Battle of the Bulge Soldiers

Battle of the Bulge Soldiers



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Facing the harsh conditions of the European winter, American soldiers fighting in the Battle of the Bulge faced a challenge like no other.


The &lsquoBattle of the Bulge&rsquo or the &lsquoArdennes Offensive&rsquo was the single biggest and bloodiest battle American soldiers have ever fought. Before dawn on Dec. 16, a German artillery bombardment preceded a powerful attack along a 40-mile front that overran the U.S. 106th and 28th Infantry Divisions. More than 8,000 Americans were captured as German formations rampaged west, scattering horrified rear-area troops of the U.S. 1st Army. Initial reports indicated a major disaster -- a huge hole blown in the Allied lines and fresh German panzer (armored) forces pouring through it.

German troops advancing past abandoned American equipment [Via]

#1. The Germans threw 250,000 soldiers into the initial assault, 14 German infantry divisions guarded by five panzer divisions-against a mere 80,000 American troops assigned to what was supposed to be a quiet sector in the Ardennes region of Belgium. It scattered American frontline units and caused many anxious hours in the Allied high command.

American soldiers of the 3rd Battalion 119th Infantry Regiment are taken prisoner by members of Kampfgruppe Peiper in Stoumont, Belgium on 19 December 1944 [Via]

#2. The offensive caught the Allied high command completely off-guard. Ironically, intelligence reports warned that the Germans were indeed marshalling for a strike through Belgium, yet the very notion was almost unthinkable to U.S. generals. Allied leaders, including General Omar Bradley and General Dwight D. Eisenhower, were surprised by the force of the German attack.

#3. The U.S. units deployed in the Ardennes were a mixture of inexperienced troops (such as the raw U.S. 99th and 106th "Golden Lions" Divisions), and battle-hardened troops sent to that sector to recuperate (the 28th Infantry Division).

#4. The United States suffered its second-largest surrender of troops of the war: More than 7,500 members of the 106th Infantry Division capitulated at one time at Schnee Eifel. The US 106th Infantry division was encircled in the opening hours of the attack, leaving two out of three soldiers killed or captured. GIs up and down the line were in full retreat, with the exception of isolated, scattered groups of tenacious soldiers, fighting to delay the German onslaught. The inexperienced U.S. 106th Division was nearly annihilated, but even in defeat helped buy time for Brigadier General Bruce C. Clarke&rsquos brilliant defense of St.-Vith. Thousands of American troops surrendered, to be marched off to prison camps. Others fled for their lives, while still others, desperate and outgunned, made last stands against Nazi tanks.

U.S. POWs on 22 December 1944 [Via]

#5. One particularly effective German trick, "Operation Greif", was the use of English-speaking German commandos led by Otto Skorzeny who infiltrated American lines and, using captured U.S. uniforms, trucks, and jeeps, impersonated U.S. military and sabotaged communications.

6#. Nazi atrocities abounded, including the murder of 84 American soldiers by SS soldiers in the Ardennes town of Malmedy.

American soldiers taking a break in Malmedy [Via]

Scene of the Malmedy massacre [Via]

#7. American soldiers allegedly shot approximately sixty German prisoners of war near the Belgian village of Chenogne (8 km from Bastogne).

#8. Caught off-guard, American units fought desperate battles to stem the German advance at St.-Vith, Elsenborn Ridge, Houffalize and later, Bastogne, which was defended by the 101st Airborne Division.

#9. During the course of their engagements in St.-Vith some units of the 82nd Airborne suffered over 80% casualties&mdashthe 509th Battalion reportedly took over 90% casualties&mdashwith most losses coming during the Allied counteroffensive that began in January.

Brigadier-Gen. Anthony McAuliffe: the commander of the 101st Airborne inside Bastogne [Via]

#10. At the critical road junctions of St. Vith and Bastogne, American tankers and paratroopers fought off repeated attacks, and when the acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division in Bastogne, Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, was summoned by his German adversary to surrender or heavy artillery will begin firing on the town, he simply responded, "Nuts!".

Infantrymen fire at German troops in the advance to relieve the surrounded paratroopers in Bastogne [Via]

#11. Despite taking dreadful losses, US forces managed to delay the enemy sufficiently to permit reinforcements to be moved into position to halt the German drive. In large part, it was the tenacious defense put up by American soldiers, fighting in small groups in sub-zero cold and snow that stopped the German advance.

Two U.S. soldiers, dug into the snow and dirt east of Bastogne, Belgium, man .30-caliber light machine guns as they keep an eye out for German troops [Via]

#12. A crucial German shortage of fuel and the gallantry of American troops fighting in the frozen forests of the Ardennes proved fatal to Hitler&rsquos ambition to snatch, if not victory, at least a draw with the Allies in the west.

#13. On December 23, American forces began their first counterattack on the southern flank of the "Bulge." Lieutenant General George S. Patton&rsquos remarkable feat and successful maneuvering of turning the Third Army ninety degrees from Lorraine proved vital to relieve the besieged town of Bastogne which was the key to thwarting the German counteroffensive despite heavy casualties.

Infantrymen of the 82nd Airborne Division, 504th Regiment, advancing on Herresbach, Belgium [Via]

#14. The temperature during January 1945 was extremely low. Weapons had to be maintained and truck engines run every half-hour to prevent their oil from congealing. The soldiers often fought in zero-temperature conditions and driving snow that prevented them from seeing more than 10 or 20 yards in front of them. With equipment and uniforms that were designed for warmer times, frostbite became a terrible reality. Because soldiers were often cut off from their divisions in foxholes, the wounded, in some cases, literally froze to death.

During the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 1944), allied soldiers decorated their helmets with lace curtains, after realizing it provided excellent camouflage in the snow [Via]

#15. By January 28, 1945, the Americans had pushed the Germans back to their initial positions of December 16, 1944.

#16. The Battle of the Bulge was the costliest military action ever fought by the U.S. Army in terms of participation and losses. They were bore the brunt of the attack and incurred their highest casualties for any operation during the war. For the Americans, 610,000 men were involved in the battle, of whom 89,000 were casualties, including up to 19,000 killed. It was the largest battle the US Army had ever fought in history .

#17. The Allies called it the Ardennes Counteroffensive. The phrase "Battle of the Bulge" was coined by contemporary press to describe the way the Allied front line bulged inward on wartime news maps and became the most widely used name for the battle.

US Army soldiers of the 3rd Armored Division run down the street while the Germans shell the town during the Battle of the Bulge, January 15, 1945 [Via]

#18. Historian John S.D. Eisenhower wrote, ". the action of the 2nd and 99th Divisions on the northern shoulder could be considered the most decisive of the Ardennes campaign." The 99th Infantry Division as a whole, outnumbered five to one, inflicted casualties in the ratio of eighteen to one. The division lost about 219 Facts about American Forces in the 'Battle of the BulgeƆ% of its effective strength, including 465 killed and 2,524 evacuated due to wounds, injuries, fatigue, or trench foot. German losses were much higher.

#19. Winston Churchill, addressing the House of Commons following the Battle of the Bulge said, "This is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever-famous American victory."


Marching to Victory: The Battle of the Bulge

Thursday, January 25, 1945

How did the Allied forces win the bloodiest American battle of the deadliest war in human history?

On December 16, 1944, at the beginning of a historically frigid winter, the Germans launched what would be their final major offensive of World War II. Over the course of six weeks, Allied forces thwarted the German armies’ attempts to split them. The Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest battle for American forces on the Western Front during WWII – 20,000 Americans were killed in this battle tens of thousands more were wounded, missing, or captured. Despite these great losses, the Battle of the Bulge ended with an Allied victory 75 years ago today.

How did the Allies win what Winston Churchill called “the greatest American battle of the war”?

General Eisenhower described General Bruce C. Clarke’s relief of the Belgium city of St. Vith as the “turning point” of the Battle of the Bulge. By slowing the German’s advance and defending a vital road junction at St. Vith, General Clarke’s leadership during the Battle of St. Vith put the Americans on a path to victory.

Bruce C. Clarke began his military service after he dropped out of high school to join the Army in 1917. A West Point Graduate, Clarke commanded the 7th and 4th Armored Divisions in General Patton’s Third Army from 1943 to 1945. He won the Silver Star three times for his valor in WWII. In 1962, Clarke retired as a four star general. During his more than 40 years of service, Clarke fought in three wars, earned the Distinguished Service Cross, three Army Distinguished service medals, three Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, and four Bronze stars. In 1971, he attained the 33rd degree as a Mason – like President Truman.

General Clarke’s oral history is one of the approximately 500 oral histories in the Truman Library’s archives. The transcript of his 175-page oral history details everything from his view of presidents to the waging of battles. Check out this excerpt to learn more about the “turning point” of the Battle of the Bulge – the Battle of St. Vith.

CLARKE: I think the most important action I took part in was the Battle of St. Vith during the Battle of the Bulge where I found myself thrown by a stroke of fate in front of the main effort of the German army. The effort that, if successful, would have captured Liege and Namur and cut off and been behind the British army in the north. And I found myself there after the 106th Division had been overrun and practically destroyed.

I found myself there with a greatly outnumbered enemy. I held them up there for seven days during which time the American forces formed at the rear and then the main plan of the Germans had been destroyed. Marshal [Kurt von] Manteuffel gives credit to the defense that held him up there for six or seven days at St. Vith to have spoiled the German plan for the Battle of the Bulge.

It was a seven-day battle in which I had no time to lay down to go to sleep I slept in my jeep. I used to tie myself in my seat when I traveled I sat in the seat and slept. That went on day and night for seven days. The weather was terrible, we had no air support because of the poor weather. I lost two thousand men killed in that battle in seven days. But at the end of seven days the high-water mark of the German army was reached and we, from then on, just went and finished up the war.

That was the greatest battle I ever took part in.

With the end of the Battle of the Bulge on January 25, 1945, the final victory over Nazi Germany was within reach. In less than five months, Germany would agree to an unconditional surrender.

For General Clarke’s thoughts on some of the more difficult problems he faced in the Battle of the Bulge, the importance of confidence in leading soldiers, and organizing men to fight, see his complete oral history.

PHOTO: January 24, 1945 U.S. Army soldiers of the 48th Infantry Armored Battalion in St. Vith, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

75 years ago, World War II ended under President Truman’s decisive leadership. Now, follow key events from the war’s final months with the Truman Library Institute’s series, “Marching to Victory: WWII Highlights from the Truman Library’s Archives and Collections.” The 25-part blog series opens the vaults at Truman’s presidential library to share eyewitness accounts and historic artifacts related to major conflicts and monumental victories – from the Battle of the Bulge to the liberation of Dachau to the unconditional surrender of Japan.


Contributed by Mary McMurray, Ph.D. Her maternal grandfather, Charles G. Burns, served under General Clarke in the 7th Armored Division (the “Lucky Seventh”). His stories about history, including the battles at St. Vith and the Battle of the Bulge, helped inspire her love of history.


Sacrifice: The 333rd Field Artillery at the Battle of the Bulge

Manning 155mm howitzers, African American gunners sacrificed themselves to defend fleeing infantry. Eleven of them were murdered by the Waffen SS, and then forgotten by the US Army.

Top Image: African American crew of an M1 155mm howitzer in action courtesy of the US Army.

An act of heroic self-sacrifice highlighted the dedicated service of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, a segregated African American unit that bolstered American forces in Western Europe during World War II. That sacrifice unfortunately ended in tragedy for 11 American soldiers, murdered in one of the many atrocities committed by German Waffen-SS troops, in this case with particular savagery because the victims were black. Compounding the tragedy, this atrocity was not officially recognized in the United States until many decades after the war had ended.

The 333rd was originally organized as a regiment in 1942, and trained at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma. In 1943, however, it was reorganized as the 333rd Field Artillery Group, consisting of the 333rd and 969th Field Artillery Battalions, both African American units with mostly white officers. Subsequently, two other field artillery battalions would be added to this group. The 333rd and 969th battalions were equipped with the M1 155mm howitzer, a versatile and effective truck-drawn weapon used by the US Army until the Vietnam War, and still in use in some parts of the world today.

Arriving in England in February 1944, the 333rd and 969th battalions shipped over to Normandy in July and provided vital artillery support to American forces through months of hard fighting, including at the siege of Brest, France. By the time the Allies liberated Paris in August, the two battalions were known as some of the most efficient and hard-hitting artillery units in the US Army. In October 1944, the units were assigned to what was assumed to be a quiet front, in support of VIII Corps and the untested 106th Infantry Division in the Ardennes region along the Belgian-German border.

The 333rd Battalion was deployed around the small town of Schönberg in an atmosphere “tranquil to a point almost approaching garrison conditions,” as a later report would admit. Tired from months of constant service, the men took the opportunity to relax, with a recreation center that included a beer hall, bowling alley, and even a badminton court. They were preparing a musical theater performance when the German offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge began on December 16.

The 106th Division was quickly thrown into disarray. At some outposts, black artillerymen took up rifles and fought alongside the infantry, in one case beating off a German attack and inflicting serious casualties. The German tide was overwhelming, however, driving through the defending infantry. Recognizing the seriousness of the crisis, batteries of the 333rd and 969th battalions began pulling back under orders. The 106th Division’s artillery commander desperately requested, however, that the battalions leave batteries behind to offer continuing support, assuring them that the main lines would be held and that they would be in no danger. He was wrong.

Master Sergeant Floyd Jones, an African American artilleryman serving with the 333rd Group, remembered: “We had just been sitting around awaiting orders when news came of the German breakthrough, so—get ready for action!” Guns of the 333rd Battalion fired furiously in support of the American infantry, allowing some men to escape who might otherwise have been killed or captured. But the gunners’ heroism came at terrible cost as the Germans broke in among the howitzer positions. The Germans captured Schönberg and, continuing to advance, shattered much of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, killing or capturing half of its men.

Eleven artillerymen escaped the German net and walked 10 miles away to the town of Wereth, where they were sheltered by a local civilian. A neighbor who was sympathetic to the Germans betrayed them, however, and the Americans had the misfortune to fall into the hands of troops of the 1st SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Panzer Division. Like the men of other Waffen SS divisions, these Germans were deeply indoctrinated in Nazi ideology and regarded their prisoners as racial inferiors.

At 7:00 p.m. on the evening of December 17, the SS men drove their captors into the forest. There they savagely tortured their victims with rifle butts and bayonets before cutting off many of their fingers and running over them with vehicles—whether before or after the Americans were dead is impossible to say. Then they moved on, leaving the bodies behind.

The remnants of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion fell back, joined with the still-intact 969th Field Artillery Battalion, and participated in the defense of Bastogne. For its bravery during this action, the 969th received a Presidential Unit Citation—although the members of the 333rd who fought at Bastogne surely deserved to share in the honors.

The 11 men who died at Wereth, however, were ignored. The same US Army investigators who uncovered the atrocity at Malmedy also recovered the full details of what happened at Wereth, including the fact that—unlike the white victims at Malmedy—the black men who died there had been brutally tortured. But the investigators made no effort to pursue the matter further, taking no testimonies even though many of the local civilians—including those who had sheltered the artillerymen—were still alive and could have provided evidence. In 1949 a subcommittee of the Senate’s Committee on Armed Services conducted a full review of Nazi atrocities during the Battle of the Bulge—and completely ignored the Wereth massacre.

Members of the family who had sheltered the “Wereth Eleven” marked the site of the massacre with a memorial in 1994, and it was expanded 10 years later. Only in 2017, however, did Congress pass a resolution bestowing “official recognition” on the victims of the massacre: Curtis Adams of South Carolina, Mager Bradley of Mississippi, George Davis, Jr., of Alabama, Thomas Forte of Mississippi, Robert Green of Georgia, James Leatherwood of Mississippi, Nathaniel Moss of Texas, George Motten of Texas, William Pritchett of Alabama, James Stewart of West Virginia, and Due Turner of Arkansas.


Battle of the Bulge Soldiers - HISTORY

“This is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever-famous American victory.” – Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister

On December 16 th, 1944, the last major German offensive of World War II began. The Battle of the Bulge, also known as Ardennes Counteroffensive, would last over a month, ultimately ending on January 25 th , 1945. Adolf Hitler made one last push against Allied forces on the Western Front after D-Day, with the aim of splitting up these Allied forces in his drive toward Germany.

Early on the morning of December 16 th , among the rain and mist, German forces began their attack on American forces stationed across nearly 80 miles of the dense Ardennes Forest. These American forces – just four divisions, inexperienced and already battle-fatigued – faced over 30 German divisions in a surprise attack.

As German forces drove further into the Ardennes, the Allied line looked like a large bulge, giving the battle its famous name. After a day of intense fighting, German forces broke through the American front. Word of massacred soldiers and civilians quickly spread, as did word of German tactics such as changing road signs, spreading misinformation, and even German soldiers disguised as Americans.

In the Belgian town of Bastogne, Allied troops became surrounded by German forces. General Eisenhower sent more American units, including the 101 st Airborne Division.

On Christmas Day, 1944, weather conditions finally cleared, allowing air strikes by the Allied Forces. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lt. General George S. Patton, Jr. Led the American defense. General Patton and the Third U.S. Army turned their focus to the north and were able to break through the German lines in Bastogne and rescue the troops there.

Although various Allied forces fought in the battle, American soldiers are known for their persistence in their attempts to hold off German forces. Usually isolated and suffering through the extremely cold conditions, American soldiers often didn’t know the larger picture of what was happening in the battle. Still, they did everything they could to slow the German advance, including “delaying armored spearheads with obstinate defenses of vital crossroads, moving or burning critical gasoline stocks to keep them from the fuel-hungry German tanks, or coming up with questions on arcane Americana to stump possible Nazi infiltrators.”

Ultimately, the Allies were able to defeat the German forces, and headed towards Berlin. WWII would officially end just five months later.

In total, it is estimated that over 1 million Allied troops fought in the Battle of the Bulge, including 500,000 Americans. Approximately 19,000 American soldiers were killed in action, with 47,500 wounded and 23,000 missing. The Battle of the Bulge was the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States in WWII. It remains the third-deadliest campaign in American history.

Acknowledging and remembering The Battle of the Bulge is one of the ways we can uphold our mission to Honor our veterans here at NVMM. We also strive to educate our all visitors about key events in American military history, like the Battle of the Bulge, as well as about the thousands of American lives lost in these events.


Battle of the Bulge Soldiers - HISTORY

By Stephen D. Lutz

In the winter of 1944-1945, within Belgium’s Ardennes Forest, better known as the launching pad of the Battle of the Bulge, two war crimes were committed. The better known one—the “Malmedy Massacre”—resulted in the deaths of at least 85 defenseless GIs who surrendered. They were herded into a snow-covered field near Baugnez and machine gunned to death. Then the perpetrators walked among survivors, calmly shooting them again at point-blank range. This atrocity made worldwide headlines. One month later, a second, lesser known mass execution occurred. This one, known as the Wereth 11 Massacre, took place at Wereth and involved 11 GIs from the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion. It led to a two-year U. S. Army investigation, from February 1945-February 1947. The Army’s conclusion: Shut the case down, close it up, and keep it, literally, top secret for decades.

Why such a discrepancy in investigating two major war crimes? The first, the Malmedy Massacre, involved all white GIs. The second, known as the Wereth 11 Massacre, involved 11 black GIs. Would the words “white” and “black” have any meaning here? Or were some other factors involved?

The 333rd Field Artillery Battalion got its start on paper on August 5, 1942. A month later it was established at Camp Gruber in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The Army determined the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion would be equipped with M-114 155mm “Long Tom” howitzers and be manned by “colored” troops, according to the Army’s classification at the time.

Camp Gruber reflected America’s racial tensions and attitudes common to that era. The camp was 18 miles outside Muskogee and 61 miles southeast of Tulsa. As the future members of the 333rd filtered into camp they were well aware of “Jim Crow” laws that dictated every facet of African American life, especially in the deep Southern states.

Members of the 349th Field Artillery Battalion pose for a photo during pre-war training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The U.S. Army was dubious about the fighting qualities of “colored” units and many African American soldiers never expected to see combat.

With Oklahoma being more of a border state, the black soldiers were hopeful that they would not be subject to the Jim Crow traditions. Culturally and heritage-wise, the soldiers were two generations removed from slavery. But perhaps they were unaware of an event that had occurred 21 years earlier in Tulsa, in a neighborhood known as Greenwood—an economically thriving, predominantly African American district of private, commercial, and professional businesses.

On May 31, 1921, under exaggerated, grossly out of control half-truths, an African American man was arrested. The purported charge was that he had offended or molested a white woman. Within 24 hours, a gang of white Tulsa residents burned nearly 40 blocks of the Greenwood neighborhood and killed 300 of that neighborhood’s citizens.

Tulsa, along with the help of the State of Oklahoma, acted quickly to minimize and restrict news of the horrific incident, so it did not get much notice in the national press. Twenty-one years following that murderous rampage, many of those arriving at Camp Gruber had no idea the event had occurred.

Two infantry divisions—the 42nd “Rainbow” and the 88th “Blue Devils”—were also activated at Camp Gruber, as it could house 35,000 military residents. When the raw recruits who would form the basis of the 333rd began arriving, they found three swimming pools, a lake for fishing, 10 baseball diamonds, and facilities for basketball, boxing, volleyball, weightlifting, and football. They also found the sentiments of a racially divided region most of the facilities were segregated. Still, training had to proceed.

This story focuses on 11 trainees in particular. Tech. Sgt. William Pritchett was from Wilcox County, Alabama. He was born May 5, 1922. He may never have married but was known to have had a daughter. Corporal Mager Bradley, an enlistee, was born April 21, 1917, in Bolivar County, Mississippi. On December 2, 1943, he married 20-year-old Eva Marie James in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Jimmie Lee Leatherwood was born March 15, 1922, in Tupelo, Mississippi. While living in Texas, he married and the couple had one daughter who would never meet her father. Other members of the 11 were Georgia-born Corporal Robert Green, Private Nathaniel Moss from Texas, and Curtis Adams, a 32-year-old medic from Columbia, South Carolina. He was a newly married GI upon arrival at Camp Gruber and a new father.

At age 36, Tech. Sgt. James Aubrey Stewart was a more seasoned GI. Born in 1906, he had nearly 20 years of pitching baseballs for the Piedmont, West Virginia, semi-pro team, the Piedmont Colored Giants. Many who knew him openly wondered why he never moved forward with the professional Negro Baseball League. He enlisted in the Army in December 1942. His baseball skills were highly prized at Camp Gruber.

Private First Class George Davis was short in stature and was lovingly known by his comrades as “Li’l Georgie.” He was born in 1922 and drafted in May 1942. Before leaving home, Davis took a newspaper picture of Jesse Owens from the 1936 Olympics as an inspiration. Private First Class Due W. Turner was born in Columbia County, Arkansas, on March 11, 1922, but little else is known about him.

Another, more senior veteran soldier was Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Forte who was a cook in the 333rd he was born in 1915 in Hinds County, Mississippi. Prior to joining the 333rd he had a simple, impoverished wedding on January 19, 1942, in Louisiana. All he could afford was a tin wedding ring. The farthest he got in school was completing grammar school. The last of these 11 was Pfc. George W. Motten, who was born in Texas, but other biographical information is lacking.

These 11 joined 540 other GIs to make up the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion.

A World War II 155mm howitzer battalion, at least according to the manual, consisted of 550 enlisted soldiers and 30 officers. Considering the demands of war, that number sometimes fluctuated.

While training in the U.S. in 1943, an African American artillery battalion lines up for chow in the field. Both in training and in combat, units were strictly segregated.

This structure was divided into five batteries of four guns, or “tubes,” each: Able (A), Baker (B), Charley (C), Service Battery, and Headquarters Battery. According to the Table of Authorization, it took 120 soldiers to fill in a battery and 11 soldiers to efficiently operate a 155mm howitzer that weighed 12,000 pounds. Most typically, a lieutenant colonel commanded a battalion. The 333rd’s commander was 49-year-old Lt. Col. Harmon S. Kelsey from San Bruno, California—a veteran artillery officer who had served in World War I.

As with all African American units in the segregated Army the officers were predominately white. Kelsey, as was also usual, was not happy commanding a mostly black battalion. The overwhelming philosophy for the Jim Crow-era army was that African Americans were inept, undereducated soldiers, incapable of mastering the finer skills and demands of soldiering, and were generally worthless in combat.

Most white officers posted to lead black units found it a dead-end career path. None felt that such a unit, regardless of service and arms, would ever see actual combat. That is where Kelsey stood, and he had no qualms about expressing those sentiments. In regard to the 333rd personnel, he saw them in two colors green and colored. He told them the only way to get out of the 333rd would be to be killed. In his mind, that would never happen. He was convinced the 333rd would never see combat. In due time this lieutenant colonel would have a major reversal of beliefs about his soldiers.

Most of the 333rd’s other 29 officers were white. The most influential of these junior officers was 21-year-old, Oklahoma-born Captain William Gene McLeod, son of a World War I veteran. At age 16, McLeod joined the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Division, which used to the older style French 75mm howitzer from World War I. He became a sergeant, was eventually accepted into Officer Candidate School, and became a lieutenant in the artillery. In terms of personality, he was every bit the opposite of Kelsey.

Sergeant William Pritchett of Alabama.

One incident stands out. Curtis Adams, the black medic, was visited by his wife, Catherine, and their newborn son. Kelsey avoided the child, refusing to hold the infant. He told the parents an Army camp was no place for a baby, or a mother. But McLeod had no hesitations in cuddling the baby. McLeod saw the privileges of being white, but he stood by his trainees at every step of their training. He believed in his men, and they came to believe in him. Soldiers preferred to approach him over any other officer.

When German prisoners of war arrived at Camp Gruber, Tech. Sgt. William Edward Pritchett was compelled to deliver a concern to his captain. The men of the 333rd noticed the POWs were fed better than the 333rd and that white GIs showed more courtesy and respect for the Germans than to their fellow black comrades. McLeod forwarded those remarks to Kelsey, but they were shooed aside.

The turning point for the 333rd at Camp Gruber came in the summer of 1943. Having spent months fumbling and blundering, with one mishap after another, the men seemed incapable of learning the intricacies of the six-ton weapon. The ultimate goal was to complete a 100-pound shell firing sequence within four minutes before beginning the next firing sequence. But the 333rd trainees themselves felt that was an unimaginable goal to reach. Even worse was Kelsey’s nonstop attitude of the 333rd not being good enough to make it to the front until after the war ended.

During a break on the firing range one summer day, George Davis took to humming a tune his mother often sang to him. Before long his comrades started humming along. The rhythm was off a beat or two, and it took a while to identify the song. It was “Roll, Jordan, Roll,” at which point everybody pitched in with their voices. James Aubrey Stewart found the tune a bit sluggish and suggested speeding the beat up. Then suggestions came for adapting other popular tunes of their times. The overwhelming majority wanted “Roll, Jordan, Roll” kept.

Going back to their firing sessions, the song continued and became a beat by which the men loaded and fired their cannons. Within weeks they came to master the 155mm howitzer, and “Roll, Jordan, Roll” became the battle hymn for the 333rd from then on. Once in France, they would adapt the lyrics, but the basic tune remained.

Prior to leaving Camp Gruber, a few events transpired common to any GI in any war or era. On April 18, 1943, Mager Bradley received a package of edible delights from his wife, Eva Marie, that he was eager to share with his comrades. Within this particular package, however, was a bar of Woodbury soap, which he secreted away, unopened.

Around that same period, Private Nathaniel Moss showed that he had difficulty throwing a hand grenade. It was a frightening learning experience knowing the consequences of a fumbled toss was having it explode within an arm’s distance. Former baseball player Tech. Sgt. James Aubrey Stewart stepped in with a bunch of baseballs. As a former semi-pro pitcher, he was well noted for his handling of baseballs, so he imparted some of that skill to Moss. After practicing numerous throws with a baseball, Moss was able to toss live hand grenades like a pro.

Corporal Robert Green of Georgia.

On February 2, 1944, the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion sailed for England, landing 17 days later. As an independent artillery battalion, it existed as its own entity. Depending on the combat situation, they would be assigned to support units within the VIII Corps of Maj. Gen. Troy Middleton. That meant the 333rd could provide artillery support at any time and anywhere for the 2nd, 4th, and 8th Infantry Divisions and either the 82nd or 101st Airborne Divisions.

On June 6, 1944, the Allies began landing 176,000 soldiers on France’s Normandy coast at landing spots identified as Omaha, Utah, Juno, Gold, and Sword Beaches. It would take six days of massive bleeding, suffering, and deaths to consolidate those beaches before moving inland. When the 333rd FAB arrived on Utah Beach, those bloody scenes were well cleaned up. All seemed settled into a typical naval beach unloading operation.

Once collected, the 333rd found themselves in a familiar slot as an African American unit: nobody wanted them under their feet. Kelsey retained his original sentiments as well.

On the plus side, the 333rd, as an independent artillery battalion within VIII Corps, would be able to move here and there on call whenever big guns were needed. Whether the 333rd realized any differences in those two points or not still meant they would be doing a lot of moving across France to support the divisions within VIII Corps.

Shortly after arriving in France, the 333rd got its first call for a fire mission on behalf of the 82nd Airborne Division besieging Pont-L’Abbé—a 600-year-old city that had a church with a tall steeple. The 82nd’s approach into the city was repeatedly halted by at least one sniper nestled in that steeple. The 82nd had also been taking accurate, well-placed enemy artillery shelling. The steeple afforded an artillery spotter a perfect setting.

Once called, receiving coordinates from nearly nine miles out, the 333rd zeroed in while singing, “Rommel, count your men.” The guns were fired with the second chorus coming, “Rommel, how many men you got now?” Within a span of 90 seconds, four 155mm rounds boomed out, the first being the range finder/marker. The next three precisely hit the church roof and steeple. In answer to the 333rd’s song, “Rommel” lost at least one, if not two or three men. In turn, the 333rd suffered their first combat injury somehow, Captain John G. Workizer was seriously wounded by friendly fire.

Another event took place during this same period. Since June 6, 1942, the U. S. Army had been publishing its own magazine, YANK. It became a weekly presentation to GIs about their world, their home front, and why they were doing what they were doing. It was YANK that introduced its readers to a new cartoon soldier named “Private Sad Sack,” who became a popular character in the magazine’s pages.

As the 333rd commenced its first firing mission that July 1, one of the YANK writers, Sergeant Bill Davidson, was on hand. The 333rd knew of Davidson’s presence but paid little attention to what he was doing. A few months later the 333rd would learn they were featured in an article in YANK.

On July 2, 1944, the 333rd again was called into action. With the 90th Infantry Division now trying to subdue resistance in Pont-L’Abbé, the 333rd supported it as well as the 82nd Airborne. At noon on July 4, 1944, all artillery units in VIII Corps fired their guns on target simultaneously, creating an Independence Day celebration far beyond mere fireworks.

Five days later, the 333rd moved farther south into Normandy, then west toward La Haye-du-Puits on the Brittany Peninsula—a distance of 244 miles—a route that took the 333rd deeper into dreaded hedgerow territory. Those rows of nurtured bushes stood for centuries as boundary markers between farmers’ fields and also as corrals to keep their flocks of cows, sheep, and goats from wandering off.

At this stage the Luftwaffe retained some presence in the air, subjecting American ground forces to aerial assaults. Upon arrival, the 333rd shot down one Messerschmitt Me-109 fighter that was strafing them. Shortly thereafter, three members of the 333rd were laying communication wire and came upon a well-hidden German Tiger tank. The panzer got off two rounds, which only knocked the three GIs off their feet. Rather than flee, one got on the phone and called the 333rd Headquarters Battery, giving marking range.

Charley Battery sent out three 155mm rounds. The first round, as expected, fell short, requiring an adjustment. The second landed directly on top of the tank. The third hit it again, splitting the 54-ton behemoth in two. At that point even the 333rd’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Harmon S. Kelsey, had to acknowledge his unit’s accuracy and quickness of firing. He gloated that the 333rd was on its way to “setting new records” with that and the previous firing mission against the church steeple.

In the middle of July 1944, the reality of war sank in. Captain Workizer died from complications of his abdominal wounds, and Private James Erves also died during a firing mishap when one of the big guns’ recoils struck him.

By the end of July, the 333rd had tagged along with the 90th Infantry Division to Saint Sauver-Lenden and back to Saint-Aubind d’Aubige, where they settled alongside the 4th Armored Division.

In that area, although not an antiaircraft unit, the 333rd knocked down several more planes. They also started collecting prisoners of war. Arriving at Rennes, the 333rd shared shooting time with the 8th Infantry Division artillery while singing out, “Stand Back! Ready! Rommel, count your men! Fire! Rommel, how many men you got now?”

All across the VIII Corps area of operations adulation was coming the 333rd’s way. More and more infantry units vied for their support, knowing their quickness to fire, adjust, fire again, and how few rounds they needed to expend before hitting the mark.

At some point as they gained proficiency, the 333rd fired off three 155mm rounds from one tube within 45 seconds, while it took most other crews three to four minutes to fire just one round.

Men of the 333rd emplace one of their 155mm howitzers in a Normandy field, June 28, 1944. The battalion soon proved its worth in battle and their services were in high demand by white infantry units.

It was time to move again, this time to Saint-Malo, France, a 2,000-year-old fortress city on the coast of the Brittany Peninsula, most often referred to as Saint-Malo Citadel. The 83rd “Thunderbolt” Infantry Division had already lost one battalion while attempting a traditional frontal assault on the town. On August 13, 1944, the 333rd arrived and set up its guns 10,000 yards—5 1/2 miles––from the massive walled city that encompassed 865 standing buildings.

The Germans holding the city, under the command of Colonel Andreas von Aulock, had a network of tunnels 50 to 60 feet underneath the streets. With such extensive tunneling, the Germans would often emerge and hit the batteries of the 333rd and then disappear again. It became obvious that von Aulock had no intention of surrendering.

Lieutenant Colonel Kelsey had his batteries move forward to within 1,500 yards of the city and kept up the battering for two days. Finally, on August 17, von Aulock, his ears ringing from the constant shelling, came out of his 60-foot-deep hole to surrender directly to Kelsey. Only 182 buildings remained standing.

At that point, all within the 333rd thought that it was time to turn eastward and charge on Berlin, but they were greatly disappointed when they were ordered to turn west toward the port city of Brest. With all the complaints and questions coming at him, Captain William G. McLeod told his gunners that Brest was too important to bypass and, once under new management, it would become a vital Allied seaport. Once that happened, the German Navy would lose its most cherished U-boat facility on the Atlantic.

On August 25, 1944, Middleton’s VIII Corps had all of its three infantry divisions go up against Brest: the 2nd, 8th, and 29th. For this engagement the 333rd was hampered by fog and rain. At times they were literally firing blind, unable to see or adjust their guns. At times they had no idea if they were hitting the 30-foot-high, 15-foot-thick walls of the city, going over those walls, or falling short.

It would not be until September 18, 1944, that Brest was taken from Herman-Bernhard Ramcke and his Germans. During this melee, the 333rd fired 1,500 155mm rounds within a 24-hour period.

Two days after securing Brest, the 333rd was in Lesneven, France, for an extended break and their first USO show. Bing Crosby was leading a whirlwind tour that included blues performers Early Baxter and Buck Harris along with other well-known white actors and actresses. The next day the 333rd returned to the war.

On September 28, the 333rd began a 500-mile road trip, taking them to the final destination for many of them. The VIII Corps, including another black field artillery battalion, the 969th, received orders to head for Belgium. In the first day’s travel, the 333rd covered 165 miles, reaching their “old stomping ground” of Saint Aubin-d’Aubigne, north of Rennes. There they were greeted as heroes. It was such a welcoming event that medic Curtis Adams told his comrades he would love to come back to that region once peace had been restored.

Continuing their northeasterly trek, the 333rd eventually entered Paris. Even though passing through meant only a short stay, all looked forward to seeing the town. Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Forte decided to do some shopping. Having given his bride a cheap tin ring as a wedding band, he needed time to find a reasonably priced, real diamond ring to take home. Shaking his pockets inside out, he realized he could ill afford anything proper. George Davis, Robert Green, William Pritchett, and Mager Bradley dug into their own pockets and generously gave Sergeant Forte enough funds to buy Mrs. Forte a proper wedding ring.

Pushing forward, the 333rd made its last stop in France at Saint Quentin, where the German Army had resided until only a week before. Another 97 miles and they would step onto Belgium soil.

On the last day of September 1944, Lt. Col. Kelsey assembled his battalion for a formal gathering. When in formation the cannoneers noticed hundreds of GIs, black and white, surrounding them. Kelsey informed them, as well their audience, that Sergeant Bill Davidson’s article on the 333rd had just been published in YANK magazine. Kelsey proudly called his battalion together to read it to them.

Apparently Davidson not only witnessed the 333rd’s shooting capabilities upon the church steeple at Pont-L’Abbé on July 1, but had kept tabs on their ongoing activities. He also wrote about the 333rd’s firing its 10,000th round. Then there was that 24-hour period when they fired 1,500 rounds.

Kelsey announced for all to hear that the 333rd was the first African American combat unit to face off with the Germans. And they were still doing it, a feat that had not gone unnoticed by the Germans. It was there and then acknowledged that all the infantry units wanted the 333rd backing them. However proud Lt. Col. Kelsey was at the performance of his soldiers, Captain William G. McLeod was in tears—tears of joy.

An artilleryman of the 333rd sets the fuse of a 155mm round near Schlausenbach, Germany, October 1944.

In the first week of October 1944, the 333rd split itself between the west and east side of the Our River. The ground the 333rd stood on is called Schnee Eifel (Snow Mountains). The area is heavily forested, with its highest peak being 2,300 feet. This region is also known as the Ardennes. Kelsey’s men were there to support their partners in the 2nd Infantry Division the two units had forged a well-established, deeply trusting working relationship.

Components of the 2nd moved into some of the 18,000 abandoned bunkers and pillboxes that made up the Siegfried Line or, as the Germans called it, the West Wall––the 1936 brainchild of Adolf Hitler that became the defensive line between his Third Reich and the Western European countries. Its flat-topped concrete pyramid-shaped tank obstacles known as “dragon’s teeth,” guarded by concrete pillboxes, extended for 390 miles.

From Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower down the chain of command, the prevailing belief was that this was a line where the Allies could take a winter break, lick their wounds, and be reinforced and resupplied for a resumption of hostilities come spring. In earlier wars it would be called winter camp, since it would be too snowy and cold for any right-minded military man to want to fight a war.

Farther down that chain of command voices spoke out against such an archaic way of thinking. Hushed disagreements flew back and forth. General George Patton knew the history of the Ardennes—Germany had used that same route when attacking France in 1870, then again 45 years later in World War I. That was also the route Nazi Germany had used in its 1940 invasion of France.

Throughout October and November the 333rd would spend a day firing off 150 rounds just to keep themselves busy and show the enemy that the Americans were still around. For many of the men from the Deep South, winter in the Ardennes was the first time they stood in snow up to their knees.

The Battle of the Bulge of December 1944-January 1945 is notorious for what it was the Allied high command never expected a massive, well-coordinated enemy attack in the middle of December by a battered German Army that was on the run, seemingly on the verge of collapse.

On December 16, 1944, the Germans charged en masse out of the Ardennes just as George Patton expected they would. The American defenders were hit, fell back, andcollapsed. Never before would so many American fighting men be taken prisoner in one battle so quickly. This included the 333rd.

As the inexperienced 106th Infantry Division fell apart, so did the infantry cover for the 333rd that was spread out across the Our River. The 106th lost two regiments, the 422nd and 423rd, to captivity.

Men of C Battery, 333rd, pose for a photo with Captain William G. McLeod, center, in a wintry landscape about the time the massacre occurred. McLeod greatly respected his men and the feeling was mutual.

On the west side of the Our River was the 333rd’s Headquarters Battery and half its Service Battery. Seeing the rapidity of the attack, Captain McLeod commandeered a jeep and rushed east over the bridge in an effort to bring Batteries A, B, and C and the other half of the Service Battery back across.

No matter which direction any GI ran, he ran into Germans. In these first 48 to 72 hours of fighting, or not fighting, more than 20,000 GIs were marched away as prisoners, including most of the 333rd, but 11 men managed to avoid capture and scurry away through the forest. Among them they had only two rifles and little ammunition. They needed a place to hide, to warm up, and hopefully to eat.

In the little hamlet of Wereth, Belgium, Mathias and Maria Langer and their six children lived in a community that consisted of only nine permanent residences, with Mathias being its mayor. Up until 1919, the region where Wereth sat, known as Eupen-Malmedy, belonged to Germany. In the aftermath of defeat in World War I, Germany was required to give that region to Belgium. For the next 25 years the vast majority within the Eupen-Malmedy region resented that act, clinging to their German history and heritage.

As Hitler’s Nazi regime enlarged its power base, however vile and corrupt, those of Eupen-Malmedy overlooked such transgressions upon humanity. They were Germans before all else. If it was good for Germany, it would be good for them.

A still frame from a German newsreel showing members of the 333rd after they were captured during the Battle of the Bulge. More than half the members of the battalion were taken prisoner.

The Langer family did not support Germany’s war effort and desire for world domination, and the Langers’ neighbors were aware of their anti-German sentiments. As Nazi aggression expanded, and the fate of Jews became more recognized, the Langers participated in hiding refugees and passing them along to evade persecution and death. They even took in fellow Belgian countrymen escaping German military conscription. With Wereth being such a small community, the Langers’ neighbors were always suspicious of oddities going on within the Langer household and kept close tabs on the family.

After nearly 30 hours of running through the forest, unfed, barely protected from winter weather, the 11 GIs reached Wereth in mid-afternoon, December 17, 1944. They knew nothing of the community. Their immediate needs were to get out of the cold and wet conditions before freezing to death. They needed to dry out, eat, and then somehow get back to friendly lines.

It will never be known how many, or which homes, the 11 viewed while hidden amid the trees. Each one looked warm and inviting. As soon as they decided on the Langer home, they were spotted through a window by Hermann Langer, at the same moment James Aubrey Stewart saw him. That decided their approach. Without anything resembling a white flag of surrender, Curtis Adams unwrapped a field dressing and waved it. This was the first time Langer family had ever seen anyone of African descent.

When the tired soldiers reached the door, Mathias had no reservations about welcoming them. Maria may have been more hesitant since two other guests were hidden in their basement—two fellow countrymen who were evading German conscription. The 11 GIs may not have known that.

Technical Sergeant Stewart spoke up. “Sir, my name’s Sergeant Aubrey Stewart with the U.S. 333rd Field Artillery Battalion. We just escaped from Germans who ambushed us. We’re on our way to American lines to meet our troops. We’re cold, hungry, and exhausted. Would you please help us? We won’t cause any trouble.”

Langer, who may or may not have spoken a little English, invited them in extra wood was tossed into the stove. Maria put on coffee and passed out bread, butter, and jam. The children offered up their own blankets. Mathias had the 11 remove their boots and socks to dry them out. For just over an hour the Langers hosted their 11 unexpected guests as best they could. Knowing the best escape routes, Mathias told the soldiers that upon leaving his house they should head for Meyerode, 41/2miles to the southwest.

Thomas Forte, George Davis, and Curtis Adams dug into their pockets for what currency they had—mostly French and German coins—to repay the Langers for their hospitality. The Langers refused the offer with Mathias saying they might need that money for their next leg of the journey. Instead, Stewart divided what Chiclets gum he had for the children. Mager Bradley readily gave Maria his unused bar of Woodbury soap that he had received back at Camp Gruber.

Suddenly, a vehicle was heard driving up. Four Germans parked a Volkswagen Type 166 (an amphibious vehicle known as a Schwimmwagen) within yards of the Langers’ front door. An officer of unknown rank got out and pounded on the door, giving indication he knew the 11 soldiers were inside. Since the Americans had been at the Langer house for just over an hour, it became apparent that an unknown pro-German neighbor saw the black soldiers approach and reported that sighting to SS soldiers belonging to Kampfgruppe Hansen of the 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler.

It seems Tech. Sgt. Stewart may have led the way in surrrendering to the Germans, as there was no way to escape. The 11 men were removed from the Langer house and held under guard on the road outside as the sun set and the temperature dropped. The SS soldiers questioned the Langers and helped themselves to what was left over from the meal just shared with the Americans. They would eventually leave, never knowing that two Belgian refugees remained hidden in the basement.

The Langers expressed their concern about the welfare of the 11, but the German officer told them not to worry—pretty soon they would not be feeling the coldness. The Langers’ last view of the Americans, at about 7 pm on December 17, 1944, was of them running ahead of the Schwimmwagen into the evening darkness.

Evidence concludes the 11 were run about 900 yards into a cow pasture far from the eyes of those within the hamlet. Shortly thereafter, residents claimed to hear automatic gunfire. Then silence.

It would be well over a month before the bodies of the 11 were discovered. By the beginning of February 1945, the winter snow was melting. Knowing, generally, of the Americans’ fate, residents of Wereth led advancing GIs to where the 11 had lain undisturbed for nearly two months, buried under snow. Some had gone to view the bodies on December 18, but would say and do nothing about it.

The Germans were in, out, and about the area so often that nobody knew who was winning the battle many felt the SS could easily reappear. When it became obvious that the Germans were gone for good and the American forces would take up a more permanent residency themselves, the Langer children took a patrol from the 395th Regiment to show them the bodies.

Corporal Ewall Seida was the first American to lay eyes on them on February 13. His findings went back to Major James L. Baldwin, regimental S-2 (Intelligence Officer). On February 15, the bodies were laid before medical examiner Captain William Everett. By that time, the evidence of the December 17, 1944, mass murder at Malmedy was well known, but there was a major difference between this murder and the 85 killed at Malmedy.

Bodies of the 11 men of the 333rd killed by the Germans at the Langer farm. Many showed signs of torture and mutilation before being shot by the SS. After investigating the incident, the Army quietly closed the case.

The bodies at Malmedy showed no evidence of mutilations, nor prolonged torture or suffering from abuse while alive. Most still had personal valuables such as rings with them. It was a murderous act followed by a quick exodus of the perpetrators. For the Wereth 11, there was an abundance of evidence of torture and mutilation—whether alive or following death. Some had one finger cut off, that being the most expedient manner of removing a valuable ring from a dead body when the object refuses to slide off easily.

This does not explain why Sergeant Thomas J. Forte had four fingers literally ripped off one hand. Other corpses had so many broken bones they would not even have been able to crawl. The backs of their skulls were crushed from massive strikes. Teeth were knocked out. Many bodies showed tire tracks—evidence of being run over by a vehicle. One died clutching a field dressing, as if attempting to bind another’s wound. The worst evidence was clear signs of bayonet wounds into their empty eye sockets. Whether alive or already dead at that moment, they were bayoneted in the eyes.

Seven of the victims were buried in the American Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle, Belgium, while the other four were returned to their families for burial in the United States after the war. Batteries A and B of the 333rd made it to the town of Bastogne, where they joined their fellow segregated unit, the 969th, and fought courageously in that historic defense. While supporting the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne, the 333rd suffered the highest casualty rate of any artillery unit in the VIII Corps with six officers and 222 men killed.

The U.S. Army spent two years investigating the Wereth mass murder, but authorities stated they could find no one responsible for the deaths—no one could be identified as a murderer. No witnesses testified, and there was never enough evidence—no unit insignia, vehicle numbers, etc.—to charge anyone.

In all likelihood those who committed the crime may not have even survived the war. The Army’s answer to settling it all: cover it up, bury it.

Why the difference between Malmedy and Wereth? In dealing with any SS group as diehard, ardent believers in Nazism, race will always be the obvious excuse the victims did not necessarily have to be of African descent. What may be another underlying cause of the Wereth killings was the history of the 333rd as known by their German enemies. The 333rd had acquired an excellent reputation within the U.S. Army. They became news in YANKmagazine, and Stars and Stripes,too, even if their accomplishments did not hit the mainstream media back home. The Germans would have had access to this story from basic military intelligence-gathering sources.

Well over half of the 333rd were taken prisoner and survived when captured within larger masses of GIs. The Wereth 11 had the misfortune of being caught off on their own and away from witnesses.

However sordid such a crime becomes, another crime followed in 1947. The U.S. Army invested two years investigating the Wereth 11 Massacre. In February 1947, almost two years to the day of the tragedy itself, the Army closed its investigation. Whoever committed the murders was never identified or located. The Langers were not sure of the specific SS unit. At that point the Army officially labeled the findings “Top Secret” and closed the files, hiding them away for decades. In 1949, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee investigated a dozen recognized war crimes of this nature in Europe. They never knew about the Wereth 11.

Today the crime has yet to be solved. And it may never be.

Memorial ceremony held on May 23, 2004, for the Wereth 11 near the place they were murdered.

After the war, the massacre of the Wereth 11 faded into obscurity. But the Langer family, a few historians, and Dr. Norman S. Lichtenfeld, an orthopedic surgeon in Mobile, Alabama, and the son of a 106th Infantry Division veteran, formed a group to raise funds to create a memorial to the 11 victims. Their dreams were realized on May 23, 2004, when a memorial to the “Wereth 11”—the only memorial to black American soldiers of World War II in Europe—was formally dedicated on the Langer property near the location where the massacre took place and where the bodies were found.

Dr. Lichtenfeld, who passed away in 2016, was writing a book about the 333rd and 969th, but it remains unfinished. A TV docudrama, The Wereth Eleven, written and directed by Robert Child, premiered in 2011.

Comments

Thank you for this extensive article my Uncle who was in the 33erd field Artillery. I heard from my father he was at the Battle of the Bulge and had been relieved by an officer, then the group was overrun. He was not taken prisoner but was walking around and that officer was taken prisoner. I understand now why he suffered PTSD .
I found this on the back of a picture his mother sent him. Sgt. Frank P Crum
32629820
Batterry C 333rd F.a.vBn
APO 308c/o PM NY

To our great regret the main action of this memorial doesn’t appear in your story. When Hermann Langer (12 years old) discovered the bodies of the eleven soldiers, he remembered bringing them food and drinks at his parent’s farm on December 17th. He could never forget this vision. In 1994 he decided to erect a monument with the funeral stone of his parents-in-law in order to never forget the massacre of these soldiers fighting for the freedom of his land. Our association was created in 2002 and the dedication took place in 2004. On your picture, Hermann Langer is the third man from the left. Thanks to him the family members learned where and how their son, brother, husband, father….were killed no longer just KIA! Our website shows pictures of all our events, including speeches from family and students. Just take a look at http://www.wereth.org
Solange Dekeyser
U.S. Memorial Wereth
President

Thank you and Mr. Langer for your efforts to preserve the memory of these American soldiers who were brutally murdered in the service of their country.


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Battle of the Bulge: 687th Field Artillery Battalion’s Stand at the Crossroads Cafe

The men of the 687th Field Artillery Battalion hadn’t had a warm meal in four days. Ever since the Germans launched an offensive in the Ardennes region of eastern Belgium and northern Luxembourg on December 16, 1944, the artillerymen — and all the makings of their Christmas dinner — had been on the move. The day of the 19th had seen them firing in support of American defenders at various displacements around the Luxembourgian town of Wiltz. Just before sunset, however, they had run dangerously low on ammunition and were forced to retreat.

So when the battalion paused to regroup about six miles southwest of Wiltz at a quiet crossroads containing little more than a two-story café, it seemed a good time to break out the Christmas dinner they’d likely be at the crossroads, known as Poteau de Harlange, overnight. The battalion’s commander, Lt. Col. Max Billingsley, and his executive officer decided to head into Bastogne, about 10 miles to the west, just over the Belgian border, to learn more about the situation. The battalion’s batteries set up around the crossroads: Headquarters Battery in the café Battery A in a field to the west and Batteries B and C lined up bumper-to-bumper in open areas to the north and south, respectively. Meanwhile, the battalion’s cooks prepared the special fare in the café: chicken and all the trimmings. When it was ready, the exhausted men formed a chow line and filed through.

Lieutenant Les Eames, an officer in the survey section, had just finished his meal when a GI burst into the command post in the café and yelled: “Small arms fire! Down the road!” The battalion had been outnumbered and outgunned in Wiltz. Now, with the ammunition nearly depleted, the odds were even worse.

While it wasn’t apparent at the time, the weary men of the 687th Field Artillery Battalion and other desperate groups of GIs played a critical role in the Allied victory during the Battle of the Bulge. By putting up persistent resistance against powerful and numerically superior enemy forces, those ragtag bands of American soldiers gave General Dwight D. Eisenhower enough time to rush reinforcements to the Ardennes and blunt the enemy offensive. Without their efforts to slow the Wehrmacht juggernaut, the battle might have turned out much differently.

On the heels of his comrade’s warning cry, Eames felt his heartbeat quicken and his blood seem to bubble like ginger ale. He and the other soldiers around him grabbed their rifles and helmets and poured outside. They heard the popping and rattling sound of small-arms fire in the distance. Corporal Arch Jack, a survey section clerk, was lying in a ditch, peering up the road, thinking that some GI was probably just trigger-happy. “The next thing, a vehicle turned lights full-on and headed up the road towards us,” he recalled. “There was a lot of hollering and confusion. I crawled in a shallow ditch all the way to the café with tracers zooming over me.”

The intensity of the distant shooting grew, and the vehicle kept coming, right at the 687th. No one could quite tell whether the vehicle was American or German. It looked like an armored car. Could it be an American vehicle but with Germans inside? Why in the world did the driver have his headlights blazing in a war zone?

Just across the road from the café, a halftrack with a 40mm anti-aircraft gun had been set up. The gunner decided to take no chances. He opened fire at the approaching armored car and scored a direct hit. The vehicle turned into a ball of fire. Machine gunners added to the carnage.

The vehicle, it turned out, held Americans. The M8 armored car was the point vehicle of a small retreating column of scout soldiers and 3rd Battalion, 110th Infantry, troops retreating from Wiltz. This group included the commanding officer of L Company, 110th, Lieutenant Bert Saymon, who was hanging onto another M8. Saymon and the others were now under fire from German troops on either side of the road, as well as their own 687th comrades. Another officer from this column managed to run into the café and inform his colleagues that there were two companies of enemy paratroopers from the 5th Fallschirmjäger Division just down the road.

No sooner had the warning come than the German paratroopers attacked the 687th, prompting a wild, chaotic, intimate fight around Poteau de Harlange. The Germans were everywhere. Tracers were flying all over the place in the dark night. Corporal Jack was under a truck next to the café, wondering what to do next. “All kinds of fire were going now — mortars, burp guns and rifle grenades,” he said. “A flare shell lit up the area. I saw a figure crawling toward [the] building and came close to shooting. I then hollered at him — it was a B battery GI.” Jack got up and ran inside the building.

Upstairs, on the second floor, Pfc Dick Atkins and Tech. Sgt. Gene Fleury were scrambling out of their sleeping bags, grabbing for their weapons and pulling on their boots. Atkins figured the building would be a magnet for enemy fire and he wanted to get out of there: “The Krauts used flares to light up the area and with each flare there was much more fire in our direction.” All over the house, Atkins remembered, men were yelling in confusion. Outside the enemy was hollering too, “calling each other by name but also yelling orders in German that could not be understood by us. By the sound of their voices, they had to be under the influence of something alcoholic.”

Like Atkins, Sergeant Fleury noticed the slurry, boisterous timbre of alcohol in the Teutonic voices: “They were drunk. They were cussing in German and calling us a bunch of names. They were saying: ‘No more zig zig [sex] in Paris!’”

The enemy paratroopers were very young, very frightened — but very excited. Many of them believed that they would make it to Paris for their own zig zig. Atkins and Fleury piled down the stairs and through the doorway.

At the same time, Captain William Roadstrum, the Headquarters Battery commander, was just outside the building. “What a psychology lesson that area was,” he said. “Guys just wanted to stand around by the building in the dark talking with each other. In spite of the bullets whizzing around and the grenades and mortar shells. They were…almost hypnotized by the situation.” Roadstrum tried to get them to lay down some fire at the enemy. He even slapped a couple of soldiers in the face, “all with little or no effect.”

Then he saw Atkins and Fleury. He looked at Fleury and ordered, “Sergeant, get two or three men and follow me.”

Fleury was a smart aleck in the best of times. He liked Roadstrum as a person but thought he was overmatched as a combat leader. He glanced at the captain: “Follow you?! Where are we going, Captain?”

“We’re gonna outflank ’em,” Roadstrum replied.

“Outflank ’em?” Fleury shot back. “We don’t even know where they’re at!”

In spite of his reservations, he went with the captain. Roadstrum, Fleury and Atkins exited the house out the back door, to the south, and worked their way along the road, at a crouch.

A few feet away, a good friend of Fleury’s from the wire section, Pfc Norman Morgenstern, was huddled in a ditch, pointing his rifle right at the three men, wondering whether or not to pull the trigger. “I can almost touch them,” he wrote in a present-tense account, “They don’t see me. Who are they? I strain my eyes. Friend or foe? I have the drop on them.”

The shapes moved silently past Morgenstern. He was very close to pulling the trigger but, for some reason, he just could not do it: “I let them go.” At that moment, he had no idea how close he had come to killing his friends. Morgenstern was Jewish, so he had no wish to become a prisoner of the Nazis. He was debating whether or not to discard his dog tags when more Americans plopped next to him in the ditch. Collectively, they retreated from the area. Morgenstern kept his tags.

Meanwhile, Roadstrum, Fleury and Atkins had worked their way to an embankment. “We lay flat and observed the Germans,” Fleury recalled. “Our trucks at that time had Christmas packages in ’em. They were going through ’em and throwing ’em all over. They were firing machine guns and mortar fire at us. They were honking horns and they were hollering at us.”

A mortar shell exploded mere yards away. Fragments tore into Fleury’s chest, knocking him to the ground. Roadstrum was not hit, nor was Atkins. Unaware that Fleury had been hit, they got up and moved west along the road, toward Bastogne. Fleury lay there in shock for a few minutes, his chest bleeding and one of his ribs probably cracked. About 50 yards away, he heard someone shouting to surrender and he wanted no part of that. “Bullshit!” he exclaimed, and he got up to run away. He later met up again with Atkins on the way to Bastogne.

In Battery B’s area, just north of the road, German fire was sweeping up and down the line of vehicles. Private First Class Lou Dersch, a 20-year-old kid from Baltimore, did not know what was going on. Soldiers from his battery were scattering in every direction. “I mean, we were facing German paratroopers and we hardly had anything to fight them with,” he said. The private had fired his howitzer’s last shell in Wiltz, shortly before Billingsley ordered the unit to retreat. It turned out to have been full of propaganda leaflets, which Dersch had watched scatter over the target area. They were now facing an enemy while terribly under-armed. “They were heavily armed,” Dersch recalled. “We basically had carbines. There were flashes and tracers everywhere. It was pretty bad.”

Dersch and two of his buddies made a run for their truck, but one of Dersch’s comrades was hit by small-arms fire. “He was badly injured, bleeding,” he said. Machine gun bullets were bouncing off the pavement, clanking against vehicles. Mortar rounds were exploding uncomfortably close. Dersch said he and the other man picked up the wounded soldier “and carried him all the way to the trucks, probably a few hundred yards.” They got him into a truck and took off. As they drove west to Bastogne, Dersch could not help but wonder what had happened to the buddies he was leaving behind. He felt guilty but was happy to have escaped the slaughter.

In the meantime, Lieutenant Eames was lying behind a hedge, just outside the café. Four feet away, a German soldier stood up and unleashed a burst from his burp gun. “I reckon I never will get flatter in my life than I got right then,” Eames recalled. “I felt bullets around my heels but none hit…a grenade went off close by too but still no holes in me.” He crawled through the doorway, into the café. The place was crammed with soldiers, including several wounded men who were howling and moaning.

On both floors, several men were standing at the windows, firing their carbines at unseen targets. The Germans were obviously closing in on the building, but in the darkness and the confusion it was hard to tell friend from foe. Staff Sergeant Walter Austin, a former steelworker from Pittsburgh, was in the attic, pointing his carbine out of a window, looking for a target. Bullets were smashing into the walls and floors of the building. “[They] were coming through windows and through the roof and through the floor,” he recalled. He fired one clip into the night, took out his pistol and fired it until the ammo was exhausted. Then he went downstairs to see what was going on there.

On the first floor, Major Ed German, the battalion operations officer, was contemplating what to do. With Lt. Col. Billingsley and his executive officer elsewhere, he had a growing number of wounded men stacking up in the hallways. It was only a matter of time before the enemy overran the café. German gathered together a group that included Lieutenant Eames and discussed their predicament. “Major German suggests we surrender,” Eames wrote in his diary, “to save piles of wounded & yet let the [batteries] make out as best they can.” Eames and the others agreed it was the right thing to do.

German passed the word around the house. He shined a flashlight outside and, able to speak German, asked to see the enemy commander: “Wo ist der chef?”

A few minutes later, enemy troops stormed into the café. Eames recalled hearing “heavy boots in the hall….[A] burp gun let [a] few rounds out against [the] ceiling to quell any overambitious soul.” The troops yelled at them to get out, bellowing: “Raus! Raus!”

Outside of the café, the Germans lined up the Americans and began to work them over. “These guys were wild and they were very young, no doubt teenagers,” Pfc Ervin McFarland wrote. “They were handy with their gun butts as they used them on many of us.” Anyone who did not keep his hands firmly on or above his head risked getting pummeled. Major German overheard one sergeant urging his men to shoot the prisoners, but a nearby captain squelched any thought of that.

Farther down the line of prisoners, Sergeant Austin kept his hands high and tried to remain calm. “They slapped and banged you around,” he said, “stripped you down, took…your watch, took your wallet, pen knives, and even made me take off my shoes.” As the German soldiers lined them up, Corporal Jack found himself shivering uncontrollably. “It was bitter cold standing in the open,” he said. “My hands were numb from standing…with hands over head. We were placed in columns and started marching east.”

Thus ended the debacle at Poteau de Harlange. An exhausted, under-supplied artillery unit was no match for an aggressive force of enemy airborne troops in this kind of close-proximity fight. The Germans captured between 110 and 125 men, many of whom were wounded.

Not surprisingly, Headquarters Battery was decimated. Battery A got away to Bastogne. Battery B lost 21 men, but escaped with most of its vehicles and guns. Both batteries later fought alongside the 101st Airborne Division during the battle for Bastogne. Battery C lost all of its equipment, including its howitzers, but many of the soldiers got away to Bastogne, or to Sibret, to the southwest of Bastogne. The 687th still existed as a unit, but it was badly mauled. Several more weeks would pass before an influx of replacements and new equipment brought the battalion back to strength. They fought well and served until the end of the war in Europe.

Even many decades later, the American survivors had little idea that their sacrifice had done some good for the Allied cause. Without question, the battle at Poteau de Harlange was one-sided, but it cost the Germans valuable time and organization. The Fallschirmjäger unit that overran the 687th was preoccupied with its new prisoners and loot, rather than a forward advance. The Germans’ timetable was upset, and they played no part in the looming battle for Bastogne.

Whether or not they understood their contribution to American victory in the Bulge, those who experienced the horror at Poteau de Harlange could never forget that night. Their nightmarish experiences, in combination with those of untold numbers of other Americans throughout the Ardennes, bought Eisenhower the time he so badly needed to strike back and win.


Commentary: A Chicago dad’s story of the Battle of the Bulge, as told through his letters home

Seventy-five years ago, at the height of World War II, the Christmas holidays were anything but jolly for U.S. soldiers in Europe. They had landed heroically on D-Day at Normandy in June and then in August had joined with Allied forces to liberate Paris, freeing it from four years of Nazi occupation.

At year’s end, they fought in grinding and harrowing combat across the continent to defeat Adolf Hitler’s armies and bring the long, devastating war to its inevitable end.

But Hitler had one last surprise: a major offensive, an assault of firepower and fighting forces just before Christmas to try to turn the war back in Germany’s favor. The 40-day conflict from December 1944 to January 1945 became the bloodiest for the United States in WWII and is still the largest land battle ever fought by American forces.

One of the more than 600,000 American GIs seeing action at Christmastime 1944, in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge, was my dad, Pfc. Robert “Bob” Kulieke, of the 12th Infantry Regiment of the 4th (Ivy) Division of the U.S. Army.

Dad was a true son of Chicago: born and raised in Logan Square, a graduate of Schurz High School and the Chicago Teachers College. Married to my mom, Millie, he had recently become a public school teacher and a first-time father. In 1943, he was called into service like so many other young men.

It’s extraordinary to recount the impact of WWII on America, and Illinois in particular. According to the official state publication, “Illinois in the Second World War,” by the end of 1945 Illinois had registered nearly 2 million men for the armed services, more than any state except New York and Pennsylvania. And nearly 960,000 Illinois men entered the armed forces between 1940 and 46, two-thirds via Selective Service, like Dad.

So Dad became a soldier, writing letters from basic training in Florida, profusely thankful for the care packages sent from back home: “You can’t realize how good candy tastes until you get in the Army. We spend all our free time eating.” And adjusting to military life: “While it gets no easier, the Army life gradually breaks a fellow until he takes it in stride.”

He also described military maneuvers in dense Florida swamps filled with snakes, palmetto trees and sharp-thorned, barbed wire-like vines that tear at uniforms and skin. Carrying rifles and light packs in eight-man patrols, he and his fellow soldiers would “try and detect each other as the ‘enemy’ … and fire blanks at each other in ‘warfare.’ ”

He trained as a radio operator and shipped overseas to the European Theater. An army “marches on its stomach,” the saying goes, and he and his fellow GIs ate C-rations, developed by a military subsistence research laboratory in Chicago: cans of meats and vegetables opened with a key that are edible when heated, not always an option on the front lines. He chain-smoked Lucky Strikes cigarettes, included in his Army rations, and marched painfully on, his feet sometimes blistered and bloodied.

Deciphering Dad’s Army experiences isn’t easy. His surviving wartime letters provide a few clues, as do his Army papers and newspaper clippings. And I’ve been able to fill in some of the gaps through research, and with the help of a 12th Infantry historian and through books about his regiment specifically as well as the Battle of the Bulge generally, of which there are many.

Early in their marriage, my mom gave Dad a dictionary as a gift with the inscription, “To a guy who’s never at a loss for words.” But like many of his generation who fought in the war, he was tight-lipped when asked about it.

His face brightened when describing how the “Fighting Men of the Famous Fourth,” the first Allied unit to enter Paris on Aug. 25, 1944, were greeted by the huge throng, who shouted,“Vive l’Amérique!” The book “History of the Twelfth Infantry Regiment in World War II” describes a tremendous scene of the regiment’s convoy of armored vehicles, trucks and jeeps arriving in the French capital and being covered with flowers by grateful Parisians — who showered U.S. soldiers with fruit, wine, kisses and handshakes.

His face darkened on the rare occasion that he mentioned the devastating Battle of the Bulge, four months after Paris was liberated. “They took the bodies away in truckloads” was my dad’s blunt, terse epitaph of the battle.

An all-out stealth assault that followed a lull in hostilities, the German attack was launched Dec. 16 on a 75-mile front dividing U.S. and German forces, stretching from Belgium south to Luxembourg in the forbidding forests and rugged landscape of the Ardennes.

The weather was punishing, one of the coldest winters in memory: subfreezing temperatures, snow and icy fog. The morning quiet was broken when all hell broke loose and a thundering roar of German artillery — howitzer and mortar fire — hurled shrieking shells at the GIs. Following the sustained barrage, German tanks and soldiers pressed forward, breaking through the American lines, hence the “bulge” of the battle.

The Germans also engaged in clever deception, unleashing 2,000 specially trained English-speaking soldiers to masquerade as GIs in captured uniforms, to foster chaos behind American lines. To counter the subterfuge, U.S. soldiers began asking questions at checkpoints to ferret out the impostors: Who won the last World Series? What is Mickey Mouse’s girlfriend’s name? What’s the capital of a particular state? When U.S. General Omar Bradley correctly identified Springfield as Illinois’ capital, he was momentarily detained by a GI who thought it was Chicago.

My dad’s regiment bore the brunt of the German assault in the battle’s “southern shoulder” in their epic defense of Luxembourg. From icy ditches and dugouts, and adding blankets and burlap to their uniforms to fend off biting cold, the soldiers of the 12th and of U.S. regiments up and down the front stubbornly fought back — often surrounded and out of communication with their command posts.

On Dec. 22, Supreme Commander — and later President — Dwight Eisenhower sent a message to every member of the Allied Expeditionary Force exhorting them to defeat the enemy with their “proven bravery and fortitude.”

Hitler was convinced that the American forces were undisciplined and unworthy and would capitulate to the onslaught. But the battle-weary GI foot soldiers showed their mettle and, supported by tank battalions and superior Allied air power, repelled the invading Nazis — with Christmas Day the battle’s turning point.

Although the conflict would continue for another month after Christmas, the Nazis soon were in retreat, sealing the battle’s outcome and, ultimately, the outcome of the war itself. It was the “greatest American battle of the war,” according to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The cost for the courageous U.S. forces was great: 89,000 American casualties (including those injured, captured, missing) of which 19,000 were killed.

Dad’s regiment fought on in the spring of 1945 into Germany. In his March letter back home, he describes being “quite homesick like almost everyone else over here.” But he says he has “little reason to complain” since his three older brothers all had been in the service longer overseas.

He is typically protective of the folks back home and keeps the tone of the letter light. He encloses a picture of himself, apologizing for how he looks and using droll language straight out of a dog-eared collection of “Jeeves” comic stories. These he carried throughout the war in his combat pack as an antidote to the horrors of war. (In his Army role as an orderly to an officer, he notes that he and Jeeves, the unflappable British valet-manservant, have “much in common.”) Dad writes, “My seedy appearance is due largely to the fact that we had just emerged from the Hürtgen Forest — and I had not yet managed to give myself and my accoutrements a good scrubbing.” Germany’s Hürtgen Forest was the site of a series of protracted and brutal battles between American and Nazi forces.

Dad’s letter expresses hope that with “the Germans on the run along the Western Front, a few breaks for the Allies may bring this War to a sudden and successful end.”

End it did with Germany’s surrender in May of 1945. In July, Dad arrived on a troop ship in New York City with 3,000 members of his regiment. He brought with him some “spoils of war” as he described them: a German knife and sword a triangular fabric piece with an eagle atop a swastika, the symbol of the Nazi Party and a nearly 4-feet-by-3-feet Nazi flag. Kept buried in a drawer all these decades, its red fabric is as brilliant as the day he recovered it in the snowy fields of the Battle of the Bulge.

He also brought back a bad case of infectious hepatitis, the scourge of many GI combatants in WWII. Jaundiced and weak, he was put on medical hold and held in an Army hospital until he was well. In his picture in the 12th Infantry Yearbook of 1945, he’s smiling but gaunt, his face older and his expression changed from before the war.

During the American Civil War, they called it “soldier’s heart.” Later it was called shell-shock and today post-traumatic stress disorder. The fact that soldiers, then and now, suffer physiological, neurological and psychological reactions to war is not surprising, and my dad was among them.

He lived nearly 40 years after the war, dying in 1983. Dad was many things: a science teacher at Chicago’s Lane Tech and Tilden high schools, a husband and father of three, and a stalwart in his Masonic lodge. He also was an incredibly funny guy when performing a skit or serving as master of ceremonies at a church event.

For two years and 11 days from 1943 to 1945, he was a citizen soldier in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. Over Christmas of 1944, he and his fellow soldiers fought a crucial battle to defeat Hitler and fascism — far from home, in frozen foxholes, the outcome never certain.

Seventy-five years after a battle that must not be forgotten, I hold Dad in my heart and remember his service and that of his band of brothers — those who returned home at the war’s conclusion, and those who did not.

In one of his last letters home from the front, he reflected on the effect of the wartime separation on soldiers like him. “We’ll all appreciate more fully those many little things we used to take for granted.”

This holiday season, treasure your loved ones, here and gone.

Stephen Kulieke is a retired journalist and communications professional who lives in Sacramento, California.

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Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery

Bernard Montgomery had led the 3rd Division capably during the battles in France in May 1940, but his star rose to its zenith in 1942 when he was given command of British Eighth Army in North Africa and dealt "the Desert Fox" Field Marshal Erwin Rommel a defeat in the Second Battle of El Alamein.

Unfortunately, Montgomery tended to be overly cautious and was generally contemptuous toward American troops and especially American commanders. Eisenhower’s plan for the Allied counterattack was to strike with Lieutenant General George S. Patton’s Third Army from the south and Montgomery’s mixed British-American force from the north, cut off the Germans within the salient they had pushed into the American lines, and destroy them. Montgomery kept delaying his attacks, which Eisenhower wanted to begin on December 27. "Monty" insisted Eisenhower should turn complete command of Allied forces over to him, a demand Eisenhower bluntly refused. The supercilious Montgomery dealt Anglo-American relations a further blow when he declared that American troops made great fighting men when given proper leadership.

He later exaggerated the British Army’s contributions to the Battle of the Bulge&mdashonly about 55,000 men from that army were involved compared to 600,000 Americans&mdashbut their contributions to defending the northern flank should not be forgotten.

78 Responses to British and Canadian Troops in the Battle of the Bulge

Montgomery emphatically did not exaggerate the contribution of British and Canadian troops to the battle, and 55,000 is a gross understatement – it was actually in excess of 90,000. American commanders, including Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton, believed the war was all but won by December 1944, and underestimated the ability of the Wermacht to strike back. Montgomery, on the other hand, with far greater experience of fighting the Germans, had asked his staff to prepare plans for just such a contingency but, to save American embarrassment at their lack of planning, confusion and delay in reaction to the attack, the British contribution in taking pre-emptive action to cross the Meuse and turn back the German armoured spearhead was suppressed. Like Patton, Monty may have been an egotist, but US General Bruce Clarke, commander of the 7th Armoured, remained grateful to Montgomery for the rest of his life, for saving the 20,000 men in St Vith, when Patton and others had written them off. As Churchill said, ‘There is only thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them’.

I know you’re probably retarded but the allied lines during and before the battle of the bulge were far beyond the river Meuse. I suppose if you count reserves miles behind the frontlines the british may have had 90,000 men

Whatever the World is short of, it never seems to be people like you and Chuck Yeager. I’m not going to rise to your anti-British bait – go back to getting your history from Hollywood.

Hollywood is telling us that the British are heroic for dooming mainland europe to years of Nazi control with Dunkirk. Maybe you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Ah yes, the British are cowards for retreating from France whilst the US forces were….oh…they were hiding in isolationism scared. The British got involved in a war that didn’t directly threaten them to save Europe, if it wasn’t for Britain staying on alone against the Nazis in 1940, America would have never gotten involved. Either way, the yanks came in late, grossly overstated their contribution (only 20% of all allied forces) and then claimed to have won the war single handedly, when in reality it was the Russians, the US didn’t even start lend lease until Britain had saved itself after the Battle of Britain. When it comes to cowardice, I don’t think the Americans who waited for several years to come and help can talk. Lol

LMFAO you mean like the cowardice that the British showed when they refused to intervene when the Nazis started rearming, Or annexing Austria and Czechslovakia. The US never had an interest in Europe’s war and Unlike Britain and the Soviet Union never actively worked with or appeased Nazi aggression. America joined WW2 as an act of self defense. Luckily for the Britbong the US managed to carry your shithole commonwealth through the next few decades after you managed to get your butthole bored out by the Axis powers. (Also there were only 7 million British servicemen during Britains involvement in ww2 compared to 16 million American servicemen)

Big mouth…
‘LMFAO you mean like the cowardice that the British showed when they refused to intervene when the Nazis started rearming, Or annexing Austria and Czechslovakia. The US never had an interest in Europe’s war and Unlike Britain and the Soviet Union never actively worked with or appeased Nazi aggression. America joined WW2 as an act of self defense. Luckily for the Britbong the US managed to carry your shithole commonwealth through the next few decades after you managed to get your butthole bored out by the Axis powers. Also there were only 7 million British servicemen during Britains involvement in ww2 compared to 16 million American servicemen.’

The USA elbowed its way to the top table at the end the First World War, was happy to take reparations it did not deserve, having bled Britain and France white it arrogantly imposed its economic clout on the rest of the world. When the whole lot came crashing down and the USA dragged the world into depression, Hitler got his chance. He got elected because promised jobs, prosperity and a way out of the US created depression. That put Hitler into power, not his attitude towards the Jews or the Treaty of Versailles. 7 million servicemen represented a far greater proportion of the British populastion than the US fiugure.

‘You’d be speaking German and calling your German monarch Fuhrer instead of Queen if it wasn’t for America saving you.’
When did that happen?

Also you’re full of shit, Because the US was supporting the Chinese in their fight against Japan a whole year before the Nazis invaded Poland. Funny enough that the British were the only major power of WW2 to recognize the Japanese conquest of China as legitimate… ‘
Britain, France, Nazii German and Russia also provided support to China. British recognition of Japanese conquests ran alongside a US trade asgreement with Japan so we will take no lectures on that subject

Britain got to the top of Europe by bleeding the European powers white during the French period and then ground up their own people into hamburger because of their failing military having to rely on America to bail them out once they couldn’t rely on the French, Russians or Italians to defeat the Bosche. Either way the British reason for joining the war was callous anxiety from Germany becoming the most powerful nation in Europe in 1871, Wheras the US joined to defend their autonomy against foreign attacks.

BTW the British financed their war effort on American credit. Hitler rose to power because the British failed to enforce their own treaties in Germany, Allowing the Nazis to take power, undermine democracy, militarize and invade multiple countries. Blaming the market crash of 1929 for the rise of Nazism that started in 1919 is hilariously retarded. The British government funded fascists like Mussolini who influenced the formation of the Nazi party and Germany relying on American credit from the Dawes plan was the result of a failed British postwar economic plan.

Hitler gained power through repression from his militarized gang of Freikorps and Stormtroopers (which were larger and better armed than the actual army) running the country. Which wouldn’t have happened if the Entente had occupied the country which the British opposed because of how thread bare their state was that they wouldn’t be able to maintain it. Meaning they’d have to rely on big daddy America solving their problem again.

The British also gave Chinese territory stolen by the Germans to the Japanese to strengthen their position against the Chinese. And armed the imperialist revolution in Japan that led to their expansionist policy in Asia that killed millions.

The fact of the matter is that America is superior to Britain on a moral, economic, political and military scale throughout history. Any complaint a British person has with an American is pure hypocrisy on your part. Before Britain was giving out IOUs to the US in that fight between retards known as WW1 over the autonomy of a nation (despite the fact Britain has invaded 9/10ths of the planet) they were selling arms to the Confederate States of America to help them continue the misery of the US Civil War and the practice of chattel slavery.

And the rest of your post is simply you complaining about America being much larger and more important than Britain. If 7 million men represent more of your nation that’s because your nation is insignificant and incapable. Having to rely on your daddy to clean up your messes, WW1, WW2, Korea and the middle east are all the result of Britain.

Big mouth…
‘And the rest of your post is simply you complaining about America being much larger and more important than Britain. If 7 million men represent more of your nation that’s because your nation is insignificant and incapable. Having to rely on your daddy to clean up your messes, WW1, WW2, Korea and the middle east are all the result of Britain.’
ROTFL
Err… In The First world War the USA turned up in time for the victory parade, ditto the Second World War . Korea – ROTFL, Middle East – you should look at the USA and its ally Israel.
Got any more?

You really shouldn’t talk about British contributions to ww2 unless you’re discussing their contributions to causing the war. Britain failed to protect Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Greece etc. and then fled behind the English channel for years because Nazi Germany had no ability to carry out a amphibious campaign due to their complete lack of a Navy. While at the same time your fat retarded bastard of a PM was begging the US to save them from Nazi Aggression with the “Europe First” policy which consisted of exploiting millions of starving people in India so that British people wouldn’t feel the sting of losing their 6th meal a day.

And then in Asia they lost ground against the Japanese and their navy was raped because of how much of a joke it had been since the 1st world war and had to rely on the US to bail them out there too.

Meanwhile the US came in, armed fueled and fed every single Allied power for the entire war. Soviet soldiers rode in on American made trains and American Trucks, Britain escorted its convoys with American warships and fought with American tanks, while eating American food. And they were a secondary power to the US on every front both appeared on. Especially the ETO where the US made up 60% of the total force and Britain only made up about 20%.

During WW1 Britain, France, Russia and Italy were all completely broken and France was seriously at risk of collapsing completely before the US joined the war, The fact of the matter is that without the overwhelming military contribution of the US during WW1 Britain would have lost it. As i pointed out before America is a superior military power to Britain and formulated a better military strategy than attritional static warfare. Which is why it ended so quickly after the US joined.

Also Israel? Balfour deceleration anyone? The destabilization of Iraq that led to Sadam gaining power was the direct result of the British failure at occupying it as a imperialist power after ww1. Kuwait was also a former British territory. Wahhabism was directly supporting by the British during WW1 to support the Arab Revolts against Ottoman rule.

Korea was the Result of Britain actively supporting the Japanese Imperialist powers. If Japan hadn’t decided it was a good idea to genocide Chinese people and occupy all of Asia then China would have been more than capable of stopping the communist revolution and there would have been no need to break Korea into two states based on Ideology.

Big mouth
‘BTW the British financed their war effort on American credit. Hitler rose to power because the British failed to enforce their own treaties in Germany, Allowing the Nazis to take power, undermine democracy, militarize and invade multiple countries. Blaming the market crash of 1929 for the rise of Nazism that started in 1919 is hilariously retarded. The British government funded fascists like Mussolini who influenced the formation of the Nazi party and Germany relying on American credit from the Dawes plan was the result of a failed British postwar economic plan.’

I should read some history if I were you. Hitler got into power on the back of an economic deprerssion caused by American greed, before he broke a single international treaty.
The USA traded with the Nazis right up until the time that Germany declared war on the USA, while Britain was at war with Germany.

Oh really? I love that conspiracy theory from British fucktards like you? Please tell me about how the US was somehow trading with Nazi Germany in 1939-1941 when Britain had blockaded mainland Europe from any trade? I’m sure you’ll just piss yourself and tell me about how Ford built a factory in 1924 (far before the Nazis gained power) that was nationalized by the Nazis shortly after they seized power.

Big mouth…
Ford, General Motors IBM (paricularly useful to the Nazis in counting the Holocaust victims), Standard Oil, Chase Bank , and so on, and so on and so on.

Funny thing about all of those is that they were nationalized in Nazi Germany, because you’re not very smart you don’t seem to understand how it would be literally impossible for an American company to cooperate with the Nazi Government that seized all foreign assets. Companies like Rolls-Royce also had assets in Nazi Germany.

Big mouth…
‘You really shouldn’t talk about British contributions to ww2 unless you’re discussing their contributions to causing the war. Britain failed to protect Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Greece etc. and then fled behind the English channel for years because Nazi Germany had no ability to carry out a amphibious campaign due to their complete lack of a Navy.’

Get lost.
Britain protect France! With the French having the biggest Army in the world.

Thank you for confirming that Germany had no ability to invade Britain and thus Britain was not saved by another country.

Britain was indeed willing to surrender simply because they had no will to fight, Germany was incapable in the Navy and Air, but not as incapable as Britain. The Blitz that was a drop in the bucket in terms of attacks on civilians and the submarines hitting one out of 100 of the ships going into Britain literally led to mass defeatism and military paralysis, Britain was teetering on the brink of surrender even without the Nazi invasion. and only began carrying out any military offensive once they received overwhelming US support through neutrality patrols, lend lease and the declaration of war in 1941.

Big mouth…
‘Britain was indeed willing to surrender simply because they had no will to fight, Germany was incapable in the Navy and Air, but not as incapable as Britain. The Blitz that was a drop in the bucket in terms of attacks on civilians and the submarines hitting one out of 100 of the ships going into Britain literally led to mass defeatism and military paralysis, Britain was teetering on the brink of surrender even without the Nazi invasion. and only began carrying out any military offensive once they received overwhelming US support through neutrality patrols, lend lease and the declaration of war in 1941.’

Britain ready tro surrender becvause it had no will to fight. You must be out of your mind. The Nazis tried several tiomes to make peace on their terms and got ignored.
Britain teetering on the brink of surrender. You must be out of mind.
In 1940 British had the world’s most advanced air defence system, the world’s largest navy, the world’s largest merchant navy, the world’s largest shipbuilding industry, Europe’s largest aircraft industry and Europe’s largest automobile industry. As well as this, Britain was routinely reading German army and air force coded radio messages.

Largest Navy? Nope, Their navy was a paper tiger getting decimated by the Japanese and Italians until American intervention. Most advanced air defense system? Who gives a shit you’re still getting bombed where America isn’t. Largest shipbuilding industry? Is that why your fleet was being built in America? Largest automotive industry? is that why your cars were built in America? Largest merchant Navy? you couldn’t defend it and it only existed to import good from America. Largest aircraft production? who gives a shit. And every vehicle was being powered by American fuel.

Nice job demonstrating just how incapable the British military was that they had all that and still surrendered Europe to Nazi tyranny for half a decade though.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth…
The Japanese decimating the Royal Navy in 1940? I dont think so, the two countries were not even at war. ROTFL.
The Italians decimating the Royal Navy in 1940? I dont think so. Take a look at Taranto, 11.11.1940. Amongst others. ROTFL.

‘Most advanced air defense system? Who gives a shit you’re still getting bombed where America isn’t.’ Your words.
So don’t come on here trying to tell others.

‘Largest shipbuilding industry? Is that why your fleet was being built in America? ‘
ROTFL. what fleet?

‘Largest automotive industry? is that why your cars were built in America? ‘
ROTFL. What cars built in America?

‘Largest merchant Navy? you couldn’t defend it and it only existed to import good from America.’
ROTFL.
90% of ships bound for Britain arrived without incident. Fact. Britain imported 40% of ots needs. Fact. Of that 40%, 45% came from the USA. Fact. Britain accounted for 4 out of every 5 U-boats sunk. Fact.

‘Largest aircraft production? who gives a shit. And every vehicle was being powered by American fuel.’ Nope, fuel canmr from the middle east and Central America as well as the USA – all of which had to be bought and paid for. If you do not think that was a good idea then youn must be pro-Nazi.

0/10 .No effort to learn the subject.
Go and see your teacher. Whoops, in your case, go and see the nearest warder on your wing in whichever nut house you are in.

Lol now you’re falling back on accusing me of being a Nazi, despite defending the UK for supporting fascism and running such a failed military that the Nazis were able to conquer Europe.

Britain was militarily incapable and had its fleets, army and Navy decimated. Relying on American aid to even keep their country intact behind the Channel.

Britain never sunk a U-boat unless it was scrapped after the war, At every front, Africa, Asia, Pacific, Atlantic, Northern Europe, Italy etc They could only function by being used as unreliable auxilliaries to other allied forces. And using by American equipment and supply. That’s the facts.

The British consistently lost against every enemy except for tribesman with grass skirts and wooden shields. Relying on allies they’d stab in the back to do all the work.

Anything that makes you upset over these facts is cuck rage by the fact America is far superior and turned your shithole country into a puppet state barely more than a oversized military base.

Pro Nazi big mouth…
‘Lol now you’re falling back on accusing me of being a Nazi, despite defending the UK for supporting fascism and running such a failed military that the Nazis were able to conquer Europe.’
When did you defend Britain?

‘Britain never sunk a U-boat unless it was scrapped after the war, At every front, Africa, Asia, Pacific, Atlantic, Northern Europe, Italy etc They could only function by being used as unreliable auxilliaries to other allied forces. And using by American equipment and supply. That’s the facts.’

ROTFL. We sank the bloody lot Matey – including U571 that featured in yet another Hollywood lie.
You know, that film you think is a documentary.

Here is tip for you. Those oblong shaped blocks your adoptive parents use for doorstops. Pick one up, you will see that it has pieces of paper with black shapes on it. They are called words. Get teacher to explain what they mean.

Britain didn’t sink anything beyond their imperial power and their outdated fleet during ww2. You can try to insult your betters online all you want but you’re just a failure upset by my natural superiority over you. The fact is British cucks like you are cowards and militarily incapable. Instead lying to yourself and others about your contributions to WW2 as a bystander and glorified military base for the US.

Have you ever visited the planet Earth?

That’s not a counterargument. Everything you’ve claimed is based out of fantasy anyways which makes it even more hilarious. I guess you like to look in the mirror when you’re writing these replies.

I doubt that you see any reflection when you look in yours.

What does that mean? Is that supposed to be an insult?

The Royal Navy did not sink a single U-boat until after the end of the war, despite the
evidence from the Kriegsmarine’s own courts of enquiry and archives, that they
sank over 155 before the US even got involved in the Atlantic war. But then
Hollywood teaches Americans, who fall for it every time, that it was they who
captured U-571 and stole the Enigma machine – despite the RN having taken it
from U-33 in 1940, and the all-important code books from U-110 in early 1941.

‘The British consistently lost against every enemy except for tribesman with grass skirts and wooden shields’.

Whilst the US Army were heroes for massacring Native Americans, armed with pointed sticks, using repeating rifles and Gatling guns, and for using 2.7 million men, warships, chemical warfare, napalm, B52s, flame throwers, armour,
artillery and every 20th Century weapon at its disposal, short of
nuclear, against Vietnamese farmers armed with hoes and rice flails – and still lost.

Sorry to say while the US treatment of Native Americans and Vietnamese wasn’t very nice the dichotomy is huge. Native American tribes largely faced off against white settlers with their “Braves” which were lifelong hunters and warriors with modern firearms they’d purchase from other whites. They’d generally attack with overwhelming numbers against small groups of settlers and the US Army was mostly made of militias from local farmers who had no experience with war and their own equipment.

I’d love to hear where you got the 2.7 million men number for the US forces in Vietnam. The actual number is more around 600,000 compared to the near 4 million NVA and 1,000,000 NLF troops. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of supporting Chinese troops doing support job. Oh also the North Vietnamese had among other things state of the art weaponry including tanks and missiles being imported from across the communist bloc.

And to top it off the US destroyed the military forces of the North. The reason the US “lost” was because of the failures of the local southern government to form prevent itself from collapsing.

While at the same time your fat retarded bastard of a PM was begging the US to save them from Nazi Aggression with the “Europe First” policy which consisted of exploiting millions of starving people in India so that British people wouldn’t feel the sting of losing their 6th meal a day.

Big mouth…
‘During WW1 Britain, France, Russia and Italy were all completely broken and France was seriously at risk of collapsing completely before the US joined the war, The fact of the matter is that without the overwhelming military contribution of the US during WW1 Britain would have lost it. As i pointed out before America is a superior military power to Britain and formulated a better military strategy than attritional static warfare. Which is why it ended so quickly after the US joined.’

Get lost. The war ended because of the British blockade and the atritional effect of Russian, French and British saccrifices. The USA turned up when it was time for the vicrory parade and reparations.

The War was won by the US leading the 100 days offensive, Germany had taken a huge supply base from Russia that would feed and supply them with the end of the war in the east, They were also able to transfer some 100 divisions over to the west. WW1 ended because the US brought maneuver warfare to the foray and cut off the German Army in its entirety. British troops were entirely useless in combat and served as little more than cannon fodder. Any myth of national heroism is dashed by the fact of the matter which is that your military was incapable and failed miserably at every turn.

Also since Britain financed the entire first world war by taking loans from the US to buy American goods all reparations rightfully belonged to the US.

Pro Nazi big mouth…
‘The War was won by the US leading the 100 days offensive, Germany had taken a huge supply base from Russia that would feed and supply them with the end of the war in the east, They were also able to transfer some 100 divisions over to the west. WW1 ended because the US brought maneuver warfare to the foray and cut off the German Army in its entirety. British troops were entirely useless in combat and served as little more than cannon fodder. Any myth of national heroism is dashed by the fact of the matter which is that your military was incapable and failed miserably at every turn.

Also since Britain financed the entire first world war by taking loans from the US to buy American goods all reparations rightfully belonged to the US.’

The only thing the US led was the scramble (in their case undeserved) rush for the spoils of war.
France led the war in the west on land and British at sea. The USA did piss all fighting, having got rich by bleeding France and Britain white. French, Russian and Briitish endurance as well as the Royal Navy blockade won the war. About the only thing the USA charged was the interest on their loans.

That is why virtually all of their Second World War senior commanders had zero combat experience.
There was none to be had in the US Army.

Ford, whom after the “Great War” was publishing his Dearborn Independent newspaper, nevertheless also engaged in a joint venture with the Soviet automotive firm GAZ in spite it being controlled by “Jewish Bolshevism”. That didnt make him a “Commie Rat”! Ford was also one of the largest auto firms in the UK Henry Cord was no Anglophile. Ford of Germany had started even before WWI and was also a large player in the German auto industry during the Weimar days. The Nazis taking over Germany in 1933 didn’t make Nazis out of Henry Ford anymore than their doing business with IBM Gmbh made Watson a “goose-stepper”

Big mouth…
‘Hitler gained power through repression from his militarized gang of Freikorps and Stormtroopers (which were larger and better armed than the actual army) running the country. Which wouldn’t have happened if the Entente had occupied the country which the British opposed because of how thread bare their state was that they wouldn’t be able to maintain it. Meaning they’d have to rely on big daddy America solving their problem again.’

Err.. Hitler gained power through the ballot box.

Actually no he didn’t retard. The SA outnumbered the reichswehr 10/1 and they murdered and repressed voters who didn’t support the Nazis.

Big mouth..
‘Actually no he didn’t retard. The SA outnumbered the reichswehr 10/1 and they murdered and repressed voters who didn’t support the Nazis.’
If they it did not work as the Nazi vote had declined from the previous election – an agreement with Von Papen got Hitler into Power.

‘It was about as much of a democratic election as what Putin did in Crimea.’
…or a US presidential election.

That’s called derailing to avoid the fact your claim was toast.

‘While at the same time your fat retarded bastard of a PM was begging the US to save them from Nazi Aggression.’
When did that happen?

“in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”

That’s the closing of Churchill’s ” fight on the beaches” speech. The entire British war effort in 1940-41 was to try and demonstrate that it was in American interest to stop the Nazis and defend Britain.

Get it right.
This what Churchill said:
‘We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.’

Thast was naughty. The whole British effort was to defeat Hitler. As Churchill knew we would by the end of 1940.

Churchill was higher on the food chain than Chamberlain

Big Mouth…
‘Britain got to the top of Europe by bleeding the European powers white during the French period and then ground up their own people into hamburger because of their failing military having to rely on America to bail them out once they couldn’t rely on the French, Russians or Italians to defeat the Bosche. Either way the British reason for joining the war was callous anxiety from Germany becoming the most powerful nation in Europe in 1871, Wheras the US joined to defend their autonomy against foreign attacks.’

See this…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opDuw4OZ3QI
Why World War II Matters – Victor Davis Hanson
39 minutes 37 seconds onwards…

But before then, sit down in a cool dark room for a couple of hours.

I love how you’re linking to an erroneous comment made about the 2nd world war when we’re discussing the first world war. Where Britain brilliantly had their entire professional army destroyed in a matter of a month by a bunch of poorly trained German conscripts.

Or WW2 for that matter where they took a backseat to the US, Soviet Union and China who did almost all the fighting after again having their army decimated by the Nazis within a few months. British forces during WW2 were an unreliable auxiliary to the western allied forces.

‘Korea was the Result of Britain actively supporting the Japanese Imperialist powers. If Japan hadn’t decided it was a good idea to genocide Chinese people and occupy all of Asia then China would have been more than capable of stopping the communist revolution and there would have been no need to break Korea into two states based on Ideology.’

You must be out your mind if you think this..

Let’s see, who armed the Imperialist in Japan? who invaded Korea after gaining power in Japan? Who weakened China to communist takeover? If Britain hadn’t armed xenophobic terrorists in a failed bid to make Japan into a puppet state they’d never have raped and destroyed most of Asia.

Big mouth…
‘Also Israel? Balfour deceleration anyone? The destabilization of Iraq that led to Sadam gaining power was the direct result of the British failure at occupying it as a imperialist power after ww1. Kuwait was also a former British territory. Wahhabism was directly supporting by the British during WW1 to support the Arab Revolts against Ottoman rule.

The USA arming Israel to its teeth and giving it a blank cheque to do what it likes in Palestine. The USA arming Hussain until he turned on his neighbours. Iran sees the USA as its enemy, so does Syria, so do the Palastinians. US greed and its meddling in the middle east let the Russians get a foot in the door. That is where we are in the middle east.

Britain took the middle east from Turkey after the first world war and established the state of Israel betraying the Arabs they made false promises to for most of the war. And the British government still supports zionists. Sadam gained power because Britain couldn’t keep control over Iraq after ww2. Islamist groups gained power in Afghanistan as a result of the destabilizing influence of the British leading to Soviet Invasion. Pakistan was a former British territory, Palestine. Funding the extremist muslims during ww1 to form the Arab Revolt. The 1953 Coup in Iran was code-named operation Boot by the British intelligence service since they orchestrated it to try and gain access to oil.

Until Britain turned the entire region into a shithole the only American intervention in the Muslim world was to stop Barbary Corsairs from attacking US ships.

Look up the word decimated – it doesn’t mean what you think it does. Not very educated are you?

The British army was completely destroyed and fled with their tails between their legs. Captured British equipment got more use as Nazi weapons than in their British hands and the British’s only hope was to get America to save them. That’s decimated as far as i’m concerned.

Big Mouth…
‘Meanwhile the US came in, armed fueled and fed every single Allied power for the entire war. Soviet soldiers rode in on American made trains and American Trucks’

British, Canadian and US Lend-lease supplies amounted to 5% of Russian needs, US Lend-lease supplies amounted 11% of Britain’s needs. American lorries supplied to Russia in fact amounted to 5.4% of Russian supply vehicles in January 1943, 19% in January 1944 and 30.4% in January 1945. ‘The Soviets started the war with over 28,000 locomotives and 600,000 cars, suffering only limited losses to destruction or capture. Plus, many US Lend Lease locomotives and cars were used to deliver Lend Lease in Persia and mostly arrived from mid 1944 onwards. US Lend Lease in terms of railroad material was just a drop in the bucket.’

‘Britain escorted its convoys with American warships and fought with American tanks, while eating American food.’
Britain used 1,303 convoy escorts during the war. 194 were of US origin. US food supplies amounted to 400 tons a day. ASbout enough to feed the City of Bradford.

Britain was the only one of the five major belligerents (Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia) that went to war on behalf of another country, all the others attacked other countries or were an attack. The USA is excluded from this group of nations as its homeland was never under threat and therefore it does not deserve to have a place at the top table.

Britain was the only major country to fight from the beginning to the end of the war. The only country to fight Germany and Italy on its own – for an entire year. The only country to fight in every part of the war: North West Europe, Italy, North Africa, Central Africa, the Balkans, Asia and the Pacific. On its own Britain out-produced Germany. All this from a country that is the size of the US State of Oregon and for four years was 20 miles from the enemy.

Britain created radar, sonar, the proximity fuse, the world’s first electronic computer, worked (As did Canada) on the atom bomb – even as the USA arrogantly claimed the whole thing for themselves. Churchill was by a distance the outstanding leader in the war and over six years of war Britain avoided repeating the bloodbaths of the First World War.

As far as the Second World War is concerned, we rule.

Wrong on every single count. Britain was never under direct threat, You’re just cowards who ran behind the channel after the fighting started after they realized they should have intervined sooner because the British army couldn’t handle a military force with anything greater than grass skirts and wooden spears. Britain sat on their their hands and waited for America to save the day,

Britain got over 95% of their Fuel from the US, their entire escort fleet, and the vast majority of their AFVs were American too. 1/4th off all ammo production and all British transport aircraft were American, Along with 40% of their motor vehicles. half of their radios and telephones. and almost all of their food was American too.

The Soviet Union got all of its motor vehicles and railcars from the US, all of their telephones and radios from the US a good chunk of fuel from the US through the later parts of the war when their own domestic oil was on the frontline. almost all of their ammunition and food from the US etc.

Churchill got millions of non-combatants killed and took a back pass to more capable leaders. and the British position was to cower behind some water and hope someone rescued them. That’s about as much of a fight as someone seeing their friends get beaten up and cowering behind a locked door until the police show up and arrest the guys attacking them.

Radar, Computers, VT fuses and the Atom bomb were all American inventions. British forces were inferior on every front to American forces and most of the other allied powers in terms of tactics, strategy, industry and technology. And ww2 ended with Britain losing control of their entire empire and becoming a territory of the US.

Big mouth…
‘Wrong on every single count. Britain was never under direct threat,.’

In that case The USA did not save Britain. Thank you for confinming that.

Sure you were, There were light bombers from mainland Europe and submarines sinking fishing boats. That was what it took to bring the British to their knees blowing American dick to save them from their goose stepping overlords.

Big mouth…
‘Britain got over 95% of their Fuel from the US, their entire escort fleet, and the vast majority of their AFVs were American too. 1/4th off all ammo production and all British transport aircraft were American, Along with 40% of their motor vehicles. half of their radios and telephones. and almost all of their food was American too.’

Wrong on all counts – yet again. Fuel came from the the Americas and, on an increasing scale from the middle east. You have already had the figures on escorts. Here is the detail:
Destroyers (First World War)
R and S classes 12, V,W and Modified W Classes 52, Shakespere Class 3, Scott Class 6,
Ex USA 46,
Destroyers (Post First World War)
Prototype 2, Flotilla Leader and A Class 9, Flotilla Leader and B Class 9,
Flotilla Leader and C and D Classes 9, Flotilla Leader and E and F Classes18,
Flotilla Leader and G and H Classes18, Flotilla Leader and I Class 9,
Tribal Class 10, J and K Classes17, L and M Classes 16, N Class 8, O and P Classes16,
Q and R Classes16, S and T Classes16, U and V Classes16, W and Z Classes16,
C Class (CA, CH, CO and CR Groups) 30, Battle Class 22, Weapons Class 2.
Escort Destroyers: Hunt Class 94, Ex Dutch 6, Ex French7,
Total 483

Sloops
Flower Class 4, 24 Class 4, Bridgewater, Hastings, Shoreham and Falmouth Classes14,
Grimsby Class 8,
Bittern Class 3,
Egrit Class 3,
Black Swan Class 9,
Modified Black Swan Class 7, Hunt Class 6, Halcyon Class 21, Bangor Class 68, Bathhurst Class 4,
Algerine Class (62 built in Canada)117, PC Class 3, King Fisher Class 9.
Total 320

Corvettes
Flower Class (10 Canadian Built) 141, Modified Flower Class (13 Canadian Built) 27,
Castle Class (10 Canadian Built) 59.
Total 227

Frigates
River Class 51, Loch / Bay Class 74, Catherine Class (Ex-American) 34,
Captain Class (Ex-American) 78, Colony Class (Ex-American) 21, Kit Class (Ex American) 15.
Total 273.

As for ammunition, the 25% you cite was only in the Autumn, Winter and Spring of 1943/44.
Transport aircraft amounted to Dakotas which Britain agreed should be produced as standard.
The rest of you have foolishly claimed ids just drivel.

Do yourself a favour. Sit down and think about what the chances are that anyone reading this will think that you will know more about this subject than me.

I have already forgotten more than you wiull ever know.

There were only 3 countries on the planet producing oil in any significant amount during WW2, The Soviet Union, Venezuela and the US. The US was produced 200 million tons of fuel every year during ww2. The entire British empire produced 15 million tons a year for the duration of the whole war out of Iran and Iraq. The Soviet Union produced 30 million tons and Venezuela produced 15 million tons annually. There’s literally no way that Britain could have powered its military without American fuel.
https://ww2-weapons.com/military-expenditures-strategic-raw-materials-oil-production/

You hilariously don’t know anything since you think the US was selling trucks to Nazi Germany during ww2 and that Britain invented the A-bomb, but don’t let reality stop you from embarrassing yourself.

Let’s see: superior moral, economic, political and military. You failed to mention Vietnam. Please describe how these American characteristics triumphed in that theater.

That’s because we’re discussing the US vs Britain. Britain was allied to the South Vietnamese and lost the Vietnam war too in case you forgot shit for brains.

7 million men, out of a total population of 40 million = 17.5%. 16 million out of 131 million = 12.2%. And you had run out of reserves by December,1944, because more men were carrying PX supplies than were fighting.

All militaries have more support staff than combat units. British forces had an even greater number of support units than combat units because of how unreliable they were. British combat units were giving their arms and vehicles to untrained partisans because they were a more capable fighting force during 1944.

What’s the Matter? You made your account just to reply to me. I suppose it’s more likely that with how much i taught you in 2 paragraphs compared to what you learned in your school’s propaganda class. I ended up blue screening you?

USA declared NEUTRALITY Sept 1939

Lol and? It was Britain who allowed Germany to be taken over by Nazis, Build up their military, Invade the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Memel and then allowed the Nazis to dominate mainland Europe. The US joined ww2 because The Nazis declared war on us. Quite simply because the British were incapable. Big daddy America had to come in and take charge because your “leaders” were a fat fuck running what was left of your country into the ground, A guy who managed to get more bomber crewman killed than enemy civilians while pelting them with napalm and A dude who couldn’t get over his oedipus complex because his mom beat him.

They sure did when they were sending resources to the Nazis that were essential to their war effort. And helping them invade Poland.

But NOT in the air, the exploits of Ivan Kozehdub notwithstanding. Largely the Soviet VVS was so many “clay pigeons” for the Luftwaffe. Once it had to combat the RAF and the USAAF for the “Defense of the Reich”, in which Herman’s Goring’s (“You can call me ‘Meyer’ if one bomb falls on Germany”) service branch failed miserably, the Soviet VVS was effective at its intended role as “Flying Artillery”…since from about mid-1944 it was virtually unopposed.

Total RAF Bomber Command fatalities were 55,000 in six years. Eaker got 26,000 killed in only two years. Shows how superior American commanders were. The ‘fat f**k’ was only that because his mother was American and eating their fair share and several other peoples’ is in American’s genes. Like you, it feeds their phobias, prejudices and inferiority complexes. Napalm was used on Berlin by the USAAF in March, 1944. Another reason for you to feel superior.

The British carried out no strategic bombing until 1943 successfully and couldn’t do any daytime raiding once strategic bombing started during the daytime because they couldn’t design a fighter with the range to escort a bomber to Germany and back (the P-51). Even with doing less than half the bombing US forces carried out they still managed to get more pilots killed because of their natural inferiority.

You do realise it was the British who replaced the inadequate (American) Allison engine in the P-51 and replaced it with the Rolls-Royce Merlin, that made it the successful aeroplane it became, right?

It was actually an American Packard Merlin. And the P-51 was already performing as an escort fighter before the introduction of the Merlin engine.

Britain losing control of mainland Europe so strategic bombers couldn’t be based out of France had more to do with the development of the P-51 than the engine did.

Oh and BTW the US only used the Packard Merlin because of contracting obligations. There was actually a superior Ford 1650 that could have been used instead but wasn’t so if anything Britain was keeping the P-51 back.

No, it was the Americans who came up with the idea of using the Merlin engine. The Chrysler IV-2220 was proposed for the P-51, but couldn’t be promised before 1944, and the USAAF didn’t want to wait. The Brits didn’t want to sell the Americans just an ENGINE, they wanted the USAAF to fly Spitfires and Hawker Typhoons, and didn’t make the sale. In fact, it was PACKARD that built the Merlin under license, with the condition that when the war was over that the tooling would be shipped to the UK or destroyed. Indeed, Ford had originally acquired a license to build the Merlin, but backed out when it didn’t win any military aircraft contracts that would need it (Ford’s Willow Run plant produced instead B-24 Liberators in a joint effort with Consolidated-Vultee, later Convair which used the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engine).

Considering that Chrysler’s Hemi Aircraft engines were about 60% more powerful than the Merlin, just imagine what the P-51 might have been with that plant. We’ll never know, since a good solution TODAY usually “Trumps” (pun intended) a ‘perfect’ solution TOMORROW. But the development work that Chrysler invested nevertheless paid off handsomely in that their first replacements for their long-standing lines of flathead engines (BTW, a weird contraption which was an amalgamation of FIVE Dodge flathead Inline Sixes, arranged around a common crankpin, known as the A57 Multibank engine, powered some 5,000 Lend-Lease Shermans (M4A4) supplied to the UK) was also a Hemi V8, and Mopar still uses “Hemi” V8s today (though the present-day engines are a far cry from the original 331 CID Chrysler Hemi which put out a respectable 180 bhp on regular pump gas).

And the Allison V-1710, once the USAAF got over its hesitancy to use turbocharging instead of supercharging as did the Merlin (the non-turbocharged version of the Allison originally in the prototype Mustangs wasn’t up to the task, hence the rationale to license the Merlin) did quite well in the USAAF’s “Zerstorer”, the P-38, which had even better range than the Mustang,which COULD reach Berlin but ONLY with ‘drop’ tanks.

The RAF used it on Cologne in May 1942 and Hamburg in July 1943. Both air forces used it on Dresden in Feb 1945. The USAAF under Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay used it on Tokyo in Operation “Meetinghouse” on March 9-10, 1945, and killed more Japanese civilians than the two atomic bombings COMBINED. When you want it blown to hell, call the USAF…

What does Hollywood tell you about the failure of the US to accept its obligations under the Treaty of Versaille to act against Germany in the 1930s? What does Hollywood tell you about the cowardice of American troops at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass, when the Brits had to do your job for you and Patton? What does it tell you about Bataan, and the German thrust in the Ardennes, when American troops ran faster than Carl Lewis? I know you’re a retarded redneck, so I’m trying to make allowances, but you really do represent the worst kind of loud mouthed Yank.

What obligation under the treaty of Versailles? Does the little British cuckold want America to go to war to stop the Nazis when your own government refused to do the same dooming Europe to years of Nazi rule? You’re not very bright are you? Britain was the one who had obligation to protect Europe from German expansionism specifically because they refused to work on the superior American plan of occupying the country.

Even though Woodrow Wilson had signed the treaty, since it was not binding until the US Senate affirmed it, and they rejected it, it was not binding on the USA. Technically, the Americans could have resumed the conflict, but it was French President Georges Clemenceau whom was spoiling to resume hostilities, not our 28th President. The US Congress passed the Know-Porter resolution under the Presidency of Wilson’s successor, Warren G. Harding, in July 1921, and the USA signed a formal peace treaty with Germany the following month.

Do your research ‘hellcatdwe’. America not only did NOT agree to the Versailles treaty, it also entered the “Isolation” period. Indeed, Harding ran and won on a “return to normalcy” platform, wherein the US swore off involvement in European politics (though under his successor, Coolidge, the US did sponsor and ratify the Washington Naval Treaty in 1925, which establish the 𔃵-5-3’ ration of capital ships for the USA, UK, and Japan). Wilson had to contend with a Republican-dominated Congress, and the 1920 elections increased their share in the House to 303 of 435 seats, a dominance they’ve not held ever since and likely never will again.

And again, you get Kasserine Pass completely WRONG. Though indeed it was an inauspicious debut for the US Army’s “First at-bat against the Germans”, it was led by MG Lloyd Fredendall, whom was promptly dismissed and never held a field command again, and the Allied Forces on the west front in Tunisia were under the overall Command of British General Kenneth Anderson. It was when Patton took over command of II Corps that the American performance improved greatly, notably at El Guetar. Also, American troops certainly did NOT ‘run’ during the Bulge or at Bataan. Indeed, their heroic stands at the Elsenborn Ridge, Bastogne, and St. Vith blunted the German attack enough to where the OB West CinC, Von Rundstedt, concluded that after only 72 hours that the attack had failed. And at Bataan, the ‘American’ army (about 2/3 Fillipino) held out for three months on that peninsula until their ammo and supplies ran out…since the IJN had sealed off Luzon, there was nowhere to run to, moron! I can’t let you get away with insulting American honor the way you do.

My late father was in a HAA Unit Royal Artillary and was cut off in that battle, they were using their Anti Aircrraft guns as field guns as no aircraft flying.

These comments are so heated… It was well before my time, and I imagine it was a WORLD struggle and effort.

From everything I’ve read Montgomery was a pompous ass just like French General Charles de Gaulle both so full of themselves to be very useful in combat

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