Skip to comments.Today in military history: Patton's 4th Armored brings relief to Allied forces in the Bulge
Posted on 12/26/2008 2:09:07 PM PST by LibWhacker
Approximately 19,000 Americans were killed and 41,000 wounded during the Battle of the Bulge, the largest land battle ever fought by the U.S. Army. An Allied victory was secured shortly after General George S. Patton's 4th Armored Division broke through the German rear.
On December 26, 1944, General George S. Pattons 4th Armored Division broke through the German rear during the Battle of the Bulge, effectively ensuring an American victory there.
The largest land battle fought on the Western Front during World War II as well as the largest battle ever fought by the U.S. Army the Bulge began on December 16, when German troops unexpectedly attacked the American 14th Cavalry Group, 9th Armored Division, and 4th, 28th, and 106th Infantry Divisions. Eisenhower had kept force levels in the Ardennes (a forested region along the Belgian-German border) low, intending to use it as a training ground while larger forces to the north and south conducted operations that would help the Allied forces break into Germany. Unprepared for combat (the 9th Armored and 106th Infantry Divisions hadnt seen any combat, and the 4th and 28th were recouping from heavy losses suffered in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest), American troops in the Ardennes were caught off guard. (See December 23rds Today in military history for the story of a young private who refused to fight in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest.) The German army made a bulge in the American line, some 50 miles wide and 70 miles deep.
(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...
Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.
“Abrams was known as an aggressive and successful armor commander. General George Patton said of him, “I’m supposed to be the best tank commander in the Army, but I have one peer: Abe Abrams. He’s the world champion.” His unit was frequently the spearhead of the Third Army during WWII. Abrams was one of the leaders in the relief effort which broke up the German entrenchments surrounding Bastogne and the 101st Airborne Division during the Battle of the Bulge.”
19,000 Americans KIA in a month long battle.
And today we want to surrender to islamic butchers after sustaining 3,000 KIA over 5 years...
The man, for all intents and purposes, won the Vietnam War.
Naming a tank after him was the least the country could do.
“Brave men are dying up there. I won’t wait, not an hour, not a minute...”
Patton himself might dispute that. Bastogne was in the geographic middle of the pocket at a major crossroads. It was strategically important, yes, but it really wasn't the 'rear'.
Patton would liked to have 'pinched-off' the Bulge at its base & bag the entire German force. Instead we just sort of pushed the Bulge back & stabilized the lines. This was more in keeping with Eisenhower's "Broad Front Strategy". It allowed a lot of Germans to escape, albeit without the vast majority of their heavy equipment.
I hear 'ya! I'm glad we sent them to Iraq and not Mexico City; over 4,000 people in MC were killed last year in the war on drugs.
Okay, just kidding there... But seriously, it's amazing to me: Libs are screaming over 3,000 dead in five years despite all the good we've done, meantime 4,000 die in MC in a year for nothing (these are drug criminals killing people, so it's for nothing) and nobody bats an eye.
A good argument that the ‘Bulge’ need never have been fought. The ill-considered Market Garden operation used up scarce resources that could have been used to support Patton’s drive across France and on into Germany.
This is about the time that my brother and his fellow POWs were forced to evacuate Stalag Luft III and march in the same storm that had hit the front and my brother in law was ordered to leave his 9th Air Fore construction batallion and haul fuel to Patton for his tanks. I think the POWs marched 56 miles in the freezing weather...
Iraq is the most efficient war in histoir. An amazing accomplishment by our military to conquer and replace a gummit with a Democracy. Truly historic if reported honestly.
Pray for W America and Our Freedom Fighters
The guards had just abandoned the camp and some of the POWs had fled before Patton got there.
“Market Garden “
Market Garden was a political operation done to keep Monty feeling good.
The Germans saw that though, and psychological effect was detrimental to them. Patton was a major concern for the Germans in their planning. So alone was worth the risk.
God bless your cousin ~ and all our vets. Something to be proud of!
Hey, what do you think of The Examiner?
Seems like a nice alternative to the MSM?
You might be interested to know that the USA had lost 423,000 men in the four years of WWII !!
"What the hell took you people so long?"
Yeah, old Homer... had a way with words!
BTW got the Express Mail this afternoon and when my Dallas computer pard has time, we'll get my old CPU up and running again. Thanks for the disc!
When my Uncle escaped and ran into the 101st they thought he was a spy.
Luckily he found another soldier who attended Denby High School in Detroit.
He told me: “Mikey, I was a POW to two different Armies in a span of 4 days... and one of them was mine!”
Yep, old Homer was one of a kind! He woulda made a good private eye.
Or in today’s world, a great under cover Muzzy snuffer!
Glad you got the disc, enjoy!
Excerpts from "General George S. Patton and the Battle of the Bulge" at HistoryNet.com:
Eisenhower met with the general staff at Verdun on December 19 and all agreed that the Third Army had the best chance of relieving Bastogne.
Ike instructed Patton, I want you to command this moveunder Brads supervision, of coursemaking a strong counterattack with at least six divisions. When can you start?
As soon as youre through with me, Patton claimed. I can attack the day after tomorrow morning.
Codman, recalled a stir, a shuffling of feet, as those present straightened up in their chairs. In some faces skepticism. But through the room a current of excitement leaped. Taking tens of thousands of men facing eastward, swiveling them north, and moving themwith their armor and supplies set up for a different thrust, and over inadequate and icy roadsto counterattack two days later seemed logistically unsound. Patton was confident he could do it.
Turning toward Bradley as he described his plans for the southern shoulder of the Bulge, Patton contended, Brad, the Krauts stuck his head in a meat grinder. Andhe turned his fist in simulationthis time I have hold of the handle.
On December 23 in Luxembourg Patton, on his knees, prayed aloud, "Give me four clear days so that my planes can fly, so that my fighter-bombers can bomb and strafe, so that my reconnaissance may pick our targets for my magnificent artillery. Give me four days of sunshine to dry out this blasted mud, so that my tanks roll, so that ammunition and rations may be taken to my hungry, ill-equipped infantry. I need these four days to send von Rundstedt and his godless army to their Valhalla."
That same day enemy tanks had broken through the southern perimeter at Bastogne.
Headquarters at the 101st estimated that Bastogne had one more shopping day. Yet the weather was indeed changing.
Patton radioed to McAuliffe on the morning of the 24th, referring to Brig. Gen. Hugh Gaffeys forward tanks: Xmas Eve present coming. Hold on.
On the morning of the 25th, Patton noted in his diary, A clear cold Christmas, lovely weather for killing Germans.
Lieutenant Colonel Creighton Abrams tanks made it through late in the afternoon of the 26th.
"December 26, 1944, right after a cold Christmas, our unit was only three miles from Bastogne .
"I mounted my COs personal tank (Lt Col Creighton W. ABRAMS Jr) for a very special mission. It had been decided that a special team would take a secondary road, leading from Clochimont thru Assenois to Bastogne, in order to break the siege of that town and to contact the surrounded American defenders .
"Acting as point vehicle, I would lead with Cobra King (mount of Lt Col C.W. Abrams) followed by another 7 tanks, half-tracks, and some other extra vehicles . We moved full speed, firing straight ahead, with the other tanks firing left and right . We werent supposed to stop on the way either .
"As soon as we cleared the first little town, I called for artillery support on Assenois, that is, ahead of the convoy our column entered the place still under friendly fire, such was our speed and progress !
"After clearing Assenois, we ran into more enemy resistance, and mopping up was required with help of our half-trackborne C Company, 53d Armored Infantry Battalion . We then came across a large pillbox, which we at once destroyed . There certainly was a lot of confusion, since the Germans hadnt expected us to break thru via this secondary road, nevertheless enemy fire was considerable, and we lost 4 Shermans on the way .
"As my tank cleared the following woods, we came upon an open field with colored canopies (from previous supply drops), I reckoned we were now approaching friendly lines . Our column subsequently slowed down, on the look out for friendlies, and we seemed to recognize a number of foxholes with helmeted figures .
"Taking no chances, I called out to them, shouting to come out to us, indicating we were part of the 4th Armored Division . After several calls, an officer emerged with a smile, and said; Im Lt. Webster, 326th Airborne Engineers, glad to see you guys ! It was 1650, December 26, the 4th Armored Division, had broken thru enemy lines, and reached its objective - the siege of Bastogne was over although the fighting wasnt yet." - Charles P. Boggess, 1st Lt, C Co, 37th Tk Bn, 4th Armd Div.
On December 27, Patton returned to offer a thank-you at the Pescatore chapel, anticipating that the Bulge was the enemys final counteroffensiveas it proved to be:
Sir, this is Patton again, and I beg to report complete progress. Sir, it seems to me that you have been much better informed about the situation than I was, because it was that awful weather which I cursed so much which made it possible for the German army to commit suicide. That, Sir, was a brilliant military move, and I bow humbly to a supreme military genius.
Pressing eastward as the Bulge was flattened in January, Patton passed through the Belgian town of Houffalize, above Bastogne. In His diary he entered his own version of a Christmas carol:
O little town of Houffalize,
How still we see thee lie;
Above thy steep and battered streets
The aeroplanes still fly.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
Not any Goddamned light;
The hopes and fears of all thy years
Were blown to hell last night.