Much now depends on the date and scale of the anticipated winter offensive of the Russians. I say "anticipated" although we have nothing except conjecture on which to base our ideas as to Russia's intentions. At present we have newly formed Divisions arriving on our front, and have attracted several Divisions directly from Hungary and East Prussia. In spite of all this, the enemy is badly stretched on this front and is constantly shifting units up and down the line to reinforce his most threatened points. G-2 studies show that he is more frightened of our operations in the First and Ninth Armies than anywhere else. He is assisted in that area, however, by the flooded condition of the Roer River and the capability he has of producing a sudden rush of water by blowing the dams near Schmidt. [US General Omar] Bradley has about come to the conclusion that we must take that area by a very difficult attack from the west and southwest.
There can be no question of the value of our present operations. The German is throwing in the line some Divisions with only six weeks' training, a fact that contributes materially to his high casualty rate. As explained in my most recent appreciation to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, our problem is to continue our attacks as long as the results achieved are so much in our favor, while at the same time preparing for a full-out, heavy offensive when weather conditions become favorable, assuming the enemy holds out. Unless some trouble develops from within Germany, a possibility of which there is now no real evidence, he should be able to maintain a strong defensive front for some time, assisted by weather, floods and muddy ground. . . .
Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eisenhower Presidential Library, Abilene, KS; printed in Joseph Patrick Hobbs, ed., Dear General: Eisenhower's Wartime Letters to Marshall (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971), 202–203. Reprinted with permission of the Eisenhower Library. .