Ryan Horvath

The Battle Of the Bulge

I’m sick of fighting this battle, if it was up to me Hitler would be dead already. I would have never let him get close to victory. It was the winter of 1944 and this was the final battle they called it. They said that Hitler was making a last attempt to split the Allies. I think that this was a last ditch attempt by the Nazis in their drive towards Germany and destroy their ability to supply themselves. “If we shut him down here at this battle of the bulge we win men we will take out the Nazis for good.” The captain tried to pump us up like he has done many times before. I looked at my mud and snow covered boots while he talked, I have heard this speech for the third time and it wasn’t true the other two times why would it be true now?
It was now December 16th 1944, bullets finally started flying and Hitler had found out that us, the alliance between Britain and France as well as my Home country America, are not the strongest force of army in Eroupe. He figured that if he came to the western sector of Europe, where the weakest army was, and had a full on strong attack he could break up the alliance. So, on this opinion he ordered a massive attack against my sector, which are primarily American forces. They are calling this the battle of the Bulge. I think they are calling it that because as the attack is strictly known as the Ardennes offensive but the initial attack which is by the Germans created a bulge in the allied front line. When they attacked the Bulge a lot of men died. Good men that should still be living, my friend Steve was the first to die. Captain always said “Close enough is never good enough unless you’re playing horse shoes or tossing a hand grenade.” I guess he was right.
Hitler’s plan was obvious to everyone. He was planning to launch a massive attack using three armies, which were pretty much the only men he had left. In his mind this would destroy half of the allied army giving him equipment and he would take the huge port of Antwerp through which a lot more supplies could be obtained by him. The plan was the sixth Panzer Army, led by Dietrich, was to lead the attack and capture the port of Antwerp. The fifth arm was to attack the centre of the American forces and capture the strategic road and rail centre of St Vith and then move down to Brussels. The seventh army was to attack in the southern part. As designated by Hitler to create a buffer zone to prevent American reinforcements from attacking the Fifth Panzer Army. Thinking he was smart, Hitler kept the Fifteenth Army to be held in reserve to counter any Allied attack when a problem in the plan occurred. Hitler believed that his forces would be able to surround and cut off Canada’s First Army, America’s First and Ninth Armies and Britain’s Second Army. On paper, it was a seemingly absurd plan – especially as Germany had been in retreat since D-Day, her military was depleted of supplies and was facing the awesome might of the Allies. However, Hitler, as commander-in-chief of the military, decreed that the attack should take place. The battle started with a two hour bombardment of the Allies lines that was followed by a huge armored attack with the majority of the German armored might based at the Schnee Eifel. At this time we would not know what was happening. We were startled by this attack and how many men we encountered. This lead to a great amount of losses and the loss of my right leg, I still was on the ground wounded but taking out as many Germans as possible, it’s a surprise how many people do not look down in war, I don’t think anyone saw me lying on the ground.
Another reason we lost so many was because English speaking German soldiers dressed in the uniforms of Americans and went behind the lines of the allies. Once behind the lines they just began shooting at everyone and everything. I don’t want to sound like a complainer but the weather was in Hitler’s favor. Low cloud and fog meant that our air force could do nothing to help us. This was a problem because when we encountered German tanks we could not destroy them with the USAAF which would be dropped by air. Because of the winter months the ground was very solid allowing Hitler to ride his tanks right up to the front lines.
The success of the Germans did not last very long, it was about two days before they started running out of supplies and fuel to maintain this powerful attack. Because all of his sources were gone he could not re up on ammo and gas. This would lead Germany to the ultimate down fall. It was about December 22nd and the weather cleared, this aloud our air force to bomb the remaining German forces and get rid of the powerful tanks. But on Christmas Eve we experienced something terrible, the first ever attack by jet bombers. 16 German planes attacked the rail yards in an attempt to upset the ability of the allied armies to get more supplies. This was a useless attack because they needed the supplies that we were receiving and by bombing it they destroyed gas they needed for their tanks.
The Battle of the Bulge was the largest battle fought by the Americans in World War Two. 600,000 American troops were involved in the battle. The Americans lost 81,000 men while the Germans lost 100,000 killed, wounded and captured. This is one fight that will be in history forever, I was there at the front line saving not only my country but the world from Hitler. The men who died will never be forgotten and the men who lived will be praised with love from home. I guess Captain was right “Almost is only good with horse shoes and hand grenades.”

Gerald Astor, A Blood-Dimmed Tide: The Battle of the Bulge by the Men who Fought it
New York: Donald I. Fine, Inc. 1992

Trevor N. Dupuy, David L. Bongard, and Richard C. Anderson, Jr., Hitler’s Last Gamble: The
Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945, New York: Harper Collins Publisher,

Hugh Cole, The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge, (U.S. Army in World War II), Washington, DC:
Office of the Chief of Military History, United States Army, 1965