FACTOID # 23: Wisconsin has more metal fabricators per capita than any other state.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Western Front (World War II)
Western Front
Part of World War II
Date 1939–1945
Location North and Western Europe
Result Allied victory.
Combatants
Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
Flag of the United States United States
Flag of Poland Poland
Flag of France France
Canada
Flag of France Free France
Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands
Flag of Belgium Belgium
Flag of Germany Germany
Flag of Italy Italy
Commanders
Flag of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill,
Flag of the United Kingdom Trafford Leigh-Mallory,
Flag of the United Kingdom Harold Alexander,
Flag of the United Kingdom Bertram Ramsay,
Flag of the United Kingdom Bernard Montgomery,
Flag of the United Kingdom Lord Gort,
Flag of the United Kingdom Trafford Leigh-Mallory,
Flag of the United States Franklin Roosevelt,,
Flag of the United States George Marshall,
Flag of the United States Dwight Eisenhower,
Flag of the United States Omar Bradley,
Flag of the United States Jacob Devers,
Flag of Poland Władysław Anders,
Flag of Poland Władysław Sikorski,
Flag of Poland Stanisław Maczek,
Flag of France General Weygand,
Flag of France Jean de Lattre de Tassigny,
Flag of France Charles de Gaulle,
Flag of France Maurice Gamelin,
William Lyon Mackenzie King,
Guy Simonds,
Harry Crerar
Flag of Germany Adolf Hitler,
Flag of Germany Erwin Rommel,
Flag of Germany Gerd von Rundstedt,
Flag of Germany Friedrich Dollmann,
Flag of Germany Erich Marcks,
Flag of Germany Wilhelm Falley,
Flag of Germany Walter Model,
Flag of Germany Heinrich Himmler,
Flag of Germany Siegfried Rasp,
Flag of Germany Erich Abraham,
Flag of GermanyGustav-Adolf von Zangen

During World War II, the Western Front was the theater of fighting west of Germany, encompassing the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Denmark. Image File history File links Derived from public domain images featured at: http://commons. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Compass rose with north highlighted and at top Look up North in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A current understanding of Western Europe. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Canadian_Red_Ensign_1921. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Free_France_1940-1944. ... Flag De Jure territory Capital Paris Capital-in-exile London, Algiers Government Republic Leader Charles de Gaulle Historical era World War II  - de Gaulles appeal June 18, 1940  - Liberation of Paris August, 1944 The Free French Forces (French: , FFL) were French fighters in World War II, who decided to... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Netherlands. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Belgium_(civil). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)_crowned. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... “Churchill” redirects here. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory KCB, DSO and Bar (11 July 1892 - 14 November 1944) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force in World War II and the highest-ranking British officer to die in the war. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Field Marshal Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis (December 10, 1891 - June 16, 1969) was a British military commander and Field Marshal, notably during World War II as the commander of the 15th Army Group. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Categories: People stubs | 1883 births | 1945 deaths | Royal Navy admirals | Royal Navy officers | British World War II people ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976) was a British Army officer, often referred to as Monty. He successfully commanded Allied forces at the Battle of El Alamein, a major turning point in World War II, and... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Field Marshal John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort VC GCB CBE DSO and two Bars MVO MC (commonly known as Lord Gort) (10 July 1886 - 31 March 1946) was a British soldier who served in both World War I and II, rising to the rank of field marshal... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory KCB, DSO and Bar (11 July 1892 - 14 November 1944) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force in World War II and the highest-ranking British officer to die in the war. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882–April 12, 1945), often referred to as FDR, was the 32nd (1933–1945) President of the United States. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... For other persons named George Marshall, see George Marshall (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Dwight David Ike Eisenhower (October 14, 1890–March 28, 1969), American soldier and politician, was the 34th President of the United States (1953–1961) and supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, with the rank of General of the Army. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Omar Nelson Bradley (February 12, 1893 - April 8, 1981) was one of the main US Army field commanders in North Africa and Europe during World War II. Bradley was born to a poor family near Clark, Missouri, the son of a schoolteacher. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... General Jacob Jake Loucks Devers (September 8, 1887 - October 15, 1979), who is best remembered for his command of the 6th Army Group in Europe during World War II, graduated from the US Military Academy in 1909. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland. ... WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Anders Lt. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland. ... WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Eugeniusz Sikorski (May 20, 1881 – July 4, 1943; pronounced ) was a Polish military and political leader. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland. ... Gen. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... General Maxime Weygand Maxime Weygand (January 21, 1867 - January 28, 1965) was a French military commander in both World War I and World War II. // Weygand was born in Brussels. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (February 2, 1889 - January 11, 1952) was a French military hero of World War II. Born at Mouilleron-en-Pareds (during the time of Georges Clemenceau, who was also born there), he graduated from school in 1911, and fought in World War I. He specialized... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... For other uses, see Charles de Gaulle (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Maurice Gamelin Maurice Gustave Gamelin (September 20, 1872 - April 18, 1958) was a French general. ... Image File history File links Canadian_Red_Ensign_1921. ... Not to be confused with William Lyon Mackenzie, Mackenzie Kings grandfather. ... Image File history File links Canadian_Red_Ensign_1921. ... Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds inspecting II Canadian Corps in Meppen, Germany, May 31st, 1945. ... Image File history File links Canadian_Red_Ensign_1921. ... General The Honourable Henry Duncan Graham (Harry) Crerar Henry Duncan Graham (Harry) Crerar, PC, CH, CB, DSO, KStJ, CD (April 28, 1888 - April 1, 1965) was a Canadian general and the countrys leading field commander in World War II. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, he died at Ottawa, Ontario. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Hitler redirects here. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel ( ) (15 November 1891 – 14 October 1944) was one of the most famous German field marshals of World War II. He was the commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps and also became known by the nickname “The Desert Fox” (Wüstenfuchs,  ) for the skillful military campaigns he... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt (December 12, 1875 - February 24, 1953) was a Generalfeldmarschall of the German Army during World War II. He held some of the highest field commands in all phases of the war. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Friedrich Dollmann Friedrich Dollmann (1876-June 30, 1944) was a German general during World War II, most notably serving during the early phases of the D-Day Invasion. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Erich Marcks, born June 6, 1891, in Berlin-Schöneberg, died June 12, 1944, in Normandy, France, was a German general of artillery in World War II. Marcks was the son of the German historian Erich Marcks. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Lieutenant-General Wilhelm Falley (b 25 Sept 1897) was the first German General killed in the Normandy Landings. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Heinrich Luitpold Himmler ( ; 7 October 1900–23 May 1945) was commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and the Nazi hierarchy. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Siegfried Rasp (1892-1968), was a German general of Infantry, serving during World War II. Born in Munich, Rasp became an officer aspirant on September 6, 1915 and earned his commission as a Leutnant on June 24, 1916 in the 1st Bavarian Infantry Regiment. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Born in 1892, General Gustav-Adolf von Zangen was the commander of the German 15th Army in the Netherlands, 1944. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...

Contents

1939-40: Blitzkrieg

Phoney War

The Phoney War, was an early phase of the war marked by few military operations in Continental Europe, in the months following the German invasion of Poland and preceding the Battle of France. Although the great powers of Europe had declared war on one another, neither side had yet committed to launching a significant attack, and there was relatively little fighting on the ground. British Ministry of Home Security Poster of a type that was common during the Phoney War The Phoney War[1] was a phase in early World War II marked by few military operations in Continental Europe, in the months following the German invasion of Poland and preceding the Battle of... Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands and, at times, peninsulas. ... Combatants Poland Germany Soviet Union Slovakia Commanders Edward Rydz-ÅšmigÅ‚y Fedor von Bock (Army Group North), Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group South), Mikhail Kovalev (Belorussian Front), Semyon Timoshenko (Ukrainian Front), Ferdinand ÄŒatloÅ¡ (Field Army Bernolák) Strength 39 divisions, 16 brigades, 4,300 guns, 880 tanks, 400 aircraft Total... Combatants  France  United Kingdom  Canada  Czechoslovakia  Poland  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H.R.H. Umberto di... In the context of international relations and diplomacy, power (sometimes clarified as international power, national power, or state power) is the ability of one state to influence or control other states. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a declaration of war against the Empire of Japan on December 8, 1941, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. ...


While most of the German army was fighting against Poland, a much smaller German force manned the Siegfried Line, their fortified defensive line along the French border. At the Maginot Line on the other side of the border, British and French troops stood facing them, but there were only some local, minor skirmishes. The British Royal Air Force dropped propaganda leaflets on Germany and the first Canadian troops stepped ashore in Britain, while western Europe was in a strange calm for seven months. Map of the Siegfried line The original Siegfried line (Siegfriedstellung) was a line of defensive forts and tank defenses built by Germany as a section of the Hindenburg Line 1916-1917 in northern France during World War I. However, in English, Siegfried line more commonly refers to the similar World... The Maginot Line (IPA: [maʒinoː], named after French minister of defence André Maginot) was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, machine gun posts and other defences which France constructed along its borders with Germany and with Italy, in the light of experience from World War I, and... “RAF” redirects here. ...


In their hurry to re-arm, Britain and France had both begun buying large amounts of weapons from manufacturers in the United States at the outbreak of hostilities, supplementing their own productions. The non-belligerent United States, contributed to the Western Allies by discounted sales, of military equipment and supplies. German efforts to interdict the Allies' trans-Atlantic trade at sea ignited the Battle of the Atlantic. A non-belligerent is a person or country who does not take part in aggression. ... The Western Allies were the democracies and their colonial peoples, within the broader coalition of Allies during World War II. The term is generally understood to refer to the countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations and Poland (from 1939), exiled forces from Occupied Europe (from 1940), the United States... Combatants Royal Navy Royal Canadian Navy United States Navy (1941–5) Kriegsmarine Regia Marina (1940–3) Commanders Sir Percy Noble Sir Max K. Horton Percy W. Nelles Leonard W. Murray Ernest J. King Erich Raeder Karl Dönitz Casualties 30,248 merchant sailors 3,500 merchant vessels 175 warships 28...


Scandinavia

While the Western Front remained quiet in April 1940, the fighting between the Allies and the Germans began in earnest with Norwegian campaign when the Germans launched Operation Weserübung, the German invasion of Denmark and Norway. This marked in the beginning of the end of the Phoney War. German battle cruisers in a Norwegian port in June 1940 The Norwegian Campaign, lasting from 9 April to 10 June 1940, led to the first direct land confrontation between the military forces of the Allies — United Kingdom and France — against Nazi Germany in World War II. The primary reason for... Combatants Germany Denmark Norway Operation Weserübung was the German codename for Nazi Germanys assault on Denmark and Norway during World War II and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. ...


Battle for Benelux and France

Main article: Battle of France

In May 1940, the Germans launched the Battle of France. The Western Allies — primarily the French and British — soon collapsed under the onslaught of the German blitzkrieg. The British escaped at Dunkirk, while the French Army surrendered with 90,000 dead and 200,000 wounded. Fighting along the Front ended, and the German army began preparations to invade England. Combatants  France  United Kingdom  Canada  Czechoslovakia  Poland  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H.R.H. Umberto di... Combatants  France  United Kingdom  Canada  Czechoslovakia  Poland  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H.R.H. Umberto di... The defining characteristic of what is commonly known as Blitzkrieg is that it is a highly mobile form of mechanized warfare. ... This article is about a Second World War battle in 1940, for the 1658 battle of the same name see Battle of the Dunes (1658) Combatants United Kingdom France Belgium Germany Commanders Lord Gort General Weygand Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Ewald von Kleist (Panzergruppe von Kleist) Strength approx. ... Operation Sealion (Unternehmen (Undertaking) Seelöwe in German) was a World War II German plan to invade the United Kingdom. ...


1941-43: Interlude

Following the Luftwaffe’s defeat in the Battle of Britain, the invasion of England was cancelled. While the majority of the German army was mustered for the invasion of the Soviet Union, construction began on the Atlantic Wall — a series of defensive fortifications along the French coast of the English Channel. These were built in anticipation of a cross-channel British invasion of France. The Deutsche Luftwaffe or   (German: air force, literally Air Weapon, pronounced lufft-va-fa, IPA: ) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... Combatants United Kingdom Including combatants from:[1] Poland New Zealand Canada Czechoslovakia Belgium Australia South Africa France Ireland United States Jamaica Palestine Rhodesia Germany Including combatants from Italy Commanders Hugh Dowding Hermann Göring Strength 754 single-seat fighters 149 two-seat fighters 560 bombers 500 coastal 1,963 total... Combatants Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Heinz Guderian Günther von Kluge Franz Halder Maresal Ion Antonescu C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Garibaldi, ARMIR Joseph Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor... German coastal artillery in the Pas-de-Calais area, with laborers at work on casemate. ... Table of Fortification, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... Satellite view of the English Channel The English Channel (French: , the sleeve) is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. ...

Dieppe's pebble beach and cliff immediately following the raid on August 19, 1942. A scout car has been abandoned.
Dieppe's pebble beach and cliff immediately following the raid on August 19, 1942. A scout car has been abandoned.

Because of the massive logistical obstacles a cross-channel invasion would face, Allied high command decided to conduct a practice attack against the French coast. On August 19, 1942, the Allies began the Dieppe Raid, an attack on Dieppe, France. Most of the troops were Canadian, with an American and some British contingents. The raid was a disaster, and almost two-thirds of the attacking force became casualties. However, much was learned as a result of the operation — these lessons would be put to good use later in subsequent invasions. Dieppes pebble beach and cliff immediately following the raid on August 19th, 1942. ... Dieppes pebble beach and cliff immediately following the raid on August 19th, 1942. ... Dieppe is a town and commune in the Seine-Maritime département of Haute-Normandie (eastern Normandy), France. ... is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Daimler Scout Car, known in service as Dingo, was a British light fast 4WD reconnaissance vehicle also used in the liaison role during the Second World War. ... is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants Canada United Kingdom Germany Commanders Louis Mountbatten J. H. Roberts Gerd von Rundstedt Strength 6,086 1,500 Casualties Canada: 950 dead, 2,340 captured wounded or not; United Kingdom: 600; United States:4+; 311 dead, 280 wounded The Dieppe Raid, also known as The Battle of Dieppe or... Dieppe is a town and commune in the Seine-Maritime département of Haute-Normandie (eastern Normandy), France. ...


For almost two years, there was no land-fighting on the Western Front with the exception of commando raids and the guerrilla actions of the resistance aided by the SOE and OSS. However, in the meantime, the Allies took the war to Germany, with a strategic bombing campaign the US Eighth Air Force bombing Germany by day and the RAF Bomber Command bombing by night. For other uses, see Commando (disambiguation). ... “Guerrilla” redirects here. ... A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to fighting an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign nation through either the use of physical force, or nonviolence. ... The Special Operations Executive (SOE), sometimes referred to as the Baker Street Irregulars after Sherlock Holmess fictional group of spies, was a World War II organization initiated by Winston Churchill and Hugh Dalton in July 1940 as a mechanism for conducting warfare by means other than direct military engagement. ... The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency and was the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Special Forces, and Navy SEALs. ... Strategic bombing during World War II was greater in scale than any wartime attack the world had previously witnessed. ... The Eighth Air Force is a numbered air force (NAF) of the major command (MAJCOM) of Air Combat Command of the United States Air Force and it is headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. ... Bomber Command badge RAF Bomber Command was the organisation that controlled the RAFs bomber forces. ...


1944-45: the Second Front

Normandy

Routes taken by the D-Day invasion

On June 6, 1944, the Allies began Operation Overlord (also known as "D-Day") — the long-awaited liberation of France. The deception operation had the Germans convinced that the invasion would occur at the Pas-de-Calais, while the real target was Normandy. Following two months of slow fighting in hedgerow country, Operation Cobra allowed the Americans to break out at the western end of the lodgement. Soon after, the Allies were racing across France. They circled around and trapped 250,000 Germans in the Falaise pocket. As so often happened on the Eastern Front Hitler refused to allow a strategic withdrawal until it was too late. 100,000 Germans managed to escape through the Falaise Gap but they left behind most of their equipment and 150,000 were taken prisoner. Download high resolution version (1565x1089, 402 KB)D-day allied assault routes From Center for Military History, US Army Originally prepared as part of the US Military History: Utah Beach To Cherbourg File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this... Download high resolution version (1565x1089, 402 KB)D-day allied assault routes From Center for Military History, US Army Originally prepared as part of the US Military History: Utah Beach To Cherbourg File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this... is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between the German forces occupying Western Europe and the invading Allies. ... Land on Normandy In military parlance, D-Day is a term often used to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. ... Pas-de-Calais is a département in northern France named after the strait which it borders. ... For other uses, see Normandy (disambiguation). ... For other meanings, see hedge. ... Combatants USA Canada Free France Germany Commanders General Omar Bradley, General George S. Patton General Philippe Leclerc SS General Paul Hausser Strength 8 infantry divisions, 4 armoured divisions 2 infantry divisions, 11 infantry battlegroups, 2 Panzer Divisions, 1 Panzergrenadier Division Casualties 1. ... A lodgement is an enclave made by increasing the size of a bridgehead, beachhead or airhead. ... Combatants North:  United Kingdom  Canada Polish forces South:  United States  Free French Nazi Germany Commanders Omar Bradley Harry Crerar Philippe Leclerc StanisÅ‚aw Maczek Bernard Montgomery George Patton Günther von Kluge Walter Model Strength ~at least 500,000 Casualties Canadian: 1,470 killed Polish: 325 killed ~50,000 killed... The Eastern Front was the theatre of combat between Nazi Germany and its allies against the Soviet Union during World War II. It was somewhat separate from the other theatres of the war, not only geographically, but also for its scale and ferocity. ... Falaise is a commune in the Calvados département, in the Basse-Normandie administrative région, in Normandy, north-western France. ...


The Allies had been arguing about whether to advance on a broad-front or a narrow-front from before D-Day. If the British had broken out of the Normandy bridge-head around Caen when they launched Operation Goodwood and pushed along the coast, facts on the ground might have turned the argument in favour of a narrow front. But as the breakout took place during Operation Cobra at the western end of the bridge-head and as the U.S. armies swung east they rapidly fanned out into a broad front. As this was the strategy favoured by supreme Allied commander Eisenhower and most of the rest of the American high command this was the strategy which was adopted. Caen (pronounced /kɑ̃/) is a commune of northwestern France. ... Operation Goodwood was an Allied military operation of World War II from July 18 to 20 July 1944 taking place in Normandy some weeks following D-Day. ...


Liberation of France

On August 15 in an effort to aid their operations in Normandy, the Allies launched Operation Dragoon — the invasion of Southern France between Toulon and Cannes. The Allies rapidly consolidated this beachhead and liberated southern France in two weeks, their advance only slowing down as they encountered regrouped and entrenched German troops in the Vosges Mountains. is the 227th day of the year (228th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants United States1 United Kingdom2 Free France3 Germany Commanders Lt. ... Panorama of Toulon area. ... Cannes - receding storm Cannes, as seen from a ferry speeding towards lÃŽle Saint-Honorat Cannes (pronounced ) (Provençal Occitan: Canas in classical norm or Cano in Mistralian norm) is a city and commune in southern France, located on the Riviera, in the Alpes-Maritimes département and the r... A beachhead is a military term used to describe the line created when a unit (by sea) reaches a beach, and begins to defend that area of beach, while other reinforcements (hopefully) help out, until a unit large enough to begin advancing has arrived. ... Typical landscape in Vosges mountains (Chajoux valley, La Bresse, France) Waterfall in eastern Vosges mountains Glacial lake in Vosges mountains (Lac de Schiessrothried) The Vosges Mountains is a range in eastern France, stretching along the west side of the Rhine valley in a NNE direction, from Belfort to Saverne. ...


The Germans were now faced by three powerful Allied army groups, In the North British 21st Army Group commanded by Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery, In the middle the American 12th Army Group commanded by General Omar Bradley and in the South the US 6th Army Group commanded by Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers. They were all under the command of the Supreme Allied Commander (American) General Dwight D. Eisenhower at SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces). The British 21st Army Group was an important Allied force in the European Theatre of World War II. // Normandy Commanded by General (later Field Marshal) Sir Bernard Montgomery, it initially controlled all ground forces in Operation Overlord. ... Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976) was a British Army officer, often referred to as Monty. He successfully commanded Allied forces at the Battle of El Alamein, a major turning point in World War II, and... The 12th Army Group was the largest and most powerful American formation ever to take to the field. ... Omar Nelson Bradley (February 12, 1893 – April 8, 1981) was one of the main U.S. Army field commanders in North Africa and Europe during World War II and a General of the Army of the United States Army. ... The 6th Army Group was an army group of the Allies (namely the United States Army) during World War II. It was created in Corsica, Italy (specifically activated on August 1, 1944) to consolidate the combined French and American forces that were planning to invade southern France in Operation Dragoon. ... General Jacob Jake Loucks Devers (September 8, 1887 - October 15, 1979), who is best remembered for his command of the 6th Army Group in Europe during World War II, graduated from the US Military Academy in 1909. ... Dwight David Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American General and politician, who served as the thirty-fourth President of the United States (1953–1961). ... Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (abbreviated as SHAEF), was the command headquarters of the commander of Allied forces in North West Europe in 1944 and 1945. ...


Under the onslaught in both the North and South of France, the German Army fell back. On August 19, the French Resistance (FFI) organised a general uprising and the liberation of Paris took place on August 25 when general Dietrich von Choltitz accepted the French ultimatum and surrendered to general Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, commander of the Free French 2nd Armored Division, ignoring orders from Hitler that Paris should be held to the last and to destroy the city. is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Croix de Lorraine, the symbol of the resistance chosen by de Gaulle French Resistance is the name used for resistance movements during World War II which fought the Nazi German occupation of France and the collaborationist Vichy regime. ... The French Forces of the Interior (Fr. ... The Liberation of Paris in World War II took place in late August 1944 after the battle of Normandy. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... General der Infanterie Dietrich von Choltitz (November 9, 1894, Schloss Wiese, Silesia - November 4, 1966, Baden-Baden) was the German military governor of Paris during the closing days of the German occupation of that city during World War II. In World War I, von Choltitz served at the Western frontier... An ultimatum (Latin: ) is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance. ... Philippe de Hauteclocque, often known by his French resistance alias Leclerc (November 22, 1902 - November 28, 1947), was a Marshal of France. ... M4 Sherman of the 2e DB in Normandy The 2nd Armored Division (French: 2e Division Blindée, 2e DB), commanded by General Leclerc, fought during the final phases of World War II in the Western Front. ...


The liberation of northern France and the Benelux countries was of special significance for the inhabitants of London and the south east of England, because it denied the Germans launch zones for their mobile V-1 and V-2 Vergeltungswaffen (reprisal weapons). Location of Benelux in Europe Official languages Dutch and French Membership  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Website http://www. ... The V-1 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 1) was the first guided missile used in war and the forerunner of todays cruise missile. ... For other uses, see V2. ...


Unfortunately for the Allies, the Germans took special care to thoroughly wreck all port facilities before the Allies could capture them. As the Allies advanced across France, their supply lines stretched to the breaking point. The Red Ball Express, the allied trucking effort, was simply unable to transport enough supplies from the port facilities in Normandy all the way to the front lines, which by September, were close to the German border. Sign posted along the Red Ball route The Red Ball Express was an enormous convoy system created by Allied forces to supply their forces moving through Europe following the breakout from the D-Day beaches in Normandy. ...


Operation Market-Garden

The British Field-Marshal Montgomery persuaded Allied High Command to launch a bold attack, Operation Market Garden which he hoped would get the Allies across the Rhine and create the narrow-front he favoured. Paratroopers would fly in from England and take bridges over the main rivers of the German-occupied Netherlands in three main cities, Eindhoven, Nijmegen, and Arnhem. British XXX (30) Corps would punch through the German lines and link up with the paratroopers. If all went well, the Allies would capture the port facilities in Antwerp and advance into Germany without any remaining major obstacles. British XXX Corps was able to link up with six of the seven paratrooper-held bridges, but was unable to link up with the troops holding the bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem. The result was the destruction of the British 1st Airborne Division. These events were summarised by Lt Gen. Frederick Browning as "a bridge too far". The offensive ended with Arnhem in German hands and the Allies holding an extended salient from the Belgian border to the area between Nijmegen and Arnhem. Combatants United Kingdom United States Canada Poland Germany Commanders Bernard Montgomery Brian Horrocks Roy Urquhart James M. Gavin Maxwell Taylor Stanislaw Sosabowski Walter Model Wilhelm Bittrich Kurt Student Strength 35,000 20,000 Casualties 11,377 dead,wounded or missing 6,450 Captured 2,000 Killed 6,000 Wounded Operation... This article is about the edifice (including an index to articles on specific bridge types). ... For other uses, see River (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Antwerp (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that River Rhine Pollution: November 1986 be merged into this article or section. ... Arnhem ( ) (South Guelderish: Èrnem) is a city and municipality in the east of the Netherlands, and capital of province Gelderland. ... The British 1st Airborne Division was a military unit that fought in World War II. It suffered terrible casualties, especially in Operation Market Garden. ... Browning as Commander, Airborne Corps. ... A Bridge Too Far, a book by Cornelius Ryan published in 1974, tells the story of Operation Market Garden, a failed Allied attempt to break through German lines at Arnhem in the occupied Netherlands during World War II. The name for the book comes from a comment made by British... Country Netherlands Province Gelderland Area (2006)  - Municipality 57. ...


West of the Siegfried Line

American troops cross the Siegfried Line into Germany.
American troops cross the Siegfried Line into Germany.

Fighting on the Western front seemed to stabilize, and the Allied advance stalled in front of the Siegfried Line (Westwall) and the southern reaches of the Rhine. Starting in early September, the Americans began slow and bloody fighting through the Hurtgen Forest ("Passchendaele with tree bursts"—Hemingway) to breach the Line. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 769 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1401 × 1093 pixel, file size: 319 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Then came the big day when we marched into Germany--right through the Siegfried Line. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 769 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1401 × 1093 pixel, file size: 319 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Then came the big day when we marched into Germany--right through the Siegfried Line. ... Map of the Siegfried line The original Siegfried line (Siegfriedstellung) was a line of defensive forts and tank defenses built by Germany as a section of the Hindenburg Line 1916-1917 in northern France during World War I. However, in English, Siegfried line more commonly refers to the similar World... Combatants United States Germany Commanders Courtney Hodges Walter Model Strength 120,000 80,000 Casualties 33,000 casualties 12,000—16,000 deaths[1] (est. ... Passchendaele village, before and after the Battle of Passchendaele The Battle of Passchendaele, otherwise known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was one of the major battles of World War I, fought by British, ANZAC, and Canadian soldiers against the German army near Ypres ( Ieper in Flemish) in West Flanders... Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. ...


The port of Antwerp was liberated on September 4 by British 11th Armoured Division. However, it lay at the end of a long Scheldt Estuary, and so it could not be used until its approaches were clear of heavily fortified German positions. The Breskens pocket on the southern bank of the Scheldt was cleared with heavy casualties by Canadian and Polish forces in Operation Switchback, during the Battle of the Scheldt. This was followed by a tedious campaign to clear a peninsula dominating the estuary, and finally, the amphibious assault on Walcheren Island in November. The campaign to clear the Scheldt Estuary was a decisive victory for the First Canadian Army and the Allies, as it allowed greatly improved delivery of supplies directly from the port of Antwerp, which was far closer to the front than the beaches of Normandy. For other uses, see Antwerp (disambiguation). ... is the 247th day of the year (248th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... British 11th Armoured Division: The Black Bull. ... The Breskens Pocket was a pocket of fortified German resistance against the 1st. ... The Scheldt (Dutch: Schelde, French Escaut) is a 350 km[1] long river in northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands. ... The Battle of the Scheldt was a military operation which took place in northern Belgium and southwestern Netherlands during the Second World War. ... Combatants Canada United Kingdom Poland Belgium Norway Germany Commanders Guy Simonds (acting) (First Canadian Army) Gustav-Adolf von Zangen (German 15th Army) Strength  ?  ? Casualties 12,873 total; including 6,367 Canadian  ? The Battle of the Scheldt was a series of military operations which took place in northern Belgium and south... Satellite image of the Scheldt estuary Walcheren is a former island in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands at the mouth of the Scheldt estuary. ... The First Canadian Army was the senior Canadian operational formation in Europe during the Second World War. ...

This German armored vehicle was destroyed by an American tank near Saint Aubin, the burning remains are inspected by US soldiers.
This German armored vehicle was destroyed by an American tank near Saint Aubin, the burning remains are inspected by US soldiers.

In October the Americans decided that they could not just invest Aachen and let it fall in a slow siege, because it threatened the flanks of the U.S. Ninth Army. As it was the first major German city to face invasion, Hitler ordered that the city be held at all costs. In the resulting battle of Aachen, after a very hard fight, the city was taken, at a cost of 5,000 casualties on both sides, with an additional 5,600 German prisoners. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 784 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (3000 × 2293 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 784 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (3000 × 2293 pixel, file size: 1. ... Investment is the military tactic of surrounding an enemy fortification or town with armed forces to prevent entry or escape. ... Oche redirects here; in darts the oche is the line from which players must throw. ... Shoulder sleeve insignia of the U.S. Ninth Army. ... Combatants United States Germany Commanders William Simpson Gerhard Wilck Strength 100,000 soldiers 12,000 soldiers Casualties 2,000 dead, 3,000 wounded 5,000 dead or wounded, 5,600 captured The Battle of Aachen was a battle in Aachen, Germany, that took place in October 1944 in World War...


South of the Ardennes, U.S. forces fought from September until mid-December to push the Germans out of Lorraine and behind the Siegfried Line. The crossing of the Moselle River and the capture of the fortress of Metz proved difficult for the U.S. troops in the face of German reinforcements, supply shortages, and unfavorable weather. During September and October, the Allied 6th Army Group (U.S. Seventh Army and French First Army) fought a difficult campaign through the Vosges Mountains that was marked by dogged German resistance and slow advances. In November, however, the German front snapped under the pressure, resulting in sudden Allied advances that liberated Belfort, Mulhouse, and Strasbourg, and placed Allied forces along the Rhine River. The Germans managed to hold a large bridgehead (Colmar Pocket) on the western bank of the Rhine centered around the city of Colmar. The Ardennes (IPA pronunciation: ) (Dutch: Ardennen) is a volcanic region of extensive forests and rolling hill country, primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into France (lending its name to the Ardennes département and the Champagne-Ardenne région). ... This article is about the river in France, Luxembourg & Germany. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Si paix dedans, paix dehors (French: If peace inside, peace outside) Cathedral St. ... Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the U.S. Seventh Army. ... French First Army was a field army that fought during World War I and World War II. At the beginning of WWI the First Army was put in charge of General Auguste Dubail and took part, along with the French Second Army, in the Invasion of Lorraine. ... Belfort is a town and commune of northeastern France, préfecture (capital) of the Territoire de Belfort département in the Franche-Comté région. ... Mulhouse (French: Mulhouse, pronounced ; Alsatian: Milhüsa; German: Mülhausen) is a town and commune in eastern France close to Swiss and German border. ... For other uses, see Strasburg. ... The Rhine canyon (Ruinaulta) in Graubünden in Switzerland Length 1. ... Located near Alsace in Eastern France, the Colmar Pocket was the site of a ten-day battle during the Second World War that saw four divisions of the French Army and an entire Corps from the U.S. Army overwhelm German resistance. ... Petite Venise Colmar is a town and commune in the Haut-Rhin département of Alsace, France. ...


Winter counter-offensives

American soldiers taking up defensive positions in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.
American soldiers taking up defensive positions in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.

The Germans had been preparing a massive counter-attack in the West since the Allied breakout from Normandy. The plan called Wacht am Rhein ("Watch on the Rhine") was to attack through the Ardennes and swing North to Antwerp, splitting the American and British armies. The attack started on December 16 in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Defending the Ardennes were troops of the U.S. First Army. After initial successes in bad weather, which gave them cover from the Allied air forces, the Germans' vanguard almost reach the Meuse River. the Germans were eventually pushed back to their starting points by January 15, 1945. Download high resolution version (807x624, 95 KB)American soldiers taking up defensive positions in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge. ... Download high resolution version (807x624, 95 KB)American soldiers taking up defensive positions in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge. ... The Ardennes (IPA pronunciation: ) (Dutch: Ardennen) is a volcanic region of extensive forests and rolling hill country, primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into France (lending its name to the Ardennes département and the Champagne-Ardenne région). ... is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the 1965 film, see Battle of the Bulge (film). ... The Meuse (Maas) at Maastricht Meuse near Grave The Meuse (Dutch & German Maas) is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea. ... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Germans launched a second, smaller offensive (Nordwind) into Alsace on New Year's Day, 1945. Aiming to recapture Strasbourg, the Germans attacked the 6th Army Group at multiple points. Because Allied lines had become severely stretched in response to the crisis in the Ardennes, holding and throwing back the Nordwind offensive was a costly affair that lasted almost four weeks. The culmination of Allied counter-attacks restored the front line to the area of the German border and collapsed the Colmar Pocket. Operation Nordwind (North Wind) was an attack conducted by the German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS during January 1945 in Alsace and Lorraine. ... (New region flag) (Region logo) Location Administration Capital Regional President Departments Bas-Rhin Haut-Rhin Arrondissements 13 Cantons 75 Communes 903 Statistics Land area1 8,280 km² (??? mi) km² Population (Ranked 14th)  - January 1, 2006 est. ...


Invasion of Germany

The pincer movement of the First Canadian Army in Operation Veritable advancing from Nijmegen area of the Netherlands and the U.S. Ninth Army crossing the Rur (Roer) in Operation Grenade was planned to start on February 8, 1945, but it was delayed by two weeks when the Germans flooded the river valley by destroying the dam gates upstream. During the two weeks that the river was flooded Hitler would not allow Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt to withdraw East behind the Rhine arguing that it would only delay the inevitable fight. Hitler ordered him to fight where his forces stood. The First Canadian Army was the senior Canadian operational formation in Europe during the Second World War. ... Operation Veritable was the northern part of the Second World War pincer movement by Field Marshall Bernard Montgomerys 21st Army Group to clear the land between the Rhine and Roer rivers. ... Shoulder sleeve insignia of the U.S. Ninth Army. ... The Rur (-German, in Dutch and French: Roer, not to be confused with the Ruhr) is a river in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. ... Operation Grenade was the plan for The US Ninth Army to cross the Roer (Rur) river in February 1945. ... is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt (December 12, 1875 - February 24, 1953) was a Generalfeldmarschall of the German Army during World War II. He held some of the highest field commands in all phases of the war. ...


By the time the water had subsided and the U.S. Ninth Army was able to cross the Roer on February 23, other Allied forces were also close to the Rhine's west bank. Rundstedt's divisions which had remained on the west bank of the Rhine were cut to pieces in the battle of the Rhineland and 290,000 men were taken prisoner. is the 54th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Battle of the Siegfried Line was one of the final Allied campaigns1 of World War II of the Western European Campaign and details the fights on and around the Siegfried Line. ...

US soldiers cross the Rhine river in assault boats.
US soldiers cross the Rhine river in assault boats.

The crossing of the Rhine was achieved at four points: One was an opportunity taken by U.S. forces when the Germans failed to blow up the Ludendorff bridge at Remagen, one crossing was a hasty assault, and two crossings were planned. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 746 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2731 × 2196 pixel, file size: 964 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 746 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2731 × 2196 pixel, file size: 964 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... It has been suggested that River Rhine Pollution: November 1986 be merged into this article or section. ... The Ludendorff Bridge was a railroad bridge across the Rhine in Germany, connecting the cities of Remagen and Erpel. ... Remagen is a city in Germany in Rhineland-Palatinate, in the district of Ahrweiler. ...

  • General Omar Bradley's US forces aggressive pursuit of the disintegrating German troops resulted in the capture of the Ludendorff bridge across the Rhine River at Remagen by the U.S. First Army. Bradley and his subordinates quickly exploited the crossing made on March 7 and expanded the bridgehead into a full scale crossing.
  • Bradley told General Patton whose U.S. Third Army had been fighting through the Palatinate, to "take the Rhine on the run". The Third Army did just that on the night of March 22 crossing the river with a hasty assault south of Mainz at Oppenheim.
  • In the North Operation Plunder was the crossing of the Rhine river at Rees and Wesel by the British 21st Army Group on the night of March 23. It included the largest airborne operation in history codenamed Operation Varsity. At the point the British crossed the Rhine, it is twice as wide, with a far higher volume of water, than the points where the Americans crossed and Montgomery decided it could only be crossed safely with a carefully planned operation.
  • In the Allied 6th Army Group area, the U.S. Seventh Army assaulted across the Rhine in the area between Mannheim and Worms on March 26. A fifth crossing on a much smaller scale was later achieved by the French First Army at Speyer.
US soldiers advance through the hazy ruins of Waldenburg Germany, April 1945.
US soldiers advance through the hazy ruins of Waldenburg Germany, April 1945.

Once the Allies had crossed the Rhine, the British fanned out Northeast towards Hamburg crossing the river Elbe and on towards Denmark and the Baltic. The U.S. Ninth Army, which had remained under British command since the battle of the Bulge went south as the northern pincer of the Ruhr encirclement. British and Canadian paratroopers reached the Baltic city of Wismar just ahead of Soviet forces on May 2. Remagen is a city in Germany in Rhineland-Palatinate, in the district of Ahrweiler. ... Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the U.S. First Army. ... is the 66th day of the year (67th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the U.S. Third Army. ... Location of Palatinate in Rhineland-Palatinate The Palatinate (German: ), historically also Rhenish Palatinate (Latin: ; German: ), is a region in south-western Germany. ... is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Mainz is a city in Germany and the capital of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. ... Oppenheim is a small town (about 7000 inhabitants) on the Upper Rhine (Rheinhessen), between Mainz and Worms. ... During World War II, Operation Plunder was the crossing of the Rhine river at Rees, Wesel and south of the Lippe Canal by the British Second Army, under Lieutenant-General Miles C Dempsey, and the US Ninth Army, under Lieutenant-General William H Simpson. ... Rees may refer to: Abraham Rees (1743–1825), compiler of Reess Cyclopaedia. ... Wesel is a city (population about 61,689 in 2004) in Germany, located at the point where the Lippe River empties into the Rhine. ... is the 82nd day of the year (83rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants United States United Kingdom Canada Nazi Germany Strength 30,000  ? Casualties 1,111 Dead; 1,625 wounded or missing Operation Varsity was an airborne operation towards the end of World War II, intended to gain a foothold across the River Rhine in western Germany as a part of Operation... Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the U.S. Seventh Army. ... Mannheim is a city in Germany. ... Wormser Dom Worms (pronounced ) is a city in the southwest of Germany. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Speyer (English formerly Spires) is a city in Germany (Rhineland-Palatinate) with approx. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 494 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2215 × 2686 pixel, file size: 907 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Please see the file description page for further information. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 494 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2215 × 2686 pixel, file size: 907 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Please see the file description page for further information. ... Waldenburg is the name of several communes Waldenburg, Saxony, Germany Waldenburg, Baden-Württemberg Waldenburg, Switzerland the former German name for Walbrzych, Poland Waldenburg, Arkansas, USA This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... Shoulder sleeve insignia of the U.S. Ninth Army. ... For the conurbation see Ruhr Area. ... Wismar is a small port and Hanseatic League town in northern Germany on the Baltic Sea, in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, about 45 km due east of Lübeck, and 30 km due north of Schwerin. ... May 2 is the 122nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (123rd in leap years). ...


The U.S. 12th Army Group fanned out, the First Army went north as the southern pincer of the Ruhr encirclement. On April 4 the encirclement was completed and the Ninth Army reverted to the command of Bradley's 12th Army Group. German Army Group B commanded by Field Marshal Walther Model was trapped in the Ruhr Pocket and 300,000 soldiers became POWs. The Ninth and First American armies then turned east and pushed to the Elbe River by mid-April. During the push east, the cities of Frankfurt am Main, Kassel, Magdeburg, Halle, and Leipzig were strongly defended by ad hoc German garrisons made up of regular troops, Flak units, Volkssturm, and armed Nazi Party auxiliaries. Generals Eisenhower and Bradley concluded that pushing beyond the Elbe made no sense since eastern Germany was destined in any case to be occupied by the Red Army. The Ninth and First Armies stopped along the Elbe and Mulde Rivers, making contact with Soviet forces near the River Elbe in late April. U.S. Third Army had fanned out to the East into western Czechoslovakia, and Southeast into eastern Bavaria and northern Austria. By V-E Day, the U.S. 12th Army Group was a force of four armies (First, Third, Ninth, and Fifteenth) that numbered over 1.3 million men. Army Group B was the name of three different German Army Groups that saw action during World War II. The first was involved in the western campaign in 1940 in Belgium and the Netherlands which was to be aimed to conquer the Maas bridges after the German airborne actions in... Otto Moritz Walter Model (IPA /mo:dÉ™l/) (January 24, 1891–April 21, 1945) was a German general, and later a Field Marshal, during World War II. He was noted for his defensive skills, and was nicknamed Hitlers fireman. Model served as an infantry officer in World War I... The Ruhr Pocket was a battle that took place at the end of World War II in the Ruhr Area, Germany. ... The Elbe River (Czech Labe, Sorbian/Lusatian Łobjo, Polish Łaba, German Elbe) is one of the major waterways of central Europe. ... Frankfurt am Main [ˈfraŋkfʊrt] is the largest city in the German state of Hessen and the fifth largest city of Germany. ... This article is about the city of Kassel in Hessen, Germany. ... This article is about the German city. ... Halle is the name of two cities in Germany, and both a municipality and a town in Belgium. ... Leipzig ( ; Sorbian/Lusatian: Lipsk from the Sorbian word for Tilia) is, with a population of over 506,000, the largest city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. ... FLAK was a punk rock side project of members of the band Machinae Supremacy in 2001. ... With torn picture of his Führer beside his clenched fist, a dead Bataillionsführer (general) of the Volkssturm lies on the floor of city hall, Leipzig, Germany. ... National Socialism redirects here. ... For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ... The Mulde is a river in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. ... Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the U.S. Third Army. ... For other uses, see Bavaria (disambiguation). ... Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the U.S. Fifteenth Army. ...


End of the Third Reich

The U.S. 6th Army Group fanned out to the Southwest passing to the east of Switzerland through Bavaria into Austria and North Italy. The Black Forest and Baden were overrun by the French First Army. Determined stands were made in April by German forces at Heilbronn, Nuremburg, and Munich but were overcome after battles that lasted several days. Elements of the US 3rd Infantry Division were the first Allied troops to arrive at Berchtesgaden, which they secured along with the Berghof (Hitler's Alpine residence). German Army Group G surrendered to U.S. forces at Haar, in Bavaria, Germany on May 5, 1945. Field Marshal Montgomery took the German military surrender of all German forces in Holland, Northwest Germany and Denmark on Lüneburg Heath an area between the cities of Hamburg, Hanover and Bremen, on the May 4, 1945. As the operational commander of some of these forces was Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, the new Reichspräsident (head of state) of the Third Reich this signaled that the European war was over. A map of Germany, showing the Black Forest in red. ... Baden is a historical state in the southwest of Germany, on the right bank of the Rhine. ... French First Army was a field army that fought during World War I and World War II. At the beginning of WWI the First Army was put in charge of General Auguste Dubail and took part, along with the French Second Army, in the Invasion of Lorraine. ... View of the Heilbronn centre of town toward the Wartberg. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... For other uses, see Munich (disambiguation). ... Shoulder sleeve patch of the United States Army 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized). ... Berchtesgaden is a town in the German Bavarian Alps. ... Haus Wachenfeld during its conversion into the Berghof The Berghof was Adolf Hitlers home in the Obersalzberg of the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden, Germany. ... For other uses, see Bavaria (disambiguation). ... // is the 125th day of the year (126th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... The Lüneburg Heath (German: Lüneburger Heide) is a region in Lower Saxony in Germany. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... , Hanover(i) (German: , IPA: ), on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... Karl Dönitz (IPA pronunciation:  ); September 16, 1891–December 24, 1980) was a German naval leader, who was in command of the Kriegsmarine during World War II and was President of Germany for 23 days after Adolf Hitlers suicide. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with President of Germany. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... During the Battle for Berlin, the Red Flag was raised over the Reichstag, May 1945. ...


On May 7 at his headquarters in Rheims, Eisenhower took the unconditional surrender of all German forces to the western Allies and the Soviet Union, from the German Chief-of-Staff, General Alfred Jodl, who signed the surrender document at 0241 hours. General Franz Böhme announced the unconditional surrender of German troops in Norway. Operations ceased at 2301 hours Central European time (CET) on May 8. is the 127th day of the year (128th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Reims (English traditionally Rheims) is a city of north-eastern France, 98 miles east-northeast of Paris. ... Alfred Jodl (May 10, 1890 – October 16, 1946) was a German military commander, attaining the position of Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, or OKW) during World War II, acting as deputy to Wilhelm Keitel. ... Franz Böhme Born in Austria on April 15, 1885 Franz Friedrich Böhme rose to the rank of General in the German Army, serving as Commander of the Twentieth Mountain Army and Commander-in-Chief of Norway. ... is the 128th day of the year (129th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The 1944-45 campaign in hindsight

While the unconditional surrender of German armed forces represented a resounding Allied success, the path to this outcome was influenced by the strategic decisions of both sides. In retrospect, it is clear that particular factors and choices strongly affected the pace and course of the campaign. During the Battle for Berlin, the Red Flag was raised over the Reichstag, May 1945. ...

  • The Allied deception as to where the D-Day landings would take place was very successful, with the majority of the German command convinced the landings would take place at Calais. For their part, the Germans underestimated Allied willingness to risk an amphibious assault over a route longer than the shortest path across the English Channel. While the Allies meticulously planned the landings, they failed to assess the countryside immediately beyond the beaches[1], which resulted in the Germans very successfully using the hedgerow country (Bocage) as a system of natural defensive works that took the Allies two months to clear at a staggering cost in infantry casualties.[2] Historians have also asserted the U.S. Army should have landed on the eastern end of the Normandy beaches and formed the northern wing of Allied forces in Northwest Europe.[3] [4] The primary argument in support of this is that the mobility of American forces could have been better used in the more open terrain and most direct route to Berlin that the northern approach offered. As it was, the pre-invasion basing of troops in England determined the arrangement of the landing forces.
  • While the Germans had reason to occasionally doubt Allied military proficiency[5], it is clear the Germans too often underestimated Allied competency. In its most damaging expression, this habit of underestimation led to the rejection of any notion that the Allies might have broken German military ciphers, most famously the Enigma code. The ability to monitor German military communications was an Allied strategic asset of the highest order. Less dramatically, the Germans often underestimated Allied troop proficiency, a habit that resulted in occasional sharp defeats for overconfident German units.[6] [7]
  • Manpower strongly affected the course of the campaign. The German ability to form a cohesive defensive line (the so-called "Miracle in the West") after the disaster their forces endured in Normandy was due almost entirely to the ability of the German Ersatzheer (Replacement Army) to quickly deploy large numbers of new troops. These inexperienced troops were paired with seasoned cadres who swiftly transformed the replacements into combat units sufficiently competent to defend fortified positions. Thus, while the Allies took large numbers of German prisoners during their advance from Normandy to the German border, they underestimated the ability of the Germans to reconstitute their forces under very disadvantageous circumstances.[8] The Allies also seriously underestimated the infantry casualties their forces would suffer in Northwestern Europe and the number of divisions that would be required to win the campaign. British manpower shortages became so grave that two infantry divisions had to be disbanded, while the Americans were forced to shake excess personnel out of their logistical and Army Air Force units in order to bring rifle units up to strength.[9] [10] Shortages of American manpower were strongly aggravated by a tendency to attack head-on regardless of circumstances,[11] a habit that was particularly in evidence during the months of fighting in the Huertgen Forest.[12] [13] The Allied logistical crisis that dominated their operations from September through December had the further pernicious effect of limiting the number of divisions in England that could be moved onto the continent to reinforce the front, since the Allies were only able to supply a limited number of divisions east of the Seine River. After the Allies mastered the logistical crisis, the Americans diverted divisions bound for the Pacific Theater to Europe in a belated realization that more divisions were needed for operations in Europe.
  • While the Germans achieved strategic surprise with their offensive in the Ardennes, the Panzer divisions that had been so painstakingly rebuilt could have been more profitably used to defend the Siegfried Line and the Rhineland, or perhaps, in the defense of Berlin against the Red Army.[14] The German thrust failed to shatter their enemies' alliance and cost Germany high casualties and equipment losses it could ill-afford. This folly was repeated in Alsace in January, but with the added disadvantage this time that the Allies were expecting the attack.
  • The Allies made serious errors and questionable uses of their forces several times during the course of operations in 1944–45.
  • Upon breaking out of Normandy in August, the Americans committed two armored divisions to operations in Brittany when armored units were direly needed for the pursuit of the German army across France. While the port of Brest, France was ultimately captured by the Americans, it consumed the operations of an American corps for an entire month and ultimately did little for the Allied effort because the Germans so thoroughly destroyed the port before it was captured.[15]
  • Out of fear that two wings of their forces might collide, the Allies failed to definitively close the Falaise Gap in August, allowing trapped German forces an escape route to the east.[16] Although the operations around Falaise trapped a considerable number of German prisoners, experienced German leadership cadres evaded Allied forces and were available to reconstitute a cohesive front line along the Siegfried Line.
  • Although British forces conducted a brilliant pursuit across northern France that resulted in the liberation of the critically important port of Antwerp in early September, they failed to promptly clear the Scheldt Estuary of Germans.[17] [18] The Germans immediately grasped the significance of the Scheldt Estuary and moved in troops to conduct a lengthy defense.[19] [20] The Allied failure to swiftly clear the Scheldt Estuary meant the port of Antwerp could not be used until November 28, and strongly contributed to the lengthy logistical crisis that hamstrung Allied operations for four months. Operation Market-Garden was a double failure in the sense that the resources used for it would have been more profitably committed to clearing the Scheldt Estuary instead of carving out an extended salient that did nothing but extend an already over-extended Allied front line.[21]
  • Despite grave shortages of riflemen, American operations in front of the Siegfried Line, particularly in U.S. First Army's area, were characterized by bloody frontal assaults.[22] Stubbornness and misplaced notions that the U.S. Army could not allow itself to abandon unprofitable operations[23] [24] saw five infantry divisions shredded in the Huertgen Forest fighting, with the attack being abandoned only in December after the Germans attacked into the Ardennes. The concentration of divisions in the Huertgen Forest–Aachen area also forced a corresponding lack of concentration along the Ardennes front, with the result that only four U.S. divisions were initially available in the Ardennes to parry a German offensive that was 26 divisions strong.
  • When, in November, the Allies enjoyed significant success in 6th Army Group's area, General Eisenhower refused to reinforce the success and even forbade his commanders in the south to attempt to assault across the Rhine in the area of Strasbourg while the German defenses were in shambles.[25] This lack of bold enterprise[26] was a by-product of General Eisenhower's decision to conduct limited-objective attacks on a broad front even though the Allies lacked a sufficient number of divisions to both man a broad front and concentrate enough combat power in chosen areas to achieve breakthroughs.[27] [28] (On other instances of cautious Allied generalship: [29] [30].)
  • After crossing the Rhine, Allied force deployments were tainted by misplaced priorities[31] [32], lack of firm direction from supreme political echelons[33] [34], and to some extent, by exaggerated fears of German capabilities.[35] [36] When American troops reached the Elbe River in mid-April, General Eisenhower unilaterally decided that Berlin was no longer a significant military objective.[37] He pointed out to Patton that it was of no military strategic value and would take up a lot of resources to occupy and asked Patton "Who would want it?" Patton replied "I think history will answer that question for you." Unswayed by Patton, Simpson or even Churchill, Eisenhower ordered U.S. forces to halt along the Elbe and Mulde rivers.[38] Thus, these spearheads were practically immobilized while the war raged on for three more weeks. Eisenhower knew that Berlin would be deep within the Soviet zone of post-war Germany and saw no reason to fight for land that would have to be given to the Soviets after the war.[39] Simultaneously, General Bradley considered the Germans trapped in the Ruhr Pocket to be the most significant threat and committed surprisingly large numbers of U.S. troops to collapse (as opposed to containing) the pocket instead of reinforcing his troops at the Elbe River.[40] As a consequence of Eisenhower's decision, the British 21st Army Group was ordered to drive northeast in the direction of Hamburg instead of proceeding due east in the direction of Berlin. Finally, the Allies proved curiously gullible about German propaganda claiming the existence of a "National Redoubt" in the Alpine hinterlands of Bavaria and Austria.[41] Fearing a large-scale last stand by the Nazis in this so-called redoubt, General Eisenhower directed no less than three field armies to clear southern Germany at a time when the largest groups of German forces stood to the east, not the south, of General Eisenhower's troops. Fortunately for the Allies, the German Army of April 1945 was in no position to exploit troop concentrations and movements of questionable merit.

Thus, while the Allies enjoyed a great victory, it is equally obvious that their prosecution of the campaign was not flawless, and that on occasion it afforded their German adversaries opportunities that prolonged the fighting unnecessarily.[42] [43] Calais (Kales in Dutch) is a town in northern France, located at 50°57N 1°52E. It is in the département of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ... Satellite view of the English Channel The English Channel (French: , the sleeve) is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. ... Bocage is a French word referring to a terrain of mixed woodland and pasture, with tortuous side-roads and lanes bounded on both sides by banks surmounted with high thick hedgerows limiting visibility. ... This article is about algorithms for encryption and decryption. ... Look up enigma in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Battle of Hurtgen Forest (German: Schlacht im Hürtgenwald) is name given to series of fierce battles fought between the Americans and the Germans during World War II in the Hürtgen forest (or Huertgen forest), afterwards known to both Americans and Germans simply as the Huertgenwald (Hürtgenwald). ... This article is about the river in France; it should not be confused with the Senne, a much smaller river that flows through Brussels. ... The Pacific Ocean theater was one of four major theaters of the Pacific War, between 1941 and 1945. ... Panzer IV Ausf. ... Historical province of Brittany, showing the main areas with their name in Breton language The traditional flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du), formerly a Breton nationalist symbol but today used as a general civic flag in the region. ... Brest is a city in Brittany, or the Bretagne région, north-west France, sous-préfecture of the Finistère département. ... During World War II, the Falaise pocket (also known as the Chambois pocket, Chambois-Montcormel pocket, Falaise-Chambois pocket) was the area between the four cities of Trun-Argentan-Vimoutiers-Chambois near Falaise, France, in which United States 12th Army Group encircled and destroyed the German Seventh Army. ... is the 332nd day of the year (333rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... The Mulde is a river in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... A 1945 U.S. Army map showing the possible extent of the National Redoubt The National Redoubt was the English term used to describe the possibility that Adolf Hitler and armed forces of Nazi Germany would make a last stand in the alpine areas of Austria, Bavaria and northern Italy...


Footnotes

  1. ^ Weigley, Russell F., Eisenhower's Lieutenants, pp. 52–53.
  2. ^ Weigley, p. 370.
  3. ^ Weigley, pp. 350, 355, and 687–688.
  4. ^ Hastings, Max: Armageddon, p. 422.
  5. ^ Hastings, pp. 58–59, 67, 69, 78–79, and 80–81.
  6. ^ Hastings, p. 68.
  7. ^ Weigley, pp. 337–343.
  8. ^ Hastings, pp. 15–16, 22, 32, 57, and 61.
  9. ^ Hastings, pp. 33, 152, and 185–186.
  10. ^ Weigley, pp. 350–351, 354–355, 373, 659, and 663.
  11. ^ Weigley, pp. 368–369 and 728–729.
  12. ^ Weigley, pp. 368–369, 370, 415–416, and 420.
  13. ^ Hastings, pp. 179, 189, and 193.
  14. ^ Hastings, p. 236.
  15. ^ Weigley, p. 285.
  16. ^ Weigley, pp. 201–209.
  17. ^ Weigley, pp. 293, and 350–354.
  18. ^ Hastings, p. 19.
  19. ^ Weigley, pp. 293, and 351.
  20. ^ Hastings, p. 19–20.
  21. ^ Hastings, pp. 61 and 134.
  22. ^ Weigley, pp. 368–369 and 728–729.
  23. ^ Weigley, p. 285.
  24. ^ Hastings, p. 68.
  25. ^ Clarke, Jeffrey J., and Smith, Robert Ross: Riviera to the Rhine, pp. 437–445.
  26. ^ Hastings, pp. 29–30, 65, 93, and 193.
  27. ^ Hastings, pp. 148–149.
  28. ^ Weigley, pp. 375 and 659.
  29. ^ Hastings, pp. 71–72, 235, 366, and 423.
  30. ^ Weigley, pp. 286, 668–669, and 729.
  31. ^ Hastings, pp. 24 and 418.
  32. ^ Weigley, pp. 673–674, 677–678, 680, 688, 699, and 716.
  33. ^ Hastings, pp. 420–421, and 424.
  34. ^ Weigley, p. 687.
  35. ^ Hastings, pp. 340 and 425.
  36. ^ Weigley, pp. 698–699 and 716.
  37. ^ Weigley, pp. 684–685.
  38. ^ Beevor, Antony, Berlin—The Downfall 1945, Author's Cuts: Chapter 12: "Waiting for the Onslaught".
  39. ^ In The Russo-German War, historian Albert Seaton noted "The remarkable aspect of this sudden change of strategic aim is that Roosevelt and the United States Chiefs of Staff should have left this final stage of the war to the discretion of a single individual who, although a soldier of distinction, may at that time have been lacking in political acumen and an understanding of the aims and methods of the Soviet Union." (Page 563).
  40. ^ Weigley, p. 674.
  41. ^ Weigley, p. 716.
  42. ^ Hastings, pp. 63, 65, and 72.
  43. ^ Weigley, pp. 729–730.

References

  • Clarke, Jeffrey J., and Robert Ross Smith. Riviera to the Rhine. Government Printing Office, 1993.
  • Hastings, Max. (2004). Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944–1945. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-375-41433-9.
  • Seaton, Albert (1971). The Russo-German War. New York: Praeger Publishers.
  • Weigley, Russell F. (1981). Eisenhower's Lieutenants. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-13333-5.

Further reading

  • Ellis, L. F. (1968). Victory in the West (Volume II). London: HMSO.
  • Kurowski, Franz. (2005). Endkampf um das Reich 1944–1945. Erlangen: Karl Müller Verlag. ISBN 3-86070-855-4.
  • Young, Peter, editor. World Almanac of World War II. St. Martin's Press.

  Results from FactBites:
 
RKKA in World War II (793 words)
The aim of this project is to provide information to the English-speaking community about the role of the Soviet Army (RKKA) in World War II and to supply you with translated information from the Eastern side.
Decision of the Kalinin Front commander on the counter-offensive
Decision of the Kalinin Front Commander Dec. 21
First World War.com - Feature Articles - Magical Slang: Ritual, Language and Trench Slang of the Western Front (5541 words)
The front line troops psychologically and linguistically occupied the moral high ground of courage, suffering and sacrifice, leaving the rear to hold the low ground of shirking and blind adherence to form and tradition at the cost of lives.
Bill Mauldin's World War II cartoons of "GI Joe" stand in the same tradition of affectionate commonality, all contempt reserved for those who are not a part of the community of combat.
Front line soldiers often felt that they had more in common with the enemy soldiers in the trenches opposite than with their own rear echelon troops and the people at home.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m