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9 Days Which shook the world1944-1945
1 Leaflet: Black and White
Obverse: On the ninth day of the German surprise offensive, the American Panzer army of Patton went over to the attack aginst the southern flank of Manteuffel’s army. At the same time, units of the first United States Army stopped the German armored spearheads a short distance from the Meuse. 6,000 allied fighter bombers and Fighters appeared above the battlefield. In the West, surprisingly, there appeared new American and British arnored formations. The 6th Panzer Army of Sepp dietrich had to go entirely on the defensive. The most darling german offensive since Stalingrad was over. The world knew: The Last Fantastic Attempt of the German Leadership Has Failed. Reverse: Propoganda: Soldiers of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf hitler were told before the German surprise offensives: “We shall break through to Paris”. SS Oberführer Mohnke, the Division commander declared: “Liege will be given to the Führer as a Christmas present”. Reality: After three weeks of embittered fighting the territorial gain consisted temporarily of 75 kms of Mountainous country, lengthening the front by nearly 100km. The cost: between 80 and 90,000 losses, among them 27,000 prisoners. Instead of Liege and Verdun, thousands bled to death in fighting for such places as Houffalize and Bastogne Propaganda: Soldiers of the First SS Panzer Regiment were told before the offensive: “This time we have air cover and sufficient artillery. We have been guaranteed full air superiority over the front for 3 months” Reality: The German air offensive was smashed in 3 days. Largest Allied air effort: Alone from the 23rd to the 29th of December, 28,000 sorties were flown. In heavy weapons, too, the material superiority of the Allies became clearly evident again after the first few days. Propaganda: Officers of the 9th Volksgrenadier division were told before the offensive that its purpose is “to prove to the western powers that they cannot beat Germany. Then they will be prepared to make a compromise peace. Reality: While in the West the battle raged in the Ardennes, the Red Army began their winter offensive. The Allies say, just as before: “There can be no dealings with Germany except on the basis of unconditional surrender”. To fight on now can only do harm.
CollectionJohn S. Minary Psychological Warfare Collection
Holding ID: ZG 105