December 16, 1944-January 28, 1945
In December 1944, in an all-out gamble to compel the
Allies to sue for peace, Adolf Hitler ordered the only major
German counter-offensive of the war in northwest Europe.
Its objective was to split the Allied armies by means of a
surprise blitzkrieg thrust through the Ardennes to Antwerp,
marking a repeat of what the Germans had done three times
previously--in September 1870, August 1914, and May
1940. Despite Germany's historical penchant for mounting
counter-offensives when things looked darkest, the Allies'
leadership miscalculated and left the Ardennes lightly
defended by only two inexperienced and two battered
Hitler and his general staff review plans in late 1944.
American infantry crouch in snowy woods near Amonines, Belgium, January 1945
American soldiers in a snowy ditch during Battle of the Bulge in 1945.
American troops man trenches in the Ardennes Forest .
American military vehicle slid off of icy road in Ardennes Forest 1945.
A German SS soldier geared
up for winter Battle of the
American Gi’s help local residents flee during a lull in the battle.
American soldiers searching for German paratroopers.
Perhaps the defining moment
for all Allied forces fighting in
the Battle of the Bulge came
when the Germans demanded
the surrender of American
troops surrounded in the town
of Bastogne. United States
General Anthony McAuliffe,
right, replied to the ultimatum
with a now-legendary one-
word response: "Nuts!" —
which is a rather milder way
of saying, "Screw you." His
men withstood German
attacks until they could be
relieved by the 4th Armored
Tending to the wounded in the Ardennes Forest. January 1945