The Second World War is mostly remembered as the moment when countries united against the tyranny of Hitler, the most famous tyrant in Germany. Germany will attempt to occupy and dominate neighboring countries under his rule in the hope of becoming the greatest nation of all times. Around the same time, Jews suffered under the command of Hitler, and he is held responsible for millions of deaths today. Hitler was very ambitious and there were no limitations to his atrocities. He would look for possibilities that would mean more victory for him politically. In respect to this, his troops carried out a series of surprise attacks on their perceived enemies with a great victory. Higham (131) explains that by 1939, Hitler had invaded nearby countries and as the years progressed, he only saw it fit to continue. His surprise tactics made him craft out and authorize an invasion of the American, French and Britain troops that even his own army commandants thought was too ambitious. What Hitler thought would be a surprise and easy victory to weaken the allies thus regaining control over specific areas of interest would only lead to losses and victory for the Allied troops.
World War II came to be as a result of several factors some of which were the underlining principles that ended World War I. The Second World War is by far the deadliest in that it lead to millions of civilians deaths. As Higham (313) explains, WWII to some extent was fought between two sides made up of different countries, the allies, and the Axis. These great powers were divided into line with countries that were looking to dominate over others. It is because of this reason that it is argued that the war started as soon as Poland was invaded by the Germans. The Nazi army invasion and mass murder of the Jewish people paved way for the war to escalate after the U.K. and France declared war on German and called upon other great powers to do so as well. The war was fought by different countries coming together to seek to dethrone Hitler and his dictatorship rule. As countries headed to help those suffering under Hitler_x0092_s leadership, it should be noted that America was initially reluctant to go to war. It only changed its mind after a proper analysis of the situation and the need to help become eminent.
There were several battles that were fought during World War II in different parts of the world as opposing sides collided. However, the battle of bulge remains to be the largest at that time. Bruning (1) further explains that to date, this is the largest battle the American army has ever engaged in. This particular battle came to occur when German troops saw it fit to attack the allied forces at Ardennes region. At the time, it was the U.S. army who were camping at this particular area. The allied forces would retaliate thus sparking the months-long battle to occur.
The plan was to engage them in a surprise attack and since this had previously worked for the Germans. Hitler was very confident it would not fail. However, in as much as the surprise held its objective for two consecutive days, retaliation by the U.S army meant the possibility of a turnaround of events. As the last attempt by Hitler to gain a competitive advantage for his troops took shape, it was met by a resisting army who were eager to win the battle. Therefore, as the German troops fallen into the formation to take by surprise the American, Britain and French troops, it did not anticipate that there would be a strong resistance like the one they met. It was the thinking of their leader, Hitler that when they took the war to the Allied side and more so by surprise, the troops would divide and crumble thus making it easier to defeat them (Bruning 1). The unexpected resistance as such meant a battle was to take place and the win of it all calm victory. Therefore as Bruning (1) explains, the battle as part of World War II happened because of Hitler_x0092_s ambitious plan to thrust into the allied forces camping at the Ardennes forest with the hopes of weakening their strongholds to regain some form of control over the region. If this would have succeeded, the Germans would have definitely gained some advantage over the entire war.
The high points of the battle have to do with the unexpected surprise the Germans took on the U.S. army as well as the resistance they met. (U.S. Army 10.0) explains that the use of obscurants can make surprise as an offensive tactic very successful and this is what the Germans implemented. According to (McNeese 10), one key aspect of the battle was the German numbers. So great were they in numbers that they formed a bulge over the allies thus the phrase, battle of Bulge. The surprise attack meant that the once residing German army was still willing to put up a fight. Another high point is that in as much as they were successful in their initial plans, the resilience of the allies was unexpected to them. Hitler was convinced that the allies were weak and to attack them by surprise, he would be in a position to finish them off entirely (McNeese 10). However, this was never the case. Another key point of the battle was Germans inability to gain access to resources and more so fuel for their tanks and also the weather clearing up for the advantage of the allies. The fight at Bastogne was a key win for the allies who were able to hold their ground and wade off the German army thus proclaiming victory.
As mentioned above, the battle of the Bulge, ended with the allies winning as opposed to the Germans who started the battle. There are different reasons as to why this came to be but Bruning (45) points out that the most important is because of Germans_x0092_ lack of fuel. In war, there are specific resources that are important more so when to the strategy that the offense has in place. In paper, going to Ardennes to battle the allies, who were mostly from America was too ambitious reason being the German army was already retreating back to their own country.
To understand why it is the German_x0092_s failed in their offense, it is important to take into consideration the movements and techniques employees by both sides. Firstly, the main objective of the German_x0092_s was to disrupt and confuse the Allies by attacking them at their own base. It was Hitler_x0092_s plan to recapture Antwerp so that he could divide the British and American troop thus gaining some advantage over them (Mitcham 36). To achieve this, his ambitious plan meant attacking from the North, Center and South thus engulfing the troops with nowhere to run to.
According to Mitcham (72), the North would be attacked under by General Sepp Deitrich’s 6th SS Panzer Army whose main agenda was to regain control of Antwerp. The south attack was lead by General Erich Brandenberger’s 7th Army whose goal was simply to protect the fighting flanks and lastly, General Hasso von Manteuffel’s 5th Panzer Army was to cover the Center so as to take over Brussels. Furthermore, Hitler added to the technique by having an infiltrate squad dressed in American uniform to go through the Allied defense lines with ease. The point of this was to allow for them to gather as much information as possible. Due to the bad weather, the German_x0092_s plan worked so well because the Allied were not only caught by surprise but was unable to neither fight nor communicate effectively.
With the Germans advancing in their plans, the Allied_x0092_s counterattack began at the North as they did not want to loss Antwerp. To take care of this, the U.S. Third Army shifted all its attention and resources towards the North. At Bastogne, fighting got intense due to the cold weather but with the advantage that the German_x0092_s were low on ammunition, the Allied soldiers were able to retain them from further advancing. The same troops saw it necessary to ensure that they held the Germans in Meuse (Mitcham 19). This technique allowed for them to further diminish the German_x0092_s supplies and due to the weather clearing up, the fighter-bombers would know specifically where to attack.
As the Allied forces moved North and South, it was their plan to trap the German_x0092_s at the center of it all. The North side of the counterattack worked very well but the South with was under Montgomery_x0092_s command delayed in their strategy and this is how so many Germans were able to escape, leaving behind their military resources. The addition of reserves from the Allied also greatly helped them win this battle. This is because, _x0093_They exploit success, reinforce or maintain momentum, deal with enemy counterattacks, provide security, complete the destruction of enemy forces, secure deep objectives, or open the next phase of a campaign or major operation by seizing objectives beyond the defended area_x0094_ (U.S. Army 106). The German_x0092_s movements and techniques going into the battle were well thought out but Hitler never took into consideration his low fuel banks and the fact that the Allied will retaliate with greater force and equally advantaged movements and technique to win the war.
In conclusion, the Germans had no chance of winning a battle that they had started because it was too ambitious even on paper. Yes, it is true that they were successful at first but one important aspect of the war that they did not take into consideration is that of resources. When the offense chooses to go to war, it is not only their tactics that matter but their resources as well. The plan might be flawless and appear well thought out but its entire success is pegged on the resources used to implement it. If the allied army had not destroyed most of the Germans_x0092_ fuel plants, then perhaps they would have had fuel for their tanks to advance in their success. However, the allies knew exactly how important fuel was and by acknowledging that the Germans were low, they were sure to win the battle. Moreover, Hitler would have been keen enough to listen to his generals who thought the plan was too ambitious. Often or not, leaders have a vision that they want to be fulfilled irrespective of the obstacles that are being highlighted.
When we read about Hitler, it is often envisioned that he was over ambitious with his plans and he always had his way, irrespective of what his close advisors told him. It was Hitler_x0092_s weaknesses to want to be the leader of the majority but his ambition failed him greatly as this was the last attempt the Germans had in trying to win the war. There is also the importance of numbers. In as much as the Germans came in great numbers, the allied army also responded in great numbers. There is no thinking of what would have happened if the reserved allied army did not heed to the call for help. The battle of the bulge will always be remembered as the largest that the U.S. army has ever been involved in. However, it is also a key event in military action that teaches of strategic planning as aligned to great wisdom and decision making. Most definitely it was a remarkable attempt by the Germans but they failed due to poor resource bank and natural aspects, more so weather.
Bruning, John. The Battle of the Bulge: The Photographic History of an American Triumph. U.K. Voyageur Press, 2011. Print
Higham, Robin. World War II in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, with General Sources: A Handbook of Literature and Research. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997. Print
McNeese, Tim. Battle of the Bulge. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2003. Print
Mitcham, Samuel. Panzers in Winter: Hitler’s Army and the Battle of the Bulge. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2007. Print
U.S. Army. Army Training Publication (ATP) 3-21.8: Infantry Platoon and Squad. 2016