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Here’s what you should know about the Battle of the Bulge

American engineers emerge from the woods and moved out of defensive positions after fighting in the vicinity of Bastogne, Belgium during Battle of the Bulge. (U.S. Army/Released)
December 19, 2022

The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was a major German offensive campaign that took place during World War II. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Belgium, France, and Luxembourg on December 16, 1944, and ended on January 25, 1945.

The battle was a last-ditch effort by the Germans to split the Allied forces in Western Europe and capture the Belgian port of Antwerp, which would have given them an important advantage in the war. The Germans hoped that by catching the Allies off guard, they could gain a decisive victory and turn the tide of the war in their favor.

The Germans were successful in achieving total surprise and initially made significant gains, but the Allies were able to regroup and counterattack. The battle was fiercely fought on both sides and resulted in heavy casualties.

The Battle of the Bulge was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of World War II, with an estimated total of around 100,000 German and 85,000 Allied casualties. It was also one of the coldest winters on record, with temperatures dropping as low as -4°F (-20°C). This made the fighting conditions even more difficult for both sides, as they had to contend with the extreme cold and the treacherous terrain of the Ardennes forest.

The battle was a turning point in the war, as it marked the beginning of the end for the Germans.

The Germans were led by Field Marshals Gerd von Rundstedt and Walther Model, while the Allies were commanded by Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bernard Montgomery, and Omar Bradley.

One of the key factors that contributed to the Allied victory was the use of tactical air power. The Allies had a significant advantage in the air, and they were able to launch air strikes against the German positions and supply lines. This helped to disrupt the German offensive and gave the Allies the upper hand.

Overall, the Battle of the Bulge was a major turning point in World War II and a decisive victory for the Allies. It was a costly and bloody battle, but it ultimately helped to bring an end to the war and bring peace to Europe.