WWII.Everyone believed this was the case except for one man, Adolph Hitler.Refusing to resign Germany to defeat, he began planning a massive counterattack as early as August of 1944. The stalemate along the western front combined with the Allied logistical problems provided him with the preparation time and the precise location to execute this attack, the Ardennes.Hitler had earlier ordered the formation of a new reserve to be used in a November offensive and once the location for the attack was decided a massive buildup of German troops began.Hitler believed the dense forests and bad winter weather, which grounded the Allied air forces, could conceal this buildup. Hitler’s master plan was code-named Wacht Am Rhein or “Watch on the Rhine” and would be useless without the personnel and equipment to execute it. In the fall of 1944 the German army was stretched all over Europe and was showing the strain of 5 years of war. On the western front the Germans were outnumbered 2-1 in troops, 15-1 in aircraft, and 20-1 in tanks causing Hitler to adapt some drastic measures to overcome these odds. Some examples of these measures were although the Germans lost almost 27,000 machine guns in September, only 1,500 replacements were sent to the front while 24,000 were set aside for Wacht am Rhein. 1,900 mortars were assigned to newly organized units rather than to the front and not one new Tiger or Panther tank went to Russia. More than 70 percent of all newly produced tanks and assault guns were sent to the west. Lowering the draft age to 16 and raising it to 60-increased troop size. The German rail system used over 2,000 trains, traveling under the cover of darkness, to move 145,000 tons of supplies.