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Название: Battle of the Ardennes 1944 ( 1 ) St. Vith and the Northern Shoulder
Автор: Zaloga S.J.
Long overshadowed by the legendary defense of Bastogne, the battles around StVith in the northern sector of the Ardennes front were the most decisive to the outcome of the German offensive of December 1944. The prime objective of Hitler's desperate gamble was to split the Allied front by assaulting across the Meuse River to the vital port city of Antwerp. The shortest route was in the northern sector, and Hitler assigned his favored Waffen-SS Panzer divisions to this mission. Spearheaded by Qberstgruppenfiihrer "Sepp" Dietrich's 6th Panzer Army, the northern thrust contained almost two-thirds of the German armored strength. The 7th Army opposite Bastogne was assigned the dregs of the German infantry with practically no armored support. The failure of 6th Panzer Army in the opening ten days of the offensive doomed Hitler's plans. With their best routes blocked, the momentum shifted to General Hasso von Manteuffel's 5th Panzer Army in the center of the front, which attempted to redeem the offensive using a less direct approach further south near Bastogne. But by Christmas, the initiative had shifted to the American side and it was no longer a question of whether the German offensive would be defeated, but simply of when. This book focuses on the northern shoulder of the Battle of the Bulge in the vital first ten days of the campaign, concentrating on the attack by 6th Panzer Army and the American defense from St Vitb to the Elsenbom Ridge.