Obersturmbannführer Joachim Peiper ''Ardennes 1944 ''
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OBERSTURMBANNFÜHRER JOACHIM PEIPER "ARDENNES 1944.
The Battle of the Bulge
During the autumn the German forces had to counter the attempts of the Western Allies to cross the Westwall while Hitler was looking for an opportunity to seize the initiative on the Western Front. The result was the Operation Wacht am Rhein .In a desperate attempt to defeat the Allies on the Western Front, the German armies were to break through the US lines in the Ardennes , to cross the River Meuse and take Antwerp cutting the Allied forces in two.
The main role in the breakthrough was devoted to the 6th Panzer Army under the command of Sepp Dietrich. He would have to pierce the American lines between Aachen and the Schnee Eifel and seize bridges on the Meuse on both sides of Liége . Within the 6th Panzer Army a mobile striking role was assigned to the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler under the command of SS-Oberführer Wilhelm Mohnke, The division was split into four Kampfgruppe with Peiper comma.ding the most substantial which included all the armoured sections of the division. His duty was to break through the US lines along an assigned itinerary and to take bridges on the Meuse between Liège and Huy .
The itinerary for Peiper had been assigned by Hitler and orders had been given that nobody could deviate from his assigned road. Peiper complained that the road that was assigned to his Kampfgruppe was only suitable for bicycles and certainly not for panzers.Fritz Krämer, Chief of Staff for the 6th Panzer Army answered “I don’t care how and what you do. Just make it to the Meuse. Even if you’ve only one tank left when you get there.” Peiper lacked fuel, but had managed to capture some American fuel dumps , allowing him to refuel.