Academic journal article Military Review

The Key to the Bulge: The Battle for Losheimergraben

Academic journal article Military Review

The Key to the Bulge: The Battle for Losheimergraben

Article excerpt

THE KEY TO THE BULGE: THE BATTLE FOR LOSHEIMERGRABEN by Stephen M. Rusiecki. 224 pages. Praeger Publishers, Wcstport, CT. 1996. $55.00.

From the growing pile of books about the Battle of the Bulge, Steven M. Rusiecki's story emerges as a wellcrafted and incisive history of the remarkable battle between Americans and Germans from 16 to 17 December 1944 at the Losheimergraben Crossroads in the Ardennes. The crossroads and its customs houses sat along the Belgium-Germany border, astride the designated avenue of approach for the 6th Panzer Army's spearhead attack unit, Kampfgruppe Peiper.

The US 394th Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division, was tasked with defending a wide front of thick woods, hills, ravines and small clusters of villages, including Losheimergraben. Because it was viewed as a quiet "ghost front" not in danger of significant enemy action, the Ardennes was considered to be the perfect place to gradually condition inexperienced and untested GIs. However, Adolf Hitler had other ideas, and it became the site of his greatest Western Front offensive, pitting three powerful panzer and infantry armies against understrength US units.

Timing was crucial to the German plan to drive a wedge through the Allies and push all the way to Antwerp. The Germans' secret buildup of combat power, startlingly effective deception plan and massive artillery preparation caught the Americans by surprise. Intending to seize Losheimergraben, German panzergrenadiers and paratroopers led the attack against the 394th. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.