Joachim Ludewig

in Rückzug

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780813140797
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813141305 | DOI:

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Chapter 13 offers a look at the stabilization of the western German front after the retreat from France. By three weeks after the capture of Antwerp, the assumed German defeat had not happened. On September 29, Eisenhower had to tell the Combined Chiefs of Staff that the Germans had managed to form a relatively stable front. Although it was only a temporary stabilization of the front in the west, the reasons for the transition are linked to several factors. Hitler’s insistence that the western front was the only place for a far-reaching military success at the overall strategic level led to the concentration of much of the German force generated from the second total mobilization. Also, the operational readiness of the troops and the ability of the chain of command allowed the German forces in the west to be pulled back in better condition than originally expected. By mustering all of their technical skills and the very last ounces of strength in the shattered front lines, the Germans managed again and again to stabilize the situation and win defensive battles that, in the end, only contributed to the prolongation of a war that had been lost long before.

Keywords: Fuhrer Directive 51; Field Marshal Model; German Army of the West; Counteroffensive; Operation Market-Garden; Ultra Intelligence; Western German front

Chapter.  5367 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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