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Battle of the Bulge

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

  1. Timo

    Timo Member

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    Indeed, and that's where I become very curious. Miscalculation, mortaly wounded and dead before they could be moved...summarily executed?
     
  2. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Here's another account by Warnock giving the exact circumstances of the capture. I think you may be correct that six PW's got "lost" along the way. Where does your number of 18 PW's come from? Would the German with the jaw wound described below be Droge?

     
  3. Timo

    Timo Member

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    No, the wounded with the blown away jaw was Hartmuth Strauß, the SS with the machine pistol who lost the "duel" to Michael F. Cirullo was Heinz Kosfeld. If we combine the post war recollections of Warnock with the statements from Coblenz and the other tried Germans (1945 interrogation reports and a 2006 interview with Coblenz on the phone) we get the following picture: Approx. 30 SS were in the house when the American attack started. After the "JA, JA" from the cellar, the first to come out with his hands in te air was Reinhardt Gärtner followed by Coblenz and the others, all more or less wounded. Coblenz told us that the grenades which had exploded in the crammed cellar had caused a big wound in his lower leg and had deafened him as well as shocked his nerves. When Dröge appeared the Americans were shocked: his arm was hanging alsmost seperated from his shoulder. Warnock claims that Coblenz addressed Fred H. Vendt asking for a knife. He's given a bajonet which he passed on to Edgar Leidholt who cut off Dröges Arm. Cirullo supposedly ordered an American medic to aid Dröge. Then suddenly Alfred Führer made a run for it but was killed in the yard. Then Warnock went down into the cellar and found all were dead but Strauß. When he left the Grégoire house with the prisoners his men found the murdered civilians in the garden of the Legaye house across the road.

    According to Coblenz (when we interviewed him) the story about Leidholt amputating Dröge's arm is a lie which makes him sad. BTW, Dröge's official date of death in the Volksbund records and on his tombstone at Lommel cemetery is that same day: December 22, 1944.

    The number of 18 prisoners came from a 1945 statement by Coblenz which is included in the files from his trial. Note that together with Dröge, Alfred Führer is probably one of the unaccounted pow's: he made it out of the cellar but was cut down in the yard when he tried to escape.
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Thanks! This is very good information.
     
  5. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Too true Martin...But may I just add...if Monty had not come down a bit the battle would of course been lost...Sorry Martin...I'm off quick..
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Timo,

    Can you shed any light on Peiper bypassing the known fuel depot outside of Stavelot? Apparently, he sent a detachment up that road who turned back without a fight after encountering a few of the routed engineers and some Belgian guards, but no real attempt was made to seize that fuel even though they were again getting low (they hadn't fueled since capturing the depot at Bullingen).

    In a post-war interview he said he wasn't aware of that depot, but in other sources it is clear that it was on his map.

    For others not familiar with this episode - this depot is the made the climax of the (ridiculous) 1965 film "Battle of the Bulge" where Americans roll drums of burning gasoline down onto German panzers to cook Robert Shaw who plays the Peiper character. In fact, the Belgians guarding the dump did set some gas on fire to block the road, but the small German detachment that sortied up that road turned back without a fight. That sortie may not have even been looking for the dump, they may have just been on the wrong road exiting Stavelot.

    Anyway, I'm hoping Timo can clarify some of this.
     
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    An entry from the 30th Division Medical Department Diary.

     
  8. Ruimteaapje

    Ruimteaapje Member

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  9. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    I liked the 90mm M36 tank destroyer. By the end of the war the US 90mm that went through modifications as the war progressed was the most powerful tank gun on the field (That came from a tank book about the Battle of the Bulge). Was the Pershing first used in the Bulge as well? I thought I read that the first Pershing tanks were sent in during the Allied counter-offensive and they defeated Tiger and Panther tanks when opposed by them (Or was in February 1945 when they pushed into Germany?). My other favorite weapon was the P-47, which was basically a flying tank. It could take more punishment than any other plane, dish out more punishment than any plane, Allied or Axis, and was fast as hell, reaching up to 470 mph while being heavier than any fighter ever.
     
  10. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how Hitler could possibly think the Western Allies, with United States manufacturing literally supplying every single Ally with everything from weapons, ammo, vehicles, to logistical equipment to food and clothing, and that we brought all of that to England with us... 90% of the US war economy/manufacturing/effort went to Europe and 10% to the Pacific and we still wiped the floor with them. We made 300,000 planes of all kinds alone, four of the best fighters of the war (P-47, P-51, Hellcat, Corsair), the B-17, B-24, B-29. Not only were we well-equipped and well fed, we also supplied The entire West with tanks and TDs of all kinds, planes, guns, ammo, gave Russia thousands of M4s, P-40s (which were tough as nails and could dish out punishment), P-39s (they used them wisely and had success against German air and ground forces). Not to mention we mobilized 16 million men by 12/1946, around 13 million by the end of the war, of which over 3 million were in the European theater. Combine the massive materiel and men with England's forces, the empire including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, etc., and the free forces of Europe including France, how could that be a cake walk? Hitler and his delusions and insanity had ideas about the US based off Hollywood, money, cosmopolitan life and Jews, and because we let a lot of immigrants in we were somehow weaker. Wrong pal.
     
  11. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    You are going to have to provide some kind of support references for that 90%/10% statement. With 1/3 of the US ground forces, some 13,000 or so US naval vessels, and 4 of the 8 forward deployed US air forces in theaters outside of Europe and the Med fighting in the PTO and CBI theaters I do not see how the ratio you provided could be even remotely accurate.
     
  12. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Am I missing something here ? This thread seems to have swerved from an interesting discussion about the Bulge into the 'Things I Like About The USA' topic...... :eh:
     
  13. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    An assistant to FDR, Vannevar Bush, stated that in an interview about FDR and the lead-up to WWII. It was taken years later.
     
  14. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    It was a documentary with a bunch of historians, scholars, and people who worked with FDR speaking about the lead up to the war.
     
  15. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    45% of our forces were non-divisional, the Pacific had 21 divisions and the Marines.
     
  16. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    obviously he should've sent everything to the Eastern Front and welcome the US/Brits to Deutschland....Panther was my favorite weapon...
     
  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Regretfully, Vannevar Bush's 90%/10% statement is not backed up by any of the published sources on US World War II logistics that I have read.

    For example, from "Global Logistics and Strategy, 1943-1945"; http://www.history.army.mil/html/books/001/1-6/CMH_Pub_1-6.pdf

    Appendix D-1: Army Personnel Movement Overseas by Theater of Destination
    Total troop movement fro 41-45. 3,344,063 to the ETO, 1,071,642 to the MTO, 822,933 to the Central Pacific, 274,905 to the South Pacific, 1,073,673 to the Southwest Pacific, and 253,492 to the CBI.

    Appendix D-2: Army Cargo Shipped Overseas by Theater of Destination
    Totals
    ETO: 45,300,680 tons
    MTO: 27,703,582 tons
    Central Pacific: 14,070,539 tons
    South Pacific: 3,540,815 tons (after June '44 tonnage is included in Central Pacific)
    Southwest Pacific: 18,356,214 tons
    CBI: 6,367,805 tons
     
  18. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    It was called "Decisions that Shook the World" and he also said that the people and some of the armed forces were baffled on why so much more was going to Europe when Japan directly attacked us.
     
  19. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    So out of the 13 million that were selected into service until the end of the war (16 million by 12/46) We had over 6 million actually sent to the theaters, does that count non-combat personnel?
     
  20. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Source: Article, The Pacific War: Forgotten Theater by Col. Cole C. Kingseed, USA Ret., PhD. former professor of history, USMA West Point.

    Col. Kingseed states that 70% of the US Navy, virtually the entire US Marine Corps and 37% of the US Army and US Army Air Forces as being dedicated to the PTO and CBI, across the entire course of the war.

    That only tells part of the story however because from Dec 1941 to Dec 1943 the US deployment was more evenly balanced. During the first two years of America's direct involvement that figure would be closer to 50/50. The U.S. had deployed 1,873,023 men, 7,857 aircraft, and 713 warships against Japan and 1,810,367 men, 8,807 airplanes, and 515 warships against Germany.

    Source: Matloff, Maurice, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare: 1943–1944, Vol. 1, Part 4, The U.S. Army in World War II Washington: GPO, 1955, p. 398

    So our direct military commitment percentages to the war against Japan/Europe-MTO through Dec 1943 was men 51/49%, aircraft 47/53%, warships 58/42%. This is strictly our direct military commitment though.
     
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