At 5:35am on December 16th 1944, the predawn hush
of the Ardennes forest was shattered by 620 German
artillery pieces firing into Allied positions. An area that
had long been considered “quiet” by the Allies and
used as a place for new units to enter the line and
veteran units to rest and rearm was now awash in the
tide of a German offensive aimed at splitting American
and British forces.
With an ambitious plan to surround
and destroy several US divisions, retake the critical
supply port of Antwerp, and force the Allies to sue for
peace, the Germans stormed forward to battle and their
first major objective: crossing the Meuse River.
By the end, the Ardennes Offensive, commonly called
“The Battle of The Bulge” in popular accounts, would
result in 89,000 killed, wounded, and missing for the
Allies, while Germany would lose not only 84,000
killed, wounded, and missing, but the war as well.