Operation, 2AD, Ardenne Offensive
– a Movement Dec 21 Roer River (GER)/Eastern Belgium
– b Battle of Humain and the Celles’ Pocket
– c Drive on Houffalize, 1A and 3A connection
Howard N. Bressler, Captain, Cavalry
The beginning of the Ardennes offensive on December 16 1944 found the 2nd Armored Division in defensive positions along the Roer River in the vicinity of Jülich – Düren. On December 20, the entire division had been relieved of responsibility for the Roer River defensive line by the 29th Infantry Division. By order of the Commanding General, Ninth Army (9A), the Division reverted to Army reserve where it could be readily available to oppose possible enemy attack in that area.
Early in the month of December 1944 two of the greatest armies the world, has ever seen were facing each other in northern Europe. One army, the German, was tired, beaten back, but as yet undefeated. The other, the American First Army had enjoyed great success on the continent and was somewhat over-confident. The result of this situation was the greatest single battle fought by American troops in World War II, the Ardennes Campaign. During this battle three German Armies, two of which were Panzer, penetrated the sector of the First US Army in the region of Luxembourg and Belgium, and only after over a month of the bitterest fighting were thrown back to a line approximating, that from which they had started. A total of 56 divisions, 29 US and 27 German, participated in this battle. Among these 29 American divisions were 10 Armored divisions, as well as numerous separate tank battalions. As a mute testimony of the savage fighting, 85.000 casualties were suffered on each side before the battle ended.