Allies Stage Counter-Offensive Against Nazi Forces in the Ardennes
On 23 December the weather conditions started improving, allowing the Allied air forces to attack.
They launched devastating bombing raids on the German supply points in their rear, and P-47 Thunderbolts started attacking the German troops on the roads. Allied air forces also helped the defenders of Bastogne, dropping much-needed supplies—medicine, food, blankets, and ammunition. A team of volunteer surgeons flew in by military glider and began operating in a tool room.
By 24 December, the German advance was effectively stalled short of the Meuse. Units of the British XXX Corps were holding the bridges at Dinant, Givet, and Namur and U.S. units were about to take over. The Germans had outrun their supply lines, and shortages of fuel and ammunition were becoming critical. Up to this point the German losses had been light, notably in armor, which was almost untouched with the exception of Peiper’s losses. On the evening of 24 December, General Hasso von Manteuffel recommended to Hitler’s Military Adjutant a halt to all offensive operations and a withdrawal back to the West Wall. Hitler rejected this.
Patton’s Third Army was battling to relieve Bastogne. At 16:50 on 26 December, the lead element, Company D, 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment of the 4th Armored Division, reached Bastogne, ending the siege.