Q:

What was the significance of the Battle of the Bulge during WWII?

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Quick Answer

The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, was a final and desperate attempt by Adolph Hitler to force a negotiated peace treaty with the Allied Forces on the Western Front. A weak spot in the Allied lines in the Ardennes Forest close to the German border was struck by about 250,000 German troops in a surprise attack on December 16, 1944, initiating what was to become the bloodiest battle in United States military history. The battle, which lasted until January 25, 1945, saw combined military casualties estimated to be as high as 190,000, but the Allied victory resulted in a fatal blow to the German forces which led, ultimately, to the fall of Berlin and Germany's unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945.

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Full Answer

Allied overconfidence combined with poor reconnaissance and a preoccupation with offensive strategies gave the German forces the significant advantage of the element of surprise. The counteroffensive enabled German troops to achieve a 50 to 80 mile westward bulge into the Allied front lines that gave the battle the name by which it is most commonly known. The American forces, after heavy and snowbound fighting on rough terrain and in freezing temperatures, were able to regroup and launch a counterattack that pushed the Allied front lines back to the positions held before the battle began. After the battle, Germany's reserve forces were depleted, its air force was shattered, and what was left of the German army was in retreat.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where did the Battle of the Bulge take place?

    A:

    The Battle of the Bulge took place in the Ardennes region of France, Belgium and Luxembourg. This battle occurred between Dec. 14, 1944 and Jan. 25, 1945.

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  • Q:

    Why did the Battle of the Bulge happen?

    A:

    The Battle of the Bulge in World War II happened because of Hitler's plan to launch a counter-offensive to thrust through the allied armies in the Ardennes region of northwest Europe and recapture Antwerp in Belgium. Because the allies were unprepared for the attack, the German offensive made considerable initial progress, creating a large bulge in the allied line.

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    What was the importance of the Battle of the Coral Sea?

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    The Battle of the Coral Sea was important because it thwarted the Japanese attempt to invade Port Moresby in New Guinea, depriving them of a secure zone between Japan and Australia. According to History.com, it was also the first air-sea battle in history in which planes launched from aircraft carriers at sea played a vital role.

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  • Q:

    Who was involved in the Battle of the Bulge?

    A:

    The Battle of the Bulge occurred from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945 and involved American, British and French forces putting up a determined resistance to German assault. The German goal was to recapture the port of Antwerp in Belgium, a vital supply link for the Allied forces. During the fighting, the 101st Airborne was surrounded in the town of Bastogne and famously held out until reinforcements arrived.

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