Thread: Life This Day in History
View Single Post
Old 01-26-2009, 07:24 AM   #118
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
In BB I trust
 
Amnorix's Avatar
 

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Boston, Mass.
Casino cash: $5335
January 25.

On this date, 1945, the "Battle of the Bulge" came to an end. I suspect many here know all about this, so I'll keep it brief.

Hitler and the German High Command, in a desperate effort to try to do regain the offensive and the initiative, carefully husbanded their forces for months leading up to a planned assault against the Western Allies. The assault was designed to split the British forces in the North from the Americans in the South and drive to and capture Antwerp, a critical port for supplying Allied troops.

The assault began on December 16, 1944. INitially, the Germans met with some success, and there are certain criticisms regarding the American's defensive positioning near the thick Ardennes forest where the German assault was launched. FWIW, I have never seen any written support of the scene in Patton, the movie, where Patton "predicts" that the Germans will launch an offensive. If anyone else has any evidence of this, I'd be interested to hear it.

Anyway, the German assault goes well initially, runs into a chokepoint at Bastogne, where General McAuliffe issues the famous "Nuts" response, which neither the Germans nor the British understand, and then peters out as German troops are exhausted by cold and effort and lack of supplies, Allied forces counterattack, Allied air superiority comes into play, and German troops get stacked up due to Bastogne and other logistical problems.

The offensive was never very likely to work, and the Germans expenditure of a huge amount of material and men (comparatively) weakens their defenses and likely hastens the end of the war.

The absolute, bitter cold during this timeframe is noteworthy. Troops on both sides fought during one of the coldest winters in memory.

The battle also inflamed Allied tensions, with Montgomery claiming an undue share of credit and seemingly slighting the Americans. American commanders Bradley and Patton were left absolutely incensed, and rightly so, truth be told.
__________________
"I love signature blocks on the Internet. I get to put whatever the hell I want in quotes, pick a pretend author, and bang, it's like he really said it." George Washington
Posts: 33,048
Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.
  Reply With Quote