In mid September, after the Allies were blocked in front of the “ziegfried” line west of the Rhine River, they had been thinking about the counterattack against the allies.
Although the Allied forces on the East and West lines had arrived at the German border, Hitler still had unrealistic optimism about the future of Nazi Germany.
At the beginning of October, Hitler officially ordered josel to formulate a detailed plan for the counter offensive on the Western Front as soon as possible, and strive to implement it in November.
He hoped that the early winter weather would end the absolute air superiority enjoyed by the allies, or at least greatly weaken it when Germany launched an offensive.
On November 3, Joseph, on behalf of Hitler, revealed this bold plan for the first time to lundstedt, the commander of the western front, model, the commander of the group B army, and mantufield, the commander of the fifth armored group army.
He told the three commanders that aver had been selected as the most suitable area for attack, because the Allies there had suffered heavy losses in the previous frontal attack and their strength was relatively weak.
Moreover, the Allied reserve team in this section has been transferred to the front line, and the supply situation is precarious.
Therefore, as long as the attack is completely unexpected and the weather is not conducive to Allied air operations, the German army may break through quickly.
Once the breakthrough is made, the German armored forces will win the initiative.
Between the bridgehead of Brussels and the port of Antwerp, the troops quickly advance to the north of the river.
As soon as the German armored forces crossed the Maas River, they could cut off the rear traffic lines of the first group army of the United States passing through the Maas River Basin.
When the German armored forces arrive in the Brussels Antwerp area, the rear traffic line of the British 21st army group will be fatally threatened.
Once the port of Antwerp is recaptured, the British army will be cut off, and they will face the fate of Dunkirk for the second time.
At dawn on December 16, 1944, Hitler’s long planned Arden counterattack kicked off.
At 5:30, 2000 German guns began to blast at the US defense zone between munsau and echtnah.
At the same time, the infantry began to attack under the cover of the barrage.
Then, five Armored Divisions also followed into battle, ready to rapidly expand the results.
Previously, a German contingent wearing US military uniforms, equipped with American equipment and speaking English has quietly sneaked into the US rear to carry out destructive actions such as cutting off telephone lines and reversing road signs, so as to create chaos and weaken the combat effectiveness of the US Army.
Despite the early attempts of the US Army, it must have caused chaos to the German army.
The north wing of the German breakthrough is Dietrich’s sixth SS armored group army, which is responsible for the main attack task.
After successfully breaking through the us front defense, its right wing was blocked by the US first group army and the Fifth Army and fell into a bitter battle.
The US Fifth Army was originally used to attack the Ruhr dam with a high degree of combat readiness, so it carried out a tenacious resistance to the invading German army.
Although Dietrich quickly transferred the 12th SS armored division to reinforce the right-wing assault force, his attack on butgen still failed to make a breakthrough.
However, on its left wing, the situation was quite different.
The front attacked by the 1st SS Armored Division was just the junction of the 5th and 8th armies of the United States.
Only a small number of cavalry served as guard, so it was quickly defeated.
By nightfall, the spearhead force of the first SS armored division, the Pell battle group, had broken into the US military front for 10 kilometers, and the momentum of progress was still very rapid.
Nevertheless, because the main force of the group army was restrained, the advance of the peper battle group was not decisive.
In the middle of the breakthrough, because the 281st division of the US Army had just passed the battle of Aachen, and had lost thousands of personnel, it had no time to supplement, and was in the process of recuperation.
The 106th division of the US Army had just been transferred from China three days ago, so the defensive force in this section was weak, resulting in the fifth armored group army of the German army successfully breaking through the US Army’s defense line and rapidly advancing in depth.
On the 17th, after the second armored division on the left wing of the fifth armored group army crossed the Clive river at the Clive railway station, the American resistance tended to collapse.
At 9 o’clock the next day, the German armor instructor also began to cross the Clive river.
At dusk, he arrived at the front line of nide and wanpah, and advanced to magret east of Bastoni that night.
On the 19th, the Division continued to advance towards Bastoni and attacked nefi and valdin.
Subsequently, the German 26th people’s Infantry Division also joined the battle to capture Bastoni.
However, due to the arrival of the 10th armored division and the 101st Airborne Division, Bastoni’s defense was effectively strengthened, and the German offensive soon reached an impasse.
However, outside Bastoni, its second armored division went straight into Dinan on the Merz river.
At this time, the commander of German B army group modle was very eager to shift the main attack direction to the direction of mantofil’s fifth armored group army, but Hitler stubbornly insisted that Dietrich, his favorite SS general, should continue to be the main attack.
By the evening of the 19th, although the German counterattack in Arden caused great panic and threat to the allies, it was far from reaching the planned goal.
The sudden counterattack of the German army on the Arden area on the morning of the 16th completely exceeded the expectations of the headquarters at all levels of the allied expeditionary force.
Previously, all allied departments were preparing for a battle to break through the German “ziegfried” defense line.
When the report of the German counterattack in Arden area was sent to the supreme command, the commander of the 12th group army group, bradracha, discussed the recruitment with him in his office.
At first, Bradley thought it was a destructive attack to stop the attack against sal.
Nevertheless, he immediately ordered the U.S. military on the north and south sides of the Arden area to send an armored division to approach the threatened area, and instructed the group armies to order their subordinate divisions to be on alert for use in the Arden area at any time.
On December 17, the front line was in emergency.
Eisenhower transferred the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions of the 18th airborne army of the reserve, the only one in the supreme command, to Bradley.
On the 18th, Bradley quickly dispatched the 82nd Airborne Division and 101st Airborne Division to Bastoni with excellent road network in the middle line.
Since the combat group B of the 10th armored division of the United States had arrived first and organized a defensive position in the east of Bastoni, Bradley left only the 101st Airborne Division to participate in Bastoni defense and transferred the 82nd Airborne Division to stafro on the north wing of Arden section.
Due to virtueThe Allied front-line intelligence was extremely chaotic due to the sabotage activities of the military contingent.
It was not until the evening of December 18 that the Allied Supreme Command specifically mastered the scale of the German counterattack.
On the morning of the 19th, Eisenhower urgently called Bradley, Barton and Devers to Verdun to discuss countermeasures.
Eisenhower believed that immediate measures must be taken to stop the German attack.
In view of the fact that the German army is carrying out the main attack on the Arden area and is likely to launch an attack on the trier area, he decided to concentrate on the anti assault on both sides of the German army protrusion in the Arden area.
To this end, Eisenhower proposed to abandon those areas that were irrelevant to the anti assault in order to ensure the security of important areas and strengthen the counter offensive force.
General Bradley should stop the German advance East of the Maas River and cooperate with the troops of the 21st army group to launch an attack on the German protrusion.
He was also ordered to stop the German advance in the areas east and south of the MAS River, focusing on ensuring the safety of the MAS river line from Namur to Liege.
According to Eisenhower’s instructions, the Allies turned the whole line into tight defense south of the Mosel river.
The Sixth Army Group of Devers was ordered to advance to the north and take over most of the defense area of the third army.
At the same time, Patton will lead six divisions northward to take over the defense area of the Eighth Army of the first group army, and launch a large-scale counterattack on the southern wing of the German troops on December 22 or 23.
During this period, Tony isolated some of the German forces and scattered some of the German forces.
The first group army of Hodges successfully organized a temporary counterattack against the strong attack of the German army.
In Saint vit, the tenacious action of the U.S. armored forces enabled the allies to successfully establish a new defensive position in the West.
On the north wing of the breakthrough, the US fifth and seventh armies held the battle lines of elsenberg ridge, bithenbach and malmedi stavolo in Lingnan in the most critical battle, repulsed several attacks by the German 6th SS armored group army, and won the time required for the allies.
Although the Allied forces responded quickly to the German threat, the German columns did not stop advancing westward.
On the evening of the 19th, general strong, the intelligence director of the Allied Supreme Command, worried that the German army would soon break through the forces of the 12th group army, thus separating the forward command of General Bradley in Luxembourg from the first group army of the United States.
He told General Smith, the chief of staff of the expeditionary army, of this concern and suggested that Montgomery should unify the command of the US troops north of Arden.
This proposal was appreciated by Eisenhower.
The Supreme Commander believes that the protrusion to the north of Arden area has become a battle front, in which only one reserve team can be called to support the British and Canadian group army or the ninth and first group armies of the United States.
Therefore, putting the ninth and first group armies of the United States under Montgomery’s command temporarily is conducive to crushing the German attack.
As soon as Marshal Montgomery received the order, he immediately convened Hodges and Simpson to meet at the headquarters of the first group army of the United States, and issued the order to reorganize the battle.
The ninth group army was ordered to take over part of the area of the first group army, so that the seventh army of the United States could withdraw from the battle and form a reserve team, so as to join hands with the British 30th army to launch a counterattack from the north of the protrusion.
At the same time, the third group army extended its battle boundary northward to the front line from Geneva to Saint Vitt.
In the first week of the German counterattack, the Allied forces on the north side of Arden area were hard hit and the front was too long, so they could only cope with the German counterattack.
However, in the south of Arden area, Patton’s third group army is moving quickly to attack the German troops.
From being ordered to move north on the 19th to launching an attack in the direction of Bastoni on the 22nd, the group army completed the amazing action of turning 90 degrees and entering 80-110 kilometers north to launch a new offensive in just three days.
However, due to the tenacious resistance of the German seventh group army and the attack of the Nazi air force, Patton’s third group army delayed the release of Bastoni than originally planned.
It did not break into Bastoni until the 26th, and made contact with the besieged US Army.
After that, Patton’s troops fought a fierce battle with the 47th armored army of the fifth armored group army of mantofield near Bastoni.
On December 23, when the weather turned sunny, the Allied forces dispatched about 5000 aircraft and violently attacked the German counter offensive forces and transport vehicles, which greatly alleviated the crisis.
At the same time, they airdropped urgently needed supplies to Bastoni’s defenders and encouraged the morale of the defenders.
Since then, in addition to the bad weather, the Allied air force has been active over the theater, posing a great threat to the German army.
The Arden campaign was the largest positional battle on the Western Front in World War II, with nearly 60 divisions on both sides.
The final result of Hitler’s battle of Arden was to stop the advance of the allies on the western line for six weeks, but it paid the price of exhausting its already limited reserve force, resulting in the long-distance advance of the Allied attack.
Soon, the Allies made a landing plan code named “pebble”.
The plan stipulates that the troops will land in Anzio, 100 kilometers away from the front line, in order to attack the defensive enemy from the rear, cut off its retreat, and cooperate with the fifth group army to break through the “Gustav line” from the front, and then capture Rome.
The plan requires that before landing, air fire assault should be carried out on the airport and traffic line near Anzio, and the ground forces should carry out a containment attack from the front of the defense line.
To this end, the 15th group army group transferred the Sixth Army of the US fifth group army as the landing force.
The army has two reinforced divisions, an umbrella regiment, five Marine battalions and professional forces, with a total of more than 50000 people.
A total of 376 naval ships and more than 700 aircraft supported the landing.
In order to contain the garrison of the “Gustav line”, the US fifth group army launched a frontal attack on the central and western section of the line on January 17, 1944.
The US 10th army on the left crossed the elliono River to launch a strong attack and obtained a bridgehead.
However, on its right wing, the 86th division of the US second army forcibly crossed the lapido River, but was repulsed by the German army.
With heavy losses, it was forced to return to its original position on the 19th.
In the middle, the French Legion was ordered to advance to the north of the rugged mount Cassino.
Although some progress was made, butBut paid a high price.
Nevertheless, the operational objectives of the allies have been achieved, and all the reserves have been transferred to the front of the lapido River, creating favorable conditions for the upcoming Allied landing in Anzio.
The allies also launched a small-scale amphibious landing from Naples to attract the attention of the German army.
On the morning of January 21, the Allied landing forces assembled in Napoli Bay began to set out and arrived in the Anzio sea area at midnight that day.
At 2 a.m. on the 22nd, Major General John P.
Lucas led the US Sixth Army to land.
Since there were only two German battalions and several shore defense companies defending here, and they were not on alert, the landing allies encountered only weak resistance.
After 48 hours, 36000 people and more than 3000 vehicles have landed, completing the initial goal and establishing a beach with a longitudinal depth of 11 kilometers.
However, Lucas did not take advantage of this favorable situation to move forward quickly and occupy the favorable terrain of the established target mount Alban in order to cut off the strategically important roads 6 and 7.
On the contrary, he took defending the beachhead as his primary task, waiting for the arrival of heavy weapons, tanks and other combat materials.
It was precisely because of the stagnation of the landing forces that the German army had a chance to breathe.
Kesselin, commander of group C army, quickly transferred troops from the 14th group military defense zone and the “Gustav line” in the north, and established a strong line of defense in front of the landing US Army.
Although the Allied landing forces soon increased to four divisions, the German defense forces increased to six divisions at the same time, and occupied favorable terrain, which was extremely unfavorable to the allies.
From February 16, the German army launched a series of counterattacks, forcing the landing allies to retreat, with heavy casualties.
On February 23, Lucas was dismissed by Clark and succeeded by major general trascott, the commander of the 31st US division.
Nevertheless, the Allies were still unable to get rid of the situation of being beaten passively.
Soon, the Allied Anzio landing evolved into a trench war of World War I style, with the two sides facing each other for three months.
Meanwhile, the German army made continuous attacks on the narrow beach held by the allies in an attempt to drive the landing troops into the sea.
At the same time, the Nazi air force bombed the port of Anzio in an attempt to prevent Allied supplies and reinforcements.
In order to reduce the pressure on the landing forces of Anzio, the fifth group army of the Allied forces launched repeated attacks on Mount Cassino, the strongest “Gustav line” in early February.
The 34th US division was ordered to attack the German positions in the Cassino mountains.
This was the so-called first Cassino battle.
On February 12, the US offensive was disintegrated by the German army.
From the 15th to the 18th, the newly established New Zealand Army was transferred to take up the second attack on Mount Cassino with the support of the air force.
The army consists of the second division of New Zealand and the fourth division of India.
These two divisions have made great achievements and fought tenaciously in the North African campaign.
Before the attack, the commander General Freiberg instructed the air force to bomb the monastery because he suspected that the German army would use it as an observation post.
As a result, the monastery with a long history was destroyed by the allies.
Subsequently, the German army occupied the ruins of the monastery.
From the 15th to the 21st, the New Zealand Army, known for its tenacity, launched its third strong attack on Mount Cassino with the close support of a large number of air forces, but it still failed to make a breakthrough.
During this period, the British and American Mediterranean air force, commanded by major general Ella Eck of the US air force, launched an organized air interdiction campaign aimed at cutting off German supply lines in order to support the beach of Anzio.
Although the German army was brutally attacked, it did not retreat as the Allies hoped.
The battle of Anzio lapido in early 1944 was the most frustrating offensive battle of the Allied forces in Italy.
In Anzio, the “wild cat” that the prime minister placed high hopes on has not been able to stretch out its claws and exert its prestige.
Instead, it has been tightly compressed in a narrow landing field, and it is difficult to protect itself.
On the one hand, this situation is due to the result that the Allied forces divide their forces equally in two directions.
Because Anzio is far from the “Gustav line”, the Allied Assault on Mount Cassino does not provide much support to the Allied forces on the Anzio beach, let alone coordination.
If these forces are put into the Anzio beach, the situation of the landing forces will undoubtedly be greatly improved.
On the other hand, Lucas didn’t advance bravely to Alban mountain immediately, which delayed the fighter plane to a certain extent.
As a result, in the four month beach scuffle, about 24000 American casualties and 9203 British casualties, and the amphibious landing war did not achieve the expected purpose.
In view of the large-scale landing of the Western allied forces in Normandy, France, on June 6, in order to contain more German troops, the US and British forces in the Italian battlefield must strengthen the offensive.
To this end, the “crown” operation plan was formulated.
The plan is basically the same as the two-way attack in January, that is, the landing forces on the beach of Anzio and the allies on the front of the “Gustav line” concentrate their forces to launch an impact at the same time, break through the “Gustav line” and advance to the Liri basin in one fell swoop.
In order to implement this plan, the eighth British army in the Adriatic Sea of Italy will leave only one army, and the rest will move westward to take over the area of the Cassino Liri basin.
At that time, the military deployment of both sides was: in Anzio, there were six allied military divisions and five German divisions facing each other, and another four German divisions were around Rome.
On the “Gustav line”, there are six allied divisions against six German divisions.
On this front, most of the Allied forces were concentrated on the front line from Cassino to Galliano entrance, with a total of 12 divisions.
On the night of May 11, the “crown” operation plan was officially implemented.
More than 2000 allied artillery launched a fierce bombardment on the German position, and then the infantry inserted into the German front.
Although the Allies had an advantage in firepower, the offensive troops made little progress in most areas in the first three days due to the tenacious resistance of the German army.
The second Polish army under the command of General Anders was ordered to attack mount Cassino.
Despite great determination, it still suffered heavy casualties due to indirect advance tactics.
The progress of the British 13th army was also very slow.
If the poles had not attracted the attention of the German army, the army would undoubtedly suffer greater losses.
The US second army advancing along the Mediterranean coast has also made little progress.
However, the French army between the US and British forces made rapid progress because there was only one German division on the opposite side.
They crossed the Galliano mountains and launched an attack on the German defenders.
On the 14th, the French ArmyAdvancing to the orsente basin, the German 71st division took the initiative to retreat in order to avoid being cut off.
This action immediately reduced the pressure on the US second army and was able to advance rapidly along the coastal highway to pursue and annihilate the 90th German division.
With the breakthrough of the West Wing of the German defense line, kesselin was forced to transfer the reserve team from the north to the south in an attempt to plug the gap.
But at this time, the German defense line has fallen into chaos.
Except that it continues to stick to Cassino for a few days, other parts have completely collapsed.
On the evening of the 17th, the German Paratroopers who held fast to the ruins of the monastery abandoned their positions, and the “Gustav line” was destroyed by the allies.
The next morning, the second Polish army occupied mount Cassino, but paid the price of killing about 4000 people.
As kesselin transferred a small number of German reserve forces to the south, the time was ripe for the allies to attack from the beach of Anzio.
On May 23, the US Sixth Army strengthened by a division began to break through.
Alexander hoped that the ministry would make a strong impact, go straight to Valmontone and cut off Highway 6, in order to catch the tenth group army of hattinghoff.
If this can be achieved, Rome will surrender without war.
On May 25, the US first armored division and the third Infantry Division advanced 20 kilometers to the northeast, arrived at Corey on the east side of Highway 7, and joined the US second army from the south.
At this time, the German Herman Goering division came head-on, preventing the further advance of the US Army.
At the same time, general Clark is leading four U.S. military divisions to Rome in order to win the honor.
Although Alexander called on him to cut off the retreat of the tenth German army as the main task at present, Clark made every effort to advance to Rome except for one division to advance to Valmontone.
Soon, Clark’s advance met German resistance on the “defense line” south of Rome and slowed down.
On May 30, the 36th division of the United States occupied Villette on Highway 7 in the Alban mountains and broke through the “Caesar line”.
Clark took this opportunity to order the fifth group army to launch a general attack and pound Rome along Highway 6.
Under the strong pressure of 11 allied divisions, the German army was forced to abandon its position.
On June 4, Clark’s Fifth Army entered Rome, and the German army retreated.
After the occupation of Rome, the Allies continued to advance along the Italian peninsula.
However, in order to support the landing operation of the “dragon cavalry” in southern France, the US Sixth Army, the French army and 70% of the air force in the 15th group army group have been transferred successively, greatly reducing their overall combat strength.
On the contrary, the German army was reinforced by four divisions and a heavy tank regiment, which enabled kesselin to gain a foothold.
After a series of ingenious hysteretic actions, the German army restrained the advance pace of the US Army and stopped it to the south of the “Gothic line”.
The line of defense is 130 kilometers north of Rome and is the location of the most ingenious trap set by Hannibal that year.
It starts in Pisa, passes through Florence and extends to Ancona on the Adriatic coast.
In order to advance and break through the “Gothic defense line”, the 15th group army group of the Allied forces formulated the “olive” operation plan in early August.
On August 25, the “olive” operation plan was put into effect.
Because the transfer of the British Fifth Army and the Canadian First Army to the East was carried out under extremely concealed conditions, the sudden nature of the battle was reached.
The combat effectiveness of the troops guarding the Adriatic coastal area was weak, so the British Eighth Army soon broke through the defensive line.
It was not until August 30 that kesselin sent two German divisions for reinforcements, but it was too late.
At this time, the British army had advanced more than ten kilometers.
In order to shorten the front, kesselin ordered all German troops to retreat into the “Gothic line” position, thus freeing up some forces to reinforce the Adriatic coastal area.
At the same time, the US fifth group army on the West Wing launched a fierce attack with the cooperation of the British 13th army, opened the Jiaojia mountain pass north of Florence, broke through the “Gothic line” that the German army had high hopes, and then advanced to Bologna.
At the same time, the situation of the eighth group army on the side of the Adriatic coast remains difficult.
On September 17, the number of German troops in front of him increased to 10 divisions, greatly delaying his advance speed.
Although the first Canadian Army finally reached Rimini on the 21st and then the Po River Delta, the German army has retreated to the maso River defense line.
The plain in front of Po River is crisscrossed with 13 rivers, which makes the subsequent advance of the eighth group army pay a high price.
Many infantry divisions were scattered, leaving only an empty shelf, and their combat effectiveness decreased sharply.
In this way, the Germans were able to free up most of their forces to deal with Clark’s advancing Fifth Army.
After a brief attack on Bologna on October 2, Clarke’s group took a breather.
He put all four divisions of the second army under his command into battle, but due to the tenacious response of the German defenders and the arrival of reinforcements, the average propulsion speed was no more than 1.
6 kilometers per day in the next three weeks.
On October 27, Clark ordered the fifth group army to stop the attack.
By the end of October, the advance of the British eighth group army also gradually stopped.
They crossed only five rivers, 80 kilometers away from the Po River.
In December, the allies launched the last offensive to obtain the wintering base and went to the front lines of lavana, Fanza and vilgato.
During this period, both the Allied and German forces adjusted the command structure.
Alexander was promoted to the supreme commander of the Allied forces in the Mediterranean, replacing Wilson.
The command of the 15th group army group was handed over to Clark, trascott took over the command of the US fifth group army, McCleary took over the baton of the British eighth group army from LISS, and LISS was sent to the war zone in Myanmar.
On the German side, as kesselin was injured in a car accident, heitinghoff took over the post of commander of the southwest group army.