«BATTLEBOOK Commanding General, United States Army, Europe Senior Leader Staff Ride The Battle of the Bulge Contents The Am erican Soldier SSG Joseph ...»
• 15 January - In Br Second Army's 12 Corps area, in preparation for Operation BLACKCOCK-to clear triangular enemy salient between the Meuse and Roer-Wurm Rivers from Roermond southward-elements of 7th AD seize Bakenhoven (Holland) about a mile NW of Susteren as line of departure far main attack by 7th AD on left flank of corps. On US First Army's VII Corps right, 84th ID consolidates. 2d AD clears Achouffe, Mont, and Tavernaux and sends patrols to Ourthe R and into Hauffalize, which has been vacated by enemy. 3d AD attacks with CCR toward Vaux and Brisy, taking Vaux, and with CCB toward Cherain and Sterpigny. Elements of CCA are committed as reinforcements. Bn of 83d ID attacks Bavigny but is unable to take it. In XVIII Corps (A/B) area, 75th ID attacks across the Salm before dawn and seizes Salmchateau and Bech. 106th ID consolidates and clears Ennal. 30th ID takes Beaumant, Francheville, Hauvegnez, and Pont; improves positions S of Ligneuville; clears N part of Thirimant. V Corps opens offensive to clear heights between Buellingen and Ambleve and to protect left flank of XVIII Corps. 1st ID, reinf by 23d IR of 2d ID, attacks SE with 23d IR on right, 16th IR in center, and 18th IR on left; gains Steinbach, neighboring village of Remanval, and N half of Faymanville, but is held up S of Buetgenbach by heavy fire.
TAB BWorld War II Allied Conferences
“Never in history w as there a coalition like that of our enem ies, com posed of such heterogeneous elem ents w ith such divergent aim s… Even now these states are at loggerheads, and, if w e can deliver a few m ore heavy blow s, then this artificially bolstered com m on front m ay suddenly collapse w ith a gigantic clap of thunder.” Adolf Hitler (upon ordering the attack through the Ardennes) The first involvement of the United States in the wartime conferences between the Allied nations opposing the Axis powers actually occurred before the nation formally entered World War II. In August 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met secretly and devised an eight-point statement of war aims known as the Atlantic Charter, which included a pledge that the Allies would not accept territorial changes resulting from the war in Europe.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the wartime conferences focused on establishing a second front. At Casablanca in January 1943, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to fight until the Axis powers surrendered unconditionally. In a November 1943 meeting in Egypt with Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to a pre-eminent role for China in postwar Asia. The next major wartime conference included Roosevelt, Churchill, and the leader of the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin. Meeting at Tehran following the Cairo Conference, the "Big Three" secured confirmation on the launching of the cross-channel invasion and a promise from Stalin that the Soviet Union would eventually enter the war against Japan.
In 1944, conferences at Bretton Woods and Dumbarton Oaks created the framework for international cooperation in the postwar world. In February 1945, the "Big Three" met at the former Russian czar’s summer palace in the Crimea. Yalta was the most important and by far the most controversial of the wartime meetings. Recognizing the strong position that the Soviet Army possessed on the ground, Churchill and an ailing Roosevelt agreed to a number of compromises with Stalin that allowed Soviet hegemony to remain in Poland and other Eastern European countries, granted territorial concessions to the Soviet Union, and outlined punitive measures against Germany, including an occupation and reparations in principle. Stalin did guarantee that the Soviet Union would declare war on Japan within six months.
The last meeting of the "Big Three" occurred at Potsdam in July 1945, where the tension that would erupt into the cold war was evident. Despite the end of the war in Europe and the revelation of the existence of the atomic bomb to the Allies, neither President Harry Truman, Roosevelt’s successor, nor Clement Attlee, who mid-way through the conference replaced Churchill, could come to agreement with Stalin on any but the most minor issues. The most significant agreement was the issuance of the Potsdam Declaration to Japan demanding an immediate and unconditional surrender and threatening Japan with destruction if they did not comply. With the Axis forces defeated, the wartime alliance soon devolved into suspicion and bitterness on both sides.
“I t is now certain that attrition is steadily sapping the strength of Germ an forces on the w estern front and that the crust of defenses is thinner, m ore brittle, and m ore vulnerable than it appears on G2 m aps or to troops in the line.” 12th Army Group Intelligence Summary, 12 December 1944
ALLIED ORDER OF BATTLE12th U.S. Army Group (Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley) Assignment of divisions to corps and corps to armies varied throughout the war and frequently changed, even in the midst of battles. The alignment of divisions and corps shown here depicts the 12th Army Group organization as of the end of the battle in January, 1945.
First U.S. Army (Lt. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges)
V Corps (Maj. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow) 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One). Brig. Gen. Clift Andrus. The most experienced American infantry division. North Africa, Sicily, D-Day, Normandy, Aachen, and the Huertgen Forest.
2nd Infantry Division (Indianhead). Maj. Gen. Walter M. Robertson. Normandy and the attack across France and against the Roer River Dams.
5th Armored Division. Maj. Gen. Lunsford E. Oliver.
9th Infantry Division (Octofoil). Maj. Gen. Louis A. Craig. North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, and the Huertgen Forest.
78th Infantry Division (Lightning). Maj. Gen. Edwin P. Parker, Jr. Supported 2nd Infantry Division's attack on the Roer River dams, its first combat action.
99th Infantry Division (Checkerboard). Maj. Gen. Walter E. Lauer. Held a defensive front in the Ardennes since November 1944, its only action.
VII Corps (Maj. Gen. Joseph Lawton Collins) 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels). Maj. Gen. Ernest N. Harmon. North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, and around Aachen.
3rd Armored Division (Spearhead). Maj. Gen. Maurice Rose. Normandy, the pursuit across France, and costly fall battles around Aachen.
83rd Infantry Division (Thunderbolt). Maj. Gen. Robert C. Macon. Normandy, Brest, and the Huertgen Forest.
84th Infantry Division (Railsplitters). Maj. Gen. Alexander R. Bolling. First action in November 1944 around Aachen.
XVIII Airborne Corps (Maj. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway) 7th Armored Division (Lucky Seventh). Brig. Gen. Robert W. Hasbrouck. Pursuit across France, heavy fighting near Metz in September and in Holland in October.
30th Infantry Division (Old Hickory). Maj. Gen. Leland S. Hobbs. Normandy; repelled German counterattack at Mortain; and at Aachen.
75th Infantry Division. Maj. Gen. Fay B. Prickett. First action in September.
82nd Airborne Division (All American). Maj. Gen. James M. Gavin. Sicily, D-Day, Normandy, and Holland.
Third U.S. Army (Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.)
III Corps (Maj. Gen. John Millikin) 4th Armored Division. Maj. Gen. Hugh J. Gaffey. Normandy; heavy fighting in Lorraine and the drive to the Saar River.
6th Armored Division (Super Sixth). Maj. Gen. Robert W. Grow. Normandy, Brittany, and in Lorraine.
26th Infantry Division (Yankee). Maj. Gen. Willard S. Paul. Heavy combat near Verdun in September. In December, it had only recently been pulled from the line and sent into the Ardennes to absorb replacements.
35th Infantry Division (Santa Fe). Maj. Gen. Paul W. Baade. Normandy; repelled German counterattack at Mortain; Lorraine.
90th Infantry Division (Tough Ombres). Maj. Gen. James A. Van Fleet. Heavy losses in first engagements in Normandy; Metz; drive to Saar River. Two division commanders relieved.
VIII Corps (Maj. Gen. Troy H. Middleton) 9th Armored Division. Maj. Gen. John W. Leonard. Untested before the Battle of the Bulge.
11th Armored Division (Thunderbolt). Brig. Gen. Charles S. Kilburn. Untested before the Battle of the Bulge.
17th Airborne Division (Golden Talon). Maj. Gen. William M. Miley. Untested before the Battle of the Bulge.
28th Infantry Division (Keystone). Maj. Gen. Norman D. Cota. D-Day; Normandy; Siegfried Line;
heavy combat in Huertgen Forest. Made the disastrous attack on Schmidt. One division commander relieved and another killed.
87th Infantry Division (Golden Acorn). Brig. Gen. Frank L. Culin, Jr. Brief battle experience in the Saar, but the division's first real test of battle was near Bastogne.
101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles). Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor. D-Day, Normandy and Holland.
106th Infantry Division (Golden Lions). Maj. Gen. Alan W. Jones. Completely untested when put into the line in the Ardennes.
XII Corps (Maj. Gen. Manton S. Eddy) 4th Infantry Division (Ivy). Maj. Gen. Raymond O. Barton. D-Day; Normandy, Siegfried Line, and Huertgen Forest.
5th Infantry Division (Red Diamond). Maj. Gen. S. Leroy Irwin. Normandy; heavy casualties in fall fighting for Metz.
10th Armored Division (Tiger). Maj. Gen. William H. H. Morris, Jr. Lorraine, Metz, drive to the Saar River.
80th Infantry Division (Blue Ridge). Maj. Gen. Horace L. McBride. Normandy; hard fight for Moselle River crossing in September; drive to the Saar River.
Ninth U.S. Army (Lt. Gen. William H. Simpson) XIII Corps (Maj. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem) 102nd Infantry Division. Brig. Gen. Frank A. Keating.
XVI Corps (Maj. Gen. J. B. Anderson) Not Operational XIX Corps (Maj. Gen. Raymond S. McLain) 29th Infantry Division. Maj. Gen. Charles H. Gerhardt.
8th Infantry Division. Brig. Gen. W. G. Weaver.
104th Infantry Division. Maj. Gen. Terry de la Mesa Allen.
21 Br Army Group (Fld. Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery) XXX Corps (Lt. Gen. Sir Brian G. Horrocks) 79th Armored Division (Special). Maj. Gen. Sir Percy C. S. Hobart.
I (British) Corps (Lt. Gen. J. T. Crocker) II Corps (Lt. Gen. G. G. Simmonds) 51st (British) “Highland” Infantry Division. Maj. Gen. T. G. Rennie.
Second (British) Army (Lt. Gen. Sir Miles C. Dempsey)
XII Corps (Lt. Gen. Neil M. Ritchie) Guards Armored Division. Maj. Gen. Alan H. S. Adair.
43rd “Wessex” Infantry Division. Maj. Gen. G. I. Thomas.
53rd “Welsh” Infantry Division. Maj. Gen. R. K. Ross TAB D The US Army in December 1944
THE UNITED STATES ARMY IN DECEMBER OF 1944The Army of the Battle of the Bulge was the mightiest force the United States had ever raised. In his 12th U.S. Army Group, General Omar N. Bradley commanded more soldiers than any American general had ever led before. Bradley's three field armies were arrayed across the front lines along the German borders: the Ninth Army, under Lt. Gen. William Simpson in the extreme north (not directly involved in the Ardennes battle), the First Army, under Lt. Gen.
Courtney Hodges in the center, and the Third Army, under Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., in the south. Arriving from the invasion of Southern France, the 6th U.S. Army Group, under command of Lt. Gen. Jacob Devers, had also fallen into line with its Seventh Army, under Lt.
Gen. Alexander Patch, and a French army. By the fall of 1944, the Army had grown to a strength of almost eight million soldiers, a staggering number considering that the service had counted only about 180,000 on its rolls in 1939.
Nonetheless, in the fall of 1944, the Army had a serious personnel problem. The 81 rifle squads of a typical infantry division numbered a total of only 3,240 riflemen. The remainder of the 14,000 soldiers of the division performed other tasks. Some, including the artillery, armor, tank destroyer units, and others, were of the combat arms. The remainder handled the essential supply and administrative tasks to keep the division in action. The situation in the division repeated itself at higher echelons. At the field army level (roughly 350,000 men), about one soldier in seven was in the front line. In the European theater as a whole, Omar Bradley estimated that only one soldier out of fifteen fought with a rifle. Although riflemen were the minority in the Army, they suffered the highest casualty rate--83 percent in Normandy. Bradley later reported that three out of every four casualties came from a rifle platoon, and that the rate of loss in rifle platoons was 90 percent. Thus there began in Normandy and continued through December of 1944 a severe infantry shortage in Europe, compounded by Army decisions to send more riflemen to the Pacific. As the Battle of the Bulge started, Bradley was working hard to solve the problem, and found that the only way was to assign men from other skills--including antiaircraft artillerymen, now that the German Air Force seemed largely defeated--to the infantry.
The Army was far more lavishly equipped than its enemy, but in almost every category of weaponry, the Germans had superior hardware. Tanks are the best example. Until 1935 in American doctrine, the tank was essentially a machine-gun carrier that accompanied the Infantry.