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Battle of the Bulge

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

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Now, that is a source you can sink your teeth in, Price. If I wanted to actually read the information myself I could.

    Thanks!
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  3. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Despite the fact that they were skeptical allies to the USSR, i do not think that they would risk a war with the Soviet Union. At this point the Red Army was at its peak and at its strongest. I think that it would be unwise to turn their back on the USSR and start fighting them and create a continuation of an already destructive war.
     
  4. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Regarding Hitler's gamble at the Bulge, i think that it was an unwise decision. It has to do with their resources. You have the entire Red Army on your tail, and you're throwing at least a quarter of a million men that could be helping with the desparate situation on the Eastern Front, to the western front with the idea of taking Antwerp and splitting the Allied Army in two. This is practically the last of your reserves. it was an unsmart move. I will be honest though the way in which it was carried out was quite brilliant, attacking when the Allied Air Force was grounded and attacking in the least expected place which was the Ardennes.
    Regarding my favorite weapon in the battle, i really thought the C-47 was very important especially to the troops who were cut off at Bastogne and desparately needed supplies.
     
  5. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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  6. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    If I got my facts correct, it was on this day that the siege of Bastogne began for the 101st.
     
  7. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The first elements of 501st PIR reached the main square of Bastogne at around 22:30 hrs on December 18th, 1944.
     
  8. hubbar1949

    hubbar1949 New Member

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    Regarding the distance between Bastogne and Antwerp, think also that roads in that region were (and still are) few , narrow and very slippy (the Brits had to borrow US Weasels to ride from Marche to Laroche, as cold was freezing the roads, and wheeled vehicles kept riding to the road sides...
    When you see how the Panzers where behaving on these narrow road, you understand why they badly needed to get to Bastogne and the "grand-routes" net. The Nationale 4 (the "highway" between Luxembourg, Bastogne and Brussels) was just a 2 ways road...
    The fact is : the US forces were not able to stop the tanks, so, they think better to stop their logistics and supply convoys; then, they bombed all the carrefour cities like Laroche, Houffalize, Saint Vith, Eupen...

    Hubbar49
    hubbar49@outlook.com
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    17 December anniversary of the start of the BOBulge.....plus the men would be working a lot slower, getting tired faster....thus, slowing movement and resupply very significantly..the human aspect
     
  10. denny

    denny Member

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    I think my favorite weapon was the MP-44.

    I do not KNOW, but I always wondered if it really mattered one way or another. Did the manpower and resources of The Bulge equal any real deterrent to The War if used elsewhere.?
    If scattered along the Western or Eastern Front, was it enough to do more than just delay the progress of The Allies for a few more days or weeks.?
     
  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Misses the point In my opinion.

    No the assets could not alter the eventual outcome, but any rational person plays the odds. Husbanding the troops and equipment delayed the collapse for as long as possible and for someone like Hitler who looked at Frederick the Great for inspiration (and the sudden death of Empress Catherine of Russia, thus saving his kingdom) holding on as long as possible was the logical course.
     
  12. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    The western allies were unwilling to take high losses, and the high firepower low risk taking tactics they used were unlikely to create a break through on the relatively narrow western front, the infantry replacements crisis was significant by late 1944 and the red army was not much better off though it could count on recruiting from newly "liberated" territories. Another few Huertgen forest or Cassino like inconclusive attrition battles may have sent the western allies over the brink of war weariness, but I very much doubt the forces committed to the Ardennes were capable of that if used differently.
    The 3rd Reich was collapsing and any outcome different from "unconditional surrender" required inflicting a major shock on the enemy, defensive operations are unlikely to achieve that and after the failure of the V weapons to affect the western resolve the Ardennes gamble was best chance Hitler had left, Hitler is a politician, his objective is not military, it's the enemy's will to fight on.
     
  13. denny

    denny Member

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    What did they have to lose by tossing the dice at The Ardennes.?
    It seems like most all of the higher ups new the war was "lost".
    Either The Russians or The Allies were going to be in Berlin shortly, whether they made an Offensive where they did, or spread out the tanks and troops in a defensive position.
    I do not quite see that The Bulge was such a bad move.......
    Seems like there were many, prior, "irrational" moves before this one, but I Am Not a military person.
     
  14. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    The Germans had to do something, there had to be a move, that's sure! But the only rational one would have been to surrender. They lacked the forces for any major operation, even against the western allied. Just imagine the 6th SS Panzer Army would have reached Antwerps, what forces would they have used to secure the flanks???? The Hitlerjugend and the Volkssturm??? A last throw of the nice that has no chance to succeed is a perverted, criminal act against your people and the soldiers frighting for you. The simple truth lies in the fact that, at that stage of the war little Adolf was utterly delusional! Bat shit crazy! He was surrounded by trainloads of whores who were up to their shoulders in his backside and told him everything in order to keep him happy! So Hitler had his cronies plan a battle for a different world at a different time. Why do you think that every German Commander who had some dignity and honor left opposed the plan? Even Dietrich, the drunk butcher, didn't believe in the plan!
     
  15. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    The Americans were some of the toughest fighters of WWII after they had their baptism of fire, and in WWI there was testimony from German units that the only Allied troops to be aggressive, to fight tough, and push back were the American units of 1918. The US was also sending multi-millions of troops to the European theater, with over 3 million there by the late winter/Spring of 1945, not counting the British, Empire and Dominion troops, Free French and whatever Free occupied country troops joined the fight, so the numbers were proportionate for the land area they had to fight, plus the US and British were waging an air and sea war the likes of which Russia would never know.
     
    SKYLINEDRIVE likes this.
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Not quite.

    By late 1944 both US and Commonwealth forces were suffering significant personnel issues for differing reasons. For the US a failure to fully mobilize African American men and a over mobilization of non-infantry formations led to shortages in Infantry replacements. They had the manpower available, just not going to the right place. For the Commonwealth they had a true shortage of actual bodies, partly because of high drain for the RAF and RN, partly because in the case of say Canada, only volunteers could go to Europe, conscripts remained in Canada, and due to the bloodbath in the Great War limited the overall total number of eligible manpower. The shortage was so severe for Britain, some actual combat formations were disbanded to provide replacements. Of course both also had to provide significant manpower to wage offensive operations in the Pacific and Chine-Burma-India areas.

    Conditions were infinitely worse for Germany, but the Allies could not be too profligate with the loss of life, nor could they do as the Soviets and simply take hordes of newly liberated peoples and draft them into existing formations. Creating new units from scratch from former occupied countries, some not fully liberated yet, took time.

    The German plan was unrealistic in every way, assuming they actually did reach Antwerp the 21st Army Group, plus the US 9th Army could be supplied well enough to survive and as noted by SKYLINEDRIVE, the 12 Army Group would cut their way north while 21 Army Group attacked south. Those elements that reached Antwerp would never make it back to the Reich. This would only give the Allies another shot at a Falaise Pocket.

    This 1944, not 1940.
     
  17. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I'm not so sure. The whole slowdown that fall was because the supply line from Normandy was stretched to the breaking point. Antwerp solved that problem, and losing it would have been a disaster. No doubt the Americans to the south could fight on with supplies from Normandy, but the British to the north would have been in significant trouble - no port, no supplies.

    Every bean and bullet from Normandy would have to be devoted to breaking through to the British against an entrenched enemy armed and fed and fueled with a plethora of allied supplies stockpiled in and around Antwerp. And this would have to be done in winter through the Ardennes, or looping around it into Germany itself where the enemy had short supply lines. Bombing Antwerp to rubble would only have eliminated the port because the Germans would surely have dispersed the supplies already stockpiled.

    Allied air could probably have kept the British/Commonwealth troops supplied well enough to hold out, but there was no possibility then of flying in heavy artillery or armor. It would have been a one-sided pincer movement.

    We'd have probably ended up meeting the Russians on the Rhine instead of the Elbe, or even farther west.
     
  18. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Antwerp didn't "solve" the logistcal problem, but it mitigated it. Proof is in the pudding. The spring offensive by 21 and 12th Army Groups reached the end of there tethers over about the same time/distance as did the Normandy Breakout. It wasn't just port throughput, it was also transportation which was a problem.

    Nor were the "Americans to the south" receiving supply from Normandy, the beaches were all closed down by the end of October. Cherbourg and the Channel ports were being used as well, but the bulk of 12th Army Group supplies were coming via Antwerp and Marseilles (many forget that while Antwerp provided somewhat over 50% of the port throughput, Marseilles was also critical, supplying roughly one-third.
     
  19. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Yeah, there were more ports opening to the south, but none to the north of Antwerp. That was kind of the point of the whole battle - to isolate Montgomery to the north, without supplies. In fact, it's the same strategy (on a larger scale) as Operation Luttich/Mortain in August - split the allies and isolate a large portion from the supply chain. That plan also failed.

    I've no doubt that Antwerp would have been retaken, but it would have set the western allies back by months. The Soviets would have continued their steamroller and we'd have met them much further west.
     
  20. jliebersbach

    jliebersbach New Member

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    Does anyone have anymore info on Kasimir Liebersbach? Date of Birth etc. I'm doing some genealogy and am trying to find out if he's at all related.

    Thanks!
     

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