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On the Allied side it scared them. Everyone from the most recent replacement private to the Supreme Allied Commander was of the opinion that the war was over. They were resting up for a "all done push" into Germany"s heartland.

The German's failure to punch through in this endeavor was the "final straw". It was over at the point of their witdrawal. When the troops began to pull out there was only a slim hope that somehow they would survive to see their homes again.

Even General Eisenhower was looking for some way out. He accepted "Operation Market Garden" as the way to end WW-2 in Europe. That failed.

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14y ago
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11y ago

Extreme casualties on both sides ( German and Allies). The German were eventually driven back and pretty much just gave up. It left the Allies to press on towards Germany. The Germans retreated further back with defeat imminent.

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When the enemy punches a "bulge" into your line, in military terms this is called a salient. It actually puts the enemy in a precarious position, because the enemy can now be attacked on three sides. The proper way to cut off a salient is by attacking at the base, from the lines to either side of where the enemy achieved the breaktrhough. This cuts the enemy in the salient off. Because of the poor north-south road net in the Ardennes, this was not possible in the Battle of the bulge. The Allies had to attack about midway along the Bulge. The US Ninth Army attacked from the north and the US Third Army attacked from the south, along with some US First Army units. They met in the middle, pinching off the tip of the Salient. By that time the Germans had realized they had lost momentum and had started pulling back out of the salient, so probably most of them got away, to fight another day.

The US immediately went over to its own counter-offensive, the troops which had eliminated the Bulge continuing on after the Germans to the east. This was not a mere local counter attack, but a true counter offensive, designed to achieve strategic goals. The Germans still held a few other areas west of the Rhine, and Eisenhower wanted all these eliminated too, so he would not have to use troops to watch German enclaves still holding out west of the Rhine. He wanted all his forces closed up on the Rhine, and the counter offensive flowing from the elimination of the Bulge was to bring the US First and Ninth Armies to the Rhine in the vicinity of Bonn. The Bulge was eliminated by late January 1945, and the American reached the Rhine and crossed it in the first half of March, 1945. The Soviets were also closing in on central Germany from the east. The American reached the Elbe River in late April. This was to be the boundary between the American and Russian Zones of Occupation once the war was over, as Roosevelt and Stalin had agreed. Eisenhower did not feel he should expend American lives capturing territory he would only have to turn over to the Russians, so the American stopped on the west bank of the Elbe. Within a day or two Russians appeared on the opposite bank, and the war ended in Europe within a week or so.

The counter-offensive into the Schnee Eiffel after the Bulge caused some controversy between the Americans and British. The British had been on the left of the Allied line, at the north end, since the Normandy landings. They had to be there, because of the relative positions occupied in England by the two armies before they boarded the invasion ships and hit the beach in France. The invasion fleets bearing the two armies to France could not cross each others paths to put the Americans on the left, as they sailed in the night with no lights. This was very important because the army on the left had the short route to Berlin, and the route that traversed the only good tank country, in the north. The British Army was small, and they had absolutely no replacements for it. It would only get smaller once the invasion was made. The Americans had many more vehicles and were much more mobile, but could not be on the best route to Berlin. The British had only twelve divisions, plus three Canadian divisions. The Americans ultimately had sixty-one. This meant the British, with the best chance to get quickly to Berlin, and with the only really worthwhile strategic objective right in front of them - the German industrial heartland of the Ruhr - lacked the strength to exploit the opportunities they had. The US 9th Army was given to the British commander, and still he wanted more American troops, and all supplies, which would have meant immobilizing all other American armies. The British commander, Montgomery, thought it was clear as day that he ought to be given the US First Army as well as the Ninth, at a minimum. In September 1944, Eisenhower gave the British all supplies, halting American units to do so, to give their "Market-Garden" operation for a breakthrough in the north a try, and the British failed. They wanted to try again, and insisted this was the only proper allied strategy. The British were also concerned about their postwar prestige and their status as a great Imperial power. Thus the American decision to follow up the Bulge with an immediate counter-offensive, to take advantage of the troops already concentrated in the area to crush the Bulge, did not have available the best terrain or roads, and no really valuable target in their path except actual German territory, and it denied the British what they wanted. What the British wanted was American troops, tanks, equipment and supplies to serve under a British commander in the north, so that they might "share" any glory won by their "proper direction" of the blundering Americans.


I wrote every word above, and have no idea who ID1157581628 might be. His contribution appears to have been to merge this question and answer into a previous one.

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Q: What did the Battle of the Bulge do for the morale of the troops during and after the battle?
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