The Battle Of The Bulge

It’s the 72nd anniversary of the beginning. Several years ago, I did a piece on how today’s media would have reported it:

Back in Washington, despite lofty rhetoric from the White House about the “liberation” of Europe, many had always been skeptical about the prospects for defeating Germany. As they correctly point out, the Germans are after all defending their homeland, and no matter how bad the alleged depravations of the Nazi regime, all familiar with the German character know that they can be depended on to fight to the death against any foreign invader, no matter how well intentioned. Many of the German dead or captured for the past few weeks have been adolescents, some only fourteen or fifteen years old, with dead, untrained yet willing hands clinging to their rifles. Seeing such images of dedication to the cause, it’s difficult for many to believe that victory is possible.

As a result, the new setback has renewed rumbling among some that the time has come to seek an accord with the Nazi regime that could allow a withdrawal from Europe with honor, and not lose any more American troops in a hopeless cause, let alone bog them down for an unforeseeable period of time. “It was Japan that attacked us, not Germany,” pointed out a Senate staffer. “We need to focus our resources on the true enemy in the Pacific.”

Some staffers on Capitol Hill implied that the timing itself of the offensive was suspicious. “Hitler wanted Roosevelt to be reelected, so that he could continue to fight a war against a sick, senile incompetent. Had he started this offensive before the election back on November 7th, everyone would have seen what a disaster this president has been on foreign policy, and Hitler would have had to confront a young, vibrant Tom Dewey.”

Those fascists, always interfering with our elections.

10 comments on this post.
  1. ken anthony:

    Yup. Today they can always provide an argument for why the good guys shouldn’t fight. The idiots have bought it. Trump at 70 is perhaps the last gasp, along with the deplorables, willing to stand up and fight.

    The lesson forgotten is the longer you take to stand up to evil the harder the fight. The left is trading on the fact they used to have members with principles when they no longer do. They’ve been out to destroy. “She’s been through enough” amounts to treason.

    Do less than enough and they win. Kick ’em while they’re down because that’s what they do. When they finish trying to delegitimize the electoral college this next week they will immediately begin their next attack.

  2. wodun:

    When they finish trying to delegitimize the electoral college this next week they will immediately begin their next attack.

    Which will be what? I am guessing something about cabinet positions and how Republicans are bad for not bringing the filibuster back. Seems too early for riots or protests to gin up votes for the next election. Even now, the post-election riots are dying out.

  3. ken anthony:

    $35/hr adds up when it doesn’t produce anything valuable.

    I don’t know either, just that the attacks will continue even without a trace of evidence. One meme is that Trump is inheriting a strong economy from Obama that would have become even stronger if Hillary won… because they like to assert alternate history timelines that can’t easily be refuted. “Yeah, but your guy made it worse and our guy made it better. Prove otherwise.” Facts be damned.

    But I’ve strayed from the topic. Sorry. I thought it was going to be a fat joke.

  4. MCS:

    While respecting the courage, skill and sacrifice of the troops that ultimately prevailed; the proper name should be The Second Battle of the Ardennes. The Germans knew that they could attack successfully using the same routes they used during the initial invasion of France. The mystery is why this didn’t seem to occur to the Allied High Command. Names were changed to protect the guilty or at least the embarrassed.

  5. Chris L:

    One of the reasons they may have not seen it coming is that they may have figured Hitler would keep his forces in reserve for the defense of Germany (what with Uncle Joe knocking on his back door and all) and not risk those forces in a counter attack. That’s how the smart money would have played it anyway. Still, the damn thing almost succeeded and we have a lot of brave men to thank for making sure it didn’t.

  6. Edward M. Grant:

    “The mystery is why this didn’t seem to occur to the Allied High Command. ”

    Because they didn’t think Hitler was insane. The only thing that battle ultimately did was wipe out much of the remaining German forces.

  7. MCS:

    A sane or even rational state wouldn’t have started a two front war with the rest of the world, wouldn’t have declared war against the U.S. in 1941.

    A rational analysis would have seen delaying or even defeating the Western Allies as allowing the Eastern Front to end up on the Rhine.

    I believe the prevailing delusion in Berlin was that a significant enough setback to the Allies would produce some sort of armistice.

  8. Henry:

    Two of the factors at work in Allied complacency in the Ardennes December ’44:

    Allied commanders had gotten spoiled with timely Ultra intercepts of anything interesting the Germans in the field put on the radio. But suddenly the Germans were operating back within their own landline network, the radio chatter dried up – and the Allies took this as evidence nothing was happening. Oops.

    And even after Market Garden failed because it stumbled onto several “destroyed” German divisions well along in the process of being reconstituted, Allied commanders really didn’t grasp just how good the Germans were at doing this. Many of the formations the Germans attacked with in the Bulge had been shattered in France over the summer and weren’t supposed to exist any more.

  9. Ctrot:

    To all who are on Facebook I highly recommend you find and follow 95 year old Jim “Pee Wee” Martin, G Company / 506th PIR / 101st Airborne Division.

    Fascinating man. And he is currently posting about his Bastogne experience.

  10. Edward M. Grant:

    Thanks for that, I’ve just started taking a look at his page.