The Battle of the Bulge that began on December 16, 1944 is widely remembered today as the greatest battle fought by the U.S. Army during the Second World War. For many, the focal point of this remembrance remains the Belgian town of Bastogne. Bastogne was a critical regional communications hub, ultimately encircled and besieged by German forces from December 19th to the 26th. The elite U.S.
In World War Two’s waning days, during the fall of 1944, Adolf Hitler ordered up one last role of the dice designed to stave off final defeat. This plan sought to punch through the densely forested, hilly, but lightly guarded Ardennes and reach Antwerp – thereby cutting off numerous Allied armies in a massive pocket similar to what his armies had accomplished four years prior.
German plans called for Sepp Dietrich’s Sixth SS Panzer Army to lead the assault through the Ardennes; as the northern army of the three German assault army’s.
Tomorrow is the 70th Anniversary of the Soviet counterattack before Moscow that put the final nail in Barbarossa' s coffin. Though the grossly overextended German army in the Soviet Union had long since been ground down to a fraction of its strength from six months prior; this counterstroke would do tremendous damage to a Wehrmacht badly positioned for defending against a strategic level counter offensive.
A slew of new pictures of the often forgotten dark side of the Dunkirk rescue operation, taken by a German soldier after the battle, provide chilling evidence of the scope of the disaster suffered by Allied forces following the German invasion of Western Europe in May, 1940.
Within ten day of the German invasion, tanks from the 2nd Panzer Division had crossed the Somme River and reached the English Channel at Abbeville, completing the encirclement of approximately 1.7 million British, French, Dutch, and Belgian soldiers in an enormous pocket 120 miles long and 72 miles wide.
In the spring of 1942 Soviet General S. K. Timoshenko led one of the Red Army's several attempts to wrest the initiative from the Germans in this case by launching an offensive from the Izyum salient and designed to destroy Germany's Army Group South and push on to Kiev. The Izyum salient was located in a stretch of flat tank friendly land situated within a larger region featuring great bends in the Dnieper, Don, and Donets Rivers, it was so named because of the city of Izyum's location at the salient's base.
The failed Axis offensive at Kasserine Pass meant that by March of 1943 the Axis were doomed in North Africa. The Axis were trapped between two powerful armies and reliant on a logistical chain perpetually in crisis, as the Allies enjoyed overwhelming naval superiority and new air bases in Algeria and Libya to launch attacks on Axis shipping. The Axis had maneuvered a quarter of a million soldiers and huge stores of equipment and supplies into a dead end. General von Arnim, commanding Army Group Afrika, actually surmised the odious Axis supply situation meant U.S.
In mid-November 1941 Field Marshal Fedor von Bock's Army Group Center began the final phase of the German assault on Moscow spearheaded by the Third Panzer Army and Fourth Panzer Army. Some 233,000 men, 1,300 tanks, 1,880 guns and 800 aircraft efficiently split Rokossovsky's 16th Army and Leliushenko's 30th Army as the Germans hammered away at a similar number of Russian men and aircraft but far less guns and tanks; the Russian defenders could only put 1,254 guns and 502 tanks into the field.
In November 1941, a lull in the year long battle between the Axis and British Commonwealth forces fighting across the North African desert finally allowed both sides to recover their strength. German General Erwin Rommel's command fielded 414 tanks, 173 German, and nine divisions (including two German divisions; the 5th Light - renamed the 21st Panzer Division on October and 15th Panzer Division) with 320 aircraft providing direct close air support.
Codenamed Cobra, the Allied breakout from the Normandy Beachhead finally began late in July 1944 after a brief but intense planning stage. In directing Cobra U.S. General Omar Bradley left nothing to chance; as Cobra's objective was nothing less than breaking out of the bridgehead in Normandy in which the Allied army's had been bottled up for the better part of two full months. Bradley's plan was two-tiered; he first sought to breakthrough the German defensive positions near the Norman town of St.
Throughout the winter of 1943-1944 Stavka maintained a relentless pace, consistently ordering up sequential offensives that never allowed the Germans to effectively regroup and build up reserves. In the late winter and early spring of 1944 the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Ukrainian Fronts, in opposition to German forces situated in the Western Ukraine, launched a massive series of offensives that would run along the breadth of the German defensive line south of the Pripet Marshes all the way to the Black Sea.