The Famous 1944 Christmas Message

It was December 20th, 1944, and the 101st Airborne Division and the 10th Armored Division was sent into the Ardennes forest in Belgium to hold this town called Bastonge. It was a town that had different roads leading into the town, and then multiple roads leaving out of it. The Germans wanted this town so they could send out more tanks and infantry on the many roads leaving out of town to get back the ground they lost to the British and Americans. It was one of the last major attempts the Germans did to reverse the tide of the war.

The 101st Airborne Division commander, Major General Maxwell Taylor was in the United States attending a staff conference when the division was sent to hold Bastonge, so Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe-who was in command of the division artillery- took command. They held the town for a week before C-47’s resupplied them on December 26th, but on December 22nd something strange happened.

On that day a German truce party came into our lines with a white flag and a note. To sum it up, the German commander said that they had the town of Bastonge surrounded and demanding “the honorable surrender” of the town, and they had two hours to respond before the were going to attack to town. General McAuliffe sent a short brief reply. To The German Commander:  NUTS!   -The American Commander. The Americans dug in and waited for the attack, they held on and the were eventually reinforced by General George Patton’s Third Army. The Battle of the Bulge continued for a couple more weeks, which resulted thousands of casualties on both sides. By the end of January, the U.S. had taken all of the land they lost to the Germans in the Bulge, and they were heading for Berlin, Germany.

Dawson Plume

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