The Ardennes Offensive Kampfgruppe Peiper and the Battle for Bastogne
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The order of the paper will be along the following lines. First there is background information about Germany's position during the Summer and Fall of 1944. This includes events, conditions of troops and terrain, and political concerns that would factor into Hitler's final decision on where to launch his offensive. The positions of the Allied armies arrayed on three fronts against Germany will also be an important consideration. This section will also show how Hitler formulated the idea. The next part will be on the planning and assembling of forces used in the attack. For this section, I chose to follow the basic outline used in the World War II German Military Studies book by Donald Detwiler. The presentation of the planning stage in this book, Hitler's plan, his general's reactions, the assembling of forces, and explanation of security measures, seemed the best way to explain this area. Also included in this section is the planning for two commando operations that participated in the Sixth Panzer's attack, the Allies failure to detect the offensive, and the specific plans for Kampfgruppe Peiper. The third section of the paper will begin with a brief description of the Sixth Panzer's initial attack, discussions of the two commando operations, and the Allied reaction to the first day. I will then go on to discuss the actions of Kampfgruppe Peiper. This will entail a day-by-day account of the unit's attack until American forces surrounded it in the town of La Gleize. Included will be a section on the Malmedy Massacre, American attempts to halt the Germans, and the attempts to relieve Kampfgruppe Peiper. The time frame for this section is from December 16 to the 25 when the survivors of this German force arrived back at their lines.