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Battle of the Bulge - The German Tiger II Tanks

During the Battle of the Bulge, German soldiers used a powerful new weapon - the Sturmgewehr 44 (Stg 44).  Americans used the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR).  Fortunately, for the Allies, the Sturmgewehr 44 was in short supply.

At the beginning of the battle, the Allied high command did not believe the offensive was actually a major attack.  Then the German 6th Panzer Army arrived, making things worse for the American soldiers. 

Joachim ("Jochen") Peiper, a young SS officer, led those Germans who were using a new tank - the 70-ton Tiger II (also called the "King Tiger").  Highly respected by his troops (referred to as Kampfgruppe Peiper), Peiper had to negotiate his way through thick forest on a single road.  The terrain caused delays for Peiper and his advancing tanks. 

Residents of nearby towns, who survived the German advance, took refuge wherever they could (including in caves) and salvaged food wherever they could find it (including in gutted barns).

Later ... when the war was over ... Peiper was convicted of war crimes (for the December 17, 1944 "Malmedy Massacre" of American soldiers and the deaths of Belgian civilians (including people from Stavelot).  He spent 11 1/2 years in Landsberg prison (where Adolf Hitler had once served time), then was murdered (at home in Traves, France) in July of 1976.

See, also:

Battle of the Bulge - Ardennes Offensive

Battle of the Bulge - Mass Surrender

Battle of the Bulge - Northern Shoulder of the Ardennes

Bastogne Relieved - Hitler Loses the Ardennes Offensive

Battle of the Bulge - Historic Footage


Media Credits

Video clip from the series Battlefield Detectives, Season 3, Episode 1 - "The Battle of the Bulge."  Original air date:  November 14, 2005.  Copyright, A&E, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the series. Online, courtesy the History Channel and YouTube.

Director: 
James Millar
David Wright

Producer:
Keith Farrell
James Millar

Linked military pictures from:

United States Army in World War II
European Theater of Operations


The Ardennes:
Battle of the Bulge


By Hugh M. Cole

CMH Publication 7-8

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF MILITARY HISTORY
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
WASHINGTON, D.C., 2000

Library of Congress Catalog Number: 65-60001

 

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