The Battle of the Bulge occurred from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945 and involved American, British and French forces putting up a determined resistance to German assault. The German goal was to recapture the port of Antwerp in Belgium, a vital supply link for the Allied forces. During the fighting, the 101st Airborne was surrounded in the town of Bastogne and famously held out until reinforcements arrived.Continue Reading
When the German army encircled Bastogne, the German commander sent a message to Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe requesting the surrender of his forces. McAuliffe famously sent back a single-word reply, "Nuts!" Summing up the do-or-die attitude of the fighting forces in Europe, this defiant response became one of the most-repeated anecdotes of the war. The German envoys, on the other hand, were unfamiliar with American idioms and the Americans had to explain to them its meaning.
When the Battle of the Bulge began, the Germans had around 200,000 troops versus 83,000 Americans. General Patton eventually was able to break through to the surrounded units, bringing more than 500,000 reinforcements along with 72,000 French and 60,000 British troops to conclusively break the German lines. In the end, the Allies lost around 90,000 men, while the Germans lost somewhere between 65,000 and 100,000. The German offensive was completely disrupted, however, costing Hitler his last chance to prevent the Allied advance.Learn more about World War 2