The Defense of St. Vith: Crossroads in the Battle of the Bulge
Just before dawn on December 16, 1944, American forces in the Ardennes forests of Belgium and Luxemburg were surprised by the roar of German tanks and artillery, heralding Adolf Hitler’s final offensive on World War II’s Western Front. The Battle of the Bulge would last six brutal weeks and end in the U.S. Army’s greatest victory.
Military historian Mark Gerges of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College discusses the inspiring response by American troops, including the 7th Armored Division’s defense of the critical crossroads town of St. Vith. Heavily outnumbered, the unit held off German attackers for a week before withdrawing under fire to set up a new defensive line. Though overshadowed by the siege of Bastogne, the stand at St. Vith doomed the Germans’ chances of success.