The U.S. Army Freedom Team puts out a publication called "The Salute", subtitled (What else?), "I was a soldier, I am a soldier, I will always be a soldier." Their Fall issue offers a gloss on the Battle of the Bulge, some points with which Ranger will take exception:
"On December 16, 1944, two German armies attacked the American First Army in Belgium and Luxembourg. Two divisions, the veteran 28th Infantry and the green 196th Infantry, were virtually annihilated in two days of heavy fighting. Two other divisions, the 99th and the 4th, also took casualties, but remained intact."
While the 196th was green and faced a formidable enemy, they were not annihilated (virtual annihilation only occurs when your crops fail in Farmville.com). While I was recently impressed with revisionist historian Niall Ferguson's interview on the Charlie Rose show, my stomach for revisionism goes only so far. The 422 and 423 Regiments surrendered and ceased to engage the enemy, but they were hardly annihilated, so this is a false historical revision. The division only lost 400 plus killed in the entire 63 days they served in combat.
"The Bulge was closed on January 13 when Soldiers from the First and Third armies met in Houfflalize. In the end it was the GI -- the Infantryman, tankers, engineers, clerks and paratroopers of the U.S. Army -- fighting against the German wave that gave the American generals time to organize an effective strategy. With the plan in place, courageous Americans pinched off the Bulge and defeated the last German offensive of the war."
This is included to salute the bravery of the Americans during the Bulge, a battle which proved as always, American fighting men will carry the day. However, this was not the last offensive, but the last "strategic" offensive. the Germans still operated offensively in a tactical situation. A gander at the Eastern Front will verify this.
Labels: battle of the bulge