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western allied invasion of germany


The wisdom of putting lightly-armed paratroopers so close to the main battlefield was debated, and the plan for amphibious forces to cross the Rhine prior to the parachute drop raised questions as to the utility of making an airborne assault at all. Additionally, to avoid being caught in the artillery preparation, the paratroopers would jump only after the amphibious troops had reached the Rhine's east bank. Initial Initial 495th Bombardment Squadron (331 words) [view diff] case mismatch in snippet view article find links to article Some people said Hitler's most loyal troops were preparing to Gen. William H. Simpson—and the Second Army's Lt. Gen. Sir Miles C. Dempsey took exception to this approach. Also on 28 March, elements of the U.S. 17th Airborne Division—operating north of the Lippe River in conjunction with British armored forces—dashed to a point some 30 mi (48 km) east of Wesel, opening a corridor for the XIX Corps and handily outflanking Dorsten and the enemy to the south. The Western Allied invasion of Germany was coordinated by the Western Allies during the final months of hostilities in the European theater of World War II. The same day, in response to the 3rd Army's robust showing in the Saar-Palatinate region, and to have another strong force on the Rhine's east bank guarding the 1st Army's flank, Bradley gave Patton the go-ahead for an assault crossing of the Rhine as soon as possible. [12], On 21 March, Patton ordered his XII Corps to prepare for an assault over the Rhine on the following night, one day before Montgomery's scheduled crossing. The Allied officer then took over the town. The 9th Army's XVI Corps—which had taken up position north of the Ruhr area after crossing the Rhine—would be assisted in its southward drive by two divisions of the XIX Corps, the rest of which would continue to press eastward along with the XIII Corps. Thus, as the western Allies completed their preparations for the final drive into the heart of Germany, victory seemed within sight. After driving east nearly 100 mi (160 km), this corps was to meet elements of the 1st Army near Paderborn, completing the encirclement of the Ruhr. The Allied invasion of Germany started with the Western Allies crossing the River Rhine in March 1945 before fanning out and overrunning all of western Germany from the Baltic in the north to Austria in the south before the Germans surrendered on 8 May … While Montgomery was carefully and cautiously planning for the main thrust in the north, complete with massive artillery preparation and an airborne assault, American forces in the south were displaying the kind of basic aggressiveness that Eisenhower wanted to see. At the northern crossing site, elements of XXX Corps began the assault (Operations Turnscrew) about 21:00, attempting to distract the Germans from the main crossings at Xanten in the center and Rheinberg to the south. Still, Allied intelligence could not entirely discount the possibility that remnants of the German Army would attempt a suicidal last stand in the Alps. An intense exchange of fire lasted for about thirty minutes as assault boats kept pushing across the river and those men who had already made it across mounted attacks against the scattered defensive strongpoints. [21], Simpson began by moving elements of the XIX Corps′ 2nd Armored Division into the XVI Corps bridgehead on 28 March with orders to cross the Lippe east of Wesel, thereby avoiding that city's traffic jams. Forty-nine of these divisions were A… World War II military engagements in Southern Europe and elsewhere are generally considered as separate theatres. The Western Allied invasion of Germany was coordinated by the Western Allies during the final months of hostilities in the European theatre of World War II. On 29 March, the 1st Army turned toward Paderborn, about 80 mi (130 km) north of Giessen, its right flank covered by the 3rd Army, which had broken out of its own bridgeheads and was headed northeast toward Kassel. [7], On 21 March, Army Group H headquarters became Oberbefehlshaber Nordwest ("Army Command Northwest") commanded by Ernst Busch leaving the former Army Group H commander—Johannes Blaskowitz—to lead "Army Command Netherlands" (25th Army) cut off in the Netherlands. [17] The intention was to create a line from Bremen south to Neowied. Allied Invasion Force and German Dispositions, 6 June 1944 The Invasion of Normandy and Operations, 6–12 June 1944 UTAH Beachhead-VII Corps D-Day Operations, 6 June 1944 The choice was obvious because the Main River, flowing northward 30 mi (48 km) east of and parallel to the Rhine, turns west and empties into the Rhine at Mainz and an advance south of the city would involve crossing two rivers rather than one. Once the bridgehead was secured the British 6th Airborne Division would be transferred to Second Army control, while the U.S. 17th Airborne Division would revert to 9th Army control. The Allied invasion of Germany started with the Western Allies crossing the Rhine on 22 March 1945 before fanning out and overrunning all of western Germany from the Baltic in the north to the Alpine passes in the south, where they linked up with troops of the U.S. [34], On 30 April, elements of 7th Army's XV and XXI Corps captured Munich, 30 mi (48 km) south of the Danube, while the first elements of its VI Corps had already entered Austria two days earlier. The change resulted from an agreement between the American and Soviet military leadership based on the need to establish a readily identifiable geographical line to avoid accidental clashes between the converging Allied forces. By the end of April, the Third Reich was in tatters. The 12th U.S. Army Group commander said that American troops could cross the Rhine anywhere, without aerial bombardment or airborne troops, a direct jab at Montgomery whose troops were at that very moment preparing to launch their own Rhine assault following an intense and elaborate aerial and artillery preparation and with the assistance of two airborne divisions. Western Front. By the early spring of 1945, events favored the Allied forces in Europe. Part of. [23], The British Prime Minister and Chiefs of Staff strongly opposed the new plan. Tanks and tank destroyers had been ferried across all morning, and by evening a treadway bridge was open to traffic. The U.S. III Corps, in the center, did not commit its armor on the first day of the breakout, but still made a gain of 4 mi (6.4 km). defend themselves in the mountains of southern Germany and western Austria. On 7 March, elements of Lt. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges's 1st Army had captured a bridge over the Rhine at Remagen and had been steadily expanding the bridgehead. To the north, the 9th Army's XIX and XIII Corps would also drive for the Elbe, toward Magdeburg, about 65 mi (105 km) north of Leipzig, although the army commander, General Simpson, hoped he would be allowed to go all the way to Berlin. [34], As the 6th U.S. Army Group and the 3rd Army finished clearing southern Germany and approached Austria, it was clear to most observers, Allied and German alike, that the war was nearly over. After passing north of the Lippe on 29 March, the 2nd Armored Division broke out late that night from the forward position that the XVIII Airborne Corps had established around Haltern, 12 mi (19 km) northeast of Dorsten. These advances on the Eastern Front destroyed experienced German troop groups. In the center of the front, defending the Ruhr, Kesselring had Field Marshal Walther Model commanding Army Group B (15th Army and 5th Panzer Army) and in the south Paul Hausser's Army Group G (7th Army, 1st Army and 19th Army). [36], On the 21st Army Group's left, one corps of the Canadian 1st Army reached the North Sea near the Dutch-German border on 16 April, while another drove through the central Netherlands, trapping the German forces remaining in that country. The Allied front along the Rhine stretched 450 mi (720 km) from the river's mouth at the North Sea in the Netherlands to the Swiss border in the south. [9], When American or other western soldiers arrived in a town, its leaders and remaining residents typically used white flags, bedsheets, and tablecloths to signal surrender. Final positions of the Allied and Soviet armies, May 1945. He was worried the Soviets would capture Berlin before the western Allies. In the north, from the North Sea to a point about 10 miles (16 km) north of Cologne, was the 21st Army Group commanded by Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery. He found out that Soviet forces held a bridge over the Oder River, 30 mi (48 km) from Berlin. Holding the middle of the Allied line from the 9th Army's right flank to a point about 15 mi (24 km) south of Mainz was the 12th U.S. Army Group under the command of Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley. It was a poster that told Germans that they had to follow orders from Allied officers. Rolling northward 45 mi (72 km) without casualties, the mobile force stopped for the night 15 mi (24 km) from its objective. As the first boats reached the east bank, seven startled Germans surrendered and then paddled themselves unescorted to the west bank to be placed in custody. It said Germans had to give all weapons to the Allies. [15], Two more 3rd Army crossings—both by the VIII Corps—quickly followed. After the reduction of the Ruhr Pocket, the main thrust east would be made by Bradley's 12th Army Group in the center, rather than by Montgomery's 21st Army Group in the north as originally planned. The VIII Corps crossing sites were located along the Rhine Gorge, where the river had carved a deep chasm between two mountain ranges, creating precipitous canyon walls over 300 ft (91 m) high on both sides. However, concerned that the bypassed Germans would flood much of the nation and cause complete famine among a Dutch population already near starvation, Eisenhower approved an agreement with the local enemy commanders to allow the Allies to air-drop food into the country in return for a local ceasefire on the battlefield. Thousands of prisoners were being taken every day; from 16–18 April, when all opposition ended and the remnants of German Army Group B formally surrendered, German troops had been surrendering in droves throughout the region.  United States The two 9th Army divisions tasked for the assault concentrated in the Rheinberg area south of Wesel. German casualties during the Allied campaign to reach the Rhine in February–March 1945 are estimated to 400,000 men, including 280,000 men captured as prisoners of war.[2]. Eisenhower thus turned his attention to other objectives, most notably a rapid meet-up with the Soviets to cut the German Army in two and prevent any possibility of a unified defense. His detailed plans, code-named Operation Plunder, were comparable to the Normandy invasion in terms of numbers of men and extent of equipment, supplies, and ammunition to be used. When the task force failed to advance on 31 March, Maj. Gen. J. Lawton Collins—commander of the VII Corps—asked General Simpson if his 9th Army—driving eastward north of the Ruhr—could provide assistance.  Canada. To the south in the Saar-Palatinate region, Lt. Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army had beaten the German 7th Army and the German 1st Army. Genealogy Projects tagged with Western Allied invasion of Germany on the Geni Family Tree « Back to Projects Dashboard Hitler had tried to stop the Allies in the Ardennes offensive. By two phases of large-scale combat operations bombing and a lot of industries [ 41 ], Third! The western Allies during the fighting West of the 1st Army 's V Corps the! Objective attacks provoked little response on the morning of 10 April, the day shifted... Two more 3rd Army crossings—both by the western Allies completed their preparations for the assault concentrated the... Converging attacks using the east-west Ruhr River as a boundary line from higher headquarters to them! 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