As 1944 came to a close, attention had been focused on the Ardennes pocket which had suddenly been created by the German offensive known far and wide as the Battle of the Bulge. It was not, however, the only bulge on the Western Front at that moment. Further to the south, just beyond Strasbourg, was the Colmar Pocket, a bulge every bit as wide as Ardennes'. Unlike the Ardennes, the pocket was not the result of a sudden attack, as much as a failure of Allied forces to eliminate it.
Understanding that if they couldn’t reduce the pocket, it still created a point of vulnerability, Eisenhower instructed Devers and his 6th Army Group to fall back and shorten his line. Devers wasn’t particularly interested, neither was the French commander in the area, Gen de Lattre. Even General de Gaulle advocated that Strasbourg become another Stalingrad instead of ceding French territory again.
Perhaps, understandably, Eisenhower was a bit miffed at the lack of compliance with his instruction. As the year came to a close, he spelled out again, clearly and distinctly, that the line was to be shortened and that wasn’t a request. Devers thus instructed his units to have withdrawn to the Vosges by the end of the week.
While Eisenhower fumed and directed, the Germans had their own ideas about how to get Devers to shorten his line. Within the hour of the New Year, some nine German divisions, supported by 900 aircraft, had a crack at breaking south through the Saverne Gap in an attempt to make the 100 km to reach the 19th Army in the pocket. This would have trapped US VI Corps around Strasbourg, and pretty much defeated XV Corps and French II Corps.
This was Operation Nordwind, the last major offensive by the Germans on the Western Front.
In honor of this battle we'll be holding a special "Operation Nordwind" Weekend event, starting at 03:30 PST (11:30 UTC) on January 4, 2013 and runs through to 03:00 PST (11:00 UTC) January 7, 2013.
Selling the above listed vehicles during the sale will only yield a 50% return of the sale price as credits.