«BATTLEBOOK Commanding General, United States Army, Europe Senior Leader Staff Ride The Battle of the Bulge Contents The Am erican Soldier SSG Joseph ...»
United States Army,
Senior Leader Staff Ride
of the Bulge
The Am erican Soldier
SSG Joseph Arnaldo, New Bedford, M ass.,
I nfantry squad leader, com es off the line
after 10 days in the Ardennes, 30 Decem ber 1944
(from “A Tim e for Trum pets”, Charles B. M acDonald)
World War II & Battle of the Bulge Chronologies..................TAB A
World War II Allied Conferences
Allied Command Architecture & Order of Battle
The U.S. Army in December 1944
Biographical Sketches – Senior Allied Commanders...........TAB E German Command Architecture & Order of Battle................TAB F The German Army in December 1944
Biographical Sketches – Senior German Commanders.......TAB H Comparative Military Officers’ Ranks
The Defense of Bastogne
Casualties, Medical Statistics & Battle Losses……………...TAB L Suggestions for Further Reading...……………………………TAB M Glossary
Code Names………………………………………………………..TAB O Tab A World War II & Battle of the Bulge Chronologies “But w ar is a ruthless taskm aster, dem anding success regardless of confusion, shortness of tim e, and paucity of tools. Ex act justice for the individual and a careful consideration of his rights is im possible.
One m an sacrifices his life on the battlefield and another sacrifices his reputation elsew here, both in the sam e cause. The hurly burly of the conflict does not perm it com m anders to draw fine distinctions. To succeed, they m ust dem and results, close their ears to ex cuses, and drive subordinates beyond w hat w ould ordinarily be considered the lim it of hum an capacity. W ars are w on by the side that accom plishes the im possible. Battles are decided in favor of troops w hose bravery, fortitude, and especially,
w hose endurance surpasses that of the enem y’s:
the arm y w ith the higher breaking point w ins.” General George Marshall World War II Chronology Date Global Events Wester
Battle of the Bulge Chronology
• June 6 - OPERATION OVERLORD, Allied forces invade French coast in Normandy.
• July 3 - Field Marshall Günther von Kluge replaces Gerd von Rundstedt as CINC-West.
• July 25 - Operation Cobra, US First Army breaks out of coastal enclave.
• August 1 - HQ, 12th Army Group activated, LTG Bradley commander; LTG Hodges assumes command US First Army, (V, VII & XIX Corps); US Third Army activated, LTG Patton commander, (VIII, XII, XX, & XV Corps).
• August 15 - US Seventh Army, LTG Patch (US VI, French I and II Corps; later US XV Corps) lands in southern France in Operation Anvil-Dragoon.
• 17 August - Field Marshall Model replaces von Kluge as Commander OB West.
• 31 August - HQ 6th Army Group LTG Devers, comes ashore and takes command in southern France. First French Arm, GEN de Lattre de Tassigny, assumes command of I & II Fr Corps.
• 1 September - GEN Eisenhower (SHAEF) assumes direct command of 12th Army Group from GEN Montgomery.
• 1 September – Field Marshall von Runstedt reappointed CINC West.
• 9 September - HQ, US Ninth Army, LTG Simpson, activated. VIII Corps assigned with mission to secure Brittany Peninsula and port of Brest.
• 10 September - US Seventh Army makes contact with US Third Army. GEN Bradley orders attack on 14 Sept thru West Wall: First Army seize crossing over the Rhine Cologne-Bonn-Coblenz; Third Army at Mannheim. Plans are aborted because of supply difficulties. V Corps arrives line Regné-Bastogne-Longvilly-Wiltz-Selagne-Arlon-Luxemburg City.
• 11 September - Recon patrol of 5th AD makes first entry into Germany.
• 12 September - V Corps’ 4th ID takes St. Vith. 28th ID crosses Our River and takes Sevenig and positions west of Grosskampengerg.
• 16 September - Hitler makes initial decision to conduct counteroffensive, directs planning to begin with 1 November as attack date.
• 17 September - Operations Market and Garden begin; goal is to secure axis across the Rhine River. 4th ID V Corps attempts to take Schnee Eifel and Brandscheid.
• 19 September – 4th ID repels German counterattack, gets onto Schnee Eifel.
• 22 September - Supply difficulties force GEN Eisenhower to make Antwerp principle objective for Allied Forces. All other attacks are limited.
• 26 September - US Ninth Army assigned sector on south of First Army, VIII Corps begins movement from Brest.
• 4 October - VIII Corps takes relives V Corps in Ardennes. V Corps shifts left towards Monshau-Losheim.
• 6 October - MG Gerow returns from testifying in Washington, resumes command V Corps.
• 15 October – Newly arrived 9th AD is assigned to VIII for training.
• 18 October - GEN Eisenhower issues plan for offensive. 21st Army group priority is open Antwerp. 12th Army group is to cross Rhine vic Cologne between 1-5 November.
• 21 October - GEN Bradley orders US First and Ninth Armies attack 5 November; US Third Army attack 10 November.
Aachen surrenders to First Army.
• 22 October - US Ninth Army reassigned sector north of US First Army with XIX Corps.
• 2 November – US First Army begins new offensive in Hürtgen.
• 9 November - Third Army begins major attack towards Sarre.
• 13 November – 82d A/BD is relieved in Holland and moves to reserve and reconstitute.
• 14 November - 8th ID begins replace 28th ID in Hürtgen; starts move to VIII Sector to reconstitute.
• 16 November - First and Ninth Armies open Operation Queen to close to Rhine River.
• 19 November - 8th ID completes relief of 28th ID.
• 27 November - 101 A/BD is relieved in Holland and reverts to reserve for reconstitution.
• 28 November - Antwerp begins operations as major source of supplies for Allied Armies.
• 3 December – 83d ID from VIII sector begins relief of 4th ID in Hürtgen, moves to VIII to reconstitute.
• 11 December – 106th ID, with 14th Cav Gp attached, relieve 2d ID in Ardennes.
• 13 December - V Corps’ 2d ID, 78th ID, and 99th ID attack to take Roer and Urft Dams. US Third Army begins assault over Sarre Rive at Sarrelautern.
• 16 December - Battle of the Bulge begins with attacks by Sixth & Fifth Panzer and Seventh Armies. 2d ID continues attack towards Wahlerscheid. 78th ID repels German attack vic. Rollesbrioch, unable take Kesternach. 99th ID holds in north but is forced back in south. 106th ID & 28th ID, attacked and forced back. 4th ID, and 9th AD attacked but generally hold. CCB 9th AD attached 106th ID to assist at St. Vith. 1st ID released by VII Corps; 10th AD released by XX Corps.
• 17 December - 82 A/BD and 101 A/BD released from SHAEF Reserve and ordered to Ardennes. Ninth Army releases 7th AD to VIII Corps and 30th ID to V Corps. 9th ID (VII) releases 47th IR to V Corps, moves to Eupen. 26th IR (1st ID) attached to 99th ID. 14th Cav Gp falls back on VIII north flank. 422d and 423th IR’s (106th ID) isolated on Schnee Eifel. 277th VGD and 12th SS Pz (1SS Pz Korps) fail to penetrate to Elsenborn. 3d Para and 1st SS Pz breaks thru along Rollbahn D to Honsfeld & Bullingen, turn SW. 18th VGD attacks N and S around Schnee Eifel. Elements of 7th AD and 9th AD committed defense of St. Vith. 28th ID falls back slowly as LVIII SS and XLVII Pz Korps push towards Skyline Drive. CCR, 9th AD released by VII Corps to block Bastogne-Trois Vierges road. 4th ID stops LXXX and LIII Korps’ attacks vic. Osweiler and Dickweiler. 10th AD elements arrive Luxembourg City.
• 18 December - VII extends south taking over part of V Corps sector, takes control of 8th ID and 78th ID; releases CCA 3d AD and 9th ID to V Corps. V Corps works to stabilize line Monshau-Buetgenbach-Malmedy-Stavelot; holds at Butgenback and Elsenborn, but 1st SS Pz penetrates south of Buetgenbach and Waimes. 26th IR reverts to 1st ID with mission to hold Buetgenbach to Waimes. 99th ID attached to Cdr, 2d ID. 30th ID recovers most of Stavelot, organizes defense of Malmedy-Stavelot. 422d IR and 423d IR (106th ID) attempt breakout from Schnee Eifel. 7th AD unable assist as engaged defending St. Vith. 28th ID disorganization nearly complete. 2 Pz Div and Pz Lehr smash almost to Bastogne-St Vith road thru CCR 9th AD. 4th ID and 10th AD south of breakthrough put under US Third Army. CCB 10th AD remains with VIII to defend Bastogne.
• 19 December - Allied commanders conferring at Verdun decide to halt offensives toward the Rhine and concentrate on reducing enemy salient in the Ardennes. Because of Ardennes counter-offensive, Field Marshal Montgomery orders XXX Corps, to assemble in Louvain-St Trond-Hasselt region to hold Meuse R line. US Ninth Army is ordered to go on the defensive. In US First Army area, VII Corps remains generally in place. In V Corps area, 2d and 99th IDs repel further attacks and start towards new defensive positions from which they will defend Elsenborn ridge. 9th ID (-47th IR, which is already in corps zone, and 60th IR) takes up defensive positions in 2d ID zone, relieving elements of 2d and 99th IDs. 1st ID holds line E of Malmedy. CCA, 3d AD, relieves 18th IR, 1st ID, of defense of Eupen. 30th ID holds at Stavelot and engineers blow bridge across the Ambleve R there; keeps enemy from Stoumont in costly battle. CCB, 3d AD, is attached to corps to assist 30th ID. XVIII Corps (A/B) takes responsibility for region generally S of the Ambleve R, including Houffalize, key road center between St Vith and Bastogne, with mission of holding N Bank of enemy. 82d A/BD closing at Werbomont relieves 30th ID troops in that region. 3d AD, less CCA and CCB, passes to corps control and starts toward Hotton-Le Grand Pre area. In VIII Corps area, hope of relieving beleaguered 422d and 423d IRs of I06th ID in the Schnee Eifel fades. 7th and 9th ADs are aggressively defending region just E of St Vith. 112th IR, 28th ID, is attached to I06th ID. 28th ID is ordered to abandon Wiltz and return to friendly lines by infiltration; withdraw from Diekirch area. 101st A/BD arrives at Bastogne, which enemy has almost encircled. Also employed in defense of Bastogne area are CCB of 10th AD and remnants of CCR, 9th AD, the latter coming under control of 101st A/BD. US Third Army forms provisional corps from former First Army units S of the Ardennes salient, 4th ID and 10th AD (-CCB);
the corps is to hold enemy on S Bank of the penetration and plug gap existing between it and elements of 9th AD and 28th ID near Ettelbruck. XX Corps begins withdrawal from hard-won positions E the Sarre. III Corps is ordered N for attack against S flank of enemy in the “bulge”. In XII Corps area, 35th ID halts attack to consolidate in preparation for relief. 4th AD and 80th ID are being transferred to III Corps.
• 20 December - 21st Army Group takes operational control of US forces N of Ardennes breakthrough, US Ninth and First Armies. In US Ninth Army's XIII Corps area, 84th ID is attached to First Army and starts to Marché (Belgium).
102d ID takes responsibility for corps front. In XIX Corps area, 29th ID takes over defense of corps front. 2d AD is released as army reserve. In US First Army area, 2d and 99th IDs complete withdrawal to new defensive positions before Elsenborne Ridge and organize secondary defense lines. 277th and 12th SS Pz make slight penetration in line of 99th ID W of Wirtzfeld but are sealed off and destroyed. 1st ID clears assigned region S of Eupen and contains attacks in Buetgenbach-Faymonville area. 9th ID takes over new zone on N Bank of corps. 30th ID, in Malmedy-Stavelot sector, is attached to XVIII Corps. In XVIII Corps (A/B) area, CCB of 3d AD, is attached to 30th ID and assists in attack on La Gleize and Stoumont, which enemy defends effectively. Elements of 30th ID continue to defend Stavelot and Malmedy.
3d AD (-CCA and CCB), upon closing in Hotton area, attacks eastward to secure Manhay-Houffalize road. 82d A/BD is attempting to establish contact with friendly forces in Vielsalm-St Vith area, pushing toward Vielsalm and Hebronval. VIII Corps units defending St Vith (7th AD, 106th ID, CCB of 9th AD, and 112th IR of 28th ID) pass to control of XVIII Corps.
Enemy pressure on St Vith is undiminished. Elements of 10th AD, 101st A/BD, and 705th TD Bn fight their way out of local encirclement on perimeter of larger encirclement of Bastogne area. 101st A/BD extends defensive line to W and SW of Bastogne, assisted by remnants of CCR, 9th AD, and CCB, 10th Armd Div, both of which are later attached to it, along with 705th TD Bn and stragglers from other units. Marvie, SE of Bastogne, is cleared in course of tank battle. 25 miles SE of Bastogne, 109th IR of 28th ID establishes defensive line Ettelbruck-Oberfeulen-Merzig and also has forces near Ermsdorf backing up CCA of 9th AD, to which it is attached. Enemy now holds Waldbillig, 6 miles W of Echternach. SW of Bastogne, 28th ID HQ and remnants of 110th IR block Neufchateau-Bastogne highway. In effort to halt enemy, engineers block roads and demolish bridges as far W of Bastogne as St Hubert. During day, operational control of corps passes to Third Army. In US Third Army area, III Corps moves its HQ from Metz to Arlon (Belgium), and 4th AD and 26th and 80th IDs are assembling in Arlon-Luxembourg area. Elements of CCB, 4th AD, push to Bastogne area and make contact with 101st A/BD and 10th ADs are temporarily attached to VIII Corps. 80th ID takes up reserve battle positions on heights N and NE of Mersch. In Prov Corps area, LTG Patton strengthens corps by attaching 5th ID, CCA of 9th AD, and I09th IR of 28th ID. CCA, 9th AD is further attached to 10th AD. CCA, 10th AD, withdraws to assembly area as 4th ID moves up to take over its positions near Echternach. Tanks assist 12th IR of 4th ID in futile effort to relieve isolated infantry in Echternach.
• 21 December -US Ninth Army is reinf by Br 51st ID as its zone expands. XIX Corps releases 2d AD to First Army;