Battle of the Bulge
16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945
In November 1944 British and Canadian troops captured the Walcheren Island opening up the Scheldt estuary allowing the port of Antwerp to open and more directly re-enforce and re-supply the Allies advancing on Nazi Germany. Hitler launched one last roll of the dice to counter this in December 1944 with Operation Wacht Am Rhein.
|Dwight D. Eisenhower
George S. Patton
Gerd von Rundstedt
Hasso von Manteuffel
|Number of Casualties|
|Around 89,500||Around 67,459 - 125,000|
Battle result: Allied Victory
The idea was to recreate the victorious advance through the Ardennes carried out in May 1940 in area weakly defended by American troops. Advance then to the river Meuse and split the American and British forces and take back Antwerp, cutting off their supplies. It was a massively ambitious plan, but just as Christmas approach a huge German Army attacked on 16th December 1944. Many American units attacked had not been in combat before and the Germans quickly broke through. Bastogne held out, however, and was besieged after the arrival of American Airborne troops to defend it. British troops were also later rushed in but a mixture of the terrain, the weather and lack of fuel gradually affected the German advance to a point where it was no longer possible and it was halted and then pushed back. This was Germany’s last offensive of the war in the west and cost them nearly 125,000 casualties.