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Battle of the Bulge

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by TacticalTank, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. TacticalTank

    TacticalTank Member

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    What is your favourite weapon in the battle of the the bulge, why?
    Do you think that Hitler made a wise gamble for it all or flat out stupid?
     
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  2. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    The weather is my favorite and most effective weapon during the 'Bulge', it cut both sides off from their most effective weapons.
    The Ardennes' offensive was actually one of Hitler's more reasonable ideas.
     
  3. judge death

    judge death Member

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    I just find the new generation of Panzers from the Germans to be the most interesting weapon there. King tiger for one of many. But that they did the offensive in the winter and how it was and they were outnumbered and almost no fuel and still trying was to me interesting as well.

    Is splitted into: it was a stupid idea and agree with Rundstedt that they should had choosed a smaller target for the offense or limit it to just damage the allied forces, especielly the americans to make them go out from the war.
    On one hand that was a good idea and they made good progress and if it wasnt for the fuel and reserves problems they could maybe had come a longer way to the goal. And that Lufftwaffe had done the bodenplatte operation earlier. But I doubt they would had won the battle as a whole anyway.
     
  4. TacticalTank

    TacticalTank Member

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    i personally think that the HUGE German offensive was not the best idea but option's were limited so i understand why Hitler did what he did
     
  5. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    I think it was a crazy idea, even if they would have captured the bridges over the Meuse River and Bastogne it would have made no difference, they would have been defeted in the end. to try a big thrust like they did with limited fuel and a infantry force mainly composed of green and young troops and counting on cloud cover was a big gamble. What gets me is when the allies invaded Germany in 1945, a lot of German units tried to hold up the Russians so that the allies could capture a lot of Germany (so the Russians could not wreck the place). so these valuble troops and tanks wasted in the Battle of the Bulge should have been deployed against the Soviets, thus saving a lot of German lives.
     
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  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If it had had any reasonable chance at achieving what they hoped it might achieve it might have been reasonable. Although I think even then there were better places for them to commit the troops. As it was they wasted formations they could ill aford to loose for no significant gain.
     
  7. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    It might have contributed to the success of the Vistula-Oder Offensive, saving not a few Russian lives.
     
  8. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    I think by this time Hitler was a desperate man, who didnt look past his own nose, his generals must have knew that the bad weather wont last forever and the allied airforce would soon blast his allready depleted forces to bits.
     
  9. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    What were the plans drawn up by o.k.w,for the smaller attack?.I cannot find owt for it o the usual sites wiki etc.can anybody help please,cheers.
     
  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Lee,

    I don't think plans, per se, were drawn up for a smaller attack, much beyond the conception stage. Different ideas were proposed to Gröfaz, mainly centering on limiting the objective to Liege or maybe Brussels, with most not crossing the Meuse. All were immediately shot down by him.
     
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  11. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The only official OKW plan for the Ardennes was the 'Meuse first, then Antwerp' one. When this was presented to Westphal, Model, Dietrich and Manteuffel at Hitler's HQ on Nov 2, 1944, they agreed that Antwerp was too ambitious by far. Model and Manteuffel quickly drafted a smaller solution ( nicknamed 'small slam' as Manteuffel was keen bridge player ) but it was totally rejected by Hitler.
     
  12. Krystal80

    Krystal80 Member

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    This isn't a well thought out or researched answer, but from what I read about Stalingrad and the Russian battles, I don't think Hitler was top notch with strategy and thought out battle plans. Its hard to imagine that anyones soldiers meant so little to them. Again just from what I read, I agree that the cold was maybe the best/worst weapon at the time.
     
  13. J and G's Dad

    J and G's Dad Member

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    Stalin, when he heard of the operation remarked it was "very stupid". It's hard to disagree with this statement.
     
  14. JBark

    JBark Member

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    I think you might want to consider that the man was insane and based the plan on an insane dream. While any tactical objective may have been possible any strategic positive result was not.
     
  15. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    It's also easy to be certain in retrospect ( Arnhem is another prime example ). Sure, we all know Hitler was nuts but he showed a certain amount of cunning to the end. His whole military ethos was based on attack ( usually audacious ), not defence. By late 1944 Hitler knew for sure that any form of attack against the Russians had no chance. Given his faulty knowledge of the Allies at the time ( and let's face it, they probably looked a weaker opponent than the Soviets ) he thought there was a slender chance of creating a favourable political opportunity by driving a powerful wedge into them.

    In theory and given what Hitler knew, just possibly it was worth a try. In practice, it had no hope. But that's war.......
     
  16. JBark

    JBark Member

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    Hitler chose to attack the west because he saw capitalism as the greater threat to National Socialism.
     
  17. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Which just goes to show that a quote isn't necessarily a quote.....:confused:
     
  18. Pelekys

    Pelekys Member

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    Predators have as a habit to attack. Hitler could not attack in the east front so he did what he could done better. I think that the most important weapon was the airplane.Weather was bad for both sides. But the airforce made the difference.
    Generally speaking i have to admit that Hitler did the unespected. From September there was a crisis in supplies of the Allies and this made the marching to Germany slower. The Allies needed ports with huge facilities in order to supply all the armies. The port which could make the difference was Antwerp. Hitler believed that if he could take Antwerp he could have another Dunkerque and this would relieve him from the pressure from the West.
    Additionally always he thought of a separately ceasefiring with the Western allies so to defend succesfully against Russians. So he decided to gable. From the begining the operation faced big problems like the lack of gasoline but what followed shows that Germans had some possibilities to make the unexpected. For example Gerrmans were too close to take a big quantity of fuel supplies in SPA, 4.000.000 litres of fuel, they were stopped before STAVELO on 17 Dec. night while only 13 Americans were defend it only and when they reached MALMENTY they continue to the East;if they continue to the North they may cut off 30.000 men (1st infatry division, 99 inf. div., 2 inf. div., 9 inf. div.) so it was not far from the collapse of the 1st Army. Later Liutenant General Lauer of 99th inf. div. said 'they have in hand the key of success but they did not realized they got it'.
    So as an idea was not bad, as a plan was medium, as an execution was O.K. but could be better. Of course after the failure the situation was worst than before.
     
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  19. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    Exelent evauation Pelekys, When you mentioned Antwerp, was that the only town except for London to hit by V-1s ?.
     
  20. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    Are you sure about that?
     

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