The Ardennes

On the morning of December 16, 1944 the US Army held the Ardennes Forest with a thin screen line of green units and exhausted units being brought back up to strength.

Through the morning fog came the spearhead of a massive German counteroffensive, designed to blunt the Allied drive toward Germany, and eventually recapture Antwerp, hopefully destroying one or more Allied field armies, and buying time for future German weapon systems to be brought into the fight.

While some units were initially overwhelmed, and the bonds of the Anglo-American alliance were sometimes sorely tested, eventually the US Army rallied, regained the initiative, stymied the enemy drive, and heaped thousands upon thousands of casualties upon the Germans when they could least afford them.

The Ardennes, commonly known as  the Battle of the Bulge, remains the largest battle the US Army has ever fought.

The official Army history of the battle has some of the most moving portrayals of men in battle you will ever read.

3 thoughts on “The Ardennes”

  1. I had the opportunity to take my team up to Bastogne for a three-day staff ride a couple of weeks ago. We focused on the river crossings and the southern shoulder, and then the German approach to, US defense of, and break-in to, Bastogne. Finished with a visit to the US cemetery in Luxembourg. Awesome trip. (Thanks, US Taxpayers.) On a scary note, with one exception, every Sherman tank that I saw on display had at least one penetrating shot on it. Saw one Mk V Panther tank on display as well. That thing is a beast! The only thing wrong with it was that the locals have not taken care of it.
    If you ever have the opportunity to walk that ground, take it. Read “A Time for Trumpets” first, and then again, afterwards.

  2. My dad was there as a very young PFC in the 325th GIR, 82nd ABD. I recently found this pic of him…and updated the notes:
    http://www.ww2incolor.com/us-army/bulge15.html . This was dad’s 30 cal and likely he dug this hole…I think the S/Sgt jumped in for the pic….
    The above pic can also be found in Stephen Abrose’s “Citizen Soldiers” but is incorrectly captioned.

Comments are closed.