Surrounded America General Told the Nazis F--- Off on This Day in 1944
The Battle of the Bulge had entered its sixth day.
McAuliffe's soldiers found themselves outnumbered nine-to-one with perilously few high caliber guns to fend off the German panzers.
Worse still, wintry conditions had grounded the Army Air Force, negating America's air superiority.
Still, McAuliffe never lost his sense of humor.
During a lull in the fighting, a German envoy approached the American lines with a letter demanding their surrender.
It read in part:
This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Ourthe near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet.
Libramont is in German hands.
There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.
If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours’ term.
McAuliffe had a one-word response.
Here's his full message:
December 22, 1944
To the German Commander,
N U T S !
The American Commander
Baffled, the German representatives asked what "nuts" meant. The Americans had a few choice words to clarify how they felt.
The 101st held off relentless attacks by German mechanized forces until they were relieved by General Patton's Third Army five days later.
The German offensive came to a screeching halt around the same time.
The Battle of the Bulge ended in a decisive American victory.
(H/T David Hookstead at The Daily Caller)