THE REPLY WAS "NUTS"
Evening Post, Volume CXXXIX, Issue 94, 21 April 1945, Page 11
THE REPLY WAS "NUTS"
GERMANS DENIED HISTORIC
The commander of the valorous IQjOOQ men who made ihistovy with the single word "nuts" when the Germans made -their recent break towards. Sedan, and Bastogne was surrounded, but remained a key garrison to wreck the enemy move, was 46-year-old Brigadier- General Anthony C. McAuliffe, commander of the 101 st Airborne Division and of the U.S. Third Army's Ninth and Tenth Motorised Divisions that had been thrown.in hurriedly to stem the onrush.
"This soldier from Washington, and his troops had been in tough spots before, such as the Normandy landings and the airborne penetration of the Netherlands," it said. "When the commander of the German forces drawn up in a siege ring around Bastogne sent an ultimatum to surrender, General McAuliffe sent back the reply that may rank with John Paul Jones's "We have just begun to fight!" It was simply: "Nuts!" "Then the general told his tough fighters what he had done, and this typical American retort became a rallying call for the garrison of 10,000. OTHERS IN THE FIGHT. "Besides the 101 st (Screaming Eagle) Airborne and the Ninth and Tenth Armoured Divisions, the following Third Army Divisions took relief roles in the Bastogne drama:—The Fourth Armoured, tne Eightieth (Blue Ridge) Infantry, and the Twenty-sixth I (Yankee) Infantry. Two other units, i the Fourth. (Ivy) and Fifth (Red Diamond) Infantry. Divisions, were named as having aided in the Third Army's great offensive against the south of the German bulge operating in northeast Luxemburg. "The, answer 'Nuts!' went back to the German lines on December 22 Four days later, when the Eightieth Infantry and Fourth Armoured Divisions broke through to their relief the fields before the American lines around Bastogne were littered with the debris of 200 German tanks which had butted in,vain against the doughboy positions. The Americans had been attacked by five German divisions. 'Units of the Twenty-sixth Infantry Division also had helped to smash the encirclement of Bastogne. "The next day the 101 st regular commander, Major-General" Maxwell D. Taylor, arrived after a trip by plane and jeep from Washington, where he had been on Christmas Eve. "The stand at Bastogne well may .have frustrated the Well-laid plans of Rundstedt. Certainly the Germans could not keep the drive towards I France going at full steam without Bastogne's seven highways and one I railroad. j, "General McAuliffe and his troops told the enemy in terms that fighting men understand that they could not have the roads. The 101 st Airborne had been spoiling for a fight, and got one when it was rushed into Bastogne by truck just before the waves of attacking Germans closed around the city. TONIC FOR MORALE. "Elements of the two armoured divisions and remnants of other infamry units who had been able to make it into Bastogne completed the garrisoni 'l' In.Normand y and Holland I jumped out of C 47,' said one dismounted parachute trooper. 'Here I jumped out of the rear of a truck/ "'These parachute troopers were the best morale bucker-uppers we had,' said Major Chales E. Fife, of Los An? en™"+h Those boys fought like hell irom the word go. ''Lieut-Colonel Harry E. Brown of Jjm 12? aS9 hu; a Fourth Armoured staff VMMrtW 11/ raised the seasoned Sf Infantrv> which fought in to th,e Bastogne garrison's relief Eightieth's doughboys really did themselves proud/ he declared^'You ca^ u sal .toe..much for them.' The Eightieth helped weld the Normandy trap that destroyed the Ger- Sf-S ■•■Seventh Army, broke across the Seme, Marne and Meuse Rivers and m«&£ o th^ flr?ls rossing 'of.'the Moselle. Fourth Armoured Division, which came up and made certain that the relief corrfdor held firm, is anothS famous outfit. It spearheaded the Normandy break-through and the Moselle
crossings at Metz and the Saar River crossings into Germany. "The first actual contact with the surrounded garrison was made by an infantry patrol led by Lieutenant Walter P. Carr, of Hot Springs, Ark., who worked his way through the enemy lines, without being challenged/to an American outpost. "Then came the Eightieth Division's 318 th Regiment, commanded by Colonel Lansing McVickar, of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., whose battalion commanders were Major George W; Connaughton, of Paris, Ark., and Lieutenant-Colonel Glenn S. Gardner, of Athens, Ohio. NEW TO EUROPEAN FIGHTING^ "The Twenty-sixth Division, commanded by Major-General Willard Si! Paul, of Shrewsbury, Mass., was a newcomer to the European theatre, having been committed to the Saar front just before going into action against Rundstedt's breaK-through. The Ninth Armoured is under Major- General John W. Leonard, of Toledo, Ohio,»and the Tenth Armoured under Major-General William H. Morris, jun., of Washington. These also were relatively new outfits in European combat. The Tenth participated briefly in the Saar and Moselle operations. The Ninth saw its first action along the Luxembourg border. "It was also disclosed that the Fourth and Fifth Infantry Divisions had engaged the Germans north-east of the city of Luxemburg. The Fourth landed on the coast of France on D Day, captured Cherbourg, and sent the first troops into Paris. As part. of the United States First Army, it broke into the Siegfried Line and participated in the bloody Huertgen Forest fighting before shifting to Lieutenant- General George S. Patton, jun.'s, Third Army command. "The Fifth Infantry, commanded by Maj6r-<General Leroy Irwin Stafford, of Fort Monroe, Va., had a big role in the Moselle River campaign around Metz and helped capture the city. "The Eightieth's present commander is Major-General Horace L. Mcßride, of Elgin, Neb. Commanders of the Fourth Armoured and Fourth Infantry Divisions cannot now be disclosed." BREAK IN WEATHER HELPED. A Paris message at the same time stated:. *'The, infantry held Bastogne and tanks broke through the encircling German lines to relieve it, but the weatherman, the Allied First Airborne Army and the United States Ninth Air Force had their shares in its successful defence.
"It might have been another Arnhem, but the weather, which was not supposed to break and clear until December 31, turned good on December 23 and the first planes came—big, capable C 47's which swooped in low and dropped food, bullets, shells, and bandages. A First Airborne Army spokesman said that before they were finished the C 47's had flown 842 missions, the biggest supply job they had attempted. "The defenders of Bastogne decided it would help if they knew just where the enemy's attacking forces were located, so they sent a radio flash to Allied air forces. Dispatches from Ninth Air Force Headquarters said that within an hour of the time the request was received the Lightnings and Mustangs of Colonel James Hall's reconnaissance group were out snapping pictures of the Bastogne area They scooted back' to base, where photographic crews were standing by on the runways. By jeep the plates were sped to an aerodrome darkroom They were developed and printed while pilots kept the motors of their planes running.. "The plates were stuffed into, auxiliary gas tanks mounted on :ihe wings, and back over Bastogne went the planes, diving to within a few feet pi the ground to release the tanks andtheir precious pictures." Two of three American planes that did the job were lost,. Ninth Air Force dispatches said.