Operation Zahnarzt

Operation Zahnarzt (literally "Dentist") was a plan by the Germans to eliminate the Third Army during World War II. The plan of Operation Zahnarzt was to immediately come after Operation Nordwind. The plan was to initiate a pincer movement to encircle and destroy the 3rd US Army.


Preliminary and small-scale attacks began shortly before and during Operation Nordwind which began on January 1, 1945. In the days that followed the Germans saw their small advances continually eroded by repeated counterstrikes from the US 44th Infantry Division, US 100th Infantry Division, and US 63rd Infantry Division. They were supported by the French 2nd Armored Division. Allied artillery and air attacks (when the weather broke), together with the harshness of the weather, also diminished the momentum of the Germans by cutting off its already thin supply lines. Thus the Germans were forced to call off the operation on January 4. Zahnarzt was one of the last planned major offensives by the Germans during World War II. The First and Second SS Panzer Korps were involved in the Operation, and lost approximately 30 percent of their strength due to American artillery and constant air raids. General Manstein was recalled by Adolf Hitler to command the operation, yet it still failed.