German army deficiencies are often cited as the reason for the failure of the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes region of France, Belgium and Luxembourg in December of 1944 to January 1945 which the Germans called Operation Wacht am Rhein, the Allies named the Ardennes Counteroffensive, and was also commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge. It is certainly true that the three German armies regrouped for the offensive were in differing states; only the 5th Panzer Army was in something resembling good condition, with the 6th and the 7th mediocre at best. The divisions were also often not mobile enough because of the lack of automotive equipment and were short on tanks and artillery. But these cannot be considered the only reasons for the German failure: it was also the speed of the Allied reaction, and especially the conduct of the Americans, who experienced some of the fiercest combat of the war, and suffered over 100,000 casualties.
This volume in the Casemate Illustrated series, with over 100 photographs and 24 color profiles describes in detail the different events that caused the German defeat, from the beginning of the offensive on December 16, 1944 to the retreat behind the Siegfried Line. It looks at several topics in particular: the American resistance at St. Vith; the resistance of the 101st Airborne in Bastogne; German obstinacy in persisting with the siege at Bastogne; the airlift and the intervention of the 9th US Air Force; the rapid regrouping of the 3rd US Army; Patton's counterattack; the British counterattack; and finally how the Allies failed to transform the German withdrawal into rout, missing an opportunity to cross the Siegfried line and the Rhine on the heels of the Germans, leading to an incomplete victory.