Sixty-five years ago, today, marked the beginning of the largest and bloodiest American battle in World War II.
After the tide had already begun to turn in the Allies’ favor, Hitler made one last, desperate attempt to break the American/British advance toward Berlin.
Hitler himself planned the attack for the Ardennes region of Belgium, which was relatively thinly guarded. The plan was to cut off the American and British troops from one another and then cut off the Allies’ only Atlantic supply port in Antwerp, Belgium.
Despite being outgunned by a concentration of the remaining German forces, U.S. troops there were able to slow the German advance, that created the “bulge” in the battle lines, with a tenacious defense. In fact, just one 18 soldier platoon of the 394th Infantry regiment was able to stall a German Tank battalion for a full 20 hours before they were finally captured.
In all, 23,000 American soldiers were captured and 19,000 were killed in the month-long Battle of the Bulge, before the Allied forces finally beat back the German advance and won the battle. Just a few months later, American and British forces from one side, and Russian forces from the other side, rolled into Berlin.
We honor the lives and memories of all of those veterans who gave their lives in defense of liberty.