In October, the face of the East remained about stationary. Hitler estimates that after such a major advance, the Soviets certainly will remain on their positions at least until February. In Italy, Kesselring, controlling of Wehrmacht on the face of the South, is installed on a short and solid line. The Western borders are firmly held. Production of continuous war at normal intervals, and this, in spite of the many bombardments whose Germany must suffer. However, according to A. Speer, Minister for the Armament, if the situation does not improve very quickly, he is more than probable that the continuation of the war will be soon impossible.

July 31, Führer intends to launch a powerful offensive which could change the exchange rate of the war.

August 19, it announces that this offensive will have to take place in November. This moment of the year is particularly favourable for this kind of operation for it is at that time that the weather conditions are most unfavourable, mainly for aviation. Considering the superiority allied in this field, the single chance of success will rise in priority from the atmospheric conditions.

September 2, Hitler informs Goebbels of its desire to constitute 25 new divisions to form the 6th Panzer Armée. One points out the youngest veterans and.

September 16, a conference is given in the Headquarters of Führer close to Rastenburg. Hitler puts forward the idea to strike in Ardenne, the ground of the exploits of 1940. In the greatest secrecy, the General Alfred Jodl, chief of the OKW (Oberkommando Der Wehrmacht) put themselves at work and prepare several assumptions of attacks according to desires' of Hitler.
About thirty armoured divisions of which 12 and brigades independent are envisaged. In October 24, Gert Von Rundstedt and Walter Model, the two principal interested parties are unaware of all the future intentions of Führer.

At the beginning of October, the preparations are quite advanced in order to flux to the maximum the first days of the offensive. The bridges are reinforced, of the deposits are built in the East of the Rhine, so as to store a maximum of supply, etc.

October 9, Jodl announces in Hitler that 31 Divisions are available, among which 10 armoured divisions. Keitel announces as for him the availability of 17 million liters of fuel and fifty trains of ammunition necessary to the success of this offensive.

October 11, the final plan is accepted. The objective: to take Antwerp.
The planning of the operation will last ten days.

October 22, Jodl gives the details of the operation to Generalleutenant Westphall and to General Krebs. The code name of the operation is «
WACHT AM RHEIN » (Guard in the Rhine)


Gerd Von Rundstedt

Siegfried Westphall

     Walter Model


Involved forces