Desperate, Hitler decided to take one last stand against the Allies, as they closed in. The Battle of the Bulge was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in eastern Belgium, northeast France, and Luxembourg, towards the end of World War II. The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard. American forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred their highest casualties of any operation during the war. The battle also severely depleted Germany's armored forces, and they were largely unable to replace them. German personnel and, later, Luftwaffe aircraft also sustained heavy losses. By February 1945, all the Waffen SS units were back on the Eastern Front. Heavy artillery bombardment of the center government district began on April 20, 1945. Under the intense shelling, the SS troops put up stiff resistance which led to bitter and bloody street fighting with the Soviet Red Army forces. On April 30, Wilhelm Mohnke briefed all commanders that could be reached within the Zitadelle sector about Hitler's death and the planned breakout. There were ten main groups that attempted to head northwest towards Mecklenburg. Fierce fighting continued all around, especially in the Weidendammer Bridge area. Several very small groups managed to reach the Americans at the Elbe's west bank, but most, including Mohnke's group, could not make it through the Soviet rings. It was over for the Waffen SS.