Letters | Background | 1st
Letter Home | Training at Croft | Hurricane
| Shipping Out | To Bastonge
| Battle of Bulge | News From Home | Prisoners
Captured | VE Day | Still
in Europe |
of the Bulge
Toward the end of 1944, Hitler knew the war swinging in favor of the Allied Armies and demanded his generals devise a plan to slow the Allied advance. On the morning of December 16, their offensive was launched. Three German Armies, totaling 25 divisions (11 armored) struck six unsuspecting American divisions at Ardennes and overran their lines. Heroic resistance by survivors, the retention of two critical road junctions, and swift reinforcement by both American and British troops halted the German advance.
The two critical road
junctions were at Saint Vith and Bastonge.
Because Bastonge was surrounded, the only way to get in supplies was through air drops. But the weather was extremely bad for a long time and planes were not able to fly until the weather cleared. The 101st was finally relieved when the VII Corps moved in and allowed Patton's Third Army to counterattack the Germans. The Third Army then drove the Germans past the border of Bastonge.
On January 8th, Hitler realized his offensive had failed and ordered his troops to withdraw. By January 16th, the Third and First American Armies joined at their objective village of Houffalize. This meant that the Allies now controlled the original front. On January 23rd, Saint Vith was retaken and by January 28th the Battle of the Bulge was officially over.
Fighting continued, but Hitler's last ditch attempt to turn the tide in Germany's favor had failed. The Battle of the Bulge was costly to both sides, with both the Americans and Germans each suffering approximately 100,000 casualties with nineteen thousand Americans killed. The remaining German Army was left crippled, a few months away from their final defeat.