Tuesday, March 26

We Were There at the Battle of the Bulge

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The Battle of the Bulge was the largest battle on the Western Front of World War 2.  It lasted from December 16, 1944 to January 16, 1945.  It was called the “Bulge” because the German troops formed a bulge in the Ardennes Forest, trying to push through the American defenses.

A surprise attack through this forest had worked out well for Hitler in 1940, and the Nazi situation was looking bad, so he tried to use the same tactic again...striking his enemy by surprise.  On December 26, the German ring around the town of Bastogne was broken by General Patton and his Sherman tanks.

The winter weather was slowing down the German advance, the roads were a muddy mess, and the Nazis were running out of supplies.  Both sides dug in for the long haul through the cold.  When weather improved, the Allied pilots began counterattacks against the Germans.  After a month of fighting, the battle officially ended.

The Allies lost 1/7th of their soldiers, but the Germans took a much bigger hit, with 1/5th of their soldiers dying during the battle.  This second major victory for the Allies helped to clench the end of World War 2.  Because of this outcome, Germany was defeated, and the end of war in Europe came, sooner.

Read

Make / Do 
Watch
Define / Identify
  • 101st Airborne Division
  • Ardennes
  • Bastogne
  • Belgium
  • D-Day
  • Luxembourg
  • Panzer
Think
  • How would history have been different if the Germans had won the Battle of the Bulge?
  • What was the Allies’ goal in the Ardennes Forest?

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