With German forces on the run following the Allied success at Normandy and the breakout and pursuit across France, Allied forces were staged to enter Germany in late summer 1944. Both Field Marshal Montgomery and General Bradley clamored to be given the priority of effort. General Eisenhower chose Montgomery’s Operation MARKET GARDEN as the plan for action. It called for airborne forces to open the route for a ground force to move more than sixty miles up a single road, ending up north of the Rhine River near Arnhem, Netherlands. By accomplishing this task, the German Ruhr industrial heartland would be within easy grasp. But the operation failed. The ground force
George Patton was a senior officer and commander of the U.S. Seventh Army during World War II. One of the pioneers in tank warfare, Patton became best known as the most effective general of World War II. Patton led American forces to significant victories on the fronts of North Africa, Sicily, and Europe. Before the European invasion, Patton, along with a major build-up of Allied forces was covertly preparing for the first assaults on German occupied Normandy, France. General Patton’s speech to the Third Army was given on June 5, 1944, in the United Kingdom on the eve of the Allied invasion of Europe (National Endowment for the Humanities, n.a.). This famous speech was given to the soldiers under his command. The speech was delivered as a motivational device by Patton in order to inspire and solidify his men for upcoming challenges.
During the War Eisenhower and his staff felt this spot was the least likely to be attacked. The thought the Germans would not try any thing through the narrow passageway. The Germans wanted the opposite of what the Americans wanted to do. As stated above the Allied troops were 'resting' and reforming; they consisted of General Simpson's 9th Army and General Hodges 1st US Army in the north and General Patton's 3rd Army to the south. The Ardennes was held by General Middleton who had the 8th US Army Corps, 106th and 26th Infantry Divisions and 4th and 9th Armored Divisions.
“The battle [is also] known by different names. The Germans [called it] ‘Operation Watch on the Rhine’, while the French [called] it ‘Battle of the Ardennes’. [American and Britain] called it the Ardennes Counteroffensive.” The main goal for the Germans for this offensive was to split the British and American forces in half and capture the port city of Antwerp. This would “cause an encirclement of four allied armies and [force] a peace negotiation” (Cirillo). The Germans almost had complete surprise when the offensive was launched on “December 16th, 1944, at 05:30” and the offensive start with “an artillery barrage of over 1,600 artillery pieces.” The assault took place across an “80 mile front [that] the 6th Panzer Army had to cover” (Quarrie 1). “The attack was led by one of the best equipped German divisions on the western front, the 1st SS Panzer Division.” This was the lead unit for the 6th Panzer Army and was the lead division for the assault. The 26th Infantry was covering the part of the front where the push started. They were caught completely by surprise. “Equipped with only 32 M4 tanks, 57 anti-tank guns and thousands of battle-weary men” (MacDonald 1). The initial assault went well for the Germans and they break through the thinly defended American lines. Just “20 hours in [from the start of the assault] German forces are just 55 miles out from their objective”. By this time the casualty rate is below from what the
The Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was a war between the Allies and Germany from July 31 1917 to November 6 1917. The Allied powers in this battle included France, Great Britain and Canada. The purpose of this battle was to get Germany’s attention off of France, to avoid a collapse of the western front in Belgium, undertaken by Britain. At the same time of helping France, this battle would gain the ridges South and East of Ypres for the allies. This battle was fought at Passchendaele, a town along the Western Front, 5 miles from Ypres. The location of this battle, chosen by Sir Douglas Haig, a British field marshall. This was a horrible location because of the fact that it was marshy and low lying, surrounded by hills with trees, which made a battlefield with poor drainage and hills where German artillery could watch the battlefield
The Battle of Wanat is widely recognized as one of the most organized attacks against U.S forces in the Afghanistan war. This battle produced the most casualties on the American side since the start of the war in 2001. Nine United States soldiers were killed and 27 were wounded; however, between 21- 51 Taliban forces were claimed to have been killed. The Taliban forces knew where to attack the U.S. forces base and focus most of their fire power on the base weak spots. As for the United States, the biggest target was their most casualty producing weapons: a U.S. mortar tube and 50 Cal machine guns. The American forces also put the patrol base in an area that was hard to defend with many blind spots. The Taliban forces outnumbered U.S. forces vastly, attacking with about 300-400 Taliban soldiers to only 45
This was to be a joint operation between British, French and American forces. Though it was not the actual boundaries, the Meuse River and the Argonne Forrest restricted much of the U.S. 1st Army’s maneuverability between them. This area was comprised of a very dense and thick vegetation with few roads for heavy equipment and supplies to flow forth once the offensive began; therefore this was to be used to the Allied Powers advantage. The Germans would be attacked all along the front from British, French, and American forces simultaneously.
In the first week of April, we were ordered to move sectors. We moved from our quiet sector, near Fluerbaix, on the French-Belgian border to the Ypres Salient. The Ypres Salient was a bulge in the allied line on the Flanders plain,
Patton and his 3rd Army are currently conducting a successful campaign on the border of France and Germany in the Saar River Valley, one hundred miles south of Bastogne. In reserves for 3rd Army is the 10th Armored Division. Realizing the seriousness of the attack on 16 December, Eisenhower
Hitler’s Watch on the Rheine offensive depended on his three armies, the Fifth Panzer Army in the north, the Sixth Panzer Army in the center and the 7th Army in the south. The German War Machine included 400,000 troops, 1,400 tanks, 2,600 artillery pieces and 1,000 aircraft in comparison to the thin American line consisting of four American Infantry Divisions and one Armored Division totally 83,000 men and 400 tanks (Farrell 37). Despite an overwhelming Wehrmacht (German Army) and their extensive knowledge of terrain and an elaborate plan to infiltrate Allied lines through the use of espionage,
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, General George C. Marshall called him to Washington for a war plans assignment. Eisenhower impressed both the general as well as The President (Theodore Roosevelt) with his well thought out plan to focus on weakening Germany before assaulting the Japanese. Because of this, he was placed in command of the Allied Forces landing in North Africa in November 1942. On D-Day, 1944, he was Supreme Commander of the troops invading France. After heading many decisive victories for the U.S., Eisenhower accepted Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945. He returned home a national hero.
Patton was relieved of active duty until he was summoned by Eisenhower to lead the 3rd American army in the breakthrough Normandy. Eisenhower, more than anybody, knew the talents that Patton had in war; and with the 3rd American Army, Patton cut through the German lines all the way to Rennes, and then to Nantes, and then stopped at Metz for gas and munitions. Patton was always a step ahead of everyone – especially the Germans. After the push stopped, Patton was ordered to move from Saar and attack General Von Rundstedt – which was deemed impossible by others but not Patton. After Rundstedt was captured, Rundstedt gave a high praise to Patton for his
The whole war had led up to this day, especially since the plans for the invasion were being made even as early as 1942 or 1943, after the Soviet Union requested help to relieve pressure on their military in Eastern Europe following the Battle of Stalingrad, where they and Romania lost over 250,000 men combined. The thoughts of a soldier who had been fighting all throughout World War II would have probably consisted of, one, wanted to go home already, but two, thinking that nothing could be worse than what they had already experienced. They knew in their minds that they were ready for this mission, and had the plans of the military backing up their claims of definite victory. A soldier would, of course, hold their personal doubts and fright, but when counted among many fellow troops willing to fight for the same cause as their own, they can’t help but feel the collective morale of their comrades and themselves. This personal morale was only boosted by the genius work of WWII’s commanders’ skills in speech. The day before the actual attack, General Eisenhower gave his men a motivational speech they’d never forget. An excerpt from the speech: “Soldiers, sailors, and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the greatest crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.” Though General George Patton also gave his own speech that day, I won’t bore you with another quote (though Patton was far from a boring individual). Instead, you should now be able to reflect on how important morale was for the forces getting ready to siege Normandy. The Allied troops were physically and mentally prepared, while the Germans in Normandy, if anything, had lost morale as they believed there was nothing to do when stationed in that
The first troops deployed into battle were paratroopers. Over thirteen thousand U.S. paratroopers were dropped by an armada of C-47s behind German lines before dawn. Their mission was to seize bridges, disrupt communications, and prevent German soldiers from reinforcing the Normandy beaches as the Allied assault hit the coastline (Alberecht). Heavy cloud coverage made for difficult navigation and forced many of the paratroopers to jump “blind”. This resulted in them being scattered over a 100-square mile radius. Thirty-five percent of these soldiers landed at their designated drop point, while many others died when they landed in fields flooded by the Germans. Despite all of this, the remaining troops were able to secure their intended positions (Dry).