Battle of the Bulge.....

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    What would have happened if the German forces had succeeded in all its military objectives during the battle of the Bulge...? Where would they've gone from there and what would the allied have done?
     
  2. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I think the same overall result would have happened. If the Germans had succeeded in the BoB, I think somewhere down the line they still would have been defeated as they were short on almost everything needed it seems to conduct a war, gas, ammo, machinery, etc. I think a victory in the BoB would just have postponed the inevitable.
     
  3. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I agree Messy.
    The Bulge nearly did succeed even naval personel from Antwerp were being deployed in defensive positions on the ground so the threat of a break through was very real but it would have ran out of steam at some point just through lack of logistics.
     
  4. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    That's along the lines I was thinking of. It took almost all the equipment, fuel, and ammo Germany had left to just get troops and mcahines supplied to start the attack, much less what to do afterwards if the succeeded. I believe Hitler was even going as far as counting on capturing allied fuel dumps to re-supply his troops. How far did he expect to get after that ran out.

    Eisenhower was all to ready to engage the Germans at this point. He looked at the BoB as a opportunity to finally get the Germans out in the open and confront them head on. I do not think a initial victory would have done anything, just pushed things off for a few days or a few weeks.
     
  5. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The offensive was doomed once the weather cleared and the tactical airforces went on the attack.
     
  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    This is also in the "plans"...they got a hold of that fuel that the allied had stocked up..
     
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Thats why I thought Operation Bodenplatte should been in conjunction with the ground forces during the early phase. Might have given the breather to make Antwerp.
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Nope.

    The allies had such a vast advantage in aircraft and aircrews, the LW could only hope to stage a single large harrasing raid once, before they were wiped out.

    The Germans had no staying power in the air and on the ground.
     
  9. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    I never understood that plan until today. Relying solely on the capture of allied fuel and supply depots in order to reach Antwerp and entrap the allied armies. :crazy: :drinking:

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  10. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    If I recall correctly, Hitler never intended on making this a grand and glorious comeback for the German army. He never intended on a sustained offensive. He merely wanted to capture Antwerp, a major supply port (giving him a temporary boost in materiel), and to divide the Allies. I'd have to go look again, but he hit the Allies in the perfect spot for his plan....the Ardenne lines were thinly held by recovering/new divisions, and he hit the line between the British and American armies. He hoped to drive a wedge between the Allies, causing both Brits and Yanks to start squabbling amongst themselves blaming the other for the German breach, which would then (hopefully) allow Germany alot more maneuvering room when he sued for peace. He was simply looking for a cessation of fighting on the Western front, so he could concentrate more troops and material over on the Eastern front to stop the Russians. Looking at it from Hitler's point of view....its actually one of his saner/more brilliant ideas, and might've worked if the Allies hadn't banded together sooner than he thought, put up more resistance than he thought, and if he'd had more resources than he thought he did.
     
  11. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    I agree with you. I view the BOB as absolutely essential though.
     
  12. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Maybe true Rabid, but that's a LOT of "if's". If your military decisions are planned with "if's", your doomed.
     
  13. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Could they and should they have done some things differently? If so what should they have done instead?
     
  14. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    The only thing they should have done differently, IMO, is not attack England and take care of the Eastern front first.

    But as for this battle, nothing. If what Rabid said is true, about Hitler just wanting to capture Antwerp and just be a pain in the a$$ to the allies, he would have had to pull supplies from the east and that would have been fatal even faster. The Battle of the Bulge was just a desperate act by a doomed regime and while it was momentarily successful, it was a failure.

    All those supplies would have been better served as a defense around Berlin.
     
  15. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    True. But I don't think he pulled troops from the Eastern Front. He wanted to take them from the Western front and move them East, thus the hope that he could put the Brits and Americans into a holding pattern at the conference table. That was his plan. He used units that were stationed around Berlin and the outlying areas (not completely stripping his defenses, but thinning them considerably), he conscripted boys ages 14-ish and up, as well as old men into their 60s and men who were previously "exempt" from military service for physical reasons. I dunno if he pulled any troops from the Italian Front, but I'm wanting to say he did. It was a gambit, and might have worked, had he considered that the British and Americans were true allies, with a stronger bond to each other than the Germans and the Italians shared. In my opinion, Hitler looked at the trust he had towards the Italians, and assumed that all alliances were as shaky. He couldn't've succeeded in dividing the Allies with each side trying to blame the other for the breakthrough...all the Allies would've done would be to assign areas for various groups to attack, cutting off the pocket and pushing the Germans back. Which is what we did.

    If Hitler had held off from attacking the Russians until he had Britian under control, the outcome would have been a whole lot different. His first fatal mistake was trying to fight two different nations on three different fronts. He divided his forces too thin. They had excellent equipment and sufficient manpower, but when split up, he weakened his armed forces to the point that they were (relatively speaking) easier to overcome. Imagine how hard breaking the Atlantic Wall would've been if Rommel would've had most of the Western Front forces/supplies/material available to him. Or how fast Rommel would've been able to roll over N. Africa with the same support behind him.

    As far as the Battle of the Bulge, and Hitler's tactics in general, I've noticed that they are technically brillian, although thoroughly riddled with "if"'s. The biggest problem with Hitler's strategies was Hitler himself. He relied too much on the "if" factors, continuing to hold on to the Nazi superman myth far beyond the point where the Russians and the British soundly proved him wrong at Stalingrad and in the skies over England. Once you realize that the big bad wolf growling in the bushes is nothing more than a starving mangy mutt, your outlook changes, and if the starving mangy mutt doesn't realize that, he's gonna get his butt kicked rather quickly.

    So, yes, there's alot of "if" in there. But Hitler wasn't sane, either. I just thank God that he did rely on the "if", and not on his generals.
     
  16. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    I'd would of said to the German high command - "Wachs auf !" you freaking tards, now that you are on the coast now what ? you are bloody surrounded and you're going to have to fight out of the Cauldron ............. AGAIN
     
  17. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    :lol:
     
  18. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    It sure was a waste of machine, and many men died for no apparent gain at all.
     
  19. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Couldn't have said it better myself. My old man was there, described it the same way.

    TO
     
  20. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    I reckon they had to try it. I think it was essentially a good stratergy, Remember the Germans had almost no avaliable airpower at this stage. Sure, perhaps it would have been better to use the resources in the defence of Germany, but if they could capture some ground and put some pressure back on the allies, it gave them greater flexibility to do so, could draw the war out longer, as the Allies would need to prepare another offensive and could give the Germans better cards when it came to sueing for peace.
     
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