The Battle of the Bulge, 16 December 1944–16 January 1945 To everyone’s surprise, Hitler used a period of fog, rain, and snow to mount a major counter-offensive, now known as the Battle of the Bulge, on 16 December. The German intention was to drive through the Ardennes, cross the Meuse, take Brussels, and throw the Allies out of Antwerp . . . using captured American fuel. The effect would be to cut Eisenhower’s armies in two. Those to the north, mainly the British and Canadians, would be cut off and forced to surrender, and the Germans would return to the rip-roarin’ days of 1940. At least, that was the dream of the deluded maniac that Hitler had become. The situation never came close to that, of course, but it was a dangerous, damaging offensive. The Germans made a breakthrough on a sector of the front manned by inexperienced American divisions and made considerable progress. Beyond some redeployment, British troops were hardly involved, although the 11th Armoured Division was briefly engaged with the 2nd Panzer Division near Dinant on 24 December, forcing it to withdraw. Eisenhower made Montgomery responsible for operations against the northern flank of the Bulge, while Omar Bradley, commanding the US 12th Army Group, continued to command in the south. Montgomery could be difficult at times, but the American officers who served under him on this occasion admired his perception, strength of purpose, and the results he achieved. By the middle of January 1945 the Germans were back where they started.