By Hugh M Cole
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Additional info for The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge
An omnivorous reader of military history, Hitler was fond of relating episodes therefrom as evidence of his catholic 10 T H E ARDENNES: BATTLE OF T H E BULGE military knowledge or as footnotes proving the soundness of a decision. In a very human way he selected those historical examples which seemed to support his own views. ” Hitler in turn had brushed aside the fate of both these predecessors, in planning his Russian campaign, because they had lacked tanks and planes. In 1944, however, Hitler’s mind turned to his example, Frederick II, and found encouragement and support.
If this plan should leak out they would be shot! Westphal and Krebs were in the toils of a security system as carefully conceived and executed as the combined vigilance of the armed forces and the Gestapo could make it. Wacht am Rhein was a cover name, chosen to give the impression that the plan was for a defense at the Rhine. An alternate and more commonly used formula, the Abwehrschlacht im Westen (Defensive Battle in the West) had the same intent and the added advantage that it had been used to describe the battles around Aachen.
Despite the heavy losses suffered by the Wehrmacht in the past five years, Hitler was certain that replacements could be found and new divisions created. His intuition told him that too many officers and men had gravitated into headquarters staffs, administrative and security services. He was enraged by the growing disparity in the troop lists between “ration strength” and “combat strength” and, as a military dictator, expected that the issuance of threatening orders and the appointment of the brutal Heinrich Himmler as chief of the Replacement Army would eventually reverse this trend.
The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge by Hugh M Cole