Battle of the Bulge...

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Aug 21, 2006
In my castle....
How do you think the Allied and the Axis in the Ardennes offensive would have been affected if the weather hadn't changed on the 23rd of December? What if the weather had stayed cold, windy and with heavy snow over Christmas AND New Year? Luftwaffe wouldn't have been able to launch its Operation Bodenplatte and the Allied wouldn't have had any fighter cover. Who would have the advantage of bad weather?

Germans still have fuel problems. Allies don't get their tactical air into play around Christmas, ends up getting into it later. After Jan 1.

-Bastone may fall.
-3rd Army is stopped.
-German Armor makes it to the Meuse.

-XXX Corp is waiting at the Meuse and stops the Germans. Germans at the end of a long supply line. XXX Corp sitting on top of their Supply Depot.
-Shoulders hold. No expansion of the Bulge, American Army does not collapse, holds ground between Dec 25th and Jan 1 (or at least slows German Army to crawl- caused as much by German traffic and supply problems as by American action)
-Operation Bodenplatte is a failure. No change.

-Casualty list are longer. Conditions favor Germans longer than before.
-Germans are stopped at Meuse by Brits/Amer force.
-British casualties are larger.

On a somewhat related topic, and something that always bothered me, what happens if Eisenhower accepts Patton's Plan to make a counter-offensive into the rear of the German advance? Does the German Army get cut off and surrounded 4 months earlier than the Colmar Pocket Battle? Can Montgomery get it together fast enough to make it down to meet Patton's thrust from the South (think of Falaise here)?

I think Eisenhower went with a frontal attack as apposed to a slashing attack because he wanted to fight a war of attrition that he knew the Germans could not win. He wanted to fight a war of machines, relying on Allied firepower. He also wanted to make sure that the Germans knew they had been defeated totally and there was no "stab in the back" myth that grew out of another battle.
Tim has it right in his first sentance. 1st SS under silly boy Peiper was desperate and at all costs to grab fuels............ans so it was for the rest of the Wehrmacht and the futile attacks it pursued. Weather or not and the Luftwaffe sure did not help except to nearly destroy itself in the crap attempt at plastering Allied airfields, time was not on the Germans side and they would of run out of steam whcih of course they did
"Hell, let's have the guts to let the bastards go all the way to Paris. Then, we'll really cut 'em off and chew 'em up."

Always bugged me. Could we have done it? One of the points about the Battle of the Bulge was the Germans were out in the open. No Siegfried line, no Hurtgen Forrest, the tanks, men and material were out and trying offensive warfare in horrible weather. It was a very desperate gamble, and, IMHO, we really didn't take advantage of it.

While the German axis of advance was across the Ardennes, Third Army's axis would've been closer to along the ridge lines (The Brits, attacking southwest- if they could get Monty to do it- would face the same types of problems as the Germans). Supply problems were no-existent, the weather did clear and the possibility was there. Think Ike made the right call (why risk it when you have a guaranteed victory out there) but what if the German Gamble was countered with an American Gamble.
What I don't understand is that almost all German AFVs used diesel fuel (I think), but it was in the German plan to capture Allied Fuel depots, but didn.t the Allies use petrol?
I think the weather staying the same wouldn't have impacted the final outcome of the battle. We may have lost more ground and bastogne, but I don't think the Germans had the logistics to carry on farther.

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