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Capitaine Vengeur

70 years ago on this day: the Bulge is swelling up

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On 16 December 1944, Hitler launched his most famous last gamble, Operation Wacht am Rhein, with 3 armies assaulting by complete surprise 5 U.S. divisions (including 3 green ones), stretching out on a very extensive range: the Belgian Ardennes were then considered as the most quiet sector of the front, ideal to harden new divisions and rest exhausted ones (remember Verdun 1916?).


Among the famous moments of that hectic, epic, and icy page of History, one could name: the largest surrender in the open in the U.S. History (surrounded 422nd & 423rd Rgts, completely green troops), the Malmédy Massacre and the American many individual acts of retaliation that followed, the epic yet vain breakthrough of the S.S. Kampfgruppe Peiper, the last major operation of the German paratroopers, McAuliffe's famous "Nuts!!" reply at Bastogne, the disturbing attempts by Skorzeny's disguised commandoes to disorganize the American lines, the annihilation of the 2. Pz.Div.'s spearhead East of Dinant at the maximal extent of the German offensive, the incredible and costly Operation Bodenplatte lauching all of the Luftwaffe strengths in an all-out assault against the Allied airbases of Belgium and the Netherlands on the New Year's Day, the ordeal of thousands of Belgian civilians slaughtered either by Nazi reprisals or Allied bombings...

Edited by Capitaine Vengeur

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