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- Available: August 20, 2024
As World War Two in Europe sped toward its cataclysmic end, Hitler knew that his only hope to avoid total defeat lay in dealing the Allied coalition a catastrophic defeat… somewhere.
Defense could only win if the defenders had the resources to outlast the attackers, but as 1945 dawned, Germany lay shattered and bankrupt of everything needed to continue the war. Defeat was more than inevitable, it had already happened, except the Nazi leadership had no reason to stop the fighting. All of them would die at the end of a rope anyway, so why surrender? And if surrender was not an option, and the nation did not have the means to continue fighting for much longer, then clearly the only choice was to attack.
After the terrible losses incurred during the Battle of the Bulge, German offensive strength was about spent. Panzer divisions wrecked in the Ardennes Offensive could not be fully rebuilt anymore. The next attack would be the last, so the debate came where to launch it. Most of Hitler’s advisors wanted to use the Panzer Divisions in Poland, to blunt the coming Russian offensive, but Hitler had other ideas.
Hitler sent them to Hungary.