The American magazines that appeared on newsstands during late November and early December of 1944 are often found to have articles anticipating life in the post-war world or tips on how to welcome your returning husband home from the battle fronts. This line of thinking was put on hold in late December when the Germans launched their brutal counter offensive through the Ardennes Forrest in what has been nicknamed "the Battle of the Bulge".
The attached paragraphs tell the story of General Patton's famous prayer for battle weather - who authored it and how many men recited it.
"That prayer [and the accompanying Christmas] greeting were typically Patton. They [read as if they] were [pulled] from the Old Testament rather than the New and had the ring of Joshua and David at their militant best.They were not written for a soft time but for their occasion; they were words to make men strong - and they did."
Attached is the concluding essay from a U.S. Army report written in 1986 concerning the spirited defense that was offered by the 101st Airborne Division at the Battle of the Bulge.
"At Bastogne, well-coordinated combined arms teams defeated uncoordinated armored and infantry forces committed to an unrealistic plan."
Another article about this battle can be read by clicking here...
This is the 1947 review of Robert Merrian's history on the Battle of the Bulge, Dark December; the reviewer, T.E. Cassidy, had served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer in the Ardennes:
"Merriam is at his best analyzing the actual confusion that was rampant from the very beginning of the German drive on December 16th. I know his handling is expert here, for I was in the midst of the chaos, and can vividly recall, for example, the blank stares I met at various headquarters when I would ask what road net was clear, and to what point. It was really no one's fault, after the first day or two. People simply did not know what was happening. And it was days and days before there was any concerted agreement among the different levels as to just what was going on."
YANK correspondent, Sergeant Ed Cunningham, filed this report concerning all that he saw during the earliest stages of the German counter-attack in Bastogne; some Americans were leaving, some were staying, new ones were arriving - and all the while the Belgian townsfolk watched in confusion and hoped for the best.