bradygirl_12 (bradygirl_12) wrote,

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December 16, 1944

Today is the 69th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. It was the Third Reich's last gasp and Panzer units attacked and surrounded embattled towns like Bastogne and caused the Allied lines to be pushed back. The soldiers were thinking about Christmas and were mentally unprepared for the brutal struggle ahead.

Europeans said it was one of the worst winters in memory, and many soldiers froze to death as well as were killed in action. Allied planes were grounded due to bad weather and it was the largest land battle that American soldiers would ever be involved in. During the battle (which lasted well into January), the infamous Malmedy Massacre took place, with the S.S. killing dozens of American POWs. There was spy business going on as well, as trained Germans pretended to be Americans and misdirected American troops and switched signs, etc. It was a distressing time for people, hoping for the end of the war as they tried to celebrate the holidays back home, and the titanic struggle exploded just nine days before Christmas.

By the time the Allies pushed the Nazis back, many lives had been lost, but Germany was finally broken. They would never again put up a fight on the scale of the Battle of the Bulge, and the war would be over in Europe in May of 1945.

It was said that many of the American soldiers who were replacements and pretty green acquitted themselves well in this battle, and that when cut off from their units, they took the initiative without orders from superiors. The Germans were the better soldiers but the Americans were better at independent action when necessary.

Please remember the veterans of World War II and all veterans of all wars. Thank you.
Tags: christmas, history, holiday, rl, snow, u.s.a., winter, world war two
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