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Different plans for the battle of the bulge



  • I am reading the book The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge by Hugh M. Cole, In which 5 different plans for the battle of the bulge were mentioned:

    1. ¨Operation Holland¨: a single thrust launched from the area around Venlo with the objective of Antwerp
    2. ¨Operation Liège-Aachen: a two-pronged attack with the main effort driving northwest from luxembourg, subsequently turning north in order to meet with a second assault launched from the area northwest of Aachen
    3. ¨Operation Luxembourg¨: a two-pronged attack launched simultaneously from central luxembourg and metz with the objective of taking Longwy. (not sure which longwy they mean here, there is more then one in France)
    4. ¨Operation Lorraine¨: Another double envelopment, launched from Metz and Baccarat who would meet at Nancy
    5. ¨Operation Alsace¨: two seperate thrusts, one launched east of Epinal, the other east of Montbéliard. They would meet in the Veosul area.

    Could any of these plans have achieved something other then a disaster and the troops learning a little topography?



  • At that point in the war, the Allies had complete domination of the sky (except for the ME262, which was too little and too late).  Any German offensive was was doomed to stall and fail as soon as the weather permitted the allies to use this air power against the Germans (in fact, the Bulge offensive was stopped at Bastogne before the skies cleared).

    When anything German that is moving gets shot, they can’t do anything, so no.  Any of these plans were doomed.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The drive against Aachen has been noted as most plausible based on resources.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    As noted my 221Baker Street, any Western offensive, after the initial surprise and shock,  would soon have been sealed off. One of the above operations may have got further West, but would only have meant more prisoners and abandoned vehicles in the long run.
    The 6th Panzer Army should have been used before Berlin. 
    Thank you for your question. Enjoy your book.



  • @Imperious:

    The drive against Aachen has been noted as most plausible based on resources.

    I agree with IL this option had the most limited goals. Hit the Allies hard and force the West to react to the threat, this disorganized the Allies and buys a little time.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @ABWorsham:

    Hit the Allies hard and force the West to react to the threat, this disorganized the Allies and buys a little time.

    This actually raises another question.  The Battle of the Bulge basically used up Germany’s last significant strategic reserves in the West, so I’m wondering: if Germany had not launched the Ardennes offensive (or any of the variants / alternates being discussed here), but had instead used its strategic reserves as part of the forces it was using to hold off the Anglo-American advance (in essence, carrying out a gradual fighting retreat eastward to Germany’s frontiers), would Germany have perhaps ended up gaining time in the west?  In other words, would the Anglo-Americans have advanced less quickly into and through Germany than was the case historically if the Wehrmacht forces wasted at the Bulge had been used to reinforce Germany’s overall defenses on the western front?


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Don’t think so. Alternatively, Goebbels propaganda about “Bavarian Redoubt” could have made it very hard to capture, but eventually it would have fallen ( or they drop Atomic Bomb and finish the job). I respect the fact that they tried something, but really they had no options left at that stage of the war.



  • The Germans could have used the last reserves to bloodily defend the Westwall and the Rhine River. The Soviets would have just pushed further west.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    I would have hated to have been one of the many Germans fighting in the West with family in the East. Especially, if you had had experience of Eastern Front combat (brutality) like many of the veteran Divisions would have had.
    I will never understand why the Berlin front was allowed to be stripped in the last few months of the war.



  • @wittmann:

    I would have hated to have been one of the many Germans fighting in the West with family in the East. Especially, if you had had experience of Eastern Front combat (brutality) like many of the veteran Divisions would have had.
    I will never understand why the Berlin front was allowed to be stripped in the last few months of the war.

    I agree, every measure should have been made to defend Berlin. Instead the capital was left to boys and old men to defend.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Part of Hitler’s Götterdämmerung, but lost on me.
    It was the capital!
    Budapest and the West be damned: stop the  enemy at the gates(back door).
    I have read two books on Berlin(10+ years ago) and need to reread them, but they sadden me.


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