Monday, July 11, 2016
Some observations as gleaned from a variety of sources regarding the German Ardennes Offensive of 1944.
1. As early as September 16, 1944 Hitler having discussions with his senior commanders and more or less mandating a massive and overwhelming attack directed against the Western Allies when the German at that point in time of the war seemingly on the ropes and not able to take offensive action. HITLER THINKING GRAND STRATEGY AND STRATEGY WHEN THE CONCERNS OF THE GERMAN COMMANDER IN THE FIELD MUCH MORE MUNDANE. Hitler was fond of big ideas!
2. Goal of the Ardennes Offensive to create conditions for truce talks and negotiated settlement of the war between the German and the Western Allies.
3. The German achieving surprise in an almost totally absolute manner. Allied intelligence their appreciation of the situation that the GERMAN TOTALLY INCAPABLE OF SUCH AN OFFENSIVE OPERATION. THE VERY NOTION PREPOSTEROUS! WHAT WAS DEEMED AS IMPOSSIBLE MADE THE ARDENNES OPERATION A POSSIBLE! AND WAS SO!!
4. American logistical response to the Ardennes Offensive most impressive. "On December 17 alone, 11,000 trucks and trailers carried 60,000 men, plus ammunition, gasoline, medical supplies, and other material into the Ardennes. In the first week of that battle, Eisenhower was able to move 250,000 men and 50,000 vehicles into the fray."
5. American general officers unaccustomed to be on the defensive having a learning curve to overcome but able to do so with alacrity most admirable. "the American generals in the Allied camp had no experience of defending against a German offensive".
6. Those German shock units of armor finding their route to the Meuse river crossing impeded by mines and mine fields as STREWN BY THE GERMANS THEMSELVES!
7. More American battlefield casualties during the German retrograde operation from the Bulge sector than during the initial phases of the Ardennes Offensive. German general officers good on both the offensive and defensive.