Christmas “Nuts!” at Bastogne

Thursday, December 22, AD 2016

 

 

Seventy-two years ago at Christmas the American and German armies were fighting it out in the Battle of the Bulge, the last German offensive of the War.

 

Patton’s Third Army fought its way through to relieve the Americans desperately fighting to defeat the attacking German forces.  The weather was atrocious and Allied air power was useless.  Patton had a prayer written for good weather. The skies cleared after Patton prayed the weather prayer, and Allied air power was unleashed on the attacking Germans.

 

 

 

During the Battle of the Bulge, the 101st Airborne Division made a heroic stand at Bastogne from December 20-27 which helped turn the tide of the battle. Massively outnumbered, battle weary from already having done more than their share of fighting in Normandy and Operation Market Garden and short on food and ammo, they stopped the advancing Germans cold in their tracks.

On December 25, a packed midnight mass was held in Bastogne, with Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, who commanded the 101st troops at Bastogne, in attendance.  Afterwards the General listened to German POWS singing Silent Night, and wished them a Merry Christmas.

General McAuliffe issued a memorable Christmas message to his troops:

Continue reading...

7 Responses to Christmas “Nuts!” at Bastogne

  • The Lutheran Minister aptly provides the answer to us as to what we need to do about Islam. Thanks for the clip. Battleground is a great movie, one well worth watching. I believe it is on Netflix. Thank you, Donald. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  • I think of those hard men (cold, hungry, giving them Hell) whenever I hear the Christmas song, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” The older I get, the less I can stand cold weather.
    .
    These men that had fought through D-Day and Market Garden were highly effective soldiers. Still, The Bulge was “above and beyond . . . ”
    .
    Greet them ever with grateful hearts.

  • If any have not read the first-hand eye-witness account of “7 Roads to Hell” (which aptly describes Bastogne and the fulcrum of The Bulge battle) by Donald R. Burgett, it is highly recommended. It is a great read, actually part of a 4-part set, starting with his air-drop behind the Normandy beaches on D-Day. But “7 Roads”, for its sheer honesty, shock-effect, and rawness, is the best of them all.

    The author, at the time a 19-year-old battle-weary paratrooper (101st Airborne, 506th Parachute Infantry Reg.), and his equally worn 1st Battalion, were hustled into the Bastogne cauldron —- after having been so certainly promised a 6-week R&R—and then the Bulge offensive hit.

    They had pretty much been fighting constantly since June 6th (they also participated in the disaster of Operation Market Garden)—but because they were so effective, the US Army couldn’t leave them out of so many of the engagements that followed. Including Bastogne and the Bulge.

    Burgett was (ostensibly) a life-long atheist, but was so moved and bothered at the dead that had to be left where they were killed in the woods, strewn on the snow, that he thought that was a grave wrong to the men who gave their lives in this maelstrom. He made it a point to help the recovery corps find the snow-covered frozen dead. Even atheists respect the sacrifice of a life for a desperate cause.

    By the way, Burgett is still living, age 91, and lives in Howell, MI, and has often contributed to a number of History Channel productions.

  • The speech at 1:45-2:11 seems applicable to the American Left today.

  • Sorry, I was referring to the bottom clip from Battleground. Forgot to add that.

  • I was a K9 MP in Germany for three years during the Cold War. How cold was it ? The official rule stated that if it got down near Zero, the dog ( my K9 friend’s name was “Ex”) stayed in his nice warm kennel. We went out on Post without the dog !
    I would like very much to move to Arizona; but, we have eleven Grand children, and three
    Great Grand children here. Whenever I bring up that subject, I get “The Look” from the Misses. I describe all of this in my book, “Wings held up by Hope”
    Timothy

  • Pingback: CHRISTMAS DAY EDITION | Big Pulpit

Christmas at Bastogne

Thursday, December 24, AD 2015

In 1944 at Christmas the American and German armies were slugging it out in the Battle of the Bulge, the last German offensive of the War.

Patton’s Third Army rammed its way through to relieve the Americans desperately fighting to defeat the attacking German forces.  The weather was atrocious and Allied air power was useless.  Patton had a prayer written for good weather.  Patton prayed the prayer, along with an extemporaneous one he prayed for good weather on December 23, 1944.  The skies cleared after Patton prayed, and Allied air power was unleashed on the attacking Germans.

During the Battle of the Bulge, the 101rst Airborne Division made a heroic stand at Bastogne from December 20-27 which helped turn the tide of the battle.  On December 25, a packed midnight mass was held in Bastogne, with Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, who commanded the 101rst troops at Bastogne, in attendance.  Afterwards the General listened to German POWS singing Silent Night, and wished them a Merry Christmas.

General McAuliffe issued a memorable Christmas message to his troops:

Continue reading...

Christmas “Nuts!” at Bastogne

Thursday, December 20, AD 2012

Sixty-eight years ago at Christmas the American and German armies were fighting it out in the Battle of the Bulge, the last German offensive of the War.

Patton’s Third Army fought its way through to relieve the Americans desperately fighting to defeat the attacking German forces.  The weather was atrocious and Allied air power was useless.  Patton had a prayer written for good weather. The skies cleared after Patton prayed the weather prayer, and Allied air power was unleashed on the attacking Germans.

 

 

 

During the Battle of the Bulge, the 101st Airborne Division made a heroic stand at Bastogne from December 20-27 which helped turn the tide of the battle. Massively outnumbered, battle weary from already having done more than their share of fighting in Normandy and Operation Market Garden and short on food and ammo, they stopped the advancing Germans cold in their tracks.

On December 25, a packed midnight mass was held in Bastogne, with Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, who commanded the 101st troops at Bastogne, in attendance.  Afterwards the General listened to German POWS singing Silent Night, and wished them a Merry Christmas.

General McAuliffe issued a memorable Christmas message to his troops:

Continue reading...

11 Responses to Christmas “Nuts!” at Bastogne

  • SCREAMING EAGLES, Devils in Baggy Pants, 101st, MERRY CHRISTMAS, St. Joan of Arc, pray for us.

  • Whenever I hear the song “White Christmas”, I think of those brave, hungry, tired men and of our men and women serving overseas even this Christmas.

    Similarly, in WWI a scratch US Infantry battalion became famous as the “Lost Battalion.”

    On 2 October 1918, various companies of the 77th Inf. Div. (mostly 308th Inf., two 308th and one 306th machine gun Batt.) attacked in the Argonne Forest with French and US units on the flanks. The Lost Battalion got farther ahead and fought surrounded for six days in the pocket it had cut in the German lines (which te Germans needed to eliminate).

    Years ago, I read Laurence Stallings’, The Doughboys, which detailed the war from the AEF viewpoint, and this action. His account has a similar surrender demand, in which the German commander included the sentence “We envy you.”

    The Lost Battalion held on until relieved.

    “Greet them ever with grateful hearts.” is taken from a chapter heading in The Doughboys.

  • There was a rather good tv movie made about the Lost Battalion T. Shaw:

  • Right, Donald. Very good film.

  • And let’s not forget the souls lost in the Malmedy Massacre, December 17, 1944, which was portrayed in the movie THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE.

  • My brother Bill earned a battlefield commission and other awards including a Purple Heart in Patton’s Third Army, He was sent to a hospital in Paris to recover from his wounds. After a military career that included combat in Korea, as well, he retired as a Lt. Col

  • I bet he had some stories to tell Robert!

  • The 101st is no longer a paratroop division. They are now helo assault. I remember watching interviews with some of the guys from Easy Co. They were saying they were down to one round of ammo per man. And they held off the German offensive, trees exploding from relentless artillery fire notwithstanding. Amazing!

  • My brother took Airborne training twice in the seventies. The first time out he was washed out because he broke his arm. The instructors thought he was crazy to come back a second time, although they admitted that being crazy was not necessarily a disqualifier for Airborne! He got his jump wings on the second go round. As for myself, a plane would have to be on fire before I would jump out of it!

  • As Gunny Highway (Clint Eastwood) said, “Jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft is not a natural act.” The closest I ever came to jumping out of a plane was being lowered down to the fantail of my second ship at sea from a helicopter. I wasn’t all that thrilled. I about had to be pushed out of the helo.

  • My late uncle, Pfc W. Lee Crowley of Baker Company of the 506th PIR was there. We have several letters he wrote to my grandmother during the siege. Interesting reading to say the least! I can imagine how he must have reacted to the cold and snow, after growing up in Mobile, Alabama. Uncle Lee passed away in 1982.