Patton’s Weather Prayer

Monday, December 23, AD 2013

 

 

“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 upon 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.”

 

The famous “weather prayer” of General Patton was written by a Catholic Chaplain, Colonel James H. O’Neill.  Here is his article on the incident written in 1950.  Unfortunately the famous weather prayer sequence from the film Patton is not available online. The trailer to this magnificent film biopic is at the top of this post.

If any of you have not seen this masterpiece, you should remedy that as soon as possible.

Weather Prayer

Patton was an interesting mixture of contradictions in his spiritual life.  Foul mouthed even by the standards of an army known for profanity, and much too fond of war for a Christian, he also read the Bible and prayed each day.  A firm Episcopalian, yet he also firmly believed in reincarnation.    While in command in Sicily he began attending mass, initially largely for political reasons to build a bridge to the Catholic population, but then found that he enjoyed worshipping at mass.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Patton’s Weather Prayer

  • I fully understand how and why today’s most active members of the so-called “peace and social justice movement” within the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations would initially find Patton’s prayer totally at odds with their beliefs and what they believe Christianity teaches in general about war, peace and our personal responsibilities to give witness to God’s word.

    Without wanting to give the wrongful, (okay, almost sinfully false wrong opinion that God is a moral relativist insofar as war is concerned, or that God winks n’ nods at who’s violating Jesus’ admonition against justifying the ends by the means.

    We were at war, however; a most viscious war which had not only seen at this development (the Battle of the Bulge and its aftermath) … not to mention our worst single battle/campaign count of lives sacrificed… but Germany soon found itself enmeshed in a civil war between the Nazi super hardliners, the regular Wehrmacht that wanted to simply say “Alles Kaput” and go home and what the Soviets were doing as they pushed in from Poland. General Patton, for all the raps he took for his militaristic spirit, was just asking for a prayer for his soldiers and those of our allies to have the conditions fvorable to being able to burst through the Nazi “bulge” and sweep through Germany enroute to final victrory. We’d just suffered losses from an atrocious war crime committed at Malmedy, not far from Bastogne high up in the Belgian Ardennes forests. Patton wanted peace as much as any of our solidiers and airmen involved in that epic struggle; but he wanted the people who wrecked it and untold murders and damage they caused to be the ones who paid the bill. The only way that could have happened then was for a break in the clouds.
    It’s tempting for well-meaning historians or avocational historians of our time to pull our chins and wonder if “negotiations” couldn’t have saved more lives after the Battle of the Bulge was won and the Reich’s situation was “alles kaput.” No, sorry to say. Trapped people, be they a few members of a small platoon or a whole army or nation in its death throes will fight even harder. Did the Germans show any sign of seriously tossing it in until Hitler committed suicide in April, several months later?

    I’m fully aware my views might not bring comfort or a sense of historical resolution to those who genuinely believe the pacifist position provides the superior alternative. And while I applaud their consistency to defend their positions, I can only ask that they give the last paragraph more than a respectful nod. As a kid, I visited Dachau and know for sure that more lives there would’ve been taken if our soldiers had been delayed longer. The SS did it’s worst just as the war was winding down and they began to lose whatever “cover” a rapidly deteriorated Wehrmacht would’ve bothered to offer had it not been thrust into a last ditch civil war initiated thanks to Hitler’s plans to burn Germany into the ground as “punishment” for not being strong or “worthy” enough to defeat the Allies.

  • This prayer represents a mind acquanted with the English prayerbook. That pattern is wholly discernable.

  • Negotations? With the Soviets?? They wouldn’t have stopped even if the US and Britain did.

    The Allies had announced it would be unconditional surrender PERIOD.

    The German general staff apparently believed the winter offensive would deal a heavy blow to the western Allies’ supplies and battle formations. They shot the bolt and lost.

    The Wehrmacht fought to the end because of Hitler’s policy: “Zippenschaft(?).” If a general didn’t fight it out, his entire family was “liquidated.”

    That also was Stalin’s MO. It has been documented that about 13,500 Russians — an entire division — were executed by the NKVD for desertion and cowardice during the battle of Stalingrad alone.

    In Atkinson’s first WWII book, when Patton was being reassigned to replace the general in charge in North Africa, one of his officers reportedly stated that “Patton hates Germans more than the devil hates holy water.”

    Likely, all that was Patton’s histrionics and Hollywood stuff. Gen’l. Patton was a professional leader of large numbers of men in desperate combat. I think he knew that, aside from necessary drama, it makes no sense to hate men whom you’re forced to kill.  

  • General Patten instructed his men going into battle:”to kill them with kindness” and make sure that their mothers got the gold star for the loss of her son and to return home in safety. (I think Patten used the “b” word) Patten’s prayer, as Steven Barrett says, was also the prayer of the victims in Hitler’s concentration camps. I remember ferocious hatred for anybody of German descent in our neighborhood, yet there was the German underground headed by Bosc and our wonderful Joseph Ratzinger.

  • I find World War II to be one of the most fascinating events in world history. To be clear, I am not making light of the massive suffering, death and destruction that took place.

    World War II, in and of itself, refutes the obnoxious internet atheist meme that religion caused more killing than anything else in history.

    Patton, if I am correct, had no love for the Soviet Union and was willing to march into Berlin and then through Warsaw and into Moscow – not that this wish of Patton’s was ever going to occur.

    My dad’s Uncle Mike fought in this battle – I do not know what unit or division he was in.

  • Pingback: Father Coughed So I Didn’t Go to Communion - BigPulpit.com

Obama Waves the Dead Fetus

Saturday, October 20, AD 2012

In the movie Patton, there is a somewhat eerie scene where Patton indicates why he knows that the Third Reich is on the ropes:

“I had a dream last night. In my dream it came to me…that right now the whole Nazi Reich is mine for the taking.” “You know how I’m sure they’re finished out there? The carts. They’re using carts to move their wounded and the supplies. The carts came to me in my dream. I couldn’t figure it out. Then I remembered. . . . .that nightmare in the snow. The agonizing retreat from Moscow. How cold it was. They threw the wounded and what was left of the supplies in the carts. Napoleon was finished. Not any color left. Not even the red of blood. Only the snow.”

You know that a Democrat campaign is on the ropes when the focus is placed on abortion.  Democrats, at least most of them, aren’t idiots.  They understand that focusing on abortion is going to hurt them as much as it helps them, and, in most states, probably hurt them more.  However, when a Democrat campaign is headed south abortion is often invoked in an attempt to rally the true believers in the right to slay their offspring.  It is a sign of desperation.  Yesterday, Obama had the head of Worse Than Murder, Inc, aka Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards introduce him at a rally in Virginia.

She also cut this video for Obama that was released yesterday:

Continue reading...

31 Responses to Obama Waves the Dead Fetus

  • Win or lose this election, one day Obama and the Democrats will truly regret this advocacy of the infanticide of the unborn. Lord have mercy!

  • The drum beat at their Convention was more about abortion than their other agenda. When Mr Obama mentioned the de-funding of Pl P’hood four times in the Hofstra Uni. debate we knew for sure they are grabbing for a lifeline. This latest report proves that their Titanic has hit the iceberg. Hope the sincere Catholics who are in their thrall, some dear friends and family are on a lifeboat that saves their hearts and heads and souls.

  • “Win or lose this election, one day Obama and the Democrats will truly regret this advocacy of the infanticide of the unborn.”

    We shall do our best to make them regret it this year!

  • And, they booed God at their convention.

    You will not be going to Heaven if you vote for mass-murderers.

  • How many more days? Romney is right; O is at the end of his term. After staring down this evil for four years, I can’t even bear to look it in the face as it whimpers out of relativity. May the healing begin, and may the faithful show compassion to those who are obstinate in their war against the innocent in their mother’s wombs and against Holy Mother Church. The more Romney exposes himself, the more his soul is also exposed. And I like what I see.

  • This is surreal.
    Our great grandparents along with the fifty million aborted souls pleading God for a change in the hearts of earthbound men.
    Surreal because who would of ever thought that RU 486 could be classified as preventive Medicine. Medicine?
    Change we can believe in…..still echoing from Oct. 20th of 2008.
    God have mercy.

  • Planned Parenthood stands to lose money if Obama is not reelected. They are teaching health classes in local high schools using federal grant money, under the guise of “reducing teen pregnancy” and “increasing graduation rates.” Of course, that’s laughable. But not really.

  • How could any Church going Catholic be a Democrat, especially clergy??? Don’t you know you are the reason babies are still being murdered?

  • “How could any Church going Catholic be a Democrat, especially clergy???”

    I have met many Roman Catholic clergy who are proudly Democrat.

    I have met many Orthodox Anglican clergymen and not one is Democrat.

    Go to an Assemblies of God or Church of God parking lot and you’ll find no Obama bumper stickers as you inevitably will find in the parking lot of a Roman Catholic parish.

    Just sayin……………….the branches grafted into the Olive Tree had better beware lest they, smug in their arrogance, find themselves cut off one day and those whom they derided as not having the fulness of grace welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven in their stead.

  • It should not be too much of a surprise that many Catholics belong to the Democratic Party and see nothing wrong with it. The NC Register quotes Bishop Dolan thusly: (at the Al Smith dinner)

    “Our two candidates claim that both your parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, are ‘big tents,’ containing extraordinarily diverse, even contrary, opposite people and groups,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan noted Oct. 18 at the Al Smith Dinner. “Well, you don’t have a thing over the Catholic Church. We got both Biden and Ryan!” Dolan continued.

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/civility-in-the-city/#ixzz29s2WEZou

    I realize the Al Smith Dinner is a light hearted affair, but these are anything but light hearted times. Ryan may be out of step to some degree with the mind of the Church on her “social teachings.” Maybe even quite a bit out of step. But I don’t think his errors would directly lead to the death of an innocent person. Surely Biden is way out of step on contraception and abortion. And millions have died because some people didn’t want to “force their religion” on others. And yet, we do it all the time, don’t we? Think that little bit about not killing people is in the Ten Commandments.

  • “Ryan may be out of step to some degree with the mind of the Church on her ‘social teachings.’ Maybe even quite a bit out of step.”

    There is a difference between being out of step with the liberal Democrat operatives in the USCCB, and being out of step with what Jesus said to Judas Iscariot when Judas complained that costly oil was being used to annoint Jesus’ feet instead of being sold to feed the poor. Paul Ryan is right. The USCCB is wrong. It is time to jettison the false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price. Jesus told the crowd who followed him after being fed the loaves and fishes to seek the Bread of eternal life instead of the meat that perishes. And He did NOT feed them a second time – no free handouts.

    I am sick and tired of people wanting Caesar to do for the poor what we as Christians should be doing voluntarily as our penance. It is NOT Caesar’s job to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and care for the sick, and every time we abdicate our responsibility and evade our accountability to Caesar to do that, then we place on the altar of political expediency our freedom and adoption as sons and daughters of God, and replace it with submission to mere mortal man. That is called idolatry and God hates idolatry.

    A nation which murders the unborn by the tens of millions and sanctifies the filth of homosexual sodomy deserves no social justice, but one day we will get justice and it will NOT be social – it will be Divine.

  • Planned parenthood being invoked to rally the troops is akin to human sacrifice for a good crop yeild…

  • Paul:

    Okay, mea culpa. I shouldn’t have put in the bit about Ryan may be out of step, etc, and certainly not in the way it was worded. I was trying to be “balanced” and “non-partisan” and I obviously botched it.

    I don’t agree with the bail outs and the hand outs, Medicare, Social Sec, the so-called “living wage,” and frankly, public education. (I’m very iffy on such “public goods” as highway construction as well.) But my libertarian economic views seem to not jive with the other pro-life Catholic around me who are somewhat concerned Ryan is going to throw Granny under the bus with his suggested Medicare reforms.

  • That’s ok, DJH. I have often written much worse. No harm done. BTW, when I registered to vote in NC, I registered in the Constitution Party because its platform is closest to Church teaching. But since that party isn’t yet “officlal” in the state, it turns out that I am “other” in political affiliation. As for the election, I will vote Romney rather than Goode because defeating Obama is too important and Goode (as much as I like his program and policies) is unelectable.

    As for social justice, I am all for taking care of the poor. I just do not think that is the job of the Federal govt. Now if States and local municipalities elect to enact safety net measures, then I am fine with that. But I really think that if we as members of the Body of Christ did our sacred duty as the sheep in Matthew 25:31-46, then we wouldn’t need Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and all the New Deal / Great Society failed programs of FDR and LBJ. All Christians – Protestants, Orthodox Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox – need to start being real Christians. We have this social justice mess because we as members of the Body of Christ have NOT behaved in a Christ-like manner. We have NOT put righteousness, holiness, purity, virtue, honor and integrity first. We have become complacent in our religious freedom and our material prosperity, and now we whine when suddenly both are in jeopardy from that godless man of sin and depravity in the Whitehouse [ see, I can use worse invective than you. 😉 ]. But I digress from the topic of this post. Suffice it to say (at the risk of repeating myself) that we will never prosper, we will never enjoy social justice as long as we murder the unborn.

  • On the other side of the nightmare by contrast, the waving of the budget by a capable candidate. This following is a copy/paste from a campaign email which I hope is allowable, to take off the edge of the gruesome.

    ‘It’s clear — Barack Obama has no second term agenda.

    Although President Obama won’t lay out his plan for a second term, we already know what it will be — a repeat of the last four years. We can’t afford four more years of crushing debt and wasteful spending.

    We know what President Obama will do on taxes. He’s already raised taxes 21 times — and he’ll raise taxes by $2 trillion more. Middle-class families will face a $4,000-a-year tax increase just to service his debt and spending proposals.

    As Governor of Massachusetts, I cut taxes 19 times. As president, I won’t raise taxes on anyone; I will deliver tax cuts to the middle class; and I will simplify the tax code to make it simpler, flatter, and fairer.

    We know what President Obama will do on spending. President Obama’s already increased our debt by $5.5 trillion — and he’ll let our national debt climb to $20 trillion by 2016. He’s promised a second stimulus, yet we don’t even know where the first one went.

    As Governor of Massachusetts, I balanced the budget every year without raising taxes and led our state to a credit upgrade. As president, I will cut and cap spending, restore our AAA credit rating, and set us on a path to a balanced budget.

    I have a clear plan to put America on a path to prosperity. Contribute now to help promote my clear vision for America.

    Thanks,

    Mitt Romney’

  • Paul,
    So many professed catholics are in great danger of losing their place at the Lord’s table and being replaced by Baptists, Pentecostals, Mormons, Muslims, Jews, etc. We catholics have enormous accountability because we’ve been given the fullness of the truth from the cradle. It’s so disturbing to see the continuing blindness to Obama and the democratic party in general. In 2008, I can almost understand that people got caught up in the excitement of voting for Obama and put on blinders, but this time around, there is ABSOLUTLY no excuse. God have mercy on them.

  • PM:

    You lost liberals and the social justice crowd at the fifth word . . .

    Next time, stay monosyllabic and don’t cite any fact or number.

  • Dear T. Shaw,
    Tough order but how about … ?

    Unborn babies can cry out and be heard,
    in your human hearts and,
    in Heaven where the Almighty can hear all that do.
    or:
    Stop the music and think about millions of babies used for winning and getting money to waste on fooling you.
    and:
    If feeding your children depends on gov. assistance money,
    then it’s urgent to vote the man who cares to have the money there to feed them.

    I think Mitt Romney will fix the budget for the security of us all.

  • Mother Teresa said, that the killing of the unborn would distroy the fabric of all life. All of us would be in jeopardy. She was right! Look at our divided country.
    Look at God being removed and replaced by hedonism. Lies are told to the people to enslave them.
    God be with us, and touch the hearts and minds of americans on Nov 6th.
    Amen! Viva Cristo Rey!

  • No election will ever solve the destruction done to the social fabric of the USA or the West. There is a long-haul conversion needed to undo the damage done and to look at the good neglected and ignored.

  • Paul w. wrote: “I am sick and tired of people wanting Caesar to do for the poor what we as Christians should be doing voluntarily as our penance.” This work has been done by Christians and Catholic organizations for years but when government started stepping in and telling us to do it their way then it became harder to do charitable work. Look at the states that made Catholic Charities chose doing their work or stopping it due to the mandates they placed on them – adoption aspect to place children in same sex homes – many have chosen to stop their charitable work because of it, one in Ill seperated itself from the Church to bow to the wishes of the state.

  • PM: Excellent.

    I can’t remember the last time somebody called me, “dear.”

    Thanks!

  • I agree, Richard E., and I still oppose government redistributing the fruits of one’s labor from he who works to him who refuses to work under the false guise of charity. Over and over again this has resulted in one thing: ever more power to the godless State at the expense of the freedom of the individual to his life, liberty and property. The solution is repentance, holiness and righteousness. That is how the most evil Roman emperors were overcome, it is how the Empire finally became Christian, and it is the only means of reversing the sad decline of these United States and obtaining true justice for everyone, rich and poor alike. No amount of government welfare programs can ever do that.

    I always go back to the example of the Church at Thessalonika. Some people there thought, after having receiving St. Paul’s first epistle about the last days, that since Jesus was going to soon return, they were entitled to give up working for their food and just sit in ecstatic expectation while others supported them. 2nd Thessalonians 3:10 is very clear: “…if anyone would not work, neither should he eat.” We in these United States will soon find as the economy crashes that we won’t even be able to do that because there will be neither food nor work. We will get all the social justice we deserve for having murdered 53 million unborn babies, and for having sanctified the filth of homosexual sodomy. Lord have mercy!

  • As a life long Democrat, now turned Republican, I say “I didn’t leave the
    Democrats, they left me”. They turned their back on GOD, that the founders
    turned to, knowing that without GOD’S blessings & A moral citizenship,
    government of the people, by the people, and for the people could not work.
    GOD must be looking down on us, as we pray & say “What you’re doing
    speaks so loud, I can’t hear what you’re saying!!’. WE CAN TURN THIS AROUND.
    Think about what happened when Richard Nixon fired the special prosecutor
    on a Saturday night. The white house was buried in telegrams & Nixon had to
    reinstate him. That was citizens just fulfilling their role in government of & by
    the people. The Supreme Court has still not corrected their ruling on the Dred
    Scott case making the negros less than a full person. The current state of
    Biology 101, confirms that abortion at any stage is truly murder, making
    the Supreme Courts previous rulings on abortion untenable. Society is founded
    on marriage between a man & a women. Homosexuals are chipping away at
    the foundation. What are we going to do, or not do about it??

  • Emily Post.
    Greeting = Dear …, and Closing = Yours Truly,
    also, you’re welcome, T. Shaw!

  • It was many years ago I was a young man that stood in line in New York City and waiting for the Holicost Museum to open. There was a long line of people in front of me, and as I waited there, I saw on the opposite side of the street there stood a lone individual holding a very large sign that criticised abortion. I don’t recall exactly the total writing upon the sign he carried, but it condemned the abortion clinics and what was happening to those so helpless and inocent in the womb that were scheduled for execution. The police came, and they took the lone individual’s sign, and also arrested him. How strange I thought that I would stand there and await entering the museum so to see the pictures of the suffering individuals that died at the hands of Nazi beasts. I turned and gazed at the individual standing behind me, then asked if his having already purchased an entry ticket, and he replied, “no, but I will purchase a ticket at the entry.” I gazed at the man, then gave to him my ticket, and I left with the thought in mine, “are we no better than those that murdered multi millions and cremated them in the ovens.” The number of the helpless one’s in the wombs has grown far more in number than those tortured, murdered and cremated and reduced to ashes by the Nazi Germans. How do we answer G-d when we stand before Him and plead forgivinness for our sins? I am now in my eighties, and we raised three wonderful boys, for which I thank G-d. Yet still, I remember that lone individual standing there and asking “why are we murdering the most innocent of all, those being torn from the womb and made to suffer such pain.” Remember, this is America, but what mercy still is given to those most helpless, innocent and forgotten. Can we simply look the other way? Indeed I tremble. G-d provides nations the type of government most deserved, and I believe that writing is again again upon the wall.

  • R.S’Chevalier-
    A very moving and stirring testimony.
    In twenty five years, if there’s a civilization left standing, will souls be in line in New York city to view the story of Americas Holocaust?
    The Abortion Holocaust.
    That the lone man across the street was taken away for [ disturbing the peace? ]
    Witness. His witness has moved you, as well as me.

    Thank you for sharing. I will be standing outside P.P. praying the rosary and thinking of the many who have paved the way with prayers since 73′

  • powerful thoughts expressed here in these responses; thank you very much. words that especially stood out to me: “Unborn babies can cry out and be heard,
    in your human hearts and,in Heaven”
    “No election will ever solve . …conversion needed..”
    “what are we going to do or not do about it?” and
    “the writing is again again on the wall”

  • How US citizens who are blindly pro-Mr O. and those who support his policies about the unborn
    , and equating same-gender sterile unions with marriage
    and the heavy-handed HHS Mandate cannot see the parallel with slavery.
    including using blacks to “breed” slaves and the declining populations in the USA and in much of Europe
    and can recall efforts by Nazis to “breed” desired citizens with Government controlled policies,
    and the same to some extent under Stalin
    and not see the writing on the wall as noted in quotes above
    is a shock to me.

  • Lonethinker-

    Many do have eyes yet cannot see, and ears for hearing yet cannot hear. History repeating itself.

    For those who do see the writing on the wall a great responsibility. We must be in the public sphere regardless of ridicule, scorn and profiling. St. Paul knew this way perfectly.
    Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ. To walk the walk is a privilege and honor.

    Please consider it if you haven’t already taken a risk for Christ.
    Give the very best this YEAR OF FAITH. Give Jesus.

Review of the Lincoln Trailer

Thursday, October 18, AD 2012

The idea of reviewing movie trailers I find somewhat humorous, but I think that Grace Randolph in the above video does a good job of attempting such a review in regard to the Lincoln movie by Spielberg being released in November.  In an earlier post last week, which may be read here, I took issue with Spielberg’s historical ignorance and/or political bias regarding how, in his view, the Democrat and Republican parties have switched positions.  This will not deter me from attending the film, as I attempt not to allow the politics of those involved with a film to influence my opinion of the film.  Having said that, like Ms. Randolph I have concerns as to whether Daniel Day-Lewis will create the suspension of disbelief to allow us to view him as Lincoln in the film.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Review of the Lincoln Trailer

7 Responses to General George S. Patton: Art and Life

  • Donald,

    Just in case no one else tells you – Keep posting stuff like this. I love it.

  • Thank you Nicholas. The Law pays my bills, but History always rules my mind.

  • I remember seeing this powerful movie – but not the opening speech as much as the size of the flag. Thanks for the replay because, as is said, after all these years …
    When I was little, I found a leather case in my father’s top drawer which contained a little medal and paper that said Lucky Bastards Club. There was a picture of him with soldiers (airmen? Air Force) next to an airplane. He was a tailgunner between England and Germany, later an aircraft mechanic. I always felt embarassed by whatever that club could mean and didn’t ask him. Think I get it now.

  • Your father was a very brave and lucky man PM.

    “The casualties suffered by the 8th Air Force in World War II exceeded those of the US Marine Corps and the US Navy combined.

    The B-17G carried a standard crew of 10: comprising a pilot, co-pilot, bombardier/chin turret gunner, navigator/cheek gunner, flight engineer/top turret gunner, radio operator, ball turret gunner, two waist gunners, and tail turret gunner.

    The area of England known as East Anglia, about the size of Vermont, became what flyers called an “unsinkable aircraft carrier” and was the home for more than 130 American bases and 75 airfields. Almost 350,000 airmen passed through these 8th Air Force airfields during the war. The very *British* names of these bases became familiar to all who flew — Glatton, Snetterton, Stowmarket, Lavenham, Bassingbourne, Polebrook, Molesworth, Martlesham Heath, Podington, Eye, Bury St Edmunds and Kingscliffe to name just a few.

    The typical airfield in East Anglia was home to about 50 B-17’s or B-24’s and had a compliment of about 2500 men who flew, repaired, serviced and supported the air operation. Not to be forgotten were the men who “kept ’em flying”. For every bomber at the field there were 30 or more men who did not fly. They repaired the plane, loaded the bombs and munitions, policed the field, maintained the radios, cooked and fed 2500 men a day, operated the laundry, worked in the PX, and handled the many other duties required to keep the planes flying and the field operating — all essential to the successful launching of the air strike.

    The average flyer was about 20 years of age and even for these young men the effects of flying very long missions under extreme cold, the constant hum and vibration, and being exposed to enemy fighters and flak, resulted in unusual stress that sometimes resulted in a breakdown. Most flyers slept long hours when not flying. I can attest to that.
    In the early years of the air war crews were required to fly 25 and later 30 and then 35 missions before they were returned to the States. This was called a “tour” and upon completion the survivors automatically became members of the “Lucky Bastards Club”.”

    http://www.galbreath.net/bill/b-17g.htm

  • “KIll them with kindness”, General George Patton. “I can attest to that” means that you, Donald R. McClarey, were a flying man? God love you. In my humble opinion your posted photograph reminds me of Ulysses S. Grant.

  • Thank you so much for the story behind the medal – have been trying to imagine how it was. He spoke little about the time. I suspect that, since his father and mother emigrated from Germany and Austria in the 19-teens to NY just west of Mass. border, the gunning missions began a lifelong off and on vodka disease. He did say that mechanical work was his avocation before and after WWII – cars, trucks, airplanes, even buses – until the need for conversion to metric tools in the 1970’s. The picture of the airmen was taken on an airfield with a B-17 and they had the expressions that spoke of something happily accomplished.

  • RE: AAF air crew bravery. See the movie, “Memphis Belle.” When I was in SAC, I served with men who been bomber crew in the War. Our group CO had been shot down over Ploesti and was a POW.

    I am reading Unbroken by the author of Seabiscuit. I recommend it. It gives a good description of a successful B-24 bomber raid on a Japanese occupied island and of an air raid the air and ground crews endured on an island air base. The author also reports the large numbers of training and accidental air deaths and the pressures and angst suffered between missions (both combat and training). The B-24 ditches at sea on a search mission for another lost aircraft and crew. Our Lord’s bitter agony in the Garden of Gethsemani comes to mind.

    Also, lest we forget: I think 40,000 young Americans (America’s finest) gave the “last full measure of devotion” with 3 Army from Normandy through Czechoslovakia.

    All the WWII men (RIP) with whom I grew up have gone to their rewards. They were the greatest generation, without a doubt.

    Greet them ever with grateful hearts.

Christmas 1944: Battle of the Bulge

Thursday, December 22, AD 2011

In 1944 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.  Patton prayed the prayer, the scene from the movie Patton depicting this may be viewed here.  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 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...

9 Responses to Christmas 1944: Battle of the Bulge

  • Pingback: THURSDAY EVENING EXTRA | ThePulp.it
  • Thanks so much for this reminder of the greatest one word reply in the history of warfare.

    May God remember the souls of these men for good and not for evil.

  • Somewhere in the writings of Maria Valtorta Jesus did say that he had mercy on the soldiers.

  • Manhood catches up with youth. As I traveled by auto with my own very young family from England to France in 1962, we drove directly through some of the fiercest fighting of the Battle of the Bulge and, earlier, the defense of England on the coast of France. When we traveled through Bastogne, stopping there for a break, we did view the tank in the village square. Sadly, only as I grew up a bit more (age), did I learn about where we went, Gen. McAuliffe’s reply “Nuts” and the history of the areas we had to travel through.
    In retrospect, I concluded that we cannot know everything all at once and that history, good and bad, ought to be taught so as not to take a lifetime to learn.
    As I often do, having visited many American Cemeteries in Europe and Hawaii, a generic Salute to all my brothers and sisters in arms that have gone to their rest, as well as for those that are still among us. SMS, USAF, Retired.

  • Thanks for this Don.

    These events are vivdly portrayed in Spielberg’s “Brothers in Arms” – an excellent series on WWII.
    May all those who gave their lives for our freedom, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
    Let us also remember to pray for those who, in our day, would have us forget these events and leave us open to further deception. There are those who even now, are seeking to re-write history, and so deceive us, so that this tyrrany, in another form, may overtake us.
    St. Michael the Archangel – defend us in the hour of conflict.

  • Amen Don! My brother when he was in the Army always wore a St. Michael necklace, as did many of his colleagues, most of whom were not Catholic.

  • Thank you for your service Robert.

  • Pingback: The Deeper Meaning of Christmas | St. John
  • My father-in-law was an 8-year-old boy, living on a farm just outside Bastogne at the time of the battle. His family had a young German soldier (just a teenager, he said) that his family had to quarter.

    During the battle, his family hid in the cellar, and they heard American troops moving through the house.

    After the battle, he said that he and his older brother actually played see-saw on the frozen body of a dead soldier. In the Spring, after the melting of the snows, they would find guns and grenades in the forest. They turned the guns over to his father; but, they kept the grenades, using them in the nearby rivers to “fish”.