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but simply reckoned on withdrawing more divisions from other sectors of the Western Front and throwing them into the counteroffensive force.


Fancy footwork in extending the length of the order of battle at OKW had a direct correlation with the alignment of forces laid down in Hitler's letter of instructions on 1 November. In this the Sixth Panzer Army would be deployed on the right or north flank of the attack formation and would make the main effort. In the center would be the Fifth Panzer Army; on the left the Seventh Army. This disposition was "unalterable." The decision to let the Sixth Panzer Army gather the largest sheaf of laurel leaves, if any, was politically inspired. Its commander, Sepp Dietrich, was high in the party and the panzer divisions assigned for the attack were SS divisions. Hitler's letter on 1 November calls Dietrich's command the Sixth SS Panzer Army, a Freudian slip for this army did not officially bear the title SS and would not for some time to come. The question at issue, however, was the location of the Sixth Panzer Army. Rundstedt wanted the main effort to be launched in the center and so wished to reverse the position of the two panzer armies in the final deployment. But this was only one of several points at which the deployment outlined by OB WEST in the Martin plan (as finally agreed to by Model) differed from that given by Hitler's 1 November letter of instructions. (See Map I.)


The Hitler-Jodl plan provided for an attack to be carried by the three armies of Army Group B advancing abreast. Plan Martin placed the Seventh Army to the left and rear of the two assault armies with its northern corps advancing behind the southern wing of the attack. Correspondingly, the Hitler-Jodl attack issued from an attack front sixty-five miles wide; the Martin attack took off from a forty-mile-wide base. In the first case the southern terminus of the penetration would be Grevenmacher; in Martin this terminus was set at Dasburg. Where the Hitler-Jodl attack moved straight through the Belgian Ardennes, that outlined in Martin skimmed the northern edge of the Ardennes. Of the thirteen panzer divisions listed by Hitler and Jodl, only four would be thrown into the first wave with six following in the second wave. The remaining three were to be held out for later employment in the holding attacks planned for Army Group Student. In Martin, contrariwise, Rundstedt put all of the panzer divisions he counted as available (twelve in number) in the first attack wave. As to reserves, the HitlerJodl order of battle counted four divisions in this category but provided for their commitment as the third wave of the attack. Rundstedt, far more concerned than OKW with the potential weakness of the southern flank, would assemble the three divisions of his reserve along the southern boundary of the expanding salient.


When, on 10 November, Hitler signed the operation directive Wacht am Rhein, it became clear that Rundstedt's Plan Martin had been sunk without trace. This was nowhere more evident than in the order of battle. The revised Hitler-Jodl list gave an impressive total of 4 armies (the Fifteenth had been added), 11 army corps, and 38 divisions (15 motorized and mechanized and 23 infantry), plus 9 Volks artillery corps and 7 Volks Werfer brigades. By what sleight of hand had Jodl and the WFSt been able