Battle of the Bulge

Defeating the Nazis
On December 16, 1944, in a final attempt to halt the Allies, German forces advanced through the heavily wooded Ardennes region and pushed nearly 50 miles into Belgium and Luxembourg. U.S. soldiers, caught by surprise, fought heroically. They prevented the Germans from breaking out of the 'bulge' in the front lines.

U.S. troops take cover during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944.

Courtesy Franklin D. Roosevelt, Presidential Library and Museum

At the height of the war, the United States mobilized 16,353,750 military personnel: 405,399 were killed and 671,846 were wounded in action.

On December 21, 1944, German soldiers surrounded the town of Bastogne, Belgium and isolated units including the 101st Airborne Division. The outnumbered troops suffered heavy losses, but their heroic defense slowed the German advance and gave the Allies time to regroup.

U.S. soldier with captured German troops, December 1944

Courtesy National Archives, photo no. 208-YE-105