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  1. #1
    SoonerFans.com Elite Member Okla-homey's Avatar
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    Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    December 22, 1944, Besieged American commander at Bastogne informs Nazis he will not surrender

    62 years ago on this day in 1944, amid a massive counter-attack against the western Allies by three German armies, Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne Division replies to the German plea for the besieged paratroopers' surrender with a single word.


    The port city of Antwerp on the Belgian coast was the kraut objective. They theorized that making it there would split the allies in half and somehow they could then defeat the resulting northern and southern halves in detail later. The German planners had obviously been hitting the Christmas schnapps...but I digress.

    The German counterattack out of the densely wooded Ardennes region of Belgium took the Allies entirely by surprise, and the experienced German troops wrought havoc on the American line, creating a triangular "bulge" 60 miles deep and 50 miles wide along the Allied front.

    Conditions of fog and mist prevented the unleashing of Allied air superiority, and for several days Hitler's desperate gamble seemed to be paying off. However, unlike the French surrender monkeys in 1940 who clearly suffer from some deep-seated national character flaw, the embattled Americans kept up a fierce resistance even after their lines of communication had been broken, buying time for a three-point counteroffensive led by British General Bernard Montgomery and American generals Omar Bradley and George Patton.


    Christmas dinner in the Ardennes forest while holding out against the Hun onslaught.

    Fighting was particularly fierce at the town of Bastogne, where the 101st Airborne Division and part of the 10th Armored Division were completely encircled by German forces within the bulge. On December 22, the German commander besieging the town demanded that the Americans surrender or face annihilation. The acting commanding general of the "Screaming Eagles," U.S. Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe prepared a typed reply that read simply:

    To the German Commander:

    Nuts!

    From the American Commander

    Tony McAuliffe

    This excerpt is from a period account by an officer assigned to the 101st divisional headquarters who observed McAuliffe's single word reply to the German surrender demand being delivered by Col Harper, commander of the 327th Glider Infantry Regt on behalf of BG McAuliffe:

    The German major who received McAuliffe's response from Col Harper then asked him, "Is the reply negative or affirmative? If it is the latter I will negotiate further."

    At this time the Germans were acting in an arrogant and patronizing manner and Harper, who was starting to lose his temper, responded, "The reply is decidedly not affirmative." He then added that, "If you continue your foolish attack your losses will be tremendous."

    Harper then put the German officers in a jeep and took them back to where the German enlisted men of their party were detained. He then said to the German officers, "If you don't know what 'Nuts' means, in plain English it is the same as 'Go to Hell'. And I'll tell you something else, if you continue to attack we will kill every goddam German that tries to break into this city."

    The German major and captain saluted very stiffly. The captain said, "We will kill many Americans. This is war." Harper then responded, "On your way Bud," he then said, "and good luck to you." Harper later told me he always regretted wishing them good luck.
    Heavy fighting continued at Bastogne, but the 101st held on and the Screaming Eagles killed a buttload of Germans.


    The guys fighting back on the ground were some happy campers indeed when the skies finally cleared allowing Allied airpower to be brought to bear. Those things in the sky are contrails from the almost non-stop hammering they gave the krauts.

    On December 23, the skies finally cleared over the battle areas. That spelled doom for the kraut armies because Allied air forces were now able to inflict heavy damage on German tanks and transport, which were jammed solidly along the main roads. All over the battle area, Allied aircrews began to score "highways of death" leaving smoking hulks of German vehicles and crispy Nazi's smoldering in the snow.


    Amid now clear skies, 101st troopers celebrate Christmas. They're smiling beacuse they know allied airpower will break the backs of the Germans who still surround them.


    Dead German tank, killed by Allied airpower after the skies cleared.

    On December 26, Bastogne was relieved by elements of General Patton's 3rd Army. A major Allied counteroffensive began at the end of December, and by January 21 the Germans had been pushed back to their original line having gained absolutely nothing for their trouble.

    Germany's last major offensive of the war had cost them 120,000 men, 1,600 planes, and 700 tanks. The Allies suffered some 80,000 killed, wounded, or missing in action, with 75,000 of these casualties being American. It was the heaviest single battle toll in U.S. history.

    Best movie ever done about it IMHO? "Battleground"

    Note: You correspondent's paternal grandfather was at "The Bulge" but alas, he died of natural causes in 1997. There are still Bulge vets alive all over America. Especially this week, if you know one, tell him "Thanks bub!"


    US "Battle of the Bulge" monument near Bastogne, Belgium.

    "Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever they can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser; in fees, expenses and waste of time." -- Abraham Lincoln, (1809-1865) Lawyer and President who saved the United States.

    "Without opportunities on the part of the poor to obtain expert legal advice, it is idle to talk of equality before the law"-- Justice Chas. Evans Hughes

  2. #2
    Sooner All-Big XII-2-1+1-1+1 sooner n houston's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    Another good read, thanks Homey!

  3. #3
    SoonerFans.com Elite Member TUSooner's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    My posts should be that concise.

    Nice read.
    You tell me it's the institution. Well, you know, you'd better free your mind instead.
    (Shoo-bee doo-wah)

  4. #4
    Sooner Benchwarmer whatsername's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Okla-homey
    Best movie ever done about it IMHO? "Battleground"
    Thanks for the tip.

    Generally, I'm not a war movie watcher. But, ever since watching Band of Brothers, I'm more willing to watch/read WWII movies and books.

  5. #5
    SoonerFans.com Elite Member fadada1's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    good stuff. my great uncle was an artillery guy during the B of the B. i hope to see him this weekend.
    I don’t know if the block on that last one was due to low trajectory or if the guys up front didn’t hold their ground well enough. I’m not convinced it matters. We have every reason to believe the ball could have gone through the uprights and the refs would have signaled first down Oregon. - D.E.

  6. #6
    SoonerFans.com Elite Member picasso's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"


  7. #7
    SoonerFans.com Elite Member TUSooner's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    Quote Originally Posted by picasso
    I don;t recalll ever seeg that, but it has to be better than the rather tepid and simple "Battle of the Bulge" with Henry Fonda et al. (which I liked anyway).
    You tell me it's the institution. Well, you know, you'd better free your mind instead.
    (Shoo-bee doo-wah)

  8. 12/22/2006, 11:13 AM


  9. #8

    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    dont think i've ever seen battleground.....who's in it?

  10. #9
    Sooner Benchwarmer sooneriniowa's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    Van Johnson .... Pfc. Holley
    John Hodiak .... Pvt. Donald Jarvess
    Ricardo Montalban .... Pvt. Johnny Roderigues
    George Murphy .... Pvt. Ernest J. 'Pop' Stazak
    Marshall Thompson .... Pvt. Jim Layton
    Jerome Courtland .... Pvt. Abner Spudler
    Don Taylor .... Pvt. Standiferd
    Bruce Cowling .... Sgt. Walowicz
    James Whitmore .... Sgt. Kinnie
    Douglas Fowley .... Pvt. 'Kipp' Kippton
    Leon Ames .... The Chaplain
    Herbert Anderson .... Pvt. Hansan (as Guy Anderson)
    Thomas E. Breen .... Doc
    Denise Darcel .... Denise (French Girl)
    Richard Jaeckel .... Pvt. Bettis
    "With Paul Thompson at QB, Oklahoma will not win the Big 12."
    -Lee Corso "is a penis" 9/2/06

  11. #10
    SoonerFans.com Elite Member picasso's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    Van Johnson, James Whitmore, Ricardo Montablan. It's a William Wellman flick and it's good stuff.

    once you get past the token girl/guy scenes it's good.

  12. 12/22/2006, 11:47 AM


  13. #11
    SoonerFans.com Elite Member Tulsa_Fireman's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    Does it have rich corinthian leather?
    People don't know what it is to be a champion.

    Oklahoma INVENTED it.

  14. #12
    Sooner All-Big XII-2-1+1-1+1 frankensooner's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    My Uncle Orville was stuck right in the middle of that mess. He wrote about it. I really would like to get my hands on that. He lived for over 40 years trapped in his own body with MS. Can you imagine, living through that and being afflicted with such a horrible disease?

  15. #13
    SoonerFans.com Elite Member JohnnyMack's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    This is such bull****. McAuliffe should have just surrendered. The countless American lives he wasted in this engagement is sickening. He had no regard for any of the soldiers. The Germans wouldn't have probably surrendered soon anyway.

  16. #14
    Soon to be Memphibian

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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyMack
    This is such bull****. McAuliffe should have just surrendered. The countless American lives he wasted in this engagement is sickening. He had no regard for any of the soldiers. The Germans wouldn't have probably surrendered soon anyway.
    They probably would have ended the Holocaust on their own as well.

    Homey, I think that La Resistance would take exception with your characterization of the French as a whole. Certainly the Vichy bastards were cowardly, though.
    "The choices we discern as having been made in the Constitutional Convention impose burdens on governmental proceses that often seem clumsy, inefficient, even unworkable, but those hard choices were consciously made by men who had lived under a form of government that permitted arbitrary governmental acts to go unchecked." INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983) (Burger, C.J.)

  17. #15
    Sooner All-Big XII-2-1+1-1+1 frankensooner's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    The Maquis were pretty bad a$$ for a bunch of frenchies.

  18. #16
    SoonerFans.com Elite Member TUSooner's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    Quote Originally Posted by picasso
    Van Johnson, James Whitmore, Ricardo Montablan. It's a William Wellman flick and it's good stuff.

    once you get past the token girl/guy scenes it's good.
    Why do you hate heterosexuals?!?

    NTTAWWT

    You tell me it's the institution. Well, you know, you'd better free your mind instead.
    (Shoo-bee doo-wah)

  19. 12/22/2006, 01:19 PM


  20. #17
    Sooner All-Big XII-2-1+1-1+1
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    Long rumored is that the actual comunique from McAulife read "Mierde!" (or however you spell the french word for poo), but of course that couldn't be retold by the press back to the American public so it was changed to "Nuts!"

    Anyway, if you are interested in this topic, read Dark December by Robert E. Merriam. Pretty amazing what these guys went through.
    ........

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  21. #18
    Sooner All-Big XII-2-1+1-1+1 OhU1's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    What is amazing to me is that Germany still had the strength left to mount a powerful offensive in the west by late 1944. Germany deployed at least 70% of their military might into the Russian front. Germany was severely weakened by over 3 years of meat grinder warfare in Russia by 1944. Germany was a formidable fighting machine. Thank goodness for the folly of Hitler in attacking Russia and fighting a two front war.
    "Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It's just ganging up against the weird kid, and I'm always the weird kid.."
    Penn Jillette

  22. #19
    Sooner All-Big XII-2-1+1-1+1 frankensooner's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    merde? I like Nuts better.

  23. #20
    SoonerFans.com Elite Member Tulsa_Fireman's Avatar
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    Re: Good Morning..."Nuts!"

    Still, one of my favorite tales from WWII. I mean, does that say America or what?

    Joo shall zurrender or die, Americans!

    Bring it, you kraut bastards. You'll walk over here, but you'll be limpin' goin' back.
    People don't know what it is to be a champion.

    Oklahoma INVENTED it.

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