Military history

United States Army in WWII - Europe - the Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge

United States Army in WWII - Europe - the Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge

During most of the eleven months between D-day and V-E day, the U.S. Army was carrying on highly successful offensive operations. As a consequence, the American soldier was buoyed with success, imbued with the idea that his enemy could not strike him a really heavy counterblow...Then, unbelievably, and under the goad of Hitler’s fanaticism, the German Army launched its powerful counteroffensive in the Ardennes in Dec. 1944 with the design of knifing through the Allied armies and forcing a negotiated peace. The mettle of the American soldier was tested in the fires of adversity and the quality of his response earned for him the right to stand shoulder to shoulder with his forebears of Valley Forge, Fredericksburg, and the Marne.

This is the story of how the Germans planned and executed their offensive. It is the story of how the high command, American and British, reacted to defeat the German plan once the reality of a German offensive was accepted. But most of all it is the story of the American fighting man and the manner in which he fought a myriad of small defensive battles until the torrent of the German attack was slowed and diverted, its force dissipated and finally spent. It is the story of squads, platoons, companies, and even conglomerate scratch groups that fought with courage, with fortitude, with sheer obstinacy, often without information or communications or the knowledge of the whereabouts of friends...

In recreating the Ardennes battle, the author has penetrated "the fog of war" as well as any historian can hope to do. No other volume of this series treats as thoroughly or as well the teamwork of the combined arms-infantry and armor, artillery and air, combat engineer and tank destroyer-or portrays as vividly the starkness of small unit combat. Every thoughtful student of military history, but most especially the student of small unit tactics, should find the reading of Dr. Cole’s work a rewarding experience.


Chapter I. The Origins

Chapter II. Planning the Counteroffensive

Chapter III. Troops and Terrain

Chapter IV. Preparations

Chapter V. The Sixth Panzer Army Attack

Chapter VI. The German Northern Shoulder Is Jammed

Chapter VII. Breakthrough at the Schnee Eifel

Chapter VIII. The Fifth Panzer Army Attacks the 28th Infantry Division

Chapter IX. The Attack by the German Left Wing — 16-20 December

Chapter X. The German Southern Shoulder Is Jammed

Chapter XI. The 1st SS Panzer Division's Dash Westward, and Operation Greif

Chapter XII. The First Attacks at St. Vith

Chapter XIII. VIII Corps Attempts To Delay the Enemy

Chapter XIV. The VIII Corps Barrier Lines

Chapter XV. The German Salient Expands to the West

Chapter XVI. The Threat Subsides; Another Emerges

Chapter XVII. St. Vith Is Lost

Chapter XVIII. The VII Corps Moves To Blunt the Salient

Chapter XIX. The Battle of Bastogne

Chapter XX. The XII Corps Attacks the Southern Shoulder

Chapter XXI. The III Corps' Counterattack Toward Bastogne

Chapter XXII. The Battle Before the Meuse

Chapter XXIII. The Battle Between the Salm and the Ourthe 24 December - 2 January

Chapter XXIV. The Third Army Offensive

Chapter XXV. Epilogue


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