on the misty winter morning of December 16th, 1944, over 200,000 German
troops launched Adolf Hitler's last bid to reverse the ebb in his
fortunes that had begun when Allied troops landed in France on D-day.
Seeking to drive to the English Channel coast and split the Allied
armies as they had done in May 1940, the Germans struck in the Ardennes
Forest, a seventy-five-mile stretch of the front characterized by dense
woods and few roads, held by four inexperienced and battle-worn American
divisions stationed there for rest and seasoning.
this battle, German troops were pushing on the town of Bastogne from
three directions. Their orders were to first capture and secure all
bridges before moving in and clearing out the Ardennes in preparation
for their assault on the town. Allied forces faced supply shortages,
Axis spies and a determined enemy. Their only hope was to delay the
enemy push long enough for the skies to clear and Patton to arrive. That
meant destroying what precious few bridges remain in the area in
order to slow the Nazi advance.