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The Battle of the Bulge didn't happen

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Major Destruction, Feb 1, 2005.

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  1. Major Destruction

    Major Destruction Member

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    What would the Allies have done next?

    Certainly the events of the Battle changed the course of the war. But consider if the Batle had not happened? What plans were in the works for the "next step"

    Was the next priority Antwerp?

    Or the Roer Dams?

    Or would Operation Grenade have gone ahead?

    Or would Patton have been ordered to advance through the Saar?
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I suppose the main weight would be on Patton´s operation and probably the other pincer by Montgomery (less weight on this op?) from the north around the Siegfried line to reach Ruhr.
     
  3. Major Destruction

    Major Destruction Member

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    Oh come on you armchair Generals!

    Let's get some thought on this.

    It is December 1944 - the coldest winter in decades - and we are stuck in Holland facing the West Wall.

    What is the plan?
     
  4. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I doubt that it would change much. The Western Allies would likely have proceeded just as they did in January 45. The advance would have been wide front. Monty would continually have gotten brow beat by Eisenhower to get the channel ports and Antwerp open something Monty seemingly wanted to ignore in favor of his own (and impractical) narrow front "full blooded" thrust to Berlin.
     
  5. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Well, at least for the Germans, no Battle of the Bulge would leave them many valuable vehicles, planes and guns to use in the defence of their country.

    What could have been of the German thrust into Budapest with stronger formations?

    As T. A. said, the Allies would have gone on, advancing on a broad front, facing strong resistance. But in the end, after many casualties, they'd have prevailed. Or there's the posibility too, that German forces not-used in the Ardennes would have been transferred to face the Red Army.
     
  6. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    Don't see how it woulda changed much,either. Germany was out of oil, the west wall was'nt a really hard nut to crack in late'44.Allies just waiting for their supply lines to shorten a little. Even if some of Hitler's 'secret weapons' were produced, they had no gas for them.
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Actually I think this attack might have given the allies a good chance to counter attack immediately after the Ardennes attack had collapsed.

    Didn´t Monty hold the XXX corps in reserve just in case he could start the attack around the West wall??
     
  8. Major Destruction

    Major Destruction Member

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    How can you say that? Patton's Third Army spent 3 months trying to batter a path through Metz in the face of fortifications built largely before World War One and manned by essentially the dregs of the German military. Farther north, the dreadful blooodletting in the Huertgen Forest had produced few penetrations of the West Wall proper against desperate and understrength German field units. Such snail-paced advances make the assault in July through the bocage appear like a romp in the park.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I do think the only place they did go through the West Wall was at Aachen in autumn 1944.

    The Huertgen Forest might have been a strategic mistake, I think I read that they could not have decided to try to attack a worse place along the entire front. Of course the weather was favouring the defenders, and as well the supply lines were getting rather long. And the famous trench foot...Something wrong with the boots?!
     
  10. Major Destruction

    Major Destruction Member

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    After Falaise, the defeated German armies retreated out of France. The triumphant allies did not so much liberate France as much as fill the void left by a retreating enemy.

    The US Third army found itself facing impressive fortifications with an armoured force more suited to mobile warfare than for breaching fixed defences.

    The US First army found itself facing the outer defences before the West Wall. Tank divisions were sadly short on tanks and infantry units had little in the way of engineer supplies -explosives/demolitions or heavy artillery and were especially short of ammunition.

    The British forces arrived in Antwerp in much the same condition. Exhausted tank crews fell asleep as soon as their tanks stopped moving.

    All that was needed from the Allied armies was to keep moving forward but September found this impossible to do.

    Aachen was open and available for the taking and the West Wall was unmanned. But offensive action by First Army was limited by shortages in ammunition and manpower to "reconnaissance in force". Certainly the West Wall defences were penetrated in October but not in sufficient width to allow for any kind of major offensive into Germany. And the city was not invested with American troops when it was undefended.

    Had the Bulge battle not been fought, the western front would have ground to a halt for the winter. In the resumption of the assault, the Roer dams would have become a major objective. If captured intact, they would have been opened up by V Corps to trap German forces that remained west of the Roer. While First Army reduced the Germans in this new pocket, British efforts would be directed towards Hamburg/Lubeck. I wonder if Bremerhaven would be more valuable than Antwerp?

    Patch's Seventeenth army might have been directed towards Pilsen or Trieste while Third Army tried to take Frankfurt.

    Whatever the course of events, those German armoured resouces that were wasted in Wacht am Rhein would have made life hell for the Allies as they attemped to enter the Fatherland.

    Rather than the Elbe being the meeting place of East and West, it is far more likely that the Ruhr would be the last battlefield for the Reich.
     
  11. us11thairborne

    us11thairborne Member

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    Patton's 3rd Army in the Saar would have been given full operational status over Monty's army in the North. The Saar campaign would have been launched and a thrust into the Ruhr would have crippled the already struggling Industrial market of Germany. Going through the North with Montgomery will not succeed in capturing much, and still there is not enough large roads to transport all the needed tanks, armored cars, trucks, and resources, the Saar plan would have been picked because of its greater chances of succeeding.

    [ 29. March 2005, 08:09 PM: Message edited by: us11thairborne ]
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    That still leaves the Germans with the forces they used in their Bulge attack ready for a counter-attack against the allied offensive!
     
  13. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    That, or throwing them to annihilation at the hands of the Red Army.

    The obvious decision then would have been… :rolleyes:
     
  14. Clemente

    Clemente recruit

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    I think The siege of budapest would have benn a lot more sucessful. Yet, in order to do this the west front might haven weaker, netvertheless armor would haven been wasted killing more armor in stead of being sacrificed by it's crew or being blown by PP-51's or whatever.
     
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