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Battle of the Bulge: What took them so long?

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Triple C, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Seadog

    Seadog Member

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    Most of the railroad damage actually favored the Germans because the Allies could not use them to move supplies to the forward areas. The Germans were aware that they could not supply their forces and expected their troops to scavenge the fuel and supplies they need to support the thrust. Montgomery must take a lot of the fault for the failures that occurred. The Allies did not have a deep water port that they desperately needed because Montgomery persuaded Eisenhower to divert the resources needed to secure Antwerp for his failed Market Garden fiasco. It was only a few weeks before the battle before they could secure Antwerp. Most supplies had to be brought to the front via the Red Ball Express which use three times as much fuel as they delivered. It was a valiant effort but it was not efficient.

    Montgomery screwed the pooch in many ways during this fiasco. The extent of Montgomery's efforts after the attack, was to secure river crossings. It was Bradley's forces and Patton's third army that absorbed the brunt of the battle, yet Montgomery went and held a press conference and told the world that it was his units and his planning that saved the day. Eisenhower almost had a revolt on his hands and came close to kicking Montgomery out. If not for Beedle Smith and a couple other generals, that would have happened.
     
  2. Seadog

    Seadog Member

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    A few items I find interesting:The German commandos that caused so much chaos, were suppose to be dropped by aircraft to capture bridges on the Meuse River. However, they were so far off course due to the weather, they could not achieve their primary mission. While they did cause a lot of confusion at a critical time, the big headache was the reaction caused by MPs deployed to stop the commandos. It created some bottlenecks and was a short period of frustration to General Bradley when he was held up by an overzealous MP who thought the state capital of Illinois was Chicago. I doubt that MP ever got another promotion after that point.

    The battle for St Vith was a major heroic effort by American troops. A collection of what was left of numerous units were able to stop a full Corp of Germans for several days. It cost them something like 4400 men, and about 50 tanks, but the time they gave Allied forces were instrumental in allowing our forces to regroup and prepare. The Germans were also helpful. When they captured St Vith, the soldiers were so determined to sleep in warm beds and scavenge souvenirs left by the American troops that they gave the Allies at least another day of respite. Many of them tried to leave driving US half-tracks and other vehicles. That added to the problems the Germans had with road congestion
     
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  3. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Which "Commandos" are you referring to? Skorzeny's SS commando unit? Or Baron Von Der Hydte's Fallschirmjager?
     
  5. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

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    I believe he was referring to the Fallschirmjager. They were the ones who were spread out so thin they had to pace back to their own lines.



    Cheers...
     
  6. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    I can't remember the title, maybe someone can help, but a GREAT book on the BOTB, is about the 99th I & R, and their fight. A very different look at the Bulge battle!
     
  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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  8. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    That's it!! Thanks Slip! Great book!
     
  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I would have like to have met those men.
     
  10. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Me too Slip, me too.
     
  11. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I was wondering as Skorzeny's SS commandos were the ones that were dressed in US uniforms and were not air dropped that caused the big panic and rumors. Not Baron Von Der Hydte's Fallschirmjagers.
     
  12. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  13. socioanthroman

    socioanthroman Member

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    In the book, "A TIME FOR TRUMPETS," McDonald brings up the question on why didnt Eisenhower bring in Montys researves to also push out the germans. He actually used limited amounts of soldiers to stave off the attack, when he had plenty of soldiers to use. I finished reading this book about a month ago, a great book.
     
  14. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Though the Americans were convinced that the time had come to shift to a counteroffensive,earlier in the battle Eisenhower gave Montgomery full control of allied forces at the north half of the salient and it was aginst his philsophy to impose tactical decisions on his subordinates. Montgomery however was wary of going piecemeal and absolutely refused to go to the offensive until he was good and ready. In his defense, Monty deserved credit for forseeing the bloody struggle ahead in the Ardenes instead of a blitz even if the delays were lamentable.

    Also, a crisis of command came into being by the Ardennes campaign, because of the blosoming of personal jealousies and hatreds between the British and American generals in the SHAEF HQ, to the point that at one time Eisenhower threaten Marshal that someone must be fired and was either Monty or Ike!
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I recall it was Montgomery´s first task to protect the bridges of Meuse and let no German forces get over the river. Monty by himself had early in the German offensive phase sent small units to check the bridges and possibly prepare them for blowing up. Not to start counterattacking himself.
     
  16. ghost_of_war

    ghost_of_war Member

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    :D To make up for his planning of Market Garden eh?
     
  17. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    hatred of generals...hhmm,i understood horrocks,c.o brit xxx corps,sent to shore up the northern bulge was liked by the american brass.
    i read horrocks was horrified because the g.i,s never had hot food at this time.i will find the book soon.cheers.
     
  18. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Yes definitely find that! I would like to read that story!
    Thanks!!
     
  19. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    I recall it was Montgomery´s first task to protect the bridges of Meuse and let no German forces get over the river. Monty by himself had early in the German offensive phase sent small units to check the bridges and possibly prepare them for blowing up. Not to start counterattacking himself.

    In deed. Apparently his decision to pull back the 82d ABN Div. and supporting arms to more defenable position was a staple of tactical good sense.
     
  20. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    o.k bigfun,the book is called....44...dont know the authors name though,good sources etc.have a read of that,you may learn a bit.cheers.
     

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