Skip to comments.DEC. 22 - Battle of the Bulge-the largest, bloodiest WWII battle on Europe's western front
Posted on 12/22/2013 8:58:40 AM PST by NKP_Vet
The Battle of the Bulge was the largest and bloodiest battle during World War II on Europe's western front, with casualties of 81,000 Americans and 100,00 Germans.
It began at the end of 1944 when National Socialist Workers Party amassed three armies for an enormous attack against the Allies in the Ardennes Forest.
eneral Eisenhower stated in his order, DECEMBER 22, 1944:
"By rushing out from his fixed defenses the enemy may give us the chance to turn his great gamble into his worst defeat.
So I call upon every man, of all the Allies, to rise now to new heights of courage...with unshakable faith in the cause for which we fight, we will, with God's help, go forward to our greatest victory."
The Nazis soon surrounded the U.S. 101st Airborne Division in the town of Bastogne, southern Belgium.
When demanded they surrender, DECEMBER 22, 1944, U.S. General Anthony McAuliffe answered with one word: "Nuts."
This response caused the Nazi commander to hesitate.
Marching to the rescue was General George Patton and the U.S. Third Army, but they were pinned down due to bad weather preventing planes from flying to give air cover.
General Patton directed Chaplain James O'Neill to compose a prayer, which was printed on cards and distributed to the 250,000 troops to pray:
(Excerpt) Read more at campaign.r20.constantcontact.com ...
"Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen."
The reverse of the card had General Patton's Christmas Greeting:
"To each officer and soldier in the Third United States Army, I wish a Merry Christmas. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We march in our might to complete victory.
May God's blessings rest upon each of you on this Christmas Day.- G.S. Patton, Jr., Lieutenant General Commanding, Third United States Army."
If it hadn't been for the sacrifice made by the 28th and other divisions against an entire German army corps, there wouldn't have been a Bastogne for the 101st to defend.
Suggested reading on the seldom-talked-about, opening days of The Bulge:
"To Save Bastogne", Robert Phillips:
"Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible ", John C. McManus:
A question for people reading this post. Do you consider The Battle of the Bulge as an American “victory”? I do. I once got in an argument with a British leftist who said it was a huge defeat for the Americans. My point was that the German offensive failed to achieve its objectives and the Germans could not hold their gains - hence they lost this battle. Comments?
On cold winter nights I remember my dad saying, at least I am not as cold as I was during the Battle of the Bulge.
This british peter-puffer you speak of represents the first time ever that I’ve heard anybody describe the Bulge as anything other than a HUGE, MASSIVE, TOTAL American victory. The Nazis were CRUSHED in the West, and NEVER AGAIN mounted a major offensive (there was a minor one, NORTHWIND, I believe. It too, failed.)
They used up the panzer and many troops making that attack, that could have been used defending the Rhine, et al
My grandfather served with Patton. Back in the US he left behind 4 young children and his wife had passed away in February 1942 after succumbing to a head injury occurred on the night of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1996 my grandfather passed away. The Greatest Generation is slowly shrinking day by day. What a loss to America, the people whom made sacrifices and knew what America was up against!
I would say victory. The Germans could not push them out, and take the town. They also couldn’t get the 101st to surrender. Thank God for brave men out there. Patton was a great general. I’m no Ike fan. I believe Ike had something to do with Patton going away.
I also wouldn’t bother arguing with British leftists, they are like most leftists, they don’t hear facts or reason.
The Germans after the battle were done. 100,000 Germans were killed and their warmaking capacity severely hampered. Yes it was an American victory and anyone that says otherwise is ignorant of military history.
One of the major goals of this German attack was to capture the port at Antwerp. The allies needed this port in order to rush supplies to their troops as they moved on towards Germany. The actions of the U.S. military in the Ardennes stopped the Germans’ drive to Antwerp and sent them packing. Major victory.
With the casualties we suffered it was a bitter sweet victory. But I do think it was a minor victory for Hitler because he slowed down our progress but he just delayed the inevitable.
The Bulge was a huge defeat, especially compared to that masterful triumph of Monty’s, Market Garden.
My dad was a scout for the third army for this battle.
I haven’t read much about it and all he said was it was cold.
Thanx for the post and reminder to do my homework
No minor victory for hitler.
1. These things generally not up for interpretation: the army that holds the ground after the battle is the victor—period.
2. Almost all historians and such say that hitler’s efforts SPED Germany’s collapse. Quite simply they lost 100s of thousands more going on the offense than they would have lost being on defense. Also, hitler had to move a HUGE amount of men and materiel from the Eastern Front to launch the Bulge, a welcome gift for the Russians.
Two of my uncles participated in the D-Day invasion. One with the 82nd Airborne, the other with the 101st Airborne.
The uncle with the 101st was also in the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded. He passes away a few year ago and I was a pallbearer at his funeral. He was buried with full military honors. I went up to one of the young honor guard members standing in the funeral home and told him a little history of the man laying in the casket. His eyes got as big as saucers and as I told him about the 17 year old country boy from NC that went through pure hell for his country. My uncle Willie kept his military momentos in a little wooden box and every time I would go and see him I would always ask to see them. He was so proud to be a veteran of WW2, but the more he talked the more his eyes would swell up, because he would always talk about his buddies that had died and he felt guilty for the rest of his life for not dying with them. He was 86 years old when he passed and one of the finest men I have ever known in my life.
LOL! Good point!
My father was in both the 7th and the 3rd Armies. He was not involved in the Battle of the Bulge, but was nearby.
One of his best friends from high school was in the 101st and jumped behind the lines on D-Day and into Holland and was trucked into Bastogne in the Bulge.
I came to be close to he and his wife when my wife and I were in college. He was finishing his Doctorate then.
They are both dead now. We bought their home from the widow when she was moving to a nursing home after Leon died.
Absolutely wonderful kind but tough people.
I am very blessed to still have my father. He is 88. We talk almost every day about the parallels of then and now. You should see the serious look on his face when we discuss the daily details. He knows full well where we are.
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