Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble

BOOK: Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble
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Antony Beevor
 
 
ARDENNES 1944
 
Hitler’s Last Gamble
 
Contents
 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

 

LIST OF MAPS

 

TABLE OF MILITARY RANKS

 

1. Victory Fever

 

2. Antwerp and the German Frontier

 

3. The Battle for Aachen

 

4. Into the Winter of War

 

5. The Hürtgen Forest

 

6. The Germans Prepare

 

7. Intelligence Failure

 

8. Saturday 16 December

 

9. Sunday 17 December

 

10. Monday 18 December

 

11. Skorzeny and Heydte

 

12. Tuesday 19 December

 

13. Wednesday 20 December

 

14. Thursday 21 December

 

15. Friday 22 December

 

16. Saturday 23 December

 

17. Sunday 24 December

 

18. Christmas Day

 

19. Tuesday 26 December

 

20. Preparing the Allied Counter-Offensive

 

21. The Double Surprise

 

22. Counter-Attack

 

23. Flattening the Bulge

 

24. Conclusions

 

ILLUSTRATIONS

 

ORDER OF BATTLE, ARDENNES OFFENSIVE

 

NOTES

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

GLOSSARY

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

FOLLOW PENGUIN

 
ARDENNES 1944
 

Antony Beevor is the author of
Crete – The Battle and the Resistance
(Runciman Prize),
Stalingrad
(Samuel Johnson Prize, Wolfson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize for Literature),
Berlin – The Downfall
,
The Battle for Spain
(Premio La Vanguardia) and
D-Day: The Battle for Normandy
(Prix Henry Malherbe and the RUSI Westminster Medal). His latest work,
The Second World War,
has been another No. 1 international bestseller. His books have appeared in thirty languages and have sold more than six million copies. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Kent, Bath and East Anglia, and is a visiting professor at the University of Kent. In the United States he received the 2014 Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.

By the Same Author
 
Inside the British Army
Crete: The Battle and the Resistance
Paris after the Liberation (
with Artemis Cooper
)
Stalingrad
Berlin: The Downfall 1945
The Mystery of Olga Chekhova
The Battle for Spain
D-Day
The Second World War

For Adam Beevor

List of Illustrations
 

1
. US infantry advancing through the Siegfried Line, or Westwall, in October 1944

2
. Fallschirmjäger mortar crew in the Hürtgen Forest

3
. 1st Infantry Division in the Hürtgen Forest

4
. Medics with wounded soldier

5
. French troops in the Vosges

6
. Maastricht meeting with Bradley, Tedder, Eisenhower, Montgomery and Simpson

7
. German prisoners captured in early December in the Hürtgen Forest

8
. Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model, commander-in-chief Army Group B (IWM MH12850)

9
. Field Marshal Montgomery lecturing an increasingly exasperated Eisenhower

10
. General von Manteuffel of the Fifth Panzer Army

11
. Oberstgruppenführer-SS Sepp Dietrich of the Sixth Panzer Army

12
. Oberst then Generalmajor Heinz Kokott

13
. Oberstleutnant Friedrich Freiherr von der Heydte

14
. Briefing panzer commanders before the Ardennes offensive on 16 December 1944

15
. Two SS panzergrenadiers enjoying captured American cigarettes

16
. A Königstiger tank carrying soldiers of the 3rd Fallschirmjäger-Division

17
. Volksgrenadiers advance loaded down with machine-gun belts and panzerfausts

18
. The first killing of American prisoners by the Kampfgruppe Peiper in Honsfeld

19
. SS panzergrenadiers pass a burning convoy of American vehicles

20
. American prisoners taken by the 1st SS Panzer-Division
Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler

21
. The 26th Infantry Regiment arrives to defend Bütgenbach at the base of the Elsenborn ridge

22
. Members of the same regiment manoeuvring an anti-tank gun as the Germans approach

23
. Belgian refugees leaving Langlir as the Fifth Panzer Army advances (IWM 49925)

24
. As the Germans advance on St Vith, the people of Schönberg shelter in caves

25
. American medics turned skis into toboggans to drag the wounded back for evacuation

26
. American troops dig in on the forward edge of a wood (IWM 050367)

27
. As the Germans advance on Bastogne, townsfolk start to flee in farm carts

28
. A platoon of M-36 tank destroyers near Werbomont

29
. Volksgrenadiers taken prisoner in the fighting round Rocherath–Krinkelt

30
. Brigadier General Robert W. Hasbrouck receiving the silver star from Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges

31
. US military police check the identities of Belgian refugees near Marche-en-Famenne

32
. Belgian refugees rush to cross the Meuse at Dinant

33
. A bazooka team from the 28th Infantry Division after three days of fighting in Wiltz

34
. A young SS trooper taken prisoner near Malmédy (IWM EA048337)

35
. Civilians murdered by Kampfgruppe Peiper at Stavelot

36
. Vapour trails over Bastogne

37
. 23 December: the US Air Force send in transport aircraft to drop supplies to Bastogne

38
. American wounded in cellars in Bastogne

39
. Bastogne: paratroopers of the 101st Airborne sing carols on Christmas Eve

40
. Remnants of the 2nd Panzer-Division in a farmyard in Foy-Notre-Dame (IWM B13260)

41
. Bastogne. General Patton with Brigadier General McAuliffe and Lieutenant Colonel Chappuis.

42
. American reinforcements advancing in steeply wooded Ardennes terrain

43
. A patrol from the British XXX Corps in the Ardennes wearing snowsuits

44
. Soldiers from the 26th Infantry Regiment finally advance from Bütgenbach

45
. La Roche-en-Ardenne in ruins

46
. Investigators start the work of identifying the American soldiers massacred at Baugnez, near Malmédy

47
. A very young prisoner from the Waffen-SS

48
. Joachim Peiper on trial for war crimes including the massacre near Malmédy

ILLUSTRATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
 

The majority of the photographs come from The National Archives in the USA. Other photographs are from: 1, 13, AKG Images; 5, Documentation Française; 11, Tank Museum; 12, Bundesarchiv, Koblenz; 6–7, 18, 20, 25–6, 30–32, 34, 36, 38–9, 41, 46–7, US Army (part of National Archives); 8, 23, 26, 40, Imperial War Museum, London; 10, Heinz Seidler, Bonn Bad Godersberg, reproduced from W. Goolrick and O. Tanner,
The Battle
of the Bulge.

List of Maps
 

The Ardennes: Front line just before German offensive

The Western Front

Antwerp and the Scheldt

The Battle for Aachen

The Hürtgen Forest

The German Offensive

The Northern Shoulder

The Destruction of the 106th Division and Defence of St Vith

The Destruction of the 28th Division

The Southern Shoulder

Rocherath–Krinkelt and the Elsenborn Ridge

Advance of Kampfgruppe Peiper

Bastogne

VII Corps and XVIII Airborne Front

The Lunge for the Meuse

The Third Army Advance on Bastogne

Operation
Nordwind
, Alsace

Crushing the Bulge

The Ardennes: Furthest point of German advance

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