10 Things You May Not Know About The Battle Of The Bulge

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7. German Forces Stole U.S Uniforms to Infiltrate their Lines


A major goal of the Battle of the Bulge was to capture one of the bridges over the Meuse River. To help ensure that his troops would make it to the Meuse, Hitler devised a sinister plot to create confusion behind Allied lines. Code named Operation Grief the plan was to take the Panzier Brigade 150 and capture one of the bridges over the Meuse before the Allies destroyed it. Hitler assigned Otto Skorzeny to the mission and suggested that it might be easier if the men stole Allied uniforms and used Allied vehicles. Additionally, Hitler suggested that the men could cause confusion by giving false orders, change signs and cut phone lines,  leading to upset communication and poor morale among troops who would not know why they were being given wrong orders. Men in the unit were the best English-speakers in the German army and they were even sent to POW camps in order to spend time leaning English from U.S. POWs.

At the start of the battle, the Germans dressed in Allied uniforms were able to get behind the Allied lines. After being able to cut some communications, change road signs and spread confusion, rumors spread after discovering some of the pretenders. The U.S soldiers started to set up checkpoints and ask trivia questions to everyone about American life, sports, culture and geography in order to identify them. The operation was successful in creating hysteria and confusion among the Allied soldiers. Suddenly soldiers started seeing spies everywhere and they were willing to pounce on anyone that missed a question. U.S soldiers shot the tires of British Marshall Bernard Montgomery, and U.S General Omar Bradley was detained for a while after a soldier thought he had answered incorrectly about the capital of Illinois.

44 German soldiers crossed over to the Allied lines and all but 8 returned, they were not able to capture a bridge but they did create confusion in the Allied troops. It just was not enough to change the outcome of the battle.

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