Photo -- See Caption Below

American Soldiers Going into the Battle of the Bulge

Winter of 1944-1945
Hitler had deliberately chosen to launch a massive surprise attack through the Ardennes Forest during a fierce winter storm.  At first, cloud cover prevented the Allies from using air support for their ground forces.  In The Battle of the Bulge American forces initially suffered major set backs, but General Eisenhower saw an opportunity to finish off the German Wehrmacht.  The skies cleared a few days into the fight and Allied planes went on the offensive.  Reinforcements arrived to turn the tide. By mid-January, 1945 the German Army faced defeat.  It was the largest and costliest battle every fought by the US Army.  Approximately 19,000 American soldiers died.  Total estimated casualties for the Allies were 82,400 killed, wounded, and captured, while the German Army lost over 100,000 men.

National Archives # 28-1217a1