Hitler’s Hail Mary

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

From James A. Warren, writing at The Daily Beast:

The Battle of the Bulge, the Third Reich’s final major offensive, was a military failure that still managed to surprise the Allies, claim thousands of lives, and prolong the war.

As early as September 13, 1944, General Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary forces in Europe (SHAEF), confided to his boss in Washington, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall, that the “termination of the War in Europe might be expected by the end of 1944.” Ike was not a naïve man, and his was not a naïve statement.By the time Eisenhower wrote that letter, the formidable German war machine had been badly mauled on both the Eastern and Western fronts. The Normandy campaign had reached its climax in an orgy of destruction when the Allied armies and air forces trapped the retreating German divisions in the Falaise pocket, where 70,000 Wehrmacht troops were killed or captured. The Normandy campaign as a whole had cost the Reich something like half a million combat-hardened men, 1,500 tanks, and 20,000 other vehicles.

Read the rest of the story at The Daily Beast.