Prior to the Battle of the Bulge, a line, 88 miles long, was drawn by Allied officers throughout the Ardennes region. The Ardennes lies in Belgium but also runs through Luxembourg, France, and Germany.
It is very strategically placed and so its history is littered with battles and wars.
Because this area consists of uneven terrain that includes forests, hills, and ravines the Germans had to come up with ways to traverse the region safely and quickly. They managed to find a way to do this and arrived at France to attack Paris in May 1940.
The fighting began at the Normandy landings in June 1944 and did not stop throughout the next months.
By November the decision was made to send hundreds of Allied soldiers to re-equip and rest; leaving inexperienced soldiers to defend the front.
Little did they know what was to come next: 25 German divisions, armed with heavy artillery, as well as two Panzer tank divisions had grouped in the cover of the forests in the Eifel region. It was an area in which it was easy to blend in and hide in plain sight.
Here were a group of 20-30,000 Germans ready to overcome the Allies and push through to Antwerp, Belgium.
The Germans plan of action was to divide the American and British forces in half. This way the Germans could then surround and defeat the Allied armies – forcing the Allies to sign a peace treaty that would favor the Germans terms.
Adolf Hitler believed that once that was complete then the German troops could focus their attention on the Eastern side of the War.
Watch this footage, shown in color, to see the German troops attack via the Ardennes.