My friend Brett asks: Once the “back of the German Army” was broken at the battle of the bulge, why did they continue fighting (even though the certainly knew they would lose)?
One word: time
On the eastern front, the Soviet Army was pushing hard. Fascism was against communism and the two principles saw each other mortal enemies. At least that was how Hitler and Stalin made it. The Germans knew that anyone caught in the Soviet zone would have a terrible time, especially when the Soviet Army committed its own acts of reprisal and barbarism such as rape, looting and burning. At the very least, the western allies never had the same reputation.
Therefore, German armies on both front were fighting for as long as possible to stave off the inevitable. German armies on the eastern front were doing their best to keep the Soviets at bay and allow as many civilians to escape west to the western allies’ zones.
On the western front, the Germans kept fighting to defend their homeland. Some German generals privately wanted a separate peace or at least better terms. There were some ideas like forming SS redoubts in the mountains which never came to pass since these were the small group of diehard fanatics.