Campagne de Bastogne – 1944

History of Bastogne battle On December 16, 1944, Hitler launched Operation “Wacht am Rhein” and attacked by surprise in the Belgian Ardennes. By pushing back the conscription from 16 to 60 years for men, he managed to build 25 new Volksgrenadier divisions, and amassed 240,000 men and 500 tanks, including the new Tiger II to achieve a specific goal: to reach The port of Antwerp. From the first hours of the assault on December 16, the effect of surprise is total, beyond all expectations. The American Front is protected by only six divisions, three of which are totally new, spread over 135 km. This allowed the Germans to sink 40km into the allied lines on the first day. In an effort to stop the German advance, the 101st Airborne Division, stationed at Mourmelon-le-Grand, was sent to Bastogne, a key point in the region. She is temporarily commanded by Brigadier General Mac Auliffe in the absence of General Taylor. The Allied forces were quickly encircled by the Fifth Panzer Armee, surpassed in number and devoid of clothing for the winter. Because of the terrible weather, Allied forces in the backyard couldn’t properly supply the encircled troops. Mac Auliffe had neither minefields nor aviation, but the in-depth staggering of the defense, the mobile reserve, the infantry-artillery cooperation, allowed him to be constantly on guard. On 22 December, German parliamentarians came to ask for the surrender of Bastogne under threat of destruction of the city, and received an end of not receiving from Mac Auliffe. He replied “Nuts”. On December 26, the Germans renew their attacks in vain in the western sector of Bastogne. An advanced column of General Patton’s 3rd Army succeeded in breaking through to Bastogne on 26 December, reinforcing the defenders of the city, thus establishing a narrow corridor of communication. With the fracture of the encirclement, the men of the 101st were hoping to be relieved, but they were ordered to continue the offensive and were replaced only after the liberation of Noville. Veterans from the 101st Airborne told they didn’t need the Patton’s help. But I think it has furnished a good help… Subscribe for more videos !

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