On 10 December 1944, Lt. Gen. Fritz Hermann Michael Bayerlein was called to a meeting at Kyllburg, Germany, to participate in a map exercise involving an advance from the present front in the Ardennes sector to the Meuse River. Among the other officers present were Gen. of Armored Troops Hasso von Manteuffel, commander of Fifth Panzer Army, along with several other high ranking commanders.
Bayerlein, at the time commander of Panzer Lehr Division, was specifically asked if he could take the Belgium crossroads town of Bastogne. He replied that, unless the place could be captured by surprise, “only a thoroughly prepared attack could take it.”
It was apparent to him an offensive in the west was in the offing, but when it would take place he did not yet know. e answer to that question came two days later.
On 12 December he was summoned to appear at Armed Forces High Command (OKW) headquarters in Ziegenberg. There he found assembled all the army, corps and division commanders serving on the western front. A half-hour bus ride took that entire group to a face-to-face meeting with Hitler.
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· Two Decisive Battles of the 30 Years War: Lutter 1626 & Wittstock 1636: The Thirty Years War (1618–48) was a prolonged struggle where the powers of Europe fought for religious, dynastic and emerging national objectives. And while the war spanned three decades, armies won decisive victories that changed the course of the conflict. Two of these battles were Lutter (1626) and Wittstock (1636).
· Alexander the Great: A Study in Character & Finance: The key to understanding the short life of Alexander’s Empire lies in studying the character of the man himself. Doing so dispels the myth about his actual intentions, and also explains why, only a little over 300 years after his death, nearly all traces of his empire and its culture had disappeared.
· Forward to the Meuse: The Panzer Lehr Division in the Battle of the Bulge: This elite armored division of the German Army was one of the spearheads in Hitler’s last major offensive in the west during World War II.
· Arms Race in the Maghreb: Over the past decade, Morocco and Algeria have greatly expanded their arms purchases. Their rivalry is not new. It goes back to the independence of both nations.