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Osprey Order of Battle 8 : The Ardennes Offensive : V Panzer Armee : Central Sector

When Adolf Hitler conceived his counter-offensive in the west in the autumn of 1944, he placed his reliance on two SS-Panzer Korps to break through in the northern sector. This failed dismally and the Schwerpunkt, or axis, of the assault was switched to the central sector, where General Hasso von Manteuffel's V Panzer Armee was fairly scything through the Allied lines. 2 Panzer Division came within sight of the River Meuse, the first objective. The Americans were forced to evacuate St Vith and Bastogne was besieged. 'The hour of destiny has struck... Everything is at stake. More than mortal deeds are required as a duty to the Fatherland.'. Von Rundstedt's attack order revealed the critical importance of the coming events. Heeresgruppe B commander Walter Model's instructions to Von Manteuffel's V Panzer Armee were no less succinct: 'V Panzer Armee will break through the enemy front on both sides of the Northern Frontier of Luxembourg and will push forward... in a drive across the Meuse between Andenne and Givet.'. Yet Von Manteuffel and his commanders were worried - the fuel situation was perilous, and the weather could soon clear to allow Allied fighter-bombers to pound his tanks. V Panzer Armee's strength in heavy weapons was less than two-thirds that of VI Panzer Armee to the north - and it had a much broader front to assault. But was the 'schwerpunkt' or point of main effort, too ambitious, or poorly defined? First in the North, then V Panzer Armee's sector, then Bastogne - the execution was not to be as smooth as hoped. Text by Bruce Quarrie.


The books in this series are;
Order of Battle 4 : The Ardennes Offensive : VI Panzer Armee : Northern Sector
Order of Battle 5 : The Ardennes Offensive : US V Corps and US XVIII (Airborne) Corps : Northern Sector
Order of Battle 8 : The Ardennes Offensive : V Panzer Armee : Central Sector
Order of Battle 9 : The Ardennes Offensive : US VII and VIII Corps and British XXX Corps : Central Sector
Order of Battle 12 : The Ardennes Offensive : I Armee and VII Armee : Southern Sector
Order of Battle 13 : The Ardennes Offensive : US III and VII Corps : Southern Sector

 

Osprey Order of Battle


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