The Ardennes Offenisive Begins

59th signal ban rail jeep 1st army bastogne belgium 121644 (1 of 1)December 16, 1944, the German Army launched the largest offensive operation ever conducted against United States ground forces. Known as the Battle of the Bulge, the fighting raged for over a month and consumed most of the Third Reich’s remaining reserves of fuel and oil. Somewhere between 65,000-125,000 Germans troops were killed, wounded, captured or missing during those furious six weeks of fighting. The U.S. Army suffered more than 89,000 casualties and the loss of over eight hundred armored vehicles and tanks.

Photos from the early days of the German offensive are few and far between, but here are some shots taken on December 16, 1944 throughout the Western Front by U.S. Army Signal Corps photographers. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting more photos that captured key moments during the Ardennes Offensive and the subsequent Allied counter-offensive.

1st Inf Div 26th Inf Regt V Corps 1st Army 57mm AT Gun Germany Belgium Border 121744 (1 of 1)

Men of the 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, muscle a 57mm anti-tank gun into position at what became known as the Hot Corner, a patch of ground the division denied to the advancing Germans which ensured the North Shoulder of the Bulge would hold. The photo was taken on December 17, 1944.

 

German Employed Captured M8 Greyhound Armored Car Knocked Out at St Vith Belgium Bulge Seen 020345 (1 of 1)

Some German units employed American vehicles during the Ardennes offensive. This captured M8 Greyhound armored car was knocked out during the pivotal fighting for St. Vith, Belgium.

 

45th Inf Div 180th Inf Reg Bobenthal Germany Counter Sniper 121644 (1 of 1)

Fighting along the Western Front did not stop with the German offensive in the Ardennes. Here, a patrol from the 45th Infantry Division’s 180th Regiment fights house to house in Bobenthal, Germany under sniper fire on December 16, 1944.

90th Inf Div 807th TD Bn 3 inch 90mm AT gun St Barbara Germany 121644 (1 of 1)

Men of the 807th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 90th Infantry Division, rain shells down on German positions near St. Barbara, Germany on December 16, 1944. The 90th would later be thrust into the American counter-attack and ended up fighting around Bastogne.

A Waffen SS soldier with Kampfgruppe Hansen seen after elements of the 14th Cavalry Group were ambushed and destroyed outside of Poteau, Belgium on December 18, 1944.

Categories: War in Europe, World War II Europe, World War II in Europe, WW2, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “The Ardennes Offenisive Begins

  1. I look forward to your posts, John.

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