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December 1944

This is a discussion on December 1944 within the Military History forums, part of the Armed Services category; It was on the 22nd of December that General von Lüttwitz submitted the following demand for surrender to his American counterpart commanding the American forces ...


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Old December 25th, 2016, 01:02 PM   #1
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December 1944

It was on the 22nd of December that General von Lüttwitz submitted the following demand for surrender to his American counterpart commanding the American forces in Bastogne, Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe:

To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.

There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honourable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.

All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

The German Commander.

Shortly thereafter, McAuliffe sent the following communication to von Lüttwitz:

To the German Commander.

NUTS!

The American Commander

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Old December 25th, 2016, 01:30 PM   #2
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https://www.army.mil/article/92856

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Old December 25th, 2016, 01:59 PM   #3
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Luckily it wasn't a Marine unit as the answer would have been censored.

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Old December 25th, 2016, 02:40 PM   #4
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My Father was serving in north-eastern France during December of 1944. Coldest winter month in 40 years. He never talked much about that time in His life. His "outfit" were still in their summer uniforms. Must have been hell! Love ya Dad. Tom from MN

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Old December 25th, 2016, 03:30 PM   #5
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Uncle Henry

My uncle Henry (God rest his soul) was a supply sergeant in the Pennsylvania 28th division in Belgium.
On the morning of the first day of the battle of the bulge, he was awakened very early in the morning and mustered outside in a line with others of his company.
They were told to draw arms and ammo and be ready to move out in short order. An officer asked if anyone had any experience with a bazooka. The private next to my uncle said he had fired one once in basic training.
So, he was designated as bazooka man and my uncle was told to go with him and carry the rockets. They were trucked to a position and then told to move out in a certain direction to meet up with existing troops.
Rather soon they were trudging through deep snow and lost.
As they came up a small rise that lead to a road in the forest, they heard the sound of armored vehicles. crawling up the rise they saw a German tank about 75 meters away, parked in the middle of the road. There was a German officer and a couple soldiers with a map spread on the front of the tank and were engrossed in reading it. The private suggested that they get out of there before they got shot but my uncle told him to get ready to shoot as that's what they were paid to do. He loaded a rocket and tapped the private on the helmet. He fired and the rocket hit right in the middle of the group. It must have killed all the Germans there and in the confusion my uncle and the private decided to get out of there so they started to run across the road towards the other side and some heavy brush and trees.
About half way across my uncle slipped on some ice and as he fell a bullet passed through his back pack and broke an ink bottle he had in the pack. They both made it across and later joined up with other soldiers to go on and survive the battle.
Once, before he passed on, he showed me the pack he brought home and it had a hole surrounded with a big ink stain. He said that had he not slipped, he probably would have died right there.
I went looking for the pack after he died but it had disappeared. Probably either given away or trashed by the relatives when they cleaned out his apartment (and his bank account).
Well, looking back now, I am sorry I didn't have more time with my uncle. He and others like him were a bunch of heros. I wish todays youth were more informed about the courage these men showed as we really need more heros today. God bless all who have served, are serving, and will serve.

Gerry Z. US NAVY AIRCREW, AW1, 1962-1966/1976-1982

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Old December 25th, 2016, 04:39 PM   #6
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A number of years ago, I was walking through the national cemetery in Gettysburg, PA. I remember reading the gravestone of a young man that had been a SGT in the 101st Airborne. The exact details are a little hazy, but he had died either 12/24 or 12/25/1944. No doubt at Bastogne. And at the age of either twenty or twenty-one.

One of far too many, that we may live free.

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Old December 25th, 2016, 06:13 PM   #7
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I think most of the US casualties of the Bulge were buried in country. There are very large cemeteries there notably in Henri Chapelle and Luxembourg City. Immaculately kept with surprisingly large numbers of Belgians visiting. Perhaps that fellow in Gettysburg was wounded earlier in Europe and later passed away in the USA. Anyone know if the Army returned remains?

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Old December 25th, 2016, 06:35 PM   #8
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After the war, next of kin were given the option of having their loved ones buried in an overseas American military cemetery, or brought home at government expense.

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Old December 25th, 2016, 08:07 PM   #9
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Thanks Springfield, didn't know that. Thinking over the numbers it makes sense.

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Old December 30th, 2016, 10:29 PM   #10
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My dad was at Bastogne with the 506th.
Wouded at Eindohoven and repaired and reissued.
Used to have pics he took there and at a camp they liberated.
They were in Austria gearing up for the Pacific when the Japs quit.
They transferred him and others to the 82 for transfer home in 46.
There was a stash of his letters at home, but they disappeared when grandma sold the farm. Very interesting to read.
My Airborne inspiration.
Wanted to get out in the world and have my own adventures and tales to tell.
Looming draft in 1966 put an emphasis on that.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 10:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich D View Post
Luckily it wasn't a Marine unit as the answer would have been censored.
On the contrary I believe that exactly the right people were there at exactly the right time. No offense intended.

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Old December 30th, 2016, 11:45 PM   #12
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The Mardasson Monument.

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Old December 31st, 2016, 07:39 AM   #13
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My dad got to enjoy the comforts of Bastogne at that time. Never said much to any of us kids about that time, kind of wish he had but it was not really a "fun" time. Tried to be a cook but the Army in it's infinite wisdom made him a medic. There's just something about trying to help your best friend to shove his guts back and telling him he's going to make it when you know darn well he isn't that takes the smile off your face. Sure miss that tough, old man.

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