A chronology of the battle swirling around Bastogne appears below. The battle, known to the Allies as the "Battle of the Bulge" and to the Germans as "Watch on the Rhine," saw over a million men in combat: 500,000 Germans, 600,000 Americans, and 55,000 British. Three German armies (10 corps, the equivalent of 29 divisions) clashed with three American armies (6 corps, the equivalent of 31 divisions) and three British divisions as well as contingents of Belgian, Canadian, and French troops. Over 100,000 Germans were killed, wounded, or captured; there were 81,000 American casualties, including 23,554 captured and 19,000 killed. The British lost 1,400 men, including 200 killed. 800 tanks were lost on each side, and the Luftwaffe lost 1,000 aircraft.
16 December 1944 TIGER TANK IN THE ARDENNESStart of the German Offensive between Monschau (Montjoie) and Echternach, at 0530 hours.
17 December 1944 The Panzer battle group lead by Joachim Peiper of the 6th Army of Sepp Dietrich attack at Losheim. The infamous massacre at Malmedy is perpetrated.
18 December 1944 Start of the German assault on Bastogne, and arrival of American reinforcements: The 101th Airborne Division (Gen. A. McAuliffe), transported by road from Reims, and the 10th Armored Division (Gen. Roberts).
20 December 1944 LEAD ELEMENTS OF THE 6th SS PANZER ARMY AT A CROSSROADSGen. Eisenhower, Chief of the Allied operation on the Western Front, fixes commands: Field Marshal Montgomery to the north of the Givet - Prüm line and Gen. Bradley to the south. The two German Panzer Corps of Gen. von Manteuffel's 5th Panzer Army storm towards the River Meuse. Gen. Patton sends his troops to the aid of beleaguered Bastogne.
22 December 1944 After a particularly vicious attack, the Germans take St. Vith in the north. The German troops cut off all access roads to Bastogne. The town and its defenders are surrounded. In reply to the German demand for surrender, Gen. McAuliffe sends his now famous message: NUTS.
23 December 1944 ANTITANK GUN GUARDING A ROAD ENTERING BASTOGNEAfter a period of fog and excessive snowfall, the star of a spell of brighter weather allows the U.S. Army Air Force to resume its operations, including flying supplies to the besieged at Bastogne. The improved flying conditions mark a turning-point in the fighting.
24 December 1944 The German Panzers surging towards the Meuse are stopped near Dinant, and they withdraw after suffering important losses. The Germans also give up their push towards Elsenborn and send their Panzer Divisions to reinforce troops at Bastogne.
Christmas Day! U.S. ARTILLERY INSIDE THE BASTOGNE PERIMETER FIRING AT NIGHTOperations continue with the same intensity on all fronts.
26 December 1944 The 37th Tank Battalion of the 4th Armored Division of Gen. Patton's 3rd Army pushes toward Assenois, to the south of Bastogne, and succeeds in breaching the German lines to join the troops at Bastogne.
27 December 1944 A convoy of ambulances follows through the corridor at Assenois, and return with casualties from Bastogne to take them to field hospitals.
28 December 1944 Allied counterattack by the 2nd, 9th. and 99th U.S. Infantry Divisions. The Germans concede that their initial objective, to reach the port of Antwerp, cannot be achieved.
30 December 1944 Failure of an all-out German attack on Bastogne aimed at cutting off the Assenois corridor.
1 January 1945 The Luftwaffe launches its last major offensive strike. The 30th British Corps is deployed between Bure and Hotton.
3 January 1945 Allied counterattack towards Houffalize by the 1st U.S. Army of Gen. Hodges.
8 January 1945 The Germans decide to reduce the length of the frontline.
11 January 1945 La Roche-en-Ardenne is liberated by Allied units.
16 January 1945 The joining at Houffalize of the 2nd Armored Division of the 1st U.S. Army of Gen. Hodges and the 11th Armored Division of the 3rd U.S. Army of Gen. Patton, and the start of an all out Allied counterattack toward the German border. The last German shell drops on Bastogne.
22 January 1945 The 6th German Panzer Army of Sepp Dietrich withdraws from the front in the Ardennes.
23 January 1945 Liberation of St. Vith by the 7th U.S. Armored Division of Gen. Hasbrouck
31 January 1945 The Germans are rolled back beyond their positions at the start of the offensive on 16 December 1944.

AERIAL VIEW

   An aerial view of the town taken in early 1945.


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