Nearly 1 million troops fought in the Ardennes Campaign that became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Learn about the key dates and events of one of the fiercest battles fought by Americans during WW2 and the ultimate Allied victory via the Battle of the Bulge Timeline.
Facts about Battle of the Bulge Timeline
16 September,1944: As the Allies close in on Germany, Hitler makes the decision to conduct a counteroffensive
16 December,1944: The German Army launch their Ardennes offensive against elements of the American US VIII located between Aachen in Germany and Bastogne in Belgium located in the province of Luxembourg in the Ardennes.
16 December,1944: German panzer divisions broke through weak Allied lines along a 70 mile front in Belgium's Ardennes forest. The Ardennes sector was held on an 80-mile front by only six American divisions.
16 December,1944: The US 2nd and 99th Divisions hold fast at Elsenborn and Malmedy in Belgium although bad weather over the Ardennes region limits Allied air support to counter the German advances.
16 December,1944: The Battle of Elsenborn Ridge was the only sector of the American front lines during the Battle of the Bulge where the Germans failed to advance.
16 December,1944: The Battle of St. Vith was fought 16–21 December 1944 as the US 106th Division at the Schnee Eiffel region were surrounded by the Germans.
17 December,1944: 84 American prisoners of war are executed by members of the 1st SS Panzer Division in what became known as the Malmedy massacre
18 December,1944: The town of Stavelot in the province of Liege in Belgium initially falls to the invading German Army but is recaptured by the Allies during the Battle of Stavelot between December 18-20, 1944.
19 December,1944: 6,000 American troops are forced to surrender to the surrounding German Army at Schnee Eiffel
19 December,1944: US forces reform into intense defensive lines along the Ardennes line and some forces eventually mount counter attacks against the invading Germans.
20 December,1944: The Siege of Bastogne (20–27 December 1944) begins as the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne and the US 10th and 19th Armored Divisions are completely encircled by the German XLVII Panzer Corps.
22 December,1944: Supply difficulties force General Eisenhower to make Antwerp the principle objective for Allied Forces. General Montgomery is given command the British north line of defense and American General Bradley is given command of the south.
23 December,1944: The terrible weather clears over the Ardennes enabling 2,000 Allied air sorties to be launched. Much needed supplies are dropped to the US forces at Bastogne and Allied fighters target and destroy German ground vehicles and forces. The Germans have no air support and are unable to respond to the air attacks
25 December,1944: After taking 60 miles of territory during the Ardennes Offensive the 2nd Panzer Division under Lieutenant-General von Lauchert are stopped 4 miles from the Meuse River in Belgium by the American 2nd Armored Division and the British 29th Armored Brigade as they pushed the enemy back across the German frontier. German casualties totaled 3,500 troops and 400 vehicles including 81 tanks.
26 December,1944: The US 4th Armored Division under General George Patton relieves the 101st Airborne forces at the Siege of Bastogne.
27 December,1944 : US troops began gaining ground and pushing German troops back in the Ardennes region bringing the German offensive to an end.
28 December,1944: Adolf Hitler orders renewed offensives, with no retreat, in the Alsace and Ardennes regions against the advice of his generals.
31 December,1944: US troops re-captured Rochefort, Belgium, whilst the US Third Army began an offensive from Bastogne.
1 January, 1945: German troops begin to withdraw from the Ardennes Forest in the Belgian-German border region
1 January, 1945: The Germans launch their unsuccessful Operation Bodenplatte (Baseplate), an attempt by the Luftwaffe to cripple Allied air forces and to gain air superiority during the stagnant stage of the Battle of the Bulge so that the Germans could resume their advance.
3 January, 1945: The US First Army launched an attack on the northern flank of the Ardennes bulge in Belgium as 1,100 Allied fighters bomb railroad and communications centers in western Germany.
9 January, 1945: The US Third Army attack German forces towards Houffalize, Belgium, on the southern flank of the Ardennes bulge
16 January, 1945: The US First and Third Armies linkup near Houffalize, Belgium, whilst the British Second Army attack the Germans near Maas River.
25 January, 1945: The Germans are finally pushed back to the line prior to the launch of the Ardennes Offensive and the Battle of the Bulge ends in victory for the Allies.
|US American History|
|1929-1945: Depression & WW2|