Ardennes - Alsace Campaign by Blackhawk Films.; Eastin-Phelan Corporation

By Blackhawk Films.; Eastin-Phelan Corporation

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Sample text

Standing in the way of Dietrich’s panzers was a 6-mile line along the Salm River, manned by the 82d Airborne Division. Throughout the twenty-first German armor attacked St. Vith’s northwestern perimeter and infantry hit the entire eastern circumference of the line. Although the afternoon assault was beaten back, the fighting was renewed after dark. To prevent being trapped from the rear, the 7th Armored Division began pulling out of its advanced positions around 2130. The other American units around the town conformed, folding into a tighter perimeter west of the town.

In the enemy camp the differences between Hitler and his generals over the objectives of the Ardennes offensive were marked, while the uncoordinated efforts of Obstfelder’s First Army and Himmler’s Army Group Oberrhein for the Alsace offensive were appalling. 53 The Ardennes-Alsace battlefield proved to be no general’s playground, but rather a place where firepower and bravery meant more than plans or brilliant maneuver. Allied and German generals both consistently came up short in bringing their plans to satisfactory fruition.

Night bombers of the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command had been attacking those rail yards supporting the German offensive since 17 December. In the five days of good weather following the Russian High, American day bombers 33 101st Airborne Division soldiers retrieving air-dropped medical supplies near Bastogne. (National Archives) entered the interdiction effort. As Allied fighter bombers patrolled the roads throughout the Ardennes and the Eifel, the Ninth Air Force’s medium bombers attacked targets west of the Rhine and the Eighth Air Force’s heavy bombers hit rail yards deeper into Germany.

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