Seventy-three years ago yesterday, the Ardennes offensive began as the last major German offensive of WW2. The Germans poured men an material into Belgium and Luxembourg in attempt stop the Allied invasion forces and to capture the port of Antwerp which was vital to the Allied supply system.
While this ferocious battle was taking place during the “coldest winter on record” in Europe.
German soldiers had been retreating since their defeat by the Soviets at Stalingrad in February 1943 and for sure after the Battle of Kursk.
The losses for both armies was staggering as was civilian loss of life. It is estimated that thirty million Soviet civilians died during the war. Many civilians died at the hands of the Stalin regime from starvation and by execution for various “crimes”.
As an example of the harshness of the Soviet rule, app. 7,700 Soviet soldiers were executed by Communist political officers at Stalingrad alone and for minor offenses such as “drunkeness” and not “fighting hard enough”. It was a very brutal war with horrible winter conditions that both sides had to endure. I came across this video of Germans in the snow and thought I would share.