Battle of the Bulge Dec 31, 2019 19:37:13 GMT -5
Post by oldpop2000 on Dec 31, 2019 19:37:13 GMT -5
In my previous post, I copied two paragraphs from the Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze. Why 1943? Why was the morale so bad by 1943? Well, there were many reasons.
By 1943, July there were some setbacks on every front. The German Air Force was loosing the air war everywhere and especially over Germany where the Allied Strategic bombing was now around the clock with the British area bombing at night and the USAAF using precision bombing during the day. Don't read too much into the concept of precision. If they hit the block in the city, they were happy.
Stalingrad had happened a year before and Kursk had just occurred in Russia. Now the German armies were in retreat against the Russian onslaught. The German army was still maneuvering to keep the iron and metal ore deposits of the Ukraine, but only for a few months.
In Italy, Mussolini was gone and the Allies had invaded Sicily. Italy was not of strategic importance but the German's and Allies continued to fight until the end of the war. For Germany, this consumed rations, arms and men for no reason. But, the climate was good.
In April 1942, the food rations were cut and this made the Food Crisis real to everyone in Germany. Food was important for workers and everyone. The less food, the less workers can perform and this reduces production. This was occurring.
The start of the war and the worsening of the weather, had caused coal shortages. Rolling stock of trains were frozen and the carrying capacities of these trains was so reduced that the coal supplies to factories and homes was severely reduced. As the war proceeded, more coal was needed for steel production and for the new process of creating artificial oil from the Haber-Bosch process of hydrogenation.
Another issue is the loss of so many men in the war. At least one-third of all boys born to German's between 1915 and 1924 were either dead or missing. For those born between 1920 and 1925 the losses amounted to 40 percent. This is hard to understand for those of us in the US, but this is a real tragedy and a loss of morale is to be expected.
Just a comment on the food rationing issue. All the participating nations in the war, rationed food. However, its one thing have rationed food and coal, and another to know that the war is a disaster and you are going to lose. You have the Allies on the west, near the Rhine and the Russian's in Southern Europe knocking the gates in Prussia and Poland. This would affect morale to a greater degree.
So, Wacht Am Rhein offensive accomplished for the Allies, exactly what they needed. A serious defeat of the German Armed forces. It came at a perfect time. Within three months, it was over.