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Contribution of Individual NCOs to Mission Accomplishments or Battlefield Successes, in the Battle of the Bulge

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[Technical Report, Research Paper]

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The time frame was 16 December 1944 25 January 1945 in the Ardennes, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. The Germans at the start of the battle were equipped with about 200,000 soldiers, 5 Armored Divisions, just over 12 Infantry Divisions, and about 500 medium tanks, and 1900 artillery guns. The allied forces were equipped with about 83,000 soldiers, 242 Sherman tanks, 182 tank destroyers, and 394 pieces of Corps and Divisional artillery pieces. The main focusgoal in the Germany plan of operation was to split the British and American allied line in half, and the successful capture of Antwerp and Belgium. After the capture of these two towns, the plan was to encircle and destroy four allied armies, forcing the allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers favor. The attack was planned in total secrecy, in almost total radio silence. Even, ULTRA, the allies reading ability of secret German radio messages, revealed nothing about the upcoming buildup and offensive. The degree of surprise achieved was compounded by the allies over confidence they were preoccupied with their own offensive plan. Allied intelligence failed completely to detect the upcoming offensive almost complete surprise against a weak section of the allies line was achieved during heavy overcast weather, when the allies strong air forces would be grounded. With the allied forces rapid movement toward Germany the supply channels were unable to sustain resupplyment needs. The French railroad was extensively destroyed during the invasion of D-Day. The port of Antwerp, Belgium was captured fully intact by the Allis on the first days after September 1944, but it could not be made operational until 28 November when the Scheldt, which gives access to the port, had been cleared from German control.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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[A, Approved For Public Release]