wwii history eto

Recon elements of 12.SS-Panzer-Division in the approaches to Krinkelt, Belgium December 18.
The Americans were quick to take advantage of the fog of the morning hours, dragging the German operational timeline into the negative. At this time the German moral was still very much intact, and a breakthrough into the Allied lines is shortcoming, albeit with heavy losses to the 277. Volks-Grenadier-Division who were covering the flanks of the approaching I.SS-Panzerkorps.

A Henschel Tiger II ‘223’ belonging to SS.Panzer-Abteilung 501  abandoned just outside of La Gleize on 19.Dec. 1944.
 It still has brackets on the rear hull for mounting the jack but has no coat Zimmerit which was no longer applied to AFVs after 9.Sept.1944. This indicates that it was manufactured between early September and and the beginning of October 1944 when Henschel was instructed to stop fitting the jack bracket because the associated jack was no longer being issued with the vehicle.
 After the recapture of La Gleize the American 1st US Army organized a tour for some press corps photographers during which these photos were taken.

Unternehmen 'Wacht Am Rhein' Begins!


When ‘Wacht am Rhein" began early on 16 December 1944 there were eight hours and six minutes of daylight ahead, from sunrise at 8.29 a.m. to sunset at 4.35 p.m. CET (taking Bastogne as reference point) with just another thirty-eight minutes of twilight at both dawn and dusk: a short winters day.
  For the Americans, caught off guard, the shock of the opening phase of the offensive was to turn into a defeat for a number of front-line units, whilst for the Germans, striking such a stunning blow brought about the resurgence in moral that possessed undertone of the blitzkrieg of former years.
  At 12.45 p.m. CET a report from Heeresgruppe B savoured some of the American radio messages it quoted: 'We have been bypassed. What should we do?’
'The guns are useless now. What should we do.’ Reply: 'Blow up the guns’ , and We are withdrawing six miles to build up a new front line.“
 Hitler once more sensed the excitement of victory. Placing a call to Heeresgruppe G, south of the offensive, he spoke with its commander, General der Panzertruppen Hermann Balck. His voice taut with emotion, Hitler rasped, 'Balck, Balck, everything has changed in the West! Success-complete success-it’s now in our grasp!’
  For the planners of 'Wacht am Rhein’, however, indications had started to come in after only a few hours that things were not going according to plan.