Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Seventy Years Ago

13 German divisions attacked the Allied lines in the Ardennes in Belgium, commencing the Battle of the Bulge.

The German offensive was a desperate roll of the dice by Adolph Hitler, who was, in effect, aided by Allied intelligence, which missed several clues and hints. The American generals regarded the Ardennes as a quiet sector, suitable for unblooded or rebuilding units. The American line was lightly held. And the Allied armies had, at the time, pretty much outrun the limits of their supply chain.

The Germans made full use of bad weather, which grounded the Allied Jabos, as the German soldiers termed Allied fighter-bombers. The Germans achieved complete surprise. But far stiffer than expected resistance in places such as Lanzerath, Elsenborn Ridge, St. Vith and, of course, Bastogne, threw off the German timetable. Allied engineers blew up many bridges that the Germans planned to capture.

When the weather cleared almost a week after the attack began, Bastogne and other areas held by the Allies were resupplied by air. P-47s began shooting up German troops and slicing the crap out of the Germans' supply routes. The Luftwaffe made a major attack on Allied airfiedls, only to be shot to pieces by AA guns firing VT-fuzed shells. The Luftwaffe destroyed almost double of what they lost, but the Allies could well afford to lose those planes. The Germans couldn't. The Germans also used up tanks, vehicles and fuel that they couldn't replace. They had no reserve troops left. And the Red Army kicked off its January offensive a week early,

By the time the battle officially ended in late January, 1945, it turned out to be the bloodiest American fight of the entire war.

The best American movie of the battle, if not the war, probably is Battleground.

Update: Coverage of the commemoration in Bastogne, headed by King Phillipe and Queen Mathilde.

1 comment:

Jean Loup said...

Hello & Happy Christmas:
I was past a year and a half old, when uncle Otto trained his staff for uniform changes (hun uniform one side, gringo uniform the other) and a way of cigarrete share tipically "amerikaner", that was going to mark my way of sharing cigarretes from the pack during my whole smoking life (no more tobaco now, my liver does not stand TAR any more).

We stoped from hiding in 1948, when we were smuggled into Spain from Liberated Françe. In 1950 a doctor burned my digestive system with "sulfas" overdose (10 times an adult dose & I was seven years old), so uncle Otto chartered an Iberia "Tante Ju" from Pamplona airfield to Madrid Barajas, for real medical assistance: I BECAME INLOVE WITH FLIGHT. Later my uncle Otto was known among the ladies in Madrid, as the German with Two Navels, because he was shot once in the stomac below the navel... he became famous after rescuing Benito Mussolini.

Now, I am mexican with memoirs... NOS VEMOS!!