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Battle of the Bulge. CONTENTS. STORY OF THE BATTLE STORY CONTINUED German Units Involved Tactical Surprise Initial Success Mounting Failures Allied Successes Costs of the Battle Media Contents. Media Contents. MAP 1 OF THE BATTLE MAP 2 OF THE BATTLE VIDEO OF THE BATTLE

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Presentation Transcript
  • German Units Involved
  • Tactical Surprise
  • Initial Success
  • Mounting Failures
  • Allied Successes
  • Costs of the Battle
  • Media Contents
media contents
Media Contents
  • Axis Casualty Picture
  • Infantry Casualty Picture
  • Combat Photo


The Battle of the Bulge lasted from 16 December 1944 to15 January 1945. It was Hitler’s last attempt to win the European Theatre of World War II. His goal was to split the American and British forces in the Ardennes Forest and to recapture the port of Antwerp which was a source of Allied dependence for supplies. He planned the offensive to take place during the winter in bad weather to ground air forces. Hitler knew that otherwise the Luftwaffe could not provide enough air support and that the British and Americans could. The battle was intense at first, but as the cold and snow set in, the soldiers on both sides began to battle the elements as well as each other. Some the most intense fighting was in the town of Bastogne. A unit of the 101 Airborne division of the U.S. Army was surrounded for more than a month. They were stuck and were being attacked daily.

summary continued
Summary Continued

The only saving grace was that the German Army attacked with only one of the two artillery batteries that they had around the town of Bastogne. The 101st outlasted the Germans by simply holding out. They could not get reinforcements of food, ammo, or supplies because they were surrounded and the weather was so bad the Army Air Corps could not fly in a drop of food or supplies.

german units involved
German Units Involved
  • 3 German armies were engaged
    • Sixth SS Panzer
    • Fifth Panzer
    • Seventh army
      • Some experienced units had been brought in from the eastern front. However, many were newly raised volksgranadier units.
tactical surprise
Tactical Surprise
  • The reasons the assault achieved tactical surprise:
    • The Allies were able to read secret German radio messages through a program called ULTRA.
      • ULTRA had in fact determined that German forces were massing.
      • It was assumed that this massing was for defensive purposes and that an offensive would not be launched.
initial success
Initial Success
  • Initially the offensive was achieving good results for the Germans.
    • Deception:
      • German special forces disguised themselves in U.S. uniforms and parachuted behind Allied lines. Doing so caused U.S. troops to begin harboring distrust toward one another.
    • The Sixth SS Panzer Army at first made good progress as American soldiers were encircled in snowy uplands and surrendered.
    • The Fifth Panzer Arm surrounded Bastogne, which effectively contained the 101st Airborne and a portion of the 10th armored divisions.
mounting failures
Mounting Failures
  • While the Assault was off to a good start, the tides of battle soon began to swing in the favor of the Allied forces.
    • While Bastogne was encircled by the Fifth Panzer Army, the town managed to hold out.
    • On December 19th Allied offensives were cancelled elsewhere and forces wee committed to assist.
      • Allied troops were deployed in both the southern and northern portion of what was called the “bulge”.
    • The Sixth Panzer Army was stuck in the north and the Fifth Panzer army fell short of it’s objectives.
allied successes
Allied Successes
  • On the 22nd of December, the bad weather finally cleared.
    • German troops were poorly situated; jammed closely together on roads. As a result, they were bombarded by air forces.
  • The Luftwaffe launched an all out assault on Allied airfields on January 1st. While inflicting a sizable amount of damage, the toll of the limited success was more than the Germans could handle.
costs of the battle
Costs of the Battle
  • German Costs:
    • Close to 100,000 men were lost.
    • The majority of committed airplanes and tanks were lost, and irreplaceable.
  • Allied Losses:
    • The Allies experienced similar heavy losses, however unlike the Germans, their losses could be replaced.
    • The offensive created a crisis in the Allied command. It highlighted the dangers of becoming complainant and presumptuous.
video of battle

resources continued
Resources Continued

Bulge, Battle of the. Funk & Wagnalls® New Encyclopedia. 2007.unitedstreaming. 2 November 2007<>

Holmes, Richard. The Oxford Companion to Military History.

New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.