Battle of the Bulge

Battle of the Bulge, popular name in World War II for the German counterattack in the Ardennes, Dec., 1944–Jan., 1945. It is also known as the Battle of the Ardennes. On Dec. 16, 1944, a strong German force, commanded by Marshal von Rundstedt, broke the thinly held American front in the Belgian Ardennes sector. Taking advantage of the foggy weather and of the total surprise of the Allies, the Germans penetrated deep into Belgium, creating a dent, or "bulge," in the Allied lines and threatening to break through to the N Belgian plain and seize Antwerp. An American force held out at Bastogne, even though surrounded and outnumbered. The U.S. 1st and 9th armies, temporarily under Field Marshal Montgomery, attacked the German salient from the north, while the U.S. 3d Army attacked it from the south. Improved flying weather (after Dec. 24) facilitated Allied counterattacks. By Jan. 16, 1945, the German forces were destroyed or routed, but not without some 77,000 Allied casualties.

See C. B. MacDonald, A Time for Trumpets (1984); J. S. D. Eisenhower, The Bitter Woods (1969, repr. 1995).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Battle of the Bulge: Selected full-text books and articles

Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II By Belton Y. Cooper Presidio Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "The Battle of the Bulge: Phase I, the German Attack" and Chap. 8 "The Battle of the Bulge: Phase II, the Counterattack"
Hell on Wheels: The 2d Armored Division By Donald E. Houston Presidio Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 16 "The Battles of the Bulge: Blunting the German Spearhead" and Chap. 17 "The Battles of the Bulge: Reducing the Salient"
Strike Swiftly! The 70th Tank Battalion from North Africa to Normandy to Germany By Marvin Jensen Presidio Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "The Battle of the Bulge"
The Greatest War: Americans in Combat, 1941-1945 By Gerald Astor Presidio Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 41 "The Ardennes"
When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler By David M. Glantz; Jonathan M. House Birlinn, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 15 "Battles in the Snow, Winter 1945"
Eisenhower's Six Great Decisions: Europe, 1944-1945 By Walter Bedell Smith Longmans, Green, 1956
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "The Ardennes Counteroffensive"
American POWs of World War II: Forgotten Men Tell Their Stories By Tom Bird Praeger, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Part Two "The Battle of the Bulge"
The Unknown Dead: Civilians in the Battle of the Bulge By Peter Schrijvers University Press of Kentucky, 2005
Master of Airpower: General Carl A. Spaatz By David R. Mets Presidio Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: "Disillusionment: The Battle of the Bulge" begins on p. 261
On Time, on Target: The World War II Memoir of a Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne By John D. McKenzie Presidio Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Into the Bulge"
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