Just before The Battle of the Bulge, Allied officers drew an 88 mile line through the forests, hills, and ravines of The Ardennes region. This area lies principally in modern day Belgium but also stretches into France, Germany, and Luxembourg. Being strategically situated, the area’s recorded history is punctuated with wars dating back to Charlemagne in the early Middle Ages.
Earlier in the war, the German army developed ways to traverse the rugged terrain and fast moving rivers of the area unhindered. Through this difficult route, the Germans entered France in May of 1940 and marched on Paris.
After fierce fighting, which started with the landings in Normandy in June 1944 and continued all through September and October of the same year, hundreds of battered and exhausted men were sent to rest and re-equip. The front was to be defended, for the most part, by inexperienced soldiers who had to cover far more ground and face an enemy assault they were barely prepared for. Not even the commanding officers expected the intense attack that was to come.
Under the cover of the dense forests of the Eifel region, which borders the Ardennes, twenty-five divisions with heavy artillery and two of the dreaded Panzer tank divisions had gathered under the evergreen trees out of sight of any aircraft reconnaissance. Twenty to thirty thousand German soldiers were ready to push the Allies aside and march to Antwerp, Belgium.
This action was designed to split the British and American Allied line in half, so the Germans could then proceed to encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing their enemy to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers’ favor. Once that was accomplished, Hitler believed Germany could fully concentrate on the eastern theater of war.
In this amazing color footage you will see the German Army on the attack through the Ardennes.