Osprey's Tanks in the Battle of the Bulge
|Steven Zaloga, illustrated by Filipe Rodriguez|
48 pages, 7¼ x 9¼
With the war going very badly for Germany in late 1944, a plan was developed to try to do something about the Allied advance towards Germany. The best way to stifle that advance, was to cut off supplies. In this case, it meant taking over the port of Antwerp, where the majority of Allied supplies were unloaded. However, this plan required several specific events to happen.
One was fairly poor weather to keep Allied fighter-bombers grounded. The Luftwaffe was completely unable to gain any sort of air superiority by this time so the foul weather was necessary. Secondly, a level of surprise was needed that involved attacking through an area that was unexpected, and that was the Ardennes. Third, there had to be a way to misdirect any reinforcements and that was where the use of fake US troops and armor camouflaged to look like US vehicles came into play. It was also imperative that the attack keep to a specific timetable for it all to work.
What became to be known as the Battle of the Bulge was only partially successful but eventually failed in its goals due to the inability to keep to the time table and the breaking of the bad weather which allowed Allied airpower to roam the battlefield.
Another aspect was the operation of armor. Though the Germans attacked a fairly weak portion of the front lines, they also attacked troops who were fairly experienced by this time. Despite the technical superiority of German armor, the Germans lacked experienced crews and they lacked numbers. Though German tanks fought fairly well, the American tanks fought even better with tactics that overcame the German technical superiority.
This book looks at the variety of weapons used during the battle on both sides. It looks at the plans of both the Germans and American forces and the author points out areas of strength and weakness in both the plans and the equipment. Enhanced by great period photos, well done charts and art work as well as some nice profiles, we get to see how all this equipment operated during this period of time. Their strengths and weaknesses are discussed as well, making for a well rounded volume. A great read for the enthusiast and well worth picking up.
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