Britain's Battle of the Bulge...

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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Tue Dec 14, 2021 2:18 pm

...and it's nothing to do with expanding waistlines. :S :D According to Mark Felton, 55,000 British troops also fought in the 'Bulge', and helped stop the 5th Panzer Army from crossing the Meuse.
Without diminishing the bravery of, and sacrifice made by, the 600,000 US troops in this- their greatest battle of WW2, Mark points out that the British role was largely left out of the record 'for political reasons'.
Here's a pic of troops from the 51st Highland Division (Montgomery's 21st Army Group) meeting US soldiers, in La Roche, a town just recaptured by the Highland Division.
51st Highlanders meet Americans-La Roche.jpg
Highland troops meet US soldiers in La Roche
Click on the still to ENLARGE it!'
In saying 'their greatest battle of WW2', it's all too easy to forget Okinawa and Iwo Jima. :think: :shh:
As usual, Mark's research is spot on, and the video includes seldom seen clips of events. This came out last year, and I overlooked it for some reason. Do check it out!. My Dad's unit was in the 21st Army groups, and thus clips like these now have a special significance for me. :D
phpBB [video]

phpBB [video]
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Postby jarndice » Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:08 pm

Eisenhower gave Montgomery command of all American forces north of the Ardenne offensive area and provided a very effective buffer to prevent any German breakout in that direction thereby in concert with Patton coming up from the south the only way to go for the German troops was back to Germany But let us not take any credit away from the bloody bastards of Bastogne whose action in holding against strong opposition gave the allies the chance to bring the action to a successful conclusion.
I have to add an addendum to this :- British Service Personell serving in Germany post WW2 almost never took leave during November early December because so many flights home would be cancelled due to the airfields being fogbound,
In other words such weather conditions were very well known by the allied weather forecasters, Couple that with the surprise German attack through the Ardenne in 1940 against the Franco Belguim border someone in the Allied high command should have been watching for such an attack,
And If George Patton had not already planned for such an attack his army group would never have been able to do a 180 and head north in just a few hours.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:47 pm

Thanks for the additional heads up, Shaun. In Mark Felton's film, we see a few oft-repeated clips: the King Tigers, with riders, heading West and into action; the German (Panzer Grenadier?) sporting the new StG '44
Image and so on. However, Mark has an uncanny knack of finding clips, and stills, many of us have (probably) not seen before. One example is the clip of British soldiers firing captured German 88s back at the Germans. 8O Now, there's a novelty.
There's also some excellent footage of Fireflies blasting away with the 17-Pdr., along with the coaxial MG.
The second video also throws some light on the conflict, as well as offering some fascinating 'then and now' shots.

My own view is that even if the Germans had reached Antwerp, their supply lines would have failed, as they were always insufficent. Allied airpower, even with intermittent bad weather, would also have been the decisive factor in any assault on Antwerp. The whole idea of a negotiated settlement with the Allies was a last gasp silly one. Germany had already lost the war in Africa, the Atlantic, Italy, France and- very soon the all-important war in the East. They could never have stopped the Soviet steamroller, nor could they have stopped the Allies levelling what was left of German cities and industry. Germany had little or no access oil and fuel by this stage, with no hope of ever replacing lost resources. Thus, the Ardennes offensive, though surprising, was doomed to failure. It just postponed the inevitable. Some argue, it even accelerated the final collapse (loss of irreplaceable tanks and equipment. The unmatched resources of East and West would have made defeat inevitable anyway, and the will to continue amongst the population had all but been replaced by despair, hunger, and complete exhaustion. Sure, there were some fanatics in Berlin-but their days were numbered.
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Postby jarndice » Tue Dec 14, 2021 11:15 pm

The ultimate stupidity being the failure of Mr Hitler to see that the V2 rocket was merely a delivery system and using a conventional warhead a not particularly good one,
Every day and every night allied strategic bombers were dropping tens of thousands of bombs on Germany and it was not about to capitulate so why would the British roll over because half a dozen V2s were delivering a few thousand pounds of TNT,
IF there had been an emphasis on a nuclear warhead then two V2s ( one to London and one to Moscow and a V2/A4 with a nuclear warhead to New York) That could have very well reversed the final result,
And the Battle of the Bulge was simply hastening the end by committing the German Army's last reserves to an action it could not win when the defence of Germany would have been better served using the wasted resources elsewhere.
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