View Full Version : OT: 60th Anniversary Battle of the Bulge

12-16-2004, 05:49 PM
BASTOGNE, Belgium - U.S. veterans laid wreaths at ceremonies Thursday across southern Belgium and Luxembourg, marking the 60th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Bulge, in which U.S. forces defeated Nazi Germany€s last bid to reverse the rapid advance of allied forces toward Berlin.

The commemorations marking World War II€s largest land battle in which U.S. troops participated were held at memorials and cemeteries across a wide swath of the hilly and wooded Ardennes region, which formed the battlefield that bitterly cold winter of 1944.

In the battle, more than a million troops €" 600,000 Germans, 500,000 Americans and 55,000 Britons €" fought in the snow from Dec. 16, 1944, to Jan. 25, 1945.

Lest we forget the soldiers that experienced and died in this epic struggle.







12-16-2004, 06:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> in which U.S. forces defeated Nazi Germany€s last bid to reverse the rapid advance of allied forces toward Berlin.
If, by last bid, you mean last offensive (as of course you know that in many places German resistance continued to the bitter end) you are incorrect. The last major German Offensive was Operation Spring Awakening, around Lake Balaton, in Hungary on the 6th of March, 1945. Just like the Ardennes offensive, this assault was designed to throw the Soviets off balance, bring their advance to a standstill, and buy time for some kind of miracle. Of course, it was a complete failure.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Lest we forget the soldiers that experienced and died in this epic struggle. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I wholeheartedly agree.

Best Regards

12-16-2004, 07:49 PM

12-16-2004, 11:23 PM
My friends dad was in the Battle of the Bulge. As these anniversaries go buy, I think more and more of him, and what it must have been like as an 18 year old to fight to stop a war that caused so much hatred and destruction on both sides.
He's 81 now and his health is failing, but his memories of that time are like crystal. Both, beautiful and clear. He landed on D Day....occupied Paris...then into the Battle of the Bulge ontoward Berlin.

I remember him telling me the scariest thing (Battle of the Bulge) was the explosion of the trees. Incoming rounds/mortars, etc. would cause the trees to splinter and the sound it made was like nothing he heard before. It was like a double whammy. First the shell's explosion and schrappnell followed by the trees explosion and schrappnell.

A neighbour from my childhood was a B17 gunner. I never knew till we moved away. I see him on occasion because I've moved back....

I'd love to see what he thinks of IL2....but I think it would be a bit tacky to ask him. It's not like I see him regularly, even as nice as he is. His health is deteriorating too.

The amazing thing to me is his unassuming humbleness of what was accomplished. It wasn't a big deal to him. "We did what we had to do.'

12-17-2004, 12:31 AM
My greatuncle fought as a Marine in the islands hopping campaigns. He was 17. He was a very upbeat man more so than most I've known. He never talked a lot about what it was like except to say that he was always surprised to be alive after every landing.

And hearing the machine gun rounds hitting the ramp on the landing craft as they approached no matter how hard the Navy had pounded the beach before. Often the Japanese waited until the troops were on the beach before firing to kill more of them because the beach would be packed.

He wasn't at Iwo Jima but he was at Okinawa. After what he saw there he knew he was going to die when Japan was invaded. He told me that when he was told the Japanese had surrendered after the Nagasaki bomb he just went to his tent and cried for hours.

No matter how hard I try I can't even begin to imagine what it was like but I am forever grateful to the sacrifices of all the Allies. Soldiers, Resistance, Support. I know it sounds trite to some but they really were the greatest generation. I just hope they weren't the last such.

12-17-2004, 12:39 AM
I also had an algebra teacher in junior high school named Jakob Silberstien. He was very thin and passionate about math. He had crude blue number tatoos on his arm that no one had noticed until summer when he wore short sleeves.

He never mentioned them, but when someone asked him about them one day he just said he got them "in a camp." He never said more than that but we knew what that mean't because this was the early 70's and we all had relatives from WW2 still alive.

We were all much more respectful after that.

12-17-2004, 12:57 PM
During this week-end , all sorts of exhibitions , displays , militaria fairs , memorial ceremony's , tours along the battlefields and site's of interest , etc , etc is taking place .

I live in the north of Belgium ( approx. 300 km from Bastogne ) .
So me and 3 other WOII and aviation-buffs are going to spend the whole day over there .

It even started to snow in the Ardennes , so the circumstances will reflect those of the battle in 1944.

At first I was a bit reluctant to go because of the dreaded cold .

But what the heck , It's a unique event .
And we can always take refuge in one of the bistro's for a beer and a warm dinner , which those poor
soldiers could not do in those days .

I'll drink a few glasses to honour their sacrifice .

12-17-2004, 01:26 PM
S! My Dad was there. 101st. Airborne Div.

As I was growing up I remember him telling a story or two. It was something I never thought much about when I was a kid: "Oh yeah. Dad fought in the war." He passed away in '91 and since that time I wish I had asked him more about what he experianced. Although I'm not sure it would have been something he'd have wanted to talk about at length.

I just remember that towards the end when he was sick and I'm sure feeling vulnerable he became freaked out by violent thunderstorms. Apparently, it brought back memories, maybe even flashbacks, of shelling. It was then he mentioned things like hearing guys in their foxholes screaming for their mothers and the like. Chilling.

We who've never been in combat can never understand fully what they went through.

I wish I could talk to him now....

12-17-2004, 02:45 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gifExcellent Posting GR142_Astro!


The coldest, snowiest weather €œin memory€ in the Ardennes Forest on the German/Belgium border.

Over a million men, 500,000 Germans, 600,000 Americans (more than fought at Gettysburg) and 55,000 British.

3 German armies, 10 corps, the equivalent of 29 divisions.

3 American armies, 6 corps, the equivalent of 31 divisions.

The equivalent of 3 British divisions as well as contingents of Belgian, Canadian and French troops.

100,000 German casualties, killed, wounded or captured.

81,000 American casualties, including 23,554 captured and 19,000 killed.

1,400 British casualties 200 killed.

800 tanks lost on each side, 1,000 German aircraft.






12-17-2004, 02:58 PM
Thank you, 82nd and 101st Airborne http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif