By Michael Tolhurst
By way of Christmas 1944, the Allies have been at the threshold of victory, having remorselessly rolled the Germans again to the very borders of «The Fatherland». Then, the surprise of a tremendous Nazi counter-attack during the Ardennes within the intensity of wintry weather threw the Allies into confusion. Bastogne used to be on the very centre of this dramatic and most deadly setback.
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Additional resources for Bastogne Battle of the Bulge
In 1943 Skorzeny had rescued the Italian Dictator, Mussolini, from the Allies. More recently he had led a raid on the seat of the Hungarian Government in Budapest kidnapping the Hungarian leader’s son to stop that nation’s defection from the Axis forces. Hitler listened intently to Skorzeny’s accounts, and then went on to tell him the details of WACHT AM RHEIN. Skorzeny was to form a special brigade of German troops that could converse in English and would be wearing and using captured American equipment.
CHAPTER THREE BREAKTHROUGH By dawn on the morning of 17 December the Germans had advanced eight miles west from their river crossings at Dasburg and Gemünd. Small groups of Volksgrenadiers had reached the outskirts of Clervaux and were firing small arms into the town. Fuller sent tanks to relieve his now surrounded outposts, but the tanks were forced back by superior German forces with heavy losses. ’ ‘I’ll send you a battery of self-propelled guns and that’s all I can spare. ’ ‘Sorry Fuller, one battery is all I can give you, remember your orders hold at all costs.
If my memory serves me right the new officer was called Bremke. He had no combat experience. ‘At midnight on 15 December 1944, it began. Moving off in squads we reached the River Our which marked the frontier boundary. Then, as quietly as we could, we doubled up the bank of the river in a northerly direction. We crossed the Our on a narrow plank and came to our assigned assembly point – we were probably below Hosingen. It was 3 am by the time we started regrouping and we were all frozen. The platoons and squads were assigned to their sectors in readiness for the coming attack.