nel and equipment were moved out of enemy reach and continued to function effectively. The losses in divisional artillery pieces were replaced in part by a British loan of 100 25-pounders plus 300,000 rounds of ammunition for them. The 2,500 machine guns lost during the German attack were promptly replaced from American ordnance depots.
The problem of transport for supply and evacuation was one which the Germans failed to solve in December 1944. Perhaps the German staffs and commanders had been so long on the defensive that they had forgotten the special transport requirements engendered by offensive operations. In this respect Hitler and Jodl, in their borrowing from 1918, failed to remember Ludendorff who, when preparing to construct the mobile attack divisions for the German offensives, stated that the shortage of horses was the single most important problem in mounting the German attacks. Truck wastage through mechanical failure and combat attrition had been extremely heavy all through 1944, and it is estimated that the new trucks coming off the production lines numbered less than half those destroyed in the field during the same period. Not only were there too few trucks but many divisions were equipped with poor, worn-out booty vehicles that simply fell by the wayside along the bad roads of the Ardennes and had to be abandoned because there were no repair parts. At one time the German armies had been able to rely on the railroad system as the backbone of army transport. From the beginning of good flying weather on 23 December this was no loner possible and by 27 December it may be concluded that the offensive in the main was fed and armed by a road transport system quite unequal to the load forced upon it.
When it is remembered that some of the German divisions in the Ardennes had more horses than the German infantry division of 1918, one has a clearer picture of the supply problem. Resupply was accomplished over very long distances, often clear back to the Rhine, over bad roads which could not be kept in repair, and with much transport geared to horsepower which sickened and died. The heavy snowfalls on the supply roads over the Eifel, particularly after 24 December, coupled with the damage done by Allied air attack at road centers and against moving supply columns are reflected in German estimates that rated road capacities were reduced in fact by at least a third. From Christmas on, some of the supply trains from forward combat units were going back as far as Bonn for ammunition and supplies. On the last day of the year the Panzer Lehr commander ruefully noted that a supply train he had sent to Merlscheid near St. Vith, on 25 December had not yet returned.
In some respects the American transport system opposed an enemy system which had many of the outdated characteristics of 1918. Not only did the American divisions have a very large number of vehicles and trailers organic to the unit, but the number of line of communications trucks and trains available in the forward area was enormous. Perhaps even more important, the movement of American ground transport was unaffected by harassment and attack from the air. The First Army moved