December 22, 1944

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On December 22 around 11:30 am, a German major, a captain, and two enlisted men carrying a white flag approached an outpost held by Sergeant Oswald Y. Butler of F Company, 327th Glider Infantry Regiment.  The Germans identified themselves as parliamentarians and requested to speak to the commanding general.  The soldiers were blindfolded and held under guard while the German major was taken to give his written commands to the regimental plans and operations officer of the 327th Regiment, Major Alvin Jones.  Jones relayed the message to Headquarters.  German General Heinrich Freiherr Von Luttwitz demanded that the American troops surrender defense of Bastogne or be faced with “total annihilation” within two hours. General McAuliffe’s response was “Nuts!”

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Dec. 22nd. 1944

Lots of that incoming mail now.[1]  Boy that big railroad gun[2] those bastards are using on us, keep me awake all night.

The Jerries hit the barracks Geiger and I were sleeping in last night.  The shell when over the door of our room and exploded

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it in the next, Killed 3 guys in the company, Lucas, Jason, and Brown.  Lucas was a good kid had two children and a wife in Minn.  Opie got his arm cut up.[3]

Old Geiger was sure glad I persuaded him to move out of there.

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Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Although the Germans had surrounded Bastogne they were in no better condition than the Americans.  Short on food and ammunition, the Germans focused on heavy mortar fire but limited artillery.
  2. Railroad guns are large artillery pieces mounted on specially designed railroad cars.
  3. Individuals unidentified.  “Lucas” might be Lucas Olson.

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