Contrary to popular myths about the inevitability of an Allied triumph on the Western Front in World War II, the surprise German counter-offensive that surged out of the Ardennes Forest in December 1944 was not the desperate gambit of a beaten foe. In fact General Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe, feared the mass attack might well win the war for Germany. He had to figure out a way, and quick, to repel the Wehrmacht in the ensuing Battle of the Bulge, then set the bloodied (and increasingly fractious) Allied juggernaut back on the road to victory.
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