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Battle of the Bulge (Fall 2012)

            The Battle of the Bulge is one of the many battles that occurred in World War II.  However, for the United States and the Allied countries, this battle can be considered the most important and significant battles that was fought, and in this case, won.  The second World War began on September 1st, 1939, and ended on September 2nd, 1945.  As the war went underway, there was two military alliances: the Allies and the Axis Powers.  The Allies were comprised of the Soviet Union, United States, British Empire, China, France, Poland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Yugoslavia, Greece, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Brazil, and others.  The Axis were comprised of Germany, Japan, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria.  There were other countries that did not belong to the two sides, the Axis and the Allies.   There were many important leaders during this war, some successful and some otherwise.  The main allied leaders were as follows: Winston Churchill for the Britain, Franklin D. Roosevelt for the United States, Joseph Stalin for the Soviet Union, and Chiang Kai-shek for China.  The main Axis leaders were as follows: Adolf Hitler for Germany, Hirohito for Japan, and Benito Mussolini for Italy.  At the end of this war, the Allied countries had over 16,000,000 military deaths, over 45,000,000 civilian deaths, and total deaths greater than 61,000,000.  For the Axis countries, there were over 8,000,000 military deaths, over 4,000,000 civilian deaths, and total deaths greater than 12,000,000.  Even though the Allied countries suffered greater losses overall, they were the successors of the war.  One of the important battles during World War II for the Allied forces was the Battle of the Bulge.  This battle influenced the end result of the war, in that it put Germany and the Axis powers on the defensive for the remaining of the war.   

            The Battle of the Bulge was a major battle that occurred near the end of World War II, from December 16th 1944 to January 25th 1945.  This battle was initiated by the Germans in the Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, Luxembourg, and France.  The French called this battle or operation, the “Bataille des Ardennes.  The Germans called this battle the “Von Rundstedt Offensive.”  Hitler’s goal here was to split up the American and British allies, which would force them to sign a peace treaty favoring the Axis Powers; once he had accomplished this, he would be able to focus on the war in the east.  The Germans were very secretive about this attack, and surprised the Allies.  The very rough mountainous terrain did not favor the defensives.  To aid in this attack, General George S. Patton’s Third Army came to the rescue.  They helped in air strikes on the Germans and their supply lines, which caused their operation to fail, and left the Axis powers on the defensive for the remainder of the war.  The Battle of the Bulge was the largest battle with the most bloodshed, fought in World War II. 

            World War II had many impacts, and also impacted many things.  The following history forces can explain these impacts and how it affected the Battle of the Bulge: economics, arts and ideas, personal and group identities, role of specific individuals, science and technology, the earth and environment, and interaction and exchange.  

            The economy of each country involved in this war had a huge impact on the war, and was also impacted following the war.  Many of the countries had issues finding enough money to support the war.  This caused a decrease of food, ammunition and other materials pertinent for success.  

            Art and ideas had an impact on the war in that it helped the morals of soldiers throughout the war.  Music was one of the main things that helped uplift the soldiers during times of major depression and bloodshed.  It helped take their mind off of their loved ones that they left behind when they left for war.  Singers such as Billie Holliday and Doris Day were well known during this time period.  

            Personal and group identities affected is a main reason why there are wars in the first place.  When different religious, ethnic, or cultural groups do not get along, wars are likely to occur.  This can be a major problem for countries that contain many different religious, ethnic, and cultural groups. 

            Religion and Philosophy also have the same effect in that different groups believe different things, and this can cause disputes that aren’t always possible to resolve peacefully.  On the other hand, having faith can affect the war positively in that it gives the people and soldiers hope that peace is soon to come.  

            The role of specific individuals played a large part of the war.  This included all of the presidents, leaders, and military leaders and officials during the war for all of the countries involved.  They either had a positive or negative affect on the outcome of the war for each individual country.  For example, president Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the United States to victory in this war.  

            Science and technology played a large part in the war; it could be seen in the technology of the weapons used during the war.  The technology during World War II is definitely not as advanced as it is now for the current war in the Middle East. 

            The earth and environment affected the war in that for Germany, they were adapted to the mountainous terrain of the country, while the rest of the countries involved were new to this area, and it was difficult for them to navigate through it.  

           As one can see, the previous history forces had large impacts on the outcome of the Battle of the Bulge, and overall World War II.  

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