December 23, 1944 (page 2)

Previous page

***

***

food, gas, ammo, and medical supplies.[1]

The news sure makes everyone feel great especially the guys on the line.

They’ve been doing a miraculous job.  So far they knocked out over sixty 60 tanks[2]

***

***

***

***

***

My legs and arms are sore and red as hell.  I’ve hit the ground so much I might just as well stay on it.

Plenty of stuff coming in all kinds too.  88’s screaming meamies, 105’s and 170’s.[3]

They gave us a “surrender

***

***

***

***

***

ultimatum” yesterday but Gen. Mac Auliffe told them to shove it up there rectume I guess[4]

Plenty cold only I don’t feel it to much.  Wore my glasses today the sun and snow has made my eyes sore.

***

***

***

Next page

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. By the evening of December 23rd, 241 planes had dropped 1,446 bundles by parachute into the one-mile area drop-zone.  95% of the supplies dropped were recovered but were only sufficient to hold-out for two days.   Another drop was scheduled for the 24th but all troops were under strict orders to continue rationing both food and ammunition.
  2. The German word for tank is Panzer, the American artillery equivalent  is the Sherman.
  3. 88 mm anti-aircraft and anti-tank gun, the most recognizable German artillery piece during the war.  Screaming Meemies is a nickname that refers to a German artillery shell that made a high-pitched screaming noise as it was launched.  105s refers to the 105 mm Howitzer artillery cannon.  170s refers to the 170 mm Railway Gun.
  4. When McAuliffe received the ultimatum he, as well as other commanders, were shocked at the German demands considering the Americans knew the Germans were not capable of  the annihilation threatened.  The ultimatum was a joke and the initial reaction from McAuliffe of “Nuts” was an appropriate response.  When Colonel Harper delivered the response to the German Major he was confused about what it meant wondering if it was negative or affirmative.  Colonel Harper clarified by stating “in plain English it is the same as ‘Go to hell!’ (MacKenzie, 169-170).”  McAuliffe’s humorous reply rallied the troops holding the front.  Naturally, the German “annihilation” never materialized.

Comments are closed.