TANKS! Battle of the Bulge. The Battle of the Bulge (also known as the Ardennes Offensive and the Von Runstedt Offensive) (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive (German: die Ardennenoffensive), launched towards the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes Mountains region of Belgium (and more specifically of Wallonia: hence its French name, Bataille des Ardennes), France and Luxembourg on the Western Front. The Wehrmacht's code name for the offensive was Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (in English: "Operation Watch on the Rhine"), after the German patriotic hymn Die Wacht am Rhein. This German offensive was officially named the Ardennes-Alsace campaign by the U.S. Army, but it is known to the English-speaking general public simply as the Battle of the Bulge, the "bulge" being the initial incursion the Germans put into the Allies' line of advance, as seen in maps presented in contemporary newspapers.
The German offensive was supported by several subordinate operations known as Unternehmen Bodenplatte, Unternehmen Greif, and Unternehmen Währung. Germany's planned goal for these operations was to split the British and American Allied line in half, capturing Antwerp, Belgium, and then proceed to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers' favor
The objectives for the offensive were not realized. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. For the Americans, with about 500,000 to 840,000 men committed and some 70,000 to 89,000 casualties, including 19,000 killed, the Battle of the Bulge was the single largest and bloodiest battle that American forces fought in World War II
The Malmedy Massacre. On December 17, 1944, halfway between the town of Malmedy and Ligneuville in Belgium, an American battalion was captured by an SS force. About 150 POWs were disarmed and sent to stand in a field. About 80 men were killed by gunfire, and their bodies were left where they fell. Many prisoners escaped into nearby woods. News spread quickly among Allied soldiers, and an order went out that all SS officers and paratroopers should be shot on sight. The Malmedy Massacre is regarded as the worst atrocity committed against American troops during the course of the war in Europe.
Tags: TANKS Battle of the Bulge, Battle of the Bulge, Ardennes Offensive, Wehrmacht, Waffen SS, suprise attack, Blitzkrieg, Runstedt, Bodenplatte, Western Europe, Allies, Axis, Hitler, King Tiger, Panzer, Malmedy Massacre, Holocaust, Combat, World war 2
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