The Ardennes, a thickly wooded area on the borders of Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg, where battle weary U.S. divisions were sent to rest and replace losses, or units freshly arrived from the United States were given their first taste of front line duty. At 5:30am, December 16, 1944, this 85-mile-long sector erupted into what would be the largest, most costly campaign on the Western Front in WWII. The Battle of the Bulge had begun.
During the first week of the battle, three German armies attacked vigorously and relentlessly in an attempt to reach the Meuse River, the major geographical obstacle between them and the great port of Antwerp on the northern coast of Belgium. Stubborn resistance by outnumbered American forces in the difficult terrain of the Ardennes canceled out much of the initial material advantages and surprise the Germans enjoyed. On December 22, Patton's Third Army began attacking the German southern flank north of Arlon, and on the 23rd, the weather finally cleared, allowing Allied air supremacy to be re-asserted over the battlefield.
As the German player, can you break through the American player's front lines and get sufficient forces across the Meuse River before the Allies can bring enough reinforcements to the threatened sector to stop the Ardennes Offensive? Play Tigers in the Mist and discover what might have been.
Republished in Command Magazine Japan #62 in 2005.