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Timing is everything. For the Allies cause, the timing for the battlefield success of the 44th was perfect. And timely.  In the twenty-five-mile sector where the first Nordwind attacks came, the Germans had succeeded concentrating nine divisions and other reinforcing units, including two armored units waiting in reserve. These nine-plus divisions now faced, at their points of attack, two American divisions, the 44th and 100th plus an assortment of assigned mechanized units.  Stretched beyond the point of danger,  each division held a line of over 15 miles length.  Under-supplied, under-manned and against over-whelming odds, the Americans held.
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A pre-occupation continues with the 'big stories' of the war, such as the Battle of the Bulge.   Yet, the 44th's contribution is noteworthy.  Holding the line first few days of January 1945 proved decisive.  The immediate threat of a large German break-through was greatly alleviated.  The 44th inflicted punishing losses on the Germans, loses the enemy could ill afford.   From January 3 - 6, the line stabilized with spasmodic attacking on both sides. On January 6th, the 44th attacked, meeting heavy resistance, but straightening and stabilizing of the lines was accomplished. 

The Battle of Nordwind was a decisive event for the Allies.  The defense sent a message that there would be no 'Bulge at Bitche' and signified the defeat of the German army was at hand. Morale in the Allied armies was at a tipping point. The 44th and the other involved units provided hope though success. The success strengthened Eisenhower position in dealing with issues involving thorny problems, politics, strong emotions and personalities.


 

Waffen SS 17th Panzer-Grenadier Division "Götz von Berlichingen" happy new year yankee bastards nordwind
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The grenadiers from the Waffen SS 17th Panzer-Grenadier Division "Götz von Berlichingen" recklessly attacked while screaming epitaphs at the 71st Regiment defenders.  Speculation remains the German attackers were drugged or inebriated.   Concern that the majority, the 'Volksdeutch" (ethnic Germans but without German citizenship) grenadiers of the 17th, were unreliable and without élan proved to be without merit.  Their slaughter in frontal attacks proved otherwise. 
waffen ss officer machine gunned dead nordwind

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