Hitler’s decision to attack the Allies in the Ardennes Forest in the winter of 1944 made a sort of strategic sense for Hitler, but the attack was always doomed to fail.



This article is the first of two articles from the National Interest about the Battle of the Bulge. This first article makes the following points:

  •  It was called the Battle of the Bulge as it resulted in a significant bulge being made in the front line of the attacking allies. 
  • Hitler attacked the allies through the Ardennes Forest region in the winter of 1944–45.
  • It was the final offensive of the German Army in Western Europe. 
  • It was one of the biggest battles ever fought by the United States Army.
  • Hitler hated pure defence and preferred offensive action.
  • The Germans had just lost the Battle of Kursk against the Soviets and, U.S. and U.K. forces were moving north from southern Italy.
  • Allied forces were moving inland from Normandy, but allied troops were exhausted, and supply lines from the Channel ports were very long.
  • Winter 1944 was the only realistic time for the Germans to slow/stop the Allied advance.
  • The 1944-45 winter was very severe with terrible weather.
  • General Eisenhower thought that the German troops were in bad shape and it was safe for the Allies to pause and regroup.
  • As in WW1, there were rumours that the Germans were ready to surrender and Allied forces would be home by Christmas.

See Part Two: The Battle of the Bulge: Hitler’s Desperate Gambit Crushed by American Grit | The National Interest