Patton relieves Bastogne
Dec 26, 1944:
On this day, General George S. Patton employs an audacious strategy to relieve the besieged Allied defenders of Bastogne, Belgium, during the brutal Battle of the Bulge.
The capture of Bastogne was the ultimate goal of the Battle of the Bulge, the German offensive through the Ardennes forest. Bastogne provided a road junction in rough terrain where few roads existed; it would open up a valuable pathway further north for German expansion. The Belgian town was defended by the U.S. 101st Airborne Division, which had to be reinforced by troops who straggled in from other battlefields. Food, medical supplies, and other resources eroded as bad weather and relentless German assaults threatened the Americans’ ability to hold out. Nevertheless, Brigadier General Anthony C. MacAuliffe met a German surrender demand with a typewritten response of a single word: “Nuts.”
Enter “Old Blood and Guts,” General Patton. Employing a complex and quick-witted strategy wherein he literally wheeled his 3rd Army a sharp 90 degrees in a counterthrust movement, Patton broke through the German lines and entered Bastogne, relieving the valiant defenders and ultimately pushing the Germans east across the Rhine.
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This Week in History, Dec 26 – Jan 1
Dec 26, 1943 Britain surprises German attacker in the Arctic Dec 26, 1944 Patton relieves Bastogne Dec 27, 1942 Germans form the Smolensk Committee to enlist Soviet soldiers Dec 28, 1941 Request made for creation of construction battalions Dec 29, 1940 Germans raid London Dec 30, 1884 Tojo is born Dec 31, 1944 Hungary declares war on Germany Jan 01, 1942 United Nations created Jan 01, 1946 Hidden Japanese surrender after Pacific War has ended