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Battle of the Bulge

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

  1. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    BRADLEY STATEMENT ·
    UNITED STATES TWELFTH
    ARMY GROUP HEADQUARTERS

    Jan. 9 NYT
    General Bradley's statement:

    The German attack was a direct result of pressure exerted by
    the Ninth, First and Third American Armies-and the forces of
    the Sixth Army Group—against a weakening German defense line.
    Advances made during November and December were threatening vital German areas; It was necessary that the Germans launch some diversionary attack in suificient strength to cause the Allies temporarily to stop their
    offensive against these vital areas—and to try to gain time. The build-up of German forces had been observed In the Cologne area for some weeks before the
    attack, and the possibility of a German attack through the
    Ardennes was thoroughly studied by me and my staff. ’
    In leaving the Ardennes line lightly held, we took what in known in military terminology as a "calcuIated risk" to strengthen our northern and southern drives.
    In other words, instead of employing our surplus divisions in
    the then quiet Ardennes, we used them to attack in other sectors.
    This technique of striking boldly while taking calculated risks is what has gotten us to the German borders. In my opinion, had we followed the more cautious policies, we would still be fighting west of Paris. We felt in the case of the Ardennes that we could take this risk because the territory contains no strategic objectives or large supply instalations and when [Field Marshal Karl von] Rundstedt sent his troops into action with orders to live on American dumps, they found slim picking: in the empty pockets.
    Many of the prisoners we have captured have been hungry and we have now captured many tanks and vehicles stalled for lack of fuel.

    Timing and Strength s Surprise
    The actual. timing of the attack and its strength were some-
    what of a surprise. The attack was skillfully launched and
    Rundstedts movement of his reserves from the Cologne area to the jump-off position in the Siegfried Line was masterfully
    executed. This was made possible by a period of bad weather which restricted our air reconnaissance and in considering possibilities through the Ardennes we recognized that lt might meet initial success but we felt that the nature ot the terrain and the size in and mobility of our forces would justify our taking risks. They would enable us to meet and stop an attack before it could do much damage. This is exactly what happened. ·
    The enemy's schedule tor his attack was upset by the heroic resistance of our troops and by the speed made by all three armies : in shifting divisions to meet the attack
    The result was that wherever the enemy turned along the north flank. groping toward a place where h e could break out on the Belgian lowlands, he was met by troops of [Lieut.] Gen. [Courtney H] Hodges' First Army, He lound blocking his way the same American Divisions which had been soundly thrashing his best ever since the beachhead days of Normandy.
    An even greater surprise to the enemy was the quick appearance of [Lieut.] Gen. [George S.] Patton's Third Army on the south flank. Matching the speed with which [Lieut.] Gen. [William H.] Simpson [United States Ninth Army commander] and General Hodges deployed their divisions from the north, General Patton’s forces first relieved Batogne, which was of course the key to the whole battle, and then attacked with such fury that the enemy was forced to slow his drive on the north. He had ln fact to move his best SS [Elite Guard] panzer divisions across the salient in an attempt to check General Patton's unexpected advance.
    The German attack launched on Dec. 16 cut both our direct telephone communications to the First Army and the dlrect road over which personal contact was normally maintained. The weather prevented making of frequent personal contacts with the First Army by plane. It was therefore decided that the Twenty·first Army Group should assume temporary command ot all Allied forces north of the salient. This was a temporary measure only and when the lines are rejoined the Twelth Army Group will resume command of all American troops in this area. The soundness and flexibility of our Allied command is illustrated by the ease with which this change of command was made. Field Marshal [Sir Bernard L.] Montgomery has made a notable contribution. Even before he took this temporary command of the First and Ninth Armies at 13:30 hours on Dec. 20 the Field Marshal had moved to station his British and Canadian forces into position to protect Antwerp in the event of any unforeseen breakthrough. It can now be announced that British troops were at that time dispatched to the tip of the salient. These troops fought with distinction, engaging the covering forces of the Germans near their farthest advance. Whenever weather permitted. American and British Air forces have seized every opportunity to strike together and the effect ot their coordinated blows has been great importance.
    German losses in this offensive have been enormous. Our artillery and air forces have been able to punish him much more severely in the open than had been possible while he remained in his fortifications. Even in the matter of prisoners, despite the fact that the enemy had taken the offensive the total number taken since Dec. 16 by the First and Third American Armies is much greater then the number ot United States troops reported missing in action or captured. His dead end wounded must be many times more than the number we have suffered. Events may prove that losses in men and material and in morale when the salient is finally reduced may materially effect the German's ability to resist on the western front.
    I do not mean to imply by this that the Germans are on the verge ol collapse. They are not. We have known for some time that there will be considerably more fighting ahead. But we have never had any doubt about the outcome and we have none now. What the American soldier has done ln the Ardennes in the last three weeks is to my mind one of the greatest stories in the history ot fighting men. Most of our Army are veterans now and know every trick of the trade. but there were lots of men who stopped the Germans in the Ardennes who only joined us a short time ago and had only what they had been taught in their training-ln their native courage end character-to carry them through battle. These Americans. veteran and newcomers, fought against picked German soldiers specially trained and rested and equipped just for this offensive.
    The Germans had thinned the Siegfried Line to make this force possible. Their soldiers were given a pep talk before the attack and told this offensive would take Antwerp in a few weeks and end the war. They believed what they were told and fought with skill and, in most places, with suicidal determination. So lt turned out that the American soldiers met the very best fighting force that German militarism had been able to put in the field and licked it to a standstill agaln and again.
    In many places Panzer tactics temporarily split our troops into small isolated units. Our men fought even more determinedly than they had in the past. They used an enormous variety of weapons with deadly effect. The stories of individual heroism that you have read in our own Army paper. Stars and Stripes, and reported in the press, far from being overstated have been, to my certain knowledge. if anything, understated. Only a small minority of the things that went on out there could have been observed or reported. The American people can be deeply proud ot the achievement of their sons and brothers in this battle.

    -=================



    OUR 'RISK' MAY WIN BRADLEY DECLARES

    War Could Turn on Calculated Chance Taken In Ardennes General Suggests

    AREA HELD NOT STRATEGIC

    12th Army Group Leader Hails His Men-Recieves Bronze Star From Eisenhower

    12th ARMY GROUP HEADQUARTERS
    Jan. 9-—Lieut. Gen. Omar N. Bradley, Twelfth Army Group commander, told the story of the Ardennes today, explaining for the first time the German breakthrough of Dec.16 When this battle is over and the salient closed events may prove, he said, that the German losses in men, matériel and morale may materially effect the enemy’s ability to resist on the western front.
    He indicated, although he did not say it, that this breakthrough, which appears so disastrous at first, may be. the turning point in the war, shortening rather than prolonging it.
    Discussing the actual breakthrough: and the steps leading to
    it, General Bradley said that the attack was in direct result of the pressure exerted by the American First, Third and Ninth Armies along with forces of the Sixth Army group. This pressure was brought against a weakening German defense line and was threatening vital areas in the Reich. ' Some diversionary attack was indicated to curb these Allied offensives and give the Germans time to regroup. It was known that the Germans were building up their forces in the Cologne area some weeks before the counter-attack and the possibility of an attack at the spot where they later came through had been under study by General Bradley.
    · "In leaving the Ardennes line lightly held. we took what is known in military terminology as a 'calculated risk' to strengthen our northern and southem drives," the General said. "In other words, instead of employing our surplus divisions in the then quiet Ardennes, we used them to attack in other sectors. This technique of striking boldly while taking calculated risks is what has gotten us to the German border." While General Bradley was praising the men who fought in the Ardermes, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was paying tribute to his generalship by awarding the Bronze Star to him. The citation follows:
    On Dec. 16. when the enemy lauched his counter-offensive on the Ardennes front. General Bradley quickly appreciated the possible consequences and made arrangements within his army group. As the hostile attack drove forward in the center, General Bradley Instantly sensed the points at which principal defensive meuures should be concentrated. Realizing that the maintenance of communications with his northern flank would be difficult, he turned over to Field ` Marshall Montgomery temporary operational control of the Ninth and that part of the First Army on the north of the penetration while he devoted himself to the southern flank. With his tactical skill, clear in-sight, decision and unfaltering , determination, he not only made rapid counter-attacks to insure the integrity of key points of his position but eventually withstood the furious attacks of the main portion of the hostile forces and seriously disrupted the hostile plan of attack. [Prime Minister Churchill sent congratulations Tuesday to General Bradley on his receiving the Bronze Star, a, dispatch from Allied Supreme Headquarters. The Associated Press disclosed.]
    ===============================
     
  2. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    MONTGOMERY STATEMENT`
    ON THE WESTERN FRONT
    Jan. 7 the text of Marshal Montgomery's statement: ,


    When Rundstedt attacked on Dec 16 he obtained a tactical surprise. He drove a deep wedge into the center of the United States First Army and the split might have become awkward: the Germans had broken right through a weak spot, and were heading for the Meuse. As soon as I saw what was happening I took. certain steps myself to insure that if the Germans got to the Meuse they would certainly not get over the river. I carried out certain movements so as to provide balanced dispositions to meet the threatened danger. These were, at the time, merely precautions-that is, I was thinking ahead. Then the situation began to deteriorate. But the whole Allied team rallied to meet the danger; national considerations were thrown overboard. General Eisenhower placed me in command of the whole northern front.
    I employed the whole available power of the British group of armies: this power was brought into play very gradually and in such a way that it would not interfere with the American lines of comminication; Finally it was put into battle with a bang and today British divisions are fighting hard on the right flank of the United States First Army. You thus have the picture of British troops fighting on both sides of American forces who have suffered a hard blow. This is a fine Allied picture.

    Battle "Most Interesting"
    The battle has been most interesting-I think possibly one of the most interesting and tricky battles I have ever handled,`with great issues at stake. The first thing to be done was to "head off" the enemy from the tender spots and vital places. Having done that successfully, the next thing was to "seal him off"—that is to rope him in and make quite certain that he could not get to places he wanted, and also that he was slowly but surely removed away from those places.
    He was therefore "headed off" and then "sealed off." He is now being "written off." and heavy toll is being taken of his divisions by ground and air action. You must not imagine that the battle is over yet. It is by no means over and a great deal still remains to be done.
    The battle has some similarity to the battle that began on Aug. 31, 1942, when Rommel made his last bid to capture Egypt and was "sealed off" by the Eighth Army. But actually all battles are different because the problem is different.
    What was Rundstedt trying to achieve? No one can tell for certain.
    The only guide we have is the message he issued to his soldiers before the battle began. He told them it was the last great effort to try to win the war; that everything depended on it; that they must go "all out." On the map you see his gains- that will not win the war. He is likely slowly but surely to lose it all. He must have scraped together every reserve he could lay his hands on for this job, and he has not achieved a great deal.

    Says Von Rundstedt Failed
    One must admit that he has dealt us a sharp blow and he sent us reeling back. But we recovered. He has been unable to gain any great advantage from his lnitial success.
    He has therefore failed in his strategic purpose. unless the prize was smaller than his men were told.
    He has now turned to the defensive on the ground. and he is faced by forces properly balanced to utilize the initiative that he has lost. , Another reason for his failure is that his air force, although still capable of pulling a fast one, can not protect his army. For that army our tactical air forces are the greatest terror.
    But when all is said and done. I shall always feel that Rundstedt was really beaten by the good fighting qualities of the American soldier and by the team-work of the Alllies.
    I would like to say a word about these two points
    I first saw the American soldier in battle in Sicily and formed then a very high oplnion of him. I knew him again in Italy. And I have seen a. very great deal of him in this campaign. I want to take this opportunity to pay a public trlbute to him. He is a brave fighting man, steady under fire and with the tenacity in battle that stamps the first class soldier. All these qualities have been shown in a marked degree during the present battle.

    Says Americans Stopped Foe
    He[the US Soldier] is responsible really—he is basicaly responsible for Rundstedt not doing what he wanted to do and when the inner history is told you will find that because he held out in three places the Germans could not take advantage of their initial success.
    The first was in the Elsenborn salient south of Monschau, which had to bear full the blow of almost a whole Panzer army and the Panzer army recoiled. They could not do it. With this great. blow, hitting the center of the American Army, Rundstedt did overrun a conslderable number of American formations and around St, Vith and south of it there were a great many American troops cut off and unable to get away. When I was brought into the party that was the situation. The American troops isolated and cut off were fighting and holding on to centers of road communication making it extremely difficult for the Germans to move and flow through the gap they had made.
    I have spent my military career with the British soldier and I have come to love him with a great love. I have now formed a very great affection and admiration for the American soldier. I salute the brave fighting men of America I never want to fight alongside better soldlers.
    Just now I am seelng a great deal of the American soldier. I have tried to feel that I am almost an American soldier myself so that I might take no unsuitable action or offend them in any way.
    I have been given an American identity card. I am thus identified in the Army of the United States —by fingerprints being registered in the War Department at Washington-which is far preferable to having them registered at Scotland Yard. And now I come to my last point.

    Call for Allied Solidarity
    It is team work that pulls you through dangerous times; lt is team work that wins battles; it is victories in battle than win wars. I want to put in a strong plea for Allied solidarity at this vital stage of the war-and you can all help in this greatly.
    Nothing must be done by anyone that tends to break down the team spirit of our Allied team: If you try to "get at" the captain of the team you are liable to induce a loss of confidence. and this may spread and have disastrous results.
    I would say that anyone who tries to break up the team spirit of the Allies is definitely helping the enemy.
    Let me tell you that the captain of our team is General Eisenhower. I am absolutely devoted to Ike. We are the greatest of friends. It grieves me when I see uncomplimentary articles about him in the British press. He bears a great burden, he needs our fullest support, he has a right to expect it and it is up to all of us to see that he gets it.
    And so I would ask all of you to lend a hand to stop that sort of thing. Let us all rally round the captain of the team and so help to win the match.
    No one objects to healthy and constructive criticism. It is good for us.
    But let us have done with destructive criticism that aims a blow at Alliéd solidarity, that tends to break up our team spirit and that therefore helps the enemy.
    I want you to weigh in with me and rally round the captain of the team. We must frown on any destructive criticism. Ike is a very great friend of mine. My own airplane was damaged the other day. I cried to Ike, "Can you lend me another plane?"
    He sent me his own at once- wonderful. There is no doubt about it, he is a great chap; I am very distressed when I see anything uncomplimentary about Ike.

    Gives Military Philosophy
    This is my military philosophy. A fundamental point is shaping the battle to your design. I always maintain that you have got to decide what your design of battle is going to be before you start the battle and so you fight it your way and not anybody else’s way and make the enemy dance to your tune. I maintain that is the way to fight battles.
    Now, if you’re going to fight battles that way, you've got to have balance of poise — so balanced that whatever the enemy may do, there will never be any need for you to react to him. That is the fundamental point in my military philsophy. If you've not got balance obviously you are easily pushed off by the other chap.
    So I frequently examine my battle area and say to myself, "Now I am balanced for anything the enemy may do?"
    If he put in a hard bang I have to be ready for him., That is terrifically important in this battle fighting. I learned it in Africa.
    You learn all`these things by hard experience.
    When Rundstedt put in his hard blow and parted the American Army, it was automatic that the battle area must be untidy. Therefore, the first thing I did when I was brought in and told to take over was to busy myself in getting the battle area tidy-getting it sorted out.

    Regroups Allied Armies
    I got reserves into the right places and got balanced and you know what happened. I regrouped the American and British Armies—a question of grouping is another important point mixed up with battle winning,
    One of the things I had to do was to position an army corps in what I thought was going to be the line of approach of the German left hook toward Namur and Dinant. It looked to me as if Rundstedt was trying to do a big left hook to the River Meuse. There was not much there-there was damn little there so I collected here and there, pulled in divisions and formed an army corps under that very fine American General [J. Lawton] Collins.
    It was that corps, which I had formed for offensive action, that eventually took the full blow of Rundstedt’s left hook.
    It took a knock -I said "Dear me, this can’t go on. It's being swallowed up in the battle"
    I set to work and managed to form the corps again.
    Once more pressure was such that it began to disappear in a defensive battle.
    I said: "Come, come," and formed it again and it was put in offensively by General [Courtney H.] Hodges after we had consulted together and that is his present job.
    It is a question of getting balanced and putting reserves in such places that you don't mind what the enemy does because you have grouped forces to meet the problem.

    Opposes Hasty Action
    And you must not hurry. You have a well-balanced, tidy show when you are mixed up in a dog-fight.
    You can’t do it nohow-I do not think that word is English-you can't win the big victory without a tidy show.
    It is very interesting to see both sides—the Germans and the Allies—use their airborne troops in land battles, not having dropped them from the sky. They use them with great advantage. The danger with an airborne force is that it is kept out behind somewhere. All their thought and training and philosophy is built up in flying over to the battle and ·landing there.
    That is the approach to battle. It is what happens when they get on the ground that is difficult.
    The Americans have two air-borne divisions, the 101st`and the Eighty-second, fighting on the ground and we have got the Sixth Airborne Division
    It is OK to mention them. because I realize Germans have captured some of their wounded in Bure It was the Sixth Airborne Division that dropped in the Caen sector in Normandy. They came down on the eastern or left flank of the ‘invaslon around the vital bridges over the Orne.
    I said; "Get that division out" but it was not relieved until a long time after.
    It ls now fighting on the right flank of the northern battle and it is, fighting very well. In the use of airborne troops what really matters is how they fight on the ground, The Germans use their paratroops divisions too. The airborne men are jolly good chaps, all picked.

    Praises U. S. Air Troops
    The American soldiers of the United States Seventh Armored Division and the 106th Infantry Division stuck it out and put up a very fine performance. By jove. they stuck it out, those chaps,
    And there was the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne who held out magnificently. The places where these men fought were, I maintain, terrifically important.
    I consulted with General Hodges of the United States First Army and there came a day about the 20th or 21st [ December], I said to Hodges: "I think we ought to get these chaps back if we can. They will be swamped. They will disappear. They have done their stuff. They are great fighting men."
    During this time the Eighty-second Airborne Division had been moving slowly forward to try to get contact with cut off elements. We pulled them back, then withdrew the Eighty-second Airborne Division to a more secure line. They didn't want to come. They protested vigorously.
    I said to Lieut. Gen. Omar N. Bradley: "They can come back with all honor." They came back to the more secure positions. They put up a wonderful show.
    Rundstedt hit us a sharp blow but he was prevented from turning it in fullest gain and getting the maximum advantage from it because of the first-class fighting qualities of the American soldier. I take my hat off to him. I salute him willingly. It was a very remarkable thing to see how, at the moment of danger the complete Allied team rallied to the call. The writing-off process is going on now. I am prepared to say the initiative has passed from Rundstedt to us, and he is fighting on the ground now defensively and against troops who have recovered their balance and are properly poised to use the initiative the enemy has lost.

    Cites Heavy German Loss
    We have captured thousands of prisoners and we are killing a lot of Germans. One American armored division in a battle with the Second Panzer Division between Dlnant and Ciney inflicted the heaviest losses. Down in the Ciney area you can see eighty one knocked out tanks, about seventy-five guns and between 400 and 500 vehicles.
    The Second Panzer Division cannot be feeling very well, and this American division was helped by the British in the Dinant area.
    What about the German soldier? I think the German is a first-class professional soldier. I have always said that I never underrated him and this man Rundstedt is extremely good. I used to think that Rommel was good, but my opinion is that , Rundstedt would have hit him for six. Rundstedt is the best German general I have come up against in this war. He is very ·good. He knows his stuff.
    I am not prepared to say that for the moment the Germans have wrested the initiative from the Allies in this war. The initiative lies with the Allies.
    I would very much like to get myself into Rundstedt’s brain for a couple of minutes. I have a picture of him in my room. I wanted a picture of Rundstedt very badly. The other day I was given one by Arthur Christiansen of the Daily Express. I am jolly glad to have it. It is extremely good.

    ========
    NAZlS’ RADIO TRICK SEEKS ALLIED RIFT
    London Warns of Foe’s Faking British Broadcast to Stir U. S. Rivalry Over Montgomery .

    LONDON, Thursday, Jan. 11
    The British Broadcasting Corporation warned last night that the Germans were trying to sow dissension among the Allies by broadcasting to American troops on BBC wave lengths.
    The warning by the British Government': radio agency referred specifically to a German broadcast Monday morning praising Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery and bellttllng the American forces. The enemy broadcast, which was heard on tho United States Third Army front, led to criticism oi Britain in some American newspapers.
    The Nazis' faked broadcast. said BBC. was apparently part of a German propaganda service known as "Arnhem Calllng." which ai times masquerades as a. British program. BBC sald that "such attempts by the enemy to mislead listeners can generally be detected if the substance of the broadcasts are weighed with a. little common sense.
    " The Germans’ fake broadcast Monday morning referred to Field Marshal Montgomery's appointment as Allied commander on the northern side of the Ardennes bulge. then added:
    "Montgomery found no defense lines, the Americans somewhat bewildered, no reserves on hand and supply lines cut. He took over the scattered American forces, planned his action and stopped the German drive. The Battle ot the Ardennes can now be practically written off thanks to Montgomery.
    " [A radio commentator of the German Transocean agency, as reported by The New York: Times from London Tuesday, used that day the same Goebbels divisive propaganda line of crediting to Field Marshal Montgomery the whole Allied strategy against von Rundstedt.]

    Some U. S. Troops Disturbed
    In a dispatch from the Third Army front yesterday . London Daily Telegraph correspondent said the enemy broadcast caused "considerabie comment" among our troops. Many of them dismissed lt as Nazi propaganda, "but many did not," the correspondent said, "and to those whn did not it left a very bad taste in the mouth." Two London Thursday morning newspapers commented editorially on the incident of the Nazis' fake broadcast. The News Chronicle labeled it a "warning‘ both to the public and to the authorities to be on their guard
    ." The Daily Mail said the enemy broadcast had been accepted in the United States as authentic "much too hastiiy,
    " At the same time The Daily Mall in an editorial heeded "A Slur on Monty," criticized Lieut. Gen Omar N. Bradley'a statement to war correspondents Tuesday that Field Marshal Montgomery's new command, taking in American Ninth and First Army troops on the northern edge of the Ardennes bulge was temporary. Some things General Bradley said, The Daily Mail asserted, would be regarded by the British people as "unnecessarily offensive."
    The Daily Mail, which has been fostering the idea that Field Marshal Montgomery should he Allied ground commander under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, declared it would be unfortunate if a transatlantic "slanging match" were promoted about the names and achievements of the Allied military commanders.
    Mail's "Defense of Monty”
    Then, asserting that General BradIey's statement that the Montgomery command was only temporary, bore only one interpretation, the newspaper said:
    "It is that Field Marshal Montgomery is good enough to be given the position of responsibility in an emergency, but when the danger is over and the ravages of the enemy are made good, his services are no longer required except in a. comparatively subordinate capacity.
    "It can be said at once that the British people would view with dismay the relegatlon of this great soldier to the somewhat meager share of the front which he held before von Rundstedt's breakthrough. And this is no question of national pride or prestige."
    Writing from Brussels. Alar Moorehead of The London Daily Express said that a story going around that Field Marshal Montgomery had insisted on his new command and forced General Eisenhower into it, was nonsense.
    "General Eisenhower and `his staff themselves took the declsion early in the morning at the pitch of the crisis," Mr. Moorehead wrote. "Marshal Montgomery accepted briskly and had his plan ready within a few hours. The plan went before a meeting of field commanders and was immediately accepted."

    Jan 11 1945


    ============

    BRITISH PRESS IRE AGAINST U.S. RISES

    The Economist Lays Rifts to Churchill’s Appeasing of Both Roosevelt and Stalin

    LONDON, Jan. 4--Most of the troubles besetting the Grand Alliance-both political and military- are attributed to Prime Minister Churchill’s acceptane of American ideas on how to fight a global war and Moscow’s dictates on post-war policies in Europe in an article to be published tomorrow by The London Economist.
    It was that same authoritative weekly that last week published ian attack on American politicians Wand publicists for lecturing Britain on international morality.
    The thesis of this week’s article, which must be taken as a sequel to last week’s, is that the time has come for Britain to take strong steps to disassociate herself from plans to dismember Germany and to serve notice on the United States that full-scale war against Japan must wait until Germany is beaten. The article even goes so far as to suggest that if the United States would not agree to a revision of the allocations of military strength, determined by Mr. Churchill
    and President Roosevelt at Quebec in 1943 and 1944, when the British agreed to accept a greater share of the burden of the Pacific war, the British Government would "be justified in rediverting all the resources at its own disposal to the task of defeating Germany"


    Military Situation a Factor

    That the military direction of the war, as well as its political course, is in for review seems indicated. The News Chronicle’s columnist, A. J. Cummings, will say tomorrow that Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower is too busy with "administrative routine" to be able to spare much time for tactical or strategic planning and that Field Marshal Montgomery “is the ideal man" to plan a "riposte to von Rundstedt's gamble and should be appointed Deputy Supreme Commander." Subscribers to The Daily Mail will read tomorrow, on the other hand, that "nobody in this country has ever hinted that Eisenhower should go or should exercise divided authority." According to the picture presented by The Economist, which adroitly skirts around some inconvenient facts, Mr. Churchill was presented not as the tough, practical politician and defender of the empire that he is but as a "perpetual mediator and go-between," always yielding to Premier Joseph Stalin and Mr. Roosevelt rather than cause trouble by insisting on the protection of British interests.
    The Economist was not the first British publication to find fault with American strategy and foreign policy, but before it published last week‘s angry protests against American twisting of the "lion’s tail," comment generally had been restrained and somewhat obscure.
    But the influential weekly, which deals authoritatively with subjects of a more general nature than its name implies, has once again proved to be the bellwether of Fleet Street. One by one, a majority of British popular papers, both metropolitan and provincial, have taken up the thesis that the United States should put up or shut up.

    Cartoon Typifies Criticism
    The outpouring of criticism against the United States has not raised American stock in British eyes. The criticism is not abating but, on the contrary, it seems to be increasing and spreading down to , levels where the masses of people are affected.
    Tonight's Evening Standard, owned by Lord Beaverbrook, published a cartoon by David Low which showed a shirt-sleeved American snoozing on a·couch among rumpled newspapers with headlines saying: ' "It must be Britain's fault." "It must be Russia’s fault," and "It must be China’s fault." The sleeper was labeled "American democracy." Guarding his slumbers was United States Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius Jr. holding behind him a volume entitled "The Facts of Life," and saying, "Ssh" . to Soviet Foreign Commissar Vyachcoslaff M. Molotoff, and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden entering the room with documents labeled "Dumbarton Oaks" and "Teheran."
    Nor has criticism of American policy been confined to diplomatic indecisiveness. There has been an undercurrent of criticism of the Allied High Command headed by Gen. Eisenhower. When it was first suggested that Allied intelligence had fallen down somehow, a large part of the British press hastened to declare that if anyone was to be blamed in the recent German breakthrough he should be found "higher up," and there has been a tendency to suggest that if Field Marshall Sir Bernard L. Montgomery had been in supreme command it might not have happened at all.
    Here The Economist enters the discussion again by leveling some of the fault for recent reverses on the American held front on General Eisenhowefs strategy since the Avranches break-through last August, but holding that the ultimate responsibility, while going higher still, rests on American shoulders for forcing Mr. Churchill to accept the idea that two wars could be fought at once, resulting in the denuding of the Western Front of reserves needed last autumn to exploit the German rout in France to the fullest degree.
    Without mentioning the fact that before the British troops under Field Marshal Montgomery succeeded in opening Antwerp to Allied convoys the supply line to the troops at the German frontier was longer than the Burma Road, or that American troops were continuing to fight against disorganized Germens with captured gasoline, artillery and shells last fall, The Economist attributes the deadlock in the West to three main factors.
    These are:
    (1) That General Eisenhower’s strategy- "the strategy of the elephant leaning on an obstacle to crush it"erred in that he chose to wait until he had all his armies drawn up on a line against Germany instead of massing forces at one point and crashing through.
    (2) That in the vacuum of official silence regarding the meaning of "unconditional surrender," unofficial spokesmen were permitted to broadcast plans for dismemberment of Germany, thus stiffening enemy resistance.
    (3) That at the crucial moment when Germany could have been- overwhelmed, Allied military leaders were impotent to take advantage of the opportunity because the reserves they needed were just not there.

    Reserve Situation Analyzed
    The most obvious reason for insufficient reserves on the Western Front, The Economist says, "can be found in the two conferences at Quebec, and adds: "In 1943 President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill decided to put greater emphasis on the war with Japan and in 1944 a decision appears to have been taken to wage the two wars with equal energy."
    This "diversion" to the Far East, The Economist asserts, "may well have made the difference this autumn between complete victory and the long-drawn-out fighting which seems to threaten now" although the magazine does not allege that any British ground forces that might have been used in the West have been transferred to the Pacific, nor does it explain how British naval. units, now reported in Far Eastern waters, could have changed the balance of force in Belgium, Luxembourg or the Netherlands. Nor is it alleged that there was any lack of air support in the West.
    Some other British publications have remarked that British troops engaged in the Greek civil war could be used more advantageously fighting Germans in Crete and elsewhere.

    Opposes Reich Dismemberment

    Turning to the political aspects of the war, The Economist holds that the policy of dismembering Germany had not been reached as a result of "sober examination," ,but was a "by-product" of the Russo-Polish dispute. Once the proposal was made to compensate Poland for her loss of her eastern territory with German territory to the Oder line, the magazine says, it was inevitable that France should return to demands for the Rhineland, rejected in 1919. ' According to The Economist. the British Government, if it had been ’"left to itself" never would have been caught short of reserves in the west nor permitted the threat of the destruction of the Reich to stiffen German resistance. The trouble was, according to the magazine, that Mr. Churchill saw Britain's role as that of the "honest broker" and yielded at one time to Washington and another time to Moscow to appease her two bigger Allies.
    Having suggested that the remedy for the military mistakes of Quebec would lie in Britain's insistance upon disposing of her forces where they will do most to contribute to Germany’s early defeat, The Economist says that the resolution of the political problem is not so easy to find because the Prime Minister seems to have "committed himself to the senseless policy of dismemberment" which, the magazine says, was evolved in Moscow and enunciated in Paris.

    Ask Policy Declaration

    Yet it is an open secret, the article says, "that such a policy runs counter to the most expert thought and advice of the Foreign Office" and has no chance of commanding the support of the British people after wartime passions have cooled.
    This being so, The Economist article says "there is a strong case for a public declaration from the British Government stating that it does not intend to pursue or support a policy that permanently deprives the German people of the possibility of leading a normal political and economic existence." Such a firm pronouncement by the British Government on the military and political aspects of the Grand Alliance, The Economist says, would undermine Dr. Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda and the hope for a negotiated peace through a schism among the Allies and "end the anomalous situation" whereby the policy of the alliance is worked is out in Moscow and Paris with the is British "feebly or apologetically", confirming decisions in which they have had no part.
    ======================================



    ALLIES REPORTED
    REVISING COMMAND
    London Press Says changes are Immenent-No official Confirmation Available

    Dec 30th-Reports that a reorganization of the Allies’ command on the western front was imminent were prominently displayed today by the London press. One military commentator declared that an official statement covering some aspects of the re-grouping of the Allies commands and armies was expected shortly. The reports, the publication of‘which coincided with a definite improvement of the Allies position on the western front, were without any official confirmation.
    The London Evening News delclared that "important changes in lthe organization of the Allied Supreme Command on the western front are imminent". It listed the present commanders without speculating what the changes might be.
    The Evening Standard reported that "the big regroup is on." It quoted a Reuter military correspondent as saying that "the second phase of Marshal Karl von Rundstedt’s offensive has reached the poker stage"
    The report of changes in the command appeared on the front page of The Star under the head- line: "Allied Command: Statement Soon." The London press also carried reports from Washington that an American Major General had been recalled from France and demoted, but not because of the German countenoffensive. Despite the setback suffered by the Allies in Belgium, there appeared to be no disposition here to question Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s ability to control the situation. The Supreme Commander retains the prestige that he won in North Africa, Italy and the smashing success of the Normandy invasion.
    G. Ward Price, Sunday Dispatch war correspondent just returned from the western front, declared that the setback "should bring about changes which, before it occurred, were already known to be necessary by those on the inside of Allied stategy. Eisenhower is genuinely popular with all his subordinate commanders, but his responsibilities are too depressed and widespread for him to direct operations of seven Armies his orders with the necessary de- tailed knowledge of the situation of each." Mr. Price recalled that during the Normandy campaign, when things went Well, Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery had been strategic Commander in Chief in the field, exercising powers conferred upon him by General Eisenhower, whose headquarters were then in England. Since September, when General Eisenhower went to France, Marshal Montgomery "has been but one of the army group commanders imder Eisenhower" Mr. Price said.
    Those inside, Mr. Price added, have been disturbed by the Allied armies’ dispersing their strength instead of concentrating it. He said that one authority had told him: "If Montgomery’s advance into Nijmegen had been backed by ten United States divisions, we should have been in the Ruhr by now."
    The Sunday Chronicle also published an article declaring that "Eisenhower’s burden should be eased. The old combination of Eisenhower [Field Marshal Sir Harold R. L. G.] Alexander and Montgomery had a non-stop run of success, Brig. J. G. Smyth said in a prominantly displayed article "might it not be repeated?" or must Alexander really stand by to quell riots in Greece





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  3. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Newspapers eh,?lol.Bloody hell.
     
  4. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Thanks Kenny and martin,certainly makes very interesting reading,never seen this before.!:). Martin,I have read hamiltons 1st volume about Monty ,are the others Better.?cheers,Lee.
     
  5. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    The importance of Germany's last strategic reserves is immeasurable. It would be valued more highly, and probably be used mroe efectively on the eastern front. Also, weren't the Germans keen on slowing the Soviets down as much as possible, because of what was happening to the German people from lands that the Soviets had already occupied? 200,000 men and 500-1,000 tanks/assault guns would have been a great asset to forestall the Soviet invasion of the Reich, particularly at the Vistula river or the Tannberg line, and would have bought time for the vilians to evacuate from East Prussia and eastern Germany. In addition, the amount of experienced fighter pilots that were killed during operation Bodenplatte, part of operation Nordwind (which began on 1 January 1945) were irreplaceable. Of course, what good are tanks and airplanes without fuel!
     
  6. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I personally like 'The Field Marshal' ( the last volume ) the best, but to be honest, maybe that's because NW Europe 1944-45 is of particular interest to me......:eek:
     
  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    test
     
  8. Artem

    Artem Member

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    Militarily speaking, it seems to be the most reasonable action by Hitler. Let's consider the options:

    1) OKW Defend,
    Allies:
    -bring forward more troops and materials
    -establish reliable supply
    -wait till they have air supremacy again and force another offensive
    Axis:
    -fuel and supplies dwindle further
    -chance of a major defeat
    -inevetable defeat regardless

    Sure, there is political inferences that we have to consider. But that would be avoiding the issue. Hitler was all for going down fighting, so alternatives were pretty irrelevant. He was mad, but he had his politics, which was to attempt final victory regardless. So as far as politics is concerned, we must assume that Hitler wanted an eventual success. Which can only lead to the other alternative:

    1) OKW Attack.

    Sure the allies would eventually gain air supremacy, and their numbers were enormous on paper. But you can't help but overlook the idea behind a German offensive. German troops have lived and fought under blitzkrieg, offensive attacks. Allies have not yet been in a defensive role and were not expecting another attack. Nor am i convinced with people saying that allies were swimming in oil and supplies so that they can simply replace what they lost in a heartbeat. Obstacles placed by the allies were nothing new, and considering what the Germans had at their disposal, they weren't exactly underarmed either.

    A successful offensive seemed very appealing when considering the possible benefits. Military, you'd be chosing between 1) definiate defeat or 2) probable defeat or probable success. If that attack fails, then chances are, you would have failed if you defend as well, but why defend when you can put your forces to something which they are far more suited to (offensive), especially when you have a golden chance where the allies seriously lacked their trump card, the air supremacy? It just seems the most logical military move by Hitler. I can't seem to understand why somebody would disagree.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Maybe Hitler should have made the major operation in the East late 1944, push the Red Army some way back and let the Western Allied "in" faster that the Red Army. That way he would be creating political havoc among the Allied about who is getting to Berlin first?! I know Hitler believed he could destroy the enemy in the West first, then turn East, and destroy the Red Army, but all in all that was a very wishful thinking. He did not have the men, armor,fuel,planes etc.
     
  10. Artem

    Artem Member

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    push the red army back in late 1944?
     
  11. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    No more absurd than breaking through the Allied lines in the dead of winter in the Ardennes forest and marching on Antwerp.
     
  12. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    The debacle at the Bulge is a telling sign of the Fuehrer's lost of contact with reality. In fact, the Reich was doomed. To even negotiate a peace with terms other than unconditional surrender was impossible at this point. Hitler was compelled to either acknowledge defeat, or fight to the death. If Hitler could delude himself into believing in victory, than the Bulge made a certain amount of sense as it would allow him to knock out the more dangerous opponent in the West (already closing on Germany's borders) before concentrating all efforts to the East. However, that strategy presupposes lunacy because both Western and Eastern Allied strength was far superior to the Wehrmact. The only militarily sound strategy was to go to the strategic defensive (fortified zones of Pak Fronts in the West, Panzer reserved for counterattacks in the East) and either sue for peace or fight until destroyed.
     
  13. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    The actual tactical and operational errors of the Bulge Offensive was legion.
    1. First of all, the Germans lacked the gasoline to even reach the Meuse, and projections of advance presupposed large stocks of captured gasoline.

    2. The point of attack was in the Adrennes Forest in dead winter. Though the Germans did defeat the French in 41 with this manoeuver, in 44 it was defended by mostly veteran American infantry divisions with significant anti-tank firepower. This move resulted in heavy losses and severe delays in the German plan.

    3. The US did not only possessed devastating air armies, but also motorized infantry divisions and immensely powerful and mobile reserves of armor. If the breakout out of the Ardennes forest was delayed, as it was, than the US Army would be in a position to reinforce critical zones very quickly and ultimately make powerful counterstrokes to annihilate the German attackers.

    4. Throughout the Battle the Allies was by no means short on gasoline, which existed in a large surplus due to the over-supply during August-November. At the same time, the Allies also husbanded their ammunition stocks throughout the battles on the West Wall which meant large managazines of shells where in fact available for just such an contingency during the BoB.
     
  14. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    How many divisions attacked into the German southern flank(from the 3rd army area).?how many divisions attacked the German northern flank(from the 9th army area).? Cheers.
     
  15. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    In answer to this particular question,I remember reading the whole U.S.3rd.Army turned 90% ,and attacked into the southern flank,with the U.S.4th Armd.Div in the lead,but I don't know about the U.S.9th Army.?cheers.
     
  16. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    If I've found it difficult to find decent material concerning the northern and southern attacks into the bulge by divisional sized units,could anyone help please.?cheers.
     
  17. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    There is a good thread on ww2talk'brits in the Ardennes 'With some great material,sketches etc,if anyone is interested.cheers,Lee.
     
  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Initially two divisions (4th AD & 26th ID) jumped off, I think on 20 Dec, followed by 2 more divisions a few days later on the southern flank. I'll have research the numbers of divisions from 9th Army, but I know that the 30th ID and 2AD

    Not the whole army. Eddy's XII Corps and Millikin's III Corps, which had no divisions prior to its directing the attacks on the 20th. The Third Army boundary was slipped north and the US 7th Army slid over to over that part of the Third Army front.

    If you can read http://www.amazon.com/Time-Trumpets-Untold-Story-Battle/dp/0688151574it is an excellent accounting of the battle.

    http://www.amazon.com/Corps-Commanders-Bulge-American-Generals/dp/0700615083 This book was also pretty good.

    Online, read this by the US Army THE ARDENNES: BATTLE OF THE BULGE (Contents)
     
  19. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Thankyou very much mate,hopefully I shall be getting 'time for trumpets' for a Christmas box.Thanks for the link too,that looks like good reading.cheers,Lee.
     
  20. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    My favorite weapon was the German armor. Simply because I love the paint jobs! :)

    I think the Ardennes offensive was a good concept for the Germans, but due to their dwindling fuel supplies they should have cut back on the final objective to something closer to Germany than Antwerp. Trying to retake Antwerp with the fuel supplies they had seems entirely illogical to me. However, the plan of breaking the 85 mile front with an all out armored offensive while the Allies were planning to win the war by Christmas seems like a good plan no matter what war you're in.
     

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