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Did the British really bail out the Americans at the Battle of the Bulge?

Did the British really bail out the Americans at the Battle of the Bulge?

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Just read this article on the Battle of Kasserine Pass

America's Most Humiliating Defeat

The author made the following statement regarding British help during the battle:

As at the Battle of the Bulge, it wouldn't be the last time that the British helped “tidy up” an American disaster.

I seem to recall the 3rd Army riding to the rescue, not the British. He implies there might have been other times too. Any idea what this author is talking about? TIA

There was no disaster to tidy up

From purely military perspective, Battle of the Bulge was failed German offensive, and subsequent mostly US counteroffensive. Reasons why German offensive failed are quite simple: at that point of time they were inferior in number of men, number of AFV, number or aircraft and had relative shortage of fuel. It is actually surprising they managed to gather their forces (hard pressed on all fronts) to achieve slight advantage in sector selected for attack. With favorable weather that grounded Allied air support, and an advantage in quality of AFV (arguably in the quality of some units too) , they achieved certain penetration, but their offensive quickly stalled when US reinforcements started coming in and weather improved.

What makes this battle a "disaster" is not things that really happened, but what could have been. This was first and only time in the war that American forces faced large scale German offensive somewhat reminiscent to early war Blitzkrieg victories. Germans had equal or slightly bigger numbers, air advantage was temporarily gone, and some US units suddenly got in the state of shock and paralysis, all too familiar to British, French or Soviets. This didn't last long, it was late 1944, not 1940 or 1941, but it sufficiently shook Us military establishment to understand that US military machine is not invulnerable. What-if scenarios appeared, questioning what could have been if German forces were slightly more numerous and better protected from air . This become even more interesting as Cold War approached, and Soviet armored doctrine was very similar to German.

As for British participation in the battle (especially during German offensive), it was relatively marginal and certainly not decisive. British forces were holding a section of front north from German penetration. Had the German offensive been more successful, they would have to retreat in order to avoid being cut off and left without supplies (Germans were aiming for Antwerp, only major port in that area). Since that didn't happen, British forces simply participated in the counteroffensive with the goal of reducing the bulge created by German offensive.

During the battle of the bulge, north side of the german salient was given to Montgomery command, because for a while Eisenhower thought it would be easier to organize the battle in that way. Because american 12 group army (1st and 3rd american armies) headquarters was in the south of the salient, while 21 group army (1st canadian, 2nd british and 9th american armies) was in the north of it.
Therefore, Montgomery had to take command of 1st american army for a while, but not to help United States to control a retreat or a desperate situation, but instead it was just a tactical decision.

Source: 21st Army Group

New Orleans

The United States achieved its greatest land victory of the War of 1812 at New Orleans. The battle thwarted a British effort to gain control of a critical American port and elevated Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson to national fame.

How it ended

United States victory. The British gambled and lost on a forward attack against American forces, dug into a fortified mud and cotton bale earthworks on the east bank of the Mississippi at Chalmette Plantation. British casualties far outnumbered those of the Americans. Jackson's triumph set him on a road that ended in the White House thirteen years later.

In context

After Napoleon’s defeat in the spring of 1814, the British were free to concentrate on their war in America. With a strategic focus on coastal regions and American trade and transportation, the British army attacked and burned Washington in August 1814. Although unable to take Baltimore the following month, the British nonetheless moved ahead with a plan to attack New Orleans.

Apprised of a possible invasion on the Gulf Coast, the commander of the U.S. Seventh Military District, Andrew Jackson, left Mobile, Alabama, for New Orleans on November 22. Recently promoted to Major General in the Regular Army for his successful campaign against the Creek Indians, Jackson reached the city on December 1 and began the task of assembling an army, which eventually consisted of Tennessee and Kentucky frontiersmen, Louisiana militia, New Orleans businessmen, Free Men of Color, Choctaw Indians, smuggler Jean Lafitte and his privateers, sailors, marines, and United States troops.

On January 8, 1815, Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson's hastily assembled army won the day against a battle-hardened and numerically superior British force. The resounding American victory at the Battle of New Orleans soon became a symbol of American democracy triumphing over the old European ideas of aristocracy and entitlement. The battle was the last major armed engagement between the United States and Britain.

British Vice Adm. Alexander Cochrane's fleet arrives near Ship Island, some 60 miles east of New Orleans, on December 8. After disposing of an American flotilla on Lake Borgne, Cochrane and the temporary army commander, Maj. Gen. John Keane, decide to ferry the British infantry through the nearby bayous and approach the city from the south. The British land below New Orleans on the morning of December 23.

When he receives word of the landing, Jackson boldly marches out to meet the enemy. In a daring nighttime assault, the Americans strike the British camp. A sharp but inconclusive fight ensues and after several hours, Jackson disengages and withdraws two miles north to the Rodriguez Canal. The Americans immediately begin construction on an earthwork, later known as Line Jackson. It runs perpendicular from the Mississippi River for three quarters of a mile to a cypress swamp. A marine battery is established on the right bank of the river.

On Christmas Day, Gen. Sir Edward Pakenham arrives and assumes command of the British expeditionary force. Annoyed by his subordinates' inability to defeat Jackson and capture New Orleans, Pakenham moves his army to the Chalmette Plantation, about five miles southeast of New Orleans, on December 27. Over the course of the next five days, Pakenham makes two attempts to breach Line Jackson. Both are repulsed by the Americans. Left with few options and buoyed by the arrival of reinforcements, Pakenham decides to launch a major assault on the morning of January 8, 1815.

January 8. The British attack gets underway before sunrise. On the British left, Maj. Gen. John Keane's infantry penetrates an unfinished redoubt, only to be brought to a grinding halt in front of the New Orleans Rifles and the Seventh U.S. Infantry. Maj. Gen. Samuel Gibbs's column advances against the American left center where his ranks are decimated by Tennessee and Kentucky militia. Gibbs is mortally wounded in the attack.

Attempting to rally his men, Pakenham rides forward with his staff, but is hit by an American volley. He is carried from the field and later dies of his wounds. Of the 3,000 men under Gibbs and Keane, 2,000 become casualties in less than 30 minutes. A soldier from Kentucky later wrote, "When the smoke had cleared and we could obtain a fair view of the field, it looked at first glance like a sea of blood. It was not blood itself, but the red coats in which the British soldiers were dressed. The field was entirely covered in prostrate bodies."

Devastated in front of Line Jackson, the remnants of the British force withdraw to beyond range of the American guns. Despite the limited success of Col. William Thornton's attack against the marine battery on the right bank, Pakenham's successor, Maj. Gen. John Lambert, is unable to salvage the British effort and recalls Thornton's force.

The British do not venture another run at Line Jackson. Despite their catastrophic defeat, they continue to bombard Fort St. Philip near the mouth of the Mississippi River for another week. They finally withdraw from New Orleans on January 18.

The American victory swiftly resounds with news of the ratification of the Treat of Ghent, which brings the War of 1812 to an end. Americans hail Jackson as a hero. The victorious battle foretells the Age of the Common Man, propels Jackson toward the presidency, and for the next half century, January 8 is marked by celebrations across the United States.

Although American and British negotiators signed a peace treaty between their two nations in Ghent on December 24, 1814, news of the treaty had not reached the shores of the United States by January 8, 1815. Neither the opposing armies nor the United States Congress were aware of the signing. So, the war continued, and the American defense of the valuable port of New Orleans remained critical.

This last major battle of the War of 1812 sealed the victory for the Americans and won the young United States international recognition. But in the end, was the battle really necessary if the treaty was already signed? Because the treaty specifically stated that fighting between the United States and Britain would stop only when both governments ratified the treaty, the battle was, indeed, justified. The Treaty of Ghent was not ratified by Congress until February 16, 1815, more than a month after the battle. Except for a few tense diplomatic incidents, the treaty ushered in two centuries of peace between the United States and Britain.

Lafitte and his brothers ran a lucrative smuggling operation in Louisiana before the War of 1812. They purchased slaves cheaply in the West Indies and sold them for a profit in New Orleans, where a federal ban on slave imports drove up the price. The Lafitte brothers also worked for Cartagena (now Colombia) to sabotage Spanish commerce. Goods they captured in the process were sold illegally in Louisiana, where they made Barataria Bay their home base. The bay, protected by islands and bayous south of New Orleans, was perfect for their smuggling operation. Lafitte’s “Baratarians” often faced capture and imprisonment by United States customs officials as well as the Spanish Navy. The water in Barataria Bay was deep enough that Lafitte could easily launch into the Caribbean but shallow enough to prohibit Spanish war ships from following him home.

During the War of 1812, the British offered to pay Lafitte handsomely for his help in fighting the Americans at New Orleans. Instead, Lafitte made a proposal to the governor of Louisiana. He would help the Americans defeat the British in exchange for a pardon from all smuggling charges against the Baratarians. The Louisiana legislature rejected Lafitte’s proposition and the privateer, without ties to either nation, was continually harassed by both armies.

Lafitte’s circumstances changed with the arrival of Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson in New Orleans in 1815. Jackson had heard that the Baratarians were the best gunners in the Caribbean and knew the terrain around New Orleans well. Jackson needed them. Although questions about the privateers’ loyalty and lawlessness gave him pause, he reconsidered Lafitte’s offer.

His gamble paid off. During the Battle of New Orleans, about 50 Baratarians manned the guns on American battleships and operated the land batteries. Jackson and Lafitte got along so well that the privateer became Jackson’s unofficial aide-de-camp. After the war, President James Madison rewarded Lafitte for his service with a full pardon, and this unlikely veteran of the Battle of New Orleans resumed his illicit career on Galveston Island in Spanish Texas.

How were the German spies detected in the Battle of the Bulge?

they were challenged by asking such questions as: what team did Babe Ruth play for.

Most English speaking German spies did not know American sports and players.

I do not have an answer but a story about my uncle, who was a German squad leader during "Operation Greif":

Since his squad consisted of 50% American born Germans, asking about sports would work on only half of his men.

However, his squad blew it's cover because of this:

His 4-men squad drove around in only one captured Jeep.

Reason: The US Army manned it's Jeeps with max. three men. Four would have used two Jeeps with the second one as backup and because they had sufficient supplies.

Germans at that stage of the war were suffering of severe gasoline shortages so they usually used as few vehicles as necessary to do the job.

My uncle survived the war as POW but some of his comrades were executed after capture by American GI's.

Battle of New Orleans

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Battle of New Orleans, (January 8, 1815), U.S. victory against Great Britain in the War of 1812 and the final major battle of that conflict. Both the British and American troops were unaware of the peace treaty that had been signed between the two countries in Ghent, Belgium, a few weeks prior, and so the Battle of New Orleans occurred despite the agreements made across the Atlantic.

In the autumn of 1814 a British fleet of more than 50 ships commanded by Gen. Edward Pakenham sailed into the Gulf of Mexico and prepared to attack New Orleans, strategically located at the mouth of the Mississippi River. The British hoped to seize New Orleans in an effort to expand into territory acquired by the United States through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. On December 1, 1814, Gen. Andrew Jackson, commander of the Seventh Military District, hastened to the defense of the city.

Once Jackson arrived in New Orleans, notice came that the British had been sighted near Lake Borgne, east of the city. In response, Jackson declared martial law, requiring every weapon and able-bodied man around to defend the city. Over 4,000 men came to the city’s aid, including a number of aristocrats, freed slaves, Choctaw people, and the pirate Jean Lafitte. Jackson also drafted a number of civilians, soldiers, and enslaved people to build breastworks spanning from the Mississippi to a large swamp, a structure that became known as “Line Jackson.” Logs, earth, and large cotton bales coated with mud were used to protect batteries of cannons. These defensive structures proved vital to the success of the United States in the battle.

The battle itself was fought just outside New Orleans, on the Chalmette Plantation, where the Americans split into two defensive positions: one on the east bank of the Mississippi and one on the west. Jackson took command of the eastern bank, with some 4,000 troops and eight batteries lined behind a parapet that stretched along the Rodriguez Canal. On the western bank, Gen. David Morgan was in charge of about 1,000 troops and 16 cannons. After a number of smaller-scale skirmishes between the forces, the Americans waited for a full-blown British attack.

On the morning of January 8, Pakenham commanded approximately 8,000 British troops to move forward and break through the American defensive lines. As they moved into range, the British took heavy fire and quickly lost Pakenham to a fatal wound. The British, now commanded by Gen. John Lambert, suffered a decisive loss on the eastern bank. Lambert then withdrew all troops from the western bank. The battle lasted about two hours. Despite being outnumbered, the Americans wounded approximately 2,000 British soldiers while suffering less than 65 casualties of their own.

Though the battle had no effect on the outcome of the war (which had been decided weeks earlier in Ghent), it gave Jackson the platform of support needed to eventually win the presidency in 1828.


U.S. and British forces landed at several points along the coast of French Morocco and Algeria on November 8, 1942, during Operation Torch. This came only days after the breakthrough of the British Eighth Army (Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery) following the Second Battle of El Alamein. In response, German and Italian troops were ferried in from Sicily to occupy Tunisia, one of the few easily defended areas of North Africa and only one night's sail from bases in Sicily. This short passage made it very difficult for Allied naval vessels to intercept Axis transports, and air interdiction proved equally difficult, because the nearest Allied airbase to Tunisia, at Malta, was over 200 mi (320 km) distant. [8]

The Run for Tunis in November and December 1942 is the term for an attempt to reach Tunis before German and Italian reinforcements could arrive. Because of the poor road and rail communications, only a small, division-sized Allied force could be supplied, and, due to the excellent defensive terrain, small numbers of German and Italian troops were sufficient to defeat the attempt. The Allied build-up continued, more aircraft became available and new airfields in eastern Algeria and Tunisia were built. The Allies reduced the flow of Axis troops and equipment into Tunis and Bizerta, but a sizable Axis force was already ashore. [9]

On January 23, 1943, the Allied Eighth Army took Tripoli, Erwin Rommel's main supply base. Rommel had anticipated this, switching his line of supply to Tunis with the goal of blocking the southern approach to Tunisia from Tripoli at Gabès. The Mareth Line, which the French had built to protect against an Italian attack from Libya, was

. a line of antiquated French blockhouses, which in no way measured up to the standards required by modern warfare.

Allied troops had already crossed the Atlas Mountains and set up a forward base at Faïd, in the foothills on the eastern arm of the mountains, an excellent position to thrust east to the coast, split the Axis forces in southern Tunisia from the forces further north, and cut the line of supply to Tunis. [11]

Faïd Pass Edit

Elements of the 5th Panzer Army, headed by General Hans-Jürgen von Arnim, reached the Allied positions on the eastern foot of the Atlas Mountains on January 30. The 21st Panzer Division met French troops at Faïd, and, despite excellent use of the French 75 mm (2.95 in) guns, which caused heavy casualties among the German infantry, the defenders were easily forced back. [a]

U.S. artillery and tanks of the 1st Armored Division then entered the battle, destroying some enemy tanks and forcing the remainder into what appeared to be a headlong retreat. [13] This was, however, a trap, and when the 1st Armored Division gave chase it was engaged by a screen of German anti-tank guns, and sustained heavy casualties. A U.S. forward artillery observer whose radio and landlines had been cut by shellfire recalled,

It was murder. They rolled right into the muzzles of the concealed eighty-eights and all I could do was stand by and watch tank after tank blown to bits or burst into flames or just stop, wrecked. Those in the rear tried to turn back but the eighty-eights seemed to be everywhere.

The 21st Panzer Division resumed its advance towards Faïd. American infantry casualties were exacerbated by the practice of digging shallow shell scrapes instead of foxholes, as German tank drivers could easily crush a man inside a scrape by driving into it and simultaneously making a half-turn. [13] Several attempts were made by the 1st Armored Division to stop the German advance, but all three combat commands found that each defensive position they tried to occupy had already been overrun, and they were attacked by German troops with heavy losses. [13] On 2 February, the 1st Armored Division was ordered to end its attacks and concentrate to form a reserve. [8] The Germans captured most of Tunisia, and the entrances into the coastal lowlands were blocked. The Allies held the interior of the roughly triangular Atlas range, but with the exits blocked this was of little advantage to the Allies. For the next two weeks, Rommel and the Axis commanders further north debated what to do next. [ citation needed ]

Sidi Bou Zid Edit

Rommel did not consider the Eighth Army a serious threat because, until Tripoli was open, Montgomery could maintain only a small force in south Tunisia. Ships commenced unloading on February 9 but the port was not fully operational until the end of the month. [14] Rommel made a proposal in early February to Comando Supremo (Italian High Command in Rome) to attack with two battlegroups, including detachments from the 5th Panzer Army, toward two U.S. supply bases just to the west of the western arm of the mountains in Algeria. A quick thrust could capture the supplies and disrupt a U.S. attempt to concentrate forces near Tebessa. Arnim objected and the attack was delayed for a week until agreement was reached to mount Operation Frühlingswind, a thrust by the 5th Panzer Army through the U.S. communications and supply center of Sidi Bou Zid. Rommel's forces, 60 miles (97 km) to the south-west, would conduct Operation Morgenluft to capture Gafsa and advance on Tozeur. [15]

On February 14 the 10th and 21st Panzer divisions began the Battle of Sidi Bou Zid, about 10 mi (16 km) west of Faïd, in the interior plain of the Atlas Mountains. [16] The U.S. tanks were defeated and the infantry, poorly sited on three hills and unable to give mutual support, was isolated. A counterattack the next day was easily repulsed and on February 16 the Germans advanced towards Sbeitla. [17] After the success at Sidi Bou Zid, Rommel ordered the Afrika Korps Assault Group to attack Gafsa on February 15, but, on the night before, Anderson ordered the defenders to evacuate Gafsa and make the main defence line the hills around Feriana, as he believed Gafsa should not be defended against a large attack. [16] The next day, because of the threat to the southern flank, Anderson obtained Eisenhower's agreement and ordered a withdrawal from the Eastern Dorsale, to the line of the Western Dorsale from Feriana northwards. [18] Early on February 17, Fredendall ordered a withdrawal from Sbeitla and Feriana. [19] The U.S. II Corps was able to concentrate at the Kasserine and Sbiba Passes, on the western arm of the mountains. U.S. casualties were 2,546 men, 103 tanks, 280 vehicles, 18 field guns, three anti-tank guns and an anti-aircraft battery. [20]

Axis plan of attack Edit

At this point, there was some argument in the Axis camp about what to do next all of Tunisia was under Axis control, and there was little to do until the Eighth Army arrived at Mareth. Rommel decided to attack through the Kasserine Pass into the main force of the U.S. II Corps at Tébessa to capture U.S. supplies on the Algerian side of the western arm of the mountains, eliminate the Allied ability to attack the coastal corridor linking Mareth and Tunis and threaten the southern flank of the First Army. On February 18, Rommel submitted his proposals to Albert Kesselring, who forwarded them with his blessing to the Comando Supremo in Rome. [21]

At 13:30 on the 19 February Rommel received the Comando Supremo ' s agreement to a revised plan. He was to have 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions transferred from Arnim's 5th Panzer Army to his command and attack through the Kasserine and Sbiba passes toward Thala and Le Kef to the north, clearing the Western Dorsale and threatening the 1st Army's flank. [22] [b] Rommel was appalled the plan dispersed Axis forces and, through the passes, would expose their flanks. A concentrated attack on Tébessa, while entailing some risk, could yield badly needed supplies, destroy Allied potential for operations into central Tunisia and capture the airfield at Youks-les-Bains, west of Tébessa. [24]

In the early hours of the 19 February Rommel ordered the Afrika Korps Assault Group from Feriana to attack the Kasserine Pass. The 21st Panzer Division at Sbeitla was ordered to attack northward through the pass east of Kasserine which led to Sbiba and Ksour. The Kampfgruppe von Broich, the battlegroup released by Arnim from 10th Panzer Division, was ordered to concentrate at Sbeitla, where it would be ready to exploit success in either pass. [25]

Sbiba Edit

The Sbiba area was attacked by Battle Groups Stenkhoff and Schuette, remnants of the 21st Panzer Division. Facing the German armored advance was the British 6th Armoured Division (less the 26th Armoured Brigade which except for the tanks of the 16/5th Lancers had been sent to Thala). Also in the line was the 18th Regimental Combat Team from the U.S. 1st Infantry Division and three battalions of infantry from U.S. 34th Infantry Division. There were also three U.S. Field Artillery battalions, elements of two British anti-tank regiments and some French detachments. The Germans made little progress against the combined firepower of the defending force which had also laid minefields. [26] The 21st Panzer Division was checked and then driven back by February 20. [27]

Kasserine Edit

Defending the pass was a force consisting of the U.S. 1st Battalion, 26th Regimental Combat Team, the U.S. 19th Combat Engineer Regiment, the 6th Field Artillery Battalion, a tank destroyer battalion and a battery of French artillery. On the hills to their west was French General Welvert's Task Force Welvert comprising a U.S. Ranger and infantry battalion, three French infantry battalions, two U.S. field artillery battalions, four French artillery batteries and engineer and anti-aircraft detachments. Furthest west was Task Force Bowen (consisting of the 3rd Battalion of the 26th Regimental Combat Team), blocking the track from Feriana towards Tebessa. Between Task Force Bowen and Tebessa to the north was the regrouping 1st Armored Division although only Combat Command B was fit for combat. [19] The positions in the pass had been placed under Colonel Alexander Stark, commander of the 26th RCT, on the night of February 18 and the command named Stark Force. [26]

An attempt to surprise the Kasserine defenses by the 33rd Reconnaissance Unit into the pass failed and a battalion of Panzer grenadiers was ordered into the floor of the pass and another onto Djebel Semmama, the hill on its eastern flank and slow progress was made against artillery fire. The tanks of 1/8th Panzer Regiment were committed at noon but little further progress resulted against stubborn defense. [28] Rommel decided to commit his units from the 10th Panzer to the Kasserine Pass the next morning in a coordinated attack with the Afrika Korps Assault Group, which was to be joined by elements of the Italian 131st Armored Division Centauro. [29] British reinforcements from the 26th Armoured Brigade (6th Armoured Division) had been assembling at Thala and Brigadier Dunphie, making forward reconnaissance, decided to intervene. The First Army headquarters restricted him to sending Gore Force, a small combined-arms group of a company of infantry, a squadron of 11 tanks, an artillery battery and an anti-tank troop. [30] Brigadier Cameron Nicholson (6th Armoured Division) was given command of Nickforce, all units north-west of the pass. [31]

During the night, the American positions on the two shoulders overlooking the pass were overrun and at 8:30 am German panzer grenadiers and Italian Bersaglieri resumed the attack. At 10:00am Dunphie judged that Stark Force was about to give way and ordered Gore Force to the Thala side of the pass as elements of the Centauro Division launched their attack towards Tebessa and continued it during the afternoon. [32] On February 20th during the opening attack on key American positions of the town of Djebel, the 5th Bersaglieri Regiment made a frontal assault on U.S. positions that lasted most of the morning and finally carried the position, losing the regimental commander Colonel Bonfatti in the process. This action cracked open the allied defenses, opening the road to Thala and Tebessa. By midday the accompanying combined Axis armored units poured through the pass routing U.S. forces with the 1st U.S. armored division into one of the worst U.S. defeats of the Tunisian Campaign. The Italian regiment was complimented by General Bulowius, commander of the DAK assault group who sited their action as the instrumental event of the Axis victory. [At 1:00 pm Rommel committed two battalions from 10th Panzer which overcame the defense. [30] Tanks and Bersaglieri from the Centauro Division advanced along Highway 13 and overran the 19th Combat Engineer Regiment. [33] [34] The U.S. survivors made a disorganized retreat up the western exit from the pass to Djebel el Hamra, where Combat Command B of the 1st Armored Division was arriving. On the exit to Thala, Gore Force slowly leapfrogged back, losing all its tanks in the process, to rejoin the 26th Armoured Brigade some 10 miles (16 km) further back. [30]

Djebel el Hamra Edit

The Afrika Korps Assault Group began moving along the Hatab River valley towards Haidra and Tebessa in the early afternoon of February 21 and advanced until they met defenders consisting of the U.S. 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division and Combat Command B of the U.S. 1st Armored Division at Djebel el Hamra. The German–Italian force was halted and, despite heavy pressure including air attacks, failed to dislodge the American defenders. [35] Having brought the Axis drive towards Tebessa to a halt, General Paul Robinett and General Terry Allen now turned their attention to planning a counterattack that was to take place the next day, February 22. Plans made by both sides were upset by the battle, and the Axis forces (5th Bersaglieri, a Semovente group from Centauro and 15 Panzer) launched another assault on the U.S. position on the morning of the 22 February toward Bou Chebka Pass. Although the American defenders were pressed hard the line held and, by mid-afternoon, the U.S. infantry and tanks launched a counterattack that broke the combined German and Italian force. More than 400 Axis prisoners were taken as the counterattack was pressed into the Afrika Korps position. [36]

Thala Edit

Rommel had stayed with the main group of the 10th Panzer Division on the route toward Thala, where the 26th Armoured Brigade and remnants of the U.S. 26th Infantry Regiment had dug in on ridges. If the town fell and the southern of two roads from Thala to Tebessa was cut, the U.S. 9th Infantry Division to the north would be cut off and Combat Command B of the 1st Armored Division would be trapped between the 10th Panzer Division and its supporting units moving north along the second road to Tebessa. The combined force fought a costly delaying action in front of Thala, retreating ridge by ridge to the north until by dark, the force held the German attacks just south of the town. [37] The divisional artillery (48 guns) of the 9th Infantry Division and anti-tank platoons, that had moved from Morocco on the 17 February 800 mi (1,300 km) west, dug in that night. Next day, the front was held mostly by British infantry, with exceptionally strong backing by unified U.S. and British artillery, under Brigadier General Stafford LeRoy Irwin, the U.S. artillery commander. The British had 36 guns, supported by armoured cars of the Derbyshire Yeomanry and Valentine and Crusader tanks of the 17th/21st Lancers. [38] [39]

Anderson ordered the 9th Infantry Division and its artillery support to Le Kef to meet an expected German attack but U.S. Major General Ernest N. Harmon, who had been sent by Eisenhower to report on the battle and the Allied command, instructed the 9th divisional artillery to stay behind. [40] On the morning of the 22 February an intense artillery barrage from the massed Allied guns forestalled the resumption of the 10th Panzer Division attack, destroying armor and vehicles and disrupting communications. Broich, the battle group commander, decided to pause and regroup but Allied reinforcements continued to arrive. [41] [42] Under constant fire, 10th Panzer waited until dark to retire from the battlefield. [42]

Withdrawal Edit

Overextended and with supplies dwindling, pinned down by the Allied artillery in the pass in front of Thala and now facing U.S. counterattacks along the Hatab River, Rommel realized his attack had been stopped. At Sbiba, along the Hatab River and now at Thala, the efforts of the German and Italian forces had failed to make a decisive break in the Allied line. With little prospect of further success, Rommel judged that it would be wiser to break off to concentrate in South Tunisia and strike a blow at the Eighth Army, catching them off balance while still assembling its forces. He at least had the consolations that he had inflicted heavy losses on his enemy and that the Allied concentrations in the Gafsa – Sbeitla area had been destroyed. [43] At a meeting at Rommel's Kasserine HQ on the 23 February Kesselring and his Chief of Staff Siegfried Westphal tried to change Rommel's mind, arguing that there were still possibilities for success. Rommel was adamant Kesselring finally agreed and formal orders from the Comando Supremo in Rome were issued that evening calling off the offensive and directing all Axis units to return to their start positions. [44] On the 23 February a massive American air attack on the pass hastened the German retreat and by late on the 24 February the pass had been reoccupied, Feriana was in Allied hands Sidi Bou Zid and Sbeitla followed soon after. [45]

Casualties and losses Edit

German losses at Kasserine were 201 killed, 536 wounded and 252 missing, totalling 989 casualties. In material Germans lost 20 tanks, 67 vehicles and 14 guns. [46] Allied forces captured 73 German and 535 Italian soldiers. [47]

American losses totalled 300 killed, 3,000 wounded, and 3,000 missing. Losses were so high that an additional 7,000 replacements were needed to recover units to their original strength. The French losses on the 34th Division totalled 50 killed, 200 wounded and 250 missing. [5] Regarding Allied personnel captured, Rommel and Ziegler claimed 3,721 prisoners captured but in a consolidated report of 24 February they reported 4,026 Allied prisoners of war. [46]

Material losses of the US II Corps were staggering, in total 183 tanks, 104 half tracks, 208 guns and 512 trucks and motor vehicles were lost, some of them captured by the Germans. The allies also lost supplies and fuel, [5] over 215 cubic meters of gasoline and lubricants were seized along with 45 tons of ammunition. [46]

Rommel Edit

Rommel had hoped to take advantage of the inexperience of the new Allied commanders but was opposed by Arnim who, wanting to conserve strength in his sector, ignored Kesselring's orders and withheld the attached heavy tank unit of 10th Panzer. [48] Rommel felt that most U.S. units and commanders had showed their inexperience, losing sight of the broader picture. [49] Rommel was unable to exploit Allied failings due to a lack of forces and freedom of maneuver and the opportunity was missed, but he praised the 2nd Battalion, 13th Armored Regiment of the 1st Armored Division in its defense of Sbeitla for being "clever and well fought". [50] [ page needed ] Rommel was later impressed with how quickly U.S. commanders came to understand and implement mobile warfare and also praised U.S. equipment: "British experience has been put to good use in American equipment". [48] Of particular interest to the Germans was the sturdy M3 armored half track, and for some time after the battle, German units deployed large numbers of captured U.S. vehicles.

The Allies studied the results equally seriously. Positioned by senior commanders who had not personally reconnoitered the ground, U.S. forces were often located too far from each other for mutual support. It was also noted that U.S. soldiers tended to become careless about digging in, exposing their positions, bunching in groups when in open view of enemy artillery observers, and positioning units on topographic crests, where their silhouettes made them perfect targets. Too many soldiers, exasperated by the rocky soil of Tunisia, were still digging shallow slit trenches instead of deep foxholes. [51]

The 1st Armored Division was on the receiving end of German anti-tank and screening tactics and had not learned about those tactics from experienced British armored forces. Others in the U.S. Army were well aware of the German deception tactics. [52] The Allies were also unable to prevent the Germans from attaining air superiority over the battlefield, limiting effective Allied air reconnaissance and allowing relentless German bombing and strafing attacks that disrupted Allied attempts at deployment and organization. Attacks by the Luftwaffe in close support of German ground offensives often neutralized U.S. attempts to organize effective defensive artillery fire. [ citation needed ]

Eisenhower Edit

General Dwight D. Eisenhower began restructuring the Allied command, creating the 18th Army Group, commanded by General Sir Harold R. L. G. Alexander, to tighten the operational control of the three Allied nations involved and improve their coordination. [53] Major General Lloyd Fredendall was relieved by Eisenhower and sent home. [7] Training programs at home had contributed to U.S. Army units in North Africa being saddled with disgraced commanders who had failed in battle and were reluctant to advocate radical changes. [54] Eisenhower found through Major General Omar Bradley and others, that Fredendall's subordinates had lost confidence in him and Alexander told U.S. commanders, "I'm sure you must have better men than that". [55] [56]

Fredendall took the blame but Anderson, the First Army commander, was judged to be at fault for the failure to concentrate Allied armored units and keep forces concentrated, that later disintegrated into individual units. [57] [58] [59] When Fredendall disclaimed all responsibility for the poorly equipped French XIX Corps and denied French requests for support, notably when under pressure at Faïd, Anderson allowed the request to go unfulfilled. Anderson was also blamed for dispersing the three combat commands of the U.S. 1st Armored Division, despite the objections of Major General Orlando Ward, the divisional commander. [60] [c] U.S. Brigadier General Irwin later became commander of the 5th Infantry Division in Europe and went on to higher command, as did British Brigadier Nicholson. Allied commanders were given greater scope for initiative and to keep forces concentrated. They were also urged to lead their units from the front and to keep command posts well forward, unlike Fredendall who had rarely visited the front line. (Ward was sent home, where he trained troops and then commanded the 20th Armored Division in Europe.) [61]

On the 6 March, Major General George Patton was temporarily removed from planning for the Allied invasion of Sicily to command the II Corps. Bradley was appointed assistant corps commander and moved up to command of II Corps when Patton returned to planning for Sicily. Fredendall was reassigned to the United States and several other commanders were removed or promoted out of the way. Patton was not known for hesitancy and did not bother to request permission when taking action to support his command or other units requesting assistance. During the advance from Gafsa, Alexander, the 18th Army Group commander, had given detailed orders to Patton, afterwards changing II Corps' mission several times. Once beyond Maknassy, Alexander again gave orders Patton considered excessively detailed. From then on, Patton simply ignored those parts of mission orders he considered ill-advised on grounds of military expediency and/or a rapidly evolving tactical situation. [62]


Reacting to the Airborne's post, one person wrote: 'Really? You had to post a picture of a Nazi SS officer to commemorate the battle of the bulge? I guess that would represent the views of our current administration.'

While another said: 'Please take down this image of a Nazi war criminal. You're helping the enemies—foreign and domestic—of the US by posting it.'

The Battle Of The Bulge was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II and ended on 25 January 1945 (Infantrymen are pictured battering down the door of a house where German snipers were holding out in Stavelot, Belgium, in 1944)

The Americans suffered at least 80,000 casualties including more than 10,000 dead during the battle (A US soldier is seen guarding German PoWs during the battle)

The Airborne Corps removed the Nazi's image and instead shared three images of soldiers in action during the conflict.

Responding to one concerned comment, they explained their reasoning for sharing Peiper's image.

They explained that 'this is just the first day of a continuing series. We describe the action chronologically'.

They also said 'sometimes in movies, the movie will create a sense of tension by introducing a bad guy. It is technique of effective storytelling,' reported the Daily Beast.

An American serviceman shared screenshots of the post appearing on three military accounts, writing that he was 'dumbfounded' by the Nazi's picture being used

Several people were shocked that the Airborne Corps shared Joachim Peiper's picture to mark the start of their anniversary coverage

The picture was later removed and swapped for pictures of US soldiers during the conflict

The now deleted image also said it had been colored by Tobias Kurtz, a digital artist from Slovakia who uses a picture of the far-right Slovak People's Party's flag on his website, reported the Independent.

The Battle Of The Bulge was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II and ended on 25 January 1945.

Hitler's forces launched the attack on December 16, 1944, taking Allied troops in Belgium and Luxembourg by surprise.

The Allies eventually recovered, mounting a heroic defense in the Siege of Bastogne after a US commander had responded 'Nuts!' to a German demand of surrender.

Up to 40,000 people including thousands of civilians were killed in the fighting.

The site explained that the picture was just the first of a set of planned posts and said that they were describing 'the action chronologically'

Peiper was a personal assistant to leader of the SS and the Gestapo Heimlich Himmler, pictured, and the chief of a unit that killed at least 84 American prisoners of war

Its legendary rescue by US paratroopers has since been celebrated in the TV series Band of Brothers. The siege also helped seal General George Patton's reputation as a US military giant.

The overall Battle of the Bulge would rage across the Ardennes for six weeks - drawing in 600,000 American and 25,000 British troops against 400,000 Germans - until the Allies prevailed in January 1945.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 German troops died, against between 10,000 and 19,000 Americans.

And 3,000 Belgian civilians perished under artillery bombardments or in massacres carried out by the Waffen-SS in villages like Houffalize.

Battle Of The Bulge: 'Nuts!' How US troops thwarted Hitler's last gamble

The Battle Of The Bulge was Hitler's last major offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II.

The Battle of the Bulge 'is arguably the greatest battle in American military history,' according to the U.S. army historical center.

Out of the blue at dawn on December 16, 1944, over 200,000 German troops counter-attacked across the front line in Belgium and Luxembourg, smashing into battle-weary US soldiers positioned in terrain as foreign to them as it was familiar to the Germans.

Yet somehow, the Americans blunted the advance and started turning back the enemy for good, setting allied troops on a roll that would end the war in Europe less than five months later.

American tanks wait on the snowy slopes in Bastogne,Belgium. It was 75 years ago that Hitler launched his last desperate attack to turn the tide for Germany in World War II

This battle gained fame not so much for the commanders' tactics as for the resilience of small units hampered by poor communications that stood shoulder to shoulder to deny Hitler the quick breakthrough he desperately needed.

Even though the Americans were often pushed back, they were able to delay the German advance in its crucial initial stages. The tipping point was to come later.

Overall, deaths in the month-long battle are estimated in the five digits. The Americans suffered at least 80,000 casualties including more than 10,000 dead, while up to 12,000 were listed killed among some 100,000 German casualties.

American infantrymen of the 87th Division enter the town of St-Hubert

U.S. Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, left, and Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., right, are seated in Jeep after made an inspection tour of the 101st Airborne division

The Battle of the Bulge was one of the war's least predictable campaigns. After D-Day and the draining Normandy drive, allied troops sweeping across the continent believed the worst was behind them.

Paris had been liberated, Gen. George Patton was moving eastwards toward Germany, and Hitler had to keep an increasingly bleary eye on Stalin's Soviet armies advancing on the Eastern Front.

'The thought was that Germany was on its knees and could no longer raise a big army,'said Mathieu Billa, director of the Bastogne War Museum.

Still, Hitler believed Germany could turn the tide, and centered on regaining the northern Belgian port of Antwerp with a push through the sparsely populated Ardennes.

German infantrymen pass by burning captured American vehicles during the drive into Allied lines on the Western Front during the Battle of the Bulge

The 120-mile dash seemed so fanciful that few of Hitler's own generals believed in it, let alone the allied command. Allied intelligence heard something might be afoot, but even on the eve of the attack the U.S. VIII Corps daily note said that 'There is nothing to report.'

For days to follow, the only reports would be bad for U.S. troops retreating amid word that SS troops were executing their prisoners — like at Malmedy, where 80 surrendered soldiers were murdered in a frozen field.

When Pvt. Arthur Jacobson moved into the Ardennes, night temperatures outdoors dropped as low as -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit). 'You had to dance around not to freeze to death,' he said. Daytime saw the constant fear of sniper fire.

Back home in the States, some were oblivious to the soldiers' plight. 'My family sent me a necktie,' Jacobson chuckled. 'I sent a letter back: 'I don't need a necktie'.'

American soldiers of the 347th U.S. Infantry wear heavy winter gear as they receive rations in La Roche, Belgium

Soon though, the German effort pushed its limits as Antwerp remained well out of reach and troops ran out of ammunition, morale and, crucially, fuel. Even the weather turned against the Germans, as the skies finally cleared, allowing the all-powerful allied air force to pound the enemy.

Nowhere was that tipping point more visible than in the southern Ardennes town of Bastogne, where surrounded U.S. troops were cut off for days with little ammunition or food.

When Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne received a Dec. 22 ultimatum to surrender or face total destruction, he offered one of the most famous — and brief — replies in military history: 'Nuts'.

Four days later, Patton's troops broke the encirclement. And so it went with the Battle of the Bulge too, with the U.S. troops gaining momentum after Christmas.

American soldiers manning a light anti aircraft gun in a snowy churchyard somewhere in Belgium. Between 15,000 and 20,000 German troops died, against between 10,000 and 19,000 Americans

After the fighting ended on 28 January 1945, Allied forces invaded Germany, eventually leading to the Nazi surrender and the end of the war in Europe.

Jacobson, who lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida, also entered Germany. But his war was ended by a March 2 mortar blast, which seriously injured his leg and killed three other soldiers.

After eight months of front-line horror, hospital offered him a kind of deliverance despite the pain.

'I used to wake up at night in the hospital. I'd dream about having to move out at night,' he said. 'Orders would come down, 'let's move out to another position.' And I'd wake up,' he said, 'and look around and see where I was and then smile to myself and go back to sleep.'

German infantrymen crossing a road somewhere on the western Front during their drive into the US lines during The Battle of The Bulge

The fascinating story behind the military’s use of the 21-gun salute

The 21-gun salute that we know today has its roots in the ancient tradition of warriors demonstrating their peaceful intentions by resting the point of their weapons on the ground.

The notion of making a soldier’s weapons useless to show that he came in peace continued even as warfare changed over the centuries. Gunpowder and cannons became commonplace among militaries and private forces, both on land and at sea around the 14 th century. In order for a ship entering a foreign port to show those on shore that they came in peace, the captain would have his crew fire the guns. This rendered the weapons inoperable for a period of time, with early guns only being capable of firing a single shot before crews needed to reload them.

Traditionally when a British ship entered into a foreign port, it would fire its guns seven times. The reason for the seven shots is widely debated to this day. One theory states that the majority of the British ships at this point only carried seven guns and so firing seven shots became the standard to signal those on shore that the ship was now unarmed. Ships carried enough gunpowder and ammunition to reload multiple times, but beyond symbolism, the idea here was that the lengthy process of reloading would allow the soldiers onshore more than enough time to disable the ship with their own weapons if needs be.

Another proposed theory for the number seven relates to the Bible. After creating the world, the Bible states that God rested on the seventh day (or for the seventh “event”- there is some debate over the “day” vs. “event” translation). So it has been theorized that the number could have been chosen in reference to its Biblical significance, perhaps of resting with the ship coming to port after a long journey. Yet another theory stems from the pervasive superstitious nature of sailors combined with the historic notion in certain regions that the number 7 is sacred, and that odd numbers are lucky and even unlucky. In fact, for a time it was common to use an even number of shots to signify the death of a ship captain when returning from the voyage the death occurred on.

Whatever the underlying reason, the guns onshore would return fire as a form of welcome once the incoming ship finished firing the seven rounds. However, the shore bound guns fired three rounds for every one fired by the incoming ships, putting the total number of shots fired at twenty-one in these cases. As with the 𔄟” number, it’s not known precisely why in the regions that used this number scheme that they chose a 3 to 1 ratio. What is known is that as time went on where this was practiced, it became traditional for the ships themselves to start firing off 21 shots as well, perhaps due to the ships becoming larger and being equipped with more guns, with the captains ostensibly preferring a 1 to 1 salute.

Photo: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Oscar L Olive IV

This then brings us to when firing the 21 shots became considered a type of official salute, rather than a symbolic way to indicate peaceful intentions. This seems to have started around 1730 when it became a recognized salute to British government officials. Specifically, the British Navy allowed its ships and captains the option to perform the 21-gun salute as a way to honor members of the British Royal Family during select anniversaries. About eighty years later, in 1808, the 21-gun salute officially became the standard salute to honor British Royalty.

While the British Navy adopted the 21-gun salute in 1808 as the standard, other nations, such as the United States, didn’t adopt it until much later. In fact, the United States War Department decided in 1810 to define the “national salute” as having the same number of shots as there were states in the nation. That number grew every year that a new state joined the Union. Needless to say, this quickly became a cumbersome way to salute the United States and its dignitaries.

That said, the United States did make the “Presidential Salute” a 21-gun salute in 1842, and in 1890 officially accepted the 21-gun salute as the “national salute.” This followed the 1875 British proposal to the United States of a “Gun for Gun Salute” of 21-guns to honor visiting dignitaries. Essentially, the British and French, among other nations, at this point were all using 21 guns for their salutes, but the U.S. system required many more shots for their dignitaries. Besides needing to fire off more cannons, this also potentially signified greater honor to the U.S. dignitaries than to those of other nations. Thus, the British proposed a 1 for 1 shot, with 21 being the number, which was accepted by the U.S. on August 18, 1875.

The 21-gun salute still represents a significant honor today. In the United States, the 21-gun salute occurs to honor a President, former president, or the head of foreign state. It can also be fired in order to honor the United States Flag. The salute also occurs at noon on the day of the funeral of a President, former President, or President-elect along with on Memorial Day.

Photo: US Navy

You may have noticed that there’s no mention of the 21-gun salute occurring during military funerals and that’s a common misconception. Known as the 𔄛 Volleys,” the salute that occurs during soldiers’ funerals follows a battlefield tradition where both sides stopped fighting so that they could remove their dead from the field. The series of three shots, or volleys, let the other side know that the dead had been taken care of and that that battle could resume. Therefore the number of volleys is more important than the actual number of shots. Even the United States Army Manuel’s section on the Ceremonial Firing Party at a funeral named the number of riflemen as between five and eight, rather than an exact number.

  • When ships were engaged in battle during the 14 th century, the common practice was that the captured or defeated ship needed to expend all of its ammunition in order to make it helpless in the presence of the other ship and signify surrender.
  • A 62-gun salute was fired upon the birth of Prince George of England. The 21-gun salute was increased to 41-guns because the guns were fired from a royal park or residence and an additional 21-guns were added in order to pay respect to the city of London.

More from Today I Found Out

This article originally appeared at Today I Found Out. Copyright 2015. Like Today I Found Out on Facebook.

3. Lie on federal forms

The Defense Travel System is reasons 1-3 that no one should ever re-enlist. (Photo: U.S. Air National Guard Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum)

Let’s be honest, perfectly filled out Defense Travel System vouchers and unit packing lists are the exception to the rule. Sometimes, this is because it’s hard to track every little change in a connex’s contents or a trip. But other times, it’s because units on their way out the door on an exercise or deployment are willing to put whatever they need to on the paperwork to get it approved.

It’s an expedient way to get the mission done, but it’s also a violation of Title 18 United States Code 1001, which prohibits false claims to the federal government. Of course, no one is going to prosecute when a connex shows up with three more cots than were on the list, but don’t listen to the barracks attorney telling you that the per diem is higher if you just change this one thing in DTS.

Did the British really bail out the Americans at the Battle of the Bulge? - History

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Gunpowder Strategy
Soldier Kings
Up to eight players take the roles of the warrior-monarchs who waged the Seven Years&rsquo War in Europe and around the world. Play a one-year campaign, or re-fight the entire global conflict. Retails for $49.99, now just $34.99. You can order it here.

Soldier Emperor
The wars of Napoleon, in a fast-playing format for up to seven players with beautiful thick playing pieces and nine scenarios. Retails for $59.99, now just $41.99. Limited Supply. You can order it here.

Enlightened Warlords
Expand your Soldier Kings fun with game strategy, historical background and oodles of game variants like National Aspirations, Special National Powers, Pre-War Options and more. Retails for $10.99, now just $7.69. This book is only available in its download edition. You can order it here.

Panzer Grenadier
No tactical gaming system even approaches the breadth of Panzer Grenadier.

1940: The Fall of France
The Battle of France in 50 Panzer Grenadier scenarios. With 660 pieces and eight maps, this is one fine boxload of fun. You can order it here.

Cassino '44
Four epic battles displayed in 30 scenarios, with British, American, Indian, New Zealand and Polish troops assaulting the famous abbey held by German paratroopers, on a huge "historical" map of the actual battlefield. Retails for $99.99, now just $69.99. You can order it here.

Eastern Front
The 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union is shown with a whopping 112 scenarios. German and Romanian troops fight the Red Army of Workers and Peasants. Retails for $79.99, now just $55.99. Limited Supply. You can order it here.

U.S. Marines battle the Japanese on "historical" maps of the island showing the actual terrain, in 24 scenarios. Includes the struggles for Tulagi and Tanambogo. Retails for $59.99, now just $41.99. You can order it here.

Beyond Normandy
British troops face the Waffen SS in the brutal struggle for Hill 112, on "historical" maps showing the actual terrain. 44 scenarios. Retails for $74.99, now just $52.49. You can order it here.

Afrika Korps
The opening battles of war in the North African desert, with 50 scenarios from 1940 and 1941. British, Italian, Australian and German troops and tanks fight on extra-large desert maps. Retails for $74.99, now just $52.49. You can order it here.

Battle of the Bulge
Fifty scenarios from the "southern flank" of the Battle of the Bulge, as American and German troops fight in and around Bastogne. Retails for $59.99, now just $41.99. You can order it here.

Desert Rats
Fifty scenarios of the desert war, including several from the East African campaign. British, New Zealand and Indian troops (including Maoris and Gurkhas) face Germans and Italians (including Italian Colonial forces) on extra-large desert maps. Retails for $74.99, now just $52.49. You can order it here.

Jungle Fighting
The Marines weren't the only ones to fight the Japanese on Guadalcanal. This supplement adds 42 new scenarios focusing on the U.S. Army's sacrifices during the campaign. Retails for $19.99, now just $13.99. You can order it here.

Sinister Forces
The men that made World War II the most brutal in human history, the Waffen SS and Soviet NKVD, fight in 35 new scenarios ranging from 1939 to 1942. 165 new pieces. Retails for $29.99, now just $20.99. You can order it here.

Panzer Lehr
Germany's elite division of tank instructors schools the British and Americans in Normandy in 27 new scenarios plus a campaign game. Also includes 112 laser-cut, mounted pieces. Retails for $29.99, now just $20.99. You can order it here.

Iron Curtain: Patton&rsquos Nightmare
The Cold War turns hot as American armor pushes toward Berlin in 1948 against fierce Soviet opposition. It's a war that never happened, with 20 scenarios and a full campaign game, plus 77 new pieces featuring the huge American tanks built or designed for this war. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

Iron Wolves
Lithuania chose not to fight in 1939 and 1941 this supplement looks at what might have happened if she did. Ten scenarios and 165 pieces. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

Hopeless But Not Serious
Austria's army fights the National Socialists in 1934 (in the Austrian Civil War, a war that really happened) and 1938 (against the German invasion, a war that didn&rsquot happen but could have), with 16 new scenarios and 330 new pieces. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

DAK '44
Could the desert war have continued past the Battle of Alamein? How would desert warfare have played out with new weapons like the Tiger II or the Firefly? This supplement addresses this question, with the Germany arsenal of 1944 in our desert scheme. 88 counters, 10 scenarios. Retails for $19.99, now just $13.99. You can order it here.

Polish Steel
By 1945, Polish troops formed two elite corps in the Western Allied armies. Had a third world war broken out in 1948, they once again would have been in the forefront. This supplement supplies Poland with the most modern weapons of 1948. 77 counters, 10 scenarios. Retails for $19.99, now just $13.99. You can order it here.

Red Warriors
Born in the bitter winter battles in front of Moscow, the Soviet Guards led the way to victory in the Great Patriotic War. Add these elite troops to your Panzer Grenadier games with 20 scenarios and 165 pieces. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

Blue Division
Spanish volunteers fight alongside the Germans on the Eastern Front. Twenty scenarios and 77 pieces. Retails for $19.99, now just $13.99. You can order it here.

South Africa&rsquos War
South African troops battle the Axis in East and North Africa, 1940-1942. Twenty scenarios and 88 pieces. Retails for $19.99, now just $13.99. You can order it here.

North Wind
Green American divisions fight off the best of the Nazi war machine in 10 scenarios from Germany's last offensive in the west. Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

Alaska's War
Americans battle the Japanese in the Aleutian Islands 1942. Ten scenarios. Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

March on Leningrad
German panzers fight their way toward Leningrad. 10 scenarios. Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

Siege of Leningrad
The Red Army defends the cradle of the revolution. 10 scenarios, Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

Romanian Soil
Ten scenarios drawn from the German-Romanian defensive stand of April 1944 against a powerful Soviet offensive. Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

Army Group South Ukraine
Ten scenarios from the Panzergrenadier Division Grossdeutschland&rsquos fight at Targu Frumos, Romania in April 1944. Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

Panzer Lion
Ten scenarios follow Panzergrenadier Division Grossdeutschland in battles along the Romanian-Ukrainian border in May 1944. Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

Carpathian Brigade
Polish exiles fight the Axis during and after the Siege of Tobruk, 1941. 11 scenarios. Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

Little Saturn
The Italian Eight Army fights for survival in Russia, 1942. 10 scenarios. Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

Black SS
Waffen SS troops take on the British and the Americans in Normandy. This edition is a digital download and includes no playing pieces (all those required can be found in Beyond Normandy, Elsenborn Ridge and Road to Berlin). Retails for $10.99, now just $7.69. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Invasion of Germany
Fifty (50!) scenarios of the American drive through the Siegfried Line into Germany. This is a compendium of the former supplements Aachen 1944, North of Elsenborn, Siegfried Line, West Wall and Roer River Battles. Retails for $10.99, now just $7.69. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Winter Soldiers
Thirty new scenarios from the Ardennes campaign plus a complete campaign game of the 4th Infantry Division's drive across France and into Germany. Retails for $10.99, now just $7.69. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

The King&rsquos Officers
Shepherd British and Italian officers through the Second World War with the latest installment in our Campaigns and Commanders series. Retails for $10.99, now just $7.69. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

War in the East
Guide your "personal" leader through a series of battles. Three campaigns &mdash Poland 1939, Barbarossa 1941 and Berlin 1945 &mdash allow Polish, German and Soviet leaders to develop their warrior skills. Retails for $10.99, now just $7.69. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

War on the Equator
In 1941, Peru used modern tanks, artillery and planes to invade its neighbor Ecuador. Six scenarios look at this unlikely war that really happened. 165 pieces. Retails for $12.99, now just $9.09. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Grossdeutschland 1946
Germany's best division wields weapons that never left the drawing board. 253 pieces, 10 scenarios. Retails for $12.99, now just $9.09. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Waltzing Matilda: The Defense of Australia, 1942
Australia's Citizen Military Force stood ready to defend their country from a Japanese invasion that never came. This supplement looks at the Militia and their potential Japanese foes, with new Japanese tanks and other vehicles, Australian armor, cavalry of both sides, and much more. 330 counters, 12 scenarios. Retails for $16.99, now just $11.89. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Power of the East
Soviet and Mongolian troops face off against the Japanese in a series of 12 scenarios drawn form the border conflicts of 1938 and 1939. Retails for $9.99, now just $6.99. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Nihon Silk
Japanese paratroopers battle the Dutch, Australians and Americans in a set of 10 scenarios stretching from 1942 to 1945. Comes with 165 new pieces. Retails for $12.99, now just $9.09. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Divisional Downloads
Each set shows the full division in Panzer Grenadier format, in its own special color scheme. Each retails for $6.99, now just $4.89. These sets are only available in a download edition. You can order them here:
Panzer Division
Moscow Rifles
Texas Division
DeGaulle's Division
Ariete Division

World War II Battles
Great Pacific War
Strategic contest between the Japanese and Americans (aided by the Brits and Chinese and Dutch et al). Straight reprint. You can order it here.

Alsace 1945
The last German offensive on the Western Front plays out in a quick, highly playable game in a small but attractive box. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

Gazala 1942
Erwin Rommel&rsquos epic victory over the Allies in 1942 opened the road to Egypt, with a beautiful map and fine, playable game system. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

Red Vengeance
Soviet armies push the hated Hitlerite invaders back to Berlin itself in this outstanding little game. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

Island of Death
German and Italian paratroopers storm Britain&rsquos Mediterranean fortress, in this game based on the actual plans of all participants for a battle that never happened. Retails for $39.99, now just $27.99. You can order it here.

Great War at Sea
Just the greatest naval game series ever (you can tell &ndash it&rsquos right in the title).

The original game in the series, it&rsquos been in print constantly since 1996, in several editions. It covers naval operations in the Mediterranean from 1911 through 1923, with most of the 72 scenarios covering World War One actions. There&rsquos the flight of the Goeben, Russian-German actions on the Black Sea, Austro-Italian conflict in the Adriatic, and more unusual stuff ranging from the Italo-Turkish War through the Russian Civil War. It&rsquos a box full of toys. Retails for $64.99, now just $45.49. You can order it here.

Cruiser Warfare
Unique among Great War at Sea games, Cruiser Warfare plays out on a world-wide map as the German East Asia Cruiser Squadron seeks to make its way home from China, and inflict maximum damage on the Allies along the way. Retails for $49.99, now just $34.99. You can order it here.

The centerpiece of the series: the great clash of dreadnoughts at Jutland, but also every other operation in the North Sea during the First World War: the Scarborough Raid, Battle of Helgoland Bight, Battle of the Dogger Bank and much more. Plus operations in the Baltic Sea like the Battle of Moon Sound. Every German, British, Russian, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, American, Swedish, Estonian and Finnish warship that took part or could have taken part is represented. You need this game. Retails for $74.99, now just $52.49. You can order it here.

Pacific Crossroads
Introductory game to the series, Pacific Crossroads is based on American and Japanese plans for a war that never happened in the Central Pacific. Retails for $29.99, now just $20.99. You can order it here.

U.S. Navy Plan Gold
Not your average wargame premise, Plan Gold is based on American plans for a potential war against France in the Caribbean Sea. Fleets of American and French dreadnoughts brawl up and down the Antilles in a struggle taking place in the years after the First World War. Retails for $59.99, now just $41.99. You can order it here.

Cone of Fire
South American fleets are here in our biggest naval game, which spreads across both this series and its sister World War Two series, Great War at Sea. Brazil, Argentina and Chile have their full fleets for both eras, and six full-sized maps to steam across. It&rsquos a big game! Retails for $99.99, now just $69.99. Limited supply. You can order it here.

Bay of Bengal
Take the fleets from Cruiser Warfare (and a few other games) onto the map from Second World War at Sea: Eastern Fleet in this scenario book. Retails for $19.99, now just $13.99. You can order it here.

Confederate States Navy
Turns Plan Gold into an even more alternate reality, where the Confederacy survived to fight a naval war with the hated Yankees in 1917. Includes a full set of beautiful laser-cut playing pieces. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

A supplement for Great War at Sea, building on the Zeppelins book to take a further look at lighter than air operations. There are ten scenarios based on missions that took place or could have taken place. Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

South China Sea
American and British fleets clash in the waters of East Asia in a naval war that never happened. Ten scenarios plus one full-color map. Retails for $16.99 printed, now just $11.89. You can order it here.

U.S. Navy Plan Scarlet
New scenarios for the map from Great War at Sea: Pacific Crossroads, featuring American plans for war with Australia, Britain, Germany and Japan. Retails for $10.99, now just $7.69. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Dutch East Indies
The Royal Netherlands Navy takes on the Germans, Japanese, British, Turks and Austro-Hungarians in 35 scenarios plus two campaign games played out on the maps from Second World War at Sea: Strike South. Retails for $10.99, now just $7.69. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

This supplement looks at how the German battleships that helped spark World War One might have served the Royal Navy and Weimar Republic in the early 1920s. Retails for $16.99, now just $11.89. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it now.

Replace your "small" destroyers from Great War a Sea games with these 420 full-length pieces. This is a full-color digital download, not a printed product. Assembly required. Retails for $19.99, now just $13.99. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Rome at War
Great battles of, you guessed it, the Romans.

Fading Legions
Eleven battles of the fall of Rome, from Julian the Apostate's battle with Germans and Persians to the climactic Battle of Adrianople that sealed Rome's fate. Retails for $49.99, now just $34.99. You can order it here.

Queen of the Celts
Covers both the Roman invasion of Britain and the resistance led by Caratacus, and the revolt of Boudicca against Rome. Retails for $49.99, now just $34.99. You can order it here.

Hannibal at Bay
Hannibal returns to defend his homeland from Roman invaders in the climactic struggle to dominate the ancient world. Retails for $29.99, now just $20.99. You can order it here.

War of the States
The key battles of the American Civil War's Western Theater, as Braxton Bragg wins at Chickamauga but is outfoxed by U.S. Grant in the Battle Above the Clouds. Play the two battles separately or in a combined campaign. Retails for $59.99, now just $41.99. You can order it here.

World Conquest
Great Pacific War/Third Reich Players&rsquo Guide
A book supplement, with strategy articles, variant rules, new scenarios, and 120 new top-quality playing pieces. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

Infantry Attacks
To Hell With Spain
Ten land battles of the Spanish-American War of 1898: the Rough Riders, Buffalo Soldiers and more! With 330 new pieces. Retails for $16.99, now just $11.89. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Second World War at Sea
Just the finest World War Two naval series you&rsquoll ever see.

Arctic Convoy
This is a great game: Allied convoys bound for Murmansk try to slip past German aircraft, submarines and surface raiders based in northern Norway. This time it comes in a 2-inch-deep black box just like Bismarck, so there&rsquos plenty of extra room. You can order it here.

Battleship Bismarck's famous (and only) mission plus raids by other surface ships, planned actions, and ships that never saw action like the carrier Graf Zeppelin. You can order it here.

Coral Sea
This is the place to start: the series intro game is back in print. Japanese and American carriers square off in the first naval battle in which no ship ever sighted an enemy ship. It&rsquos fun and it&rsquos fast and this weekend it&rsquos also cheap. You can order it here.

Eastern Fleet
Japan's fast and powerful carriers rampage through the Indian Ocean in early 1942. You can double the fun with Bay of Bengal, which gives you Great War at Sea scenarios on this map. You can order it here.

Strike South
Japan&rsquos fast and powerful carriers are at it again, this time rampaging through the Philippines, Dutch East Indies and Malaya against a scratch force of American, British, Dutch and Australian cruisers. The out-gunned Allies must delay and hope to inflict as much damage as possible. You can order it here.

Japan&rsquos fast and powerful carriers reach the end of their rampages at the hands of America&rsquos outnumbered but still fast and powerful carriers. The Pacific War&rsquos decisive naval battle plays out with many variations plus scenarios for Pearl Harbor, the relief of Wake Island and more. Retails for $59.99, now just $41.99. You can order it here.

Cone of Fire
South American fleets are here in our biggest naval game, which spreads across both this series and its sister World War One series, Great War at Sea. Brazil, Argentina and Chile have their full fleets for both eras, and six full-sized maps to steam across. It&rsquos a big game! Retails for $99.99, now just $69.99. You can order it here.

The Kaiser's Navy
Turn Bismarck into an alternate-history free-for-all with this supplement looking at how the Imperial German High Seas Fleet might have developed had the First World War ended in a negotiated peace. Adds new fast battleships and powerful cruisers based on actual plans developed in Germany but never built as well as reconditioned veterans of the Great War. This is the coolest supplement in the history of supplements, with really fine laser-cut counters. Plus it has zeppelin aircraft carriers. Zeppelin Aircraft Carriers! Retails for $29.99, now just $20.99. You can order it here.

Imperial & Royal Navy
Takes the same setting as The Kaiser&rsquos Navy to the Mediterranean, with Austria-Hungary&rsquos fleet of 1940 taking on the Italians, French and British. It&rsquos pretty strange, but in the context of the Second Great War setting it fits right in. And it has really, really cool counters - 210 of them, die-cut and mounted. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

Spice Islands
This extra is almost as cool as The Kaiser&rsquos Navy: it gives the Dutch admirals the fleet they wanted to build in the late 1930&rsquos, that the Netherlands could have afforded, to face Japanese aggression. This turns Strike South into an evenly-matched slugfest with Dutch fast battle cruisers, rebuilt Great War dreadnoughts, and aircraft carriers deployed to face the Combined Fleet&rsquos wrath. Retails for $24.99, now just $17.49. You can order it here.

Strait of Magellan
Brings the Japanese, Americans, British and Germans onto those great Cone of Fire maps to fight for the narrow waters at the Southern Cone. The South Americans may assist one side or the other. There are 10 scenarios, based on some paranoid American planning from the days right after Pearl Harbor. Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

Orange Waters
This little scenario booklet (not so little - it has 15 of them!) lets you take the Dutch ships from Spice Islands into your Bismarck game and fight the National Socialists. It&rsquos a fun multiplier! Retails for $9.99 printed, $5.99 download now just $6.99 printed, $4.19 download. You can order the printed edition here, and you can order the download edition here.

The Tsar's Navy
This supplement looks at how the Imperial Russian Black Sea Fleet might have developed had the empire survived. 70 "long" ship counters, 140 standard-sized pieces, 10 scenarios. Retails for $16.99, now just $11.89. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Combined Fleet
New scenarios for Second World War at Sea: Coral Sea and its sister game, Midway, featuring Japanese and American plans for these crucial operations. Retails for $10.99, now just $7.69. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Replace your "small" transports from Second World War at Sea games with these 280 full-length pieces. This is a full-color digital download, not a printed product. Assembly required. Retails for $14.99, now just $10.49. This supplement is only available in a download edition. You can order it here.

Impact [ edit | edit source ]

The speech was noted to be favorably received by the troops under Patton's command. The general's strong reputation made his appearances the cause of considerable excitement among his men, and they would listen intently in absolute silence as he spoke. ⎛] A majority indicated they enjoyed Patton's speaking style. As one officer recounted of the end of the speech, "the men instinctively sensed the fact and the telling mark that they themselves would play in world history because of it, for they were being told as much right now. Deep sincerity and seriousness lay behind the General's colorful words, and the men well knew it, but they loved the way he put it as only he could do it." ⎤] Patton gave a humorous tone to the speech, as he intentionally sought to make his men laugh with his colorful delivery. Observers later noted the troops seemed to find the speeches very funny. ⎛] In particular, Patton's use of obscene humor was well received by the enlisted men, ⎥] as it was "the language of the barracks". ⎚] A notable minority of Patton's officers were unimpressed or displeased with their commander's use of obscenities, viewing it as unprofessional conduct for a military officer. ⎠] ⎦] Among some officers' later recounting of the speech, "bullshit" would be replaced by "baloney" and "fucking" by "fornicating". At least one account replaced "we're going to hold the enemy by the balls" to "we're going to hold the enemy by the nose." ⎡] Among the critics of Patton's frequent use of vulgarities was General Omar Bradley, Patton's former subordinate. ⎧] It was well known that the two men were polar opposites in personality, and there is considerable evidence that Bradley disliked Patton both personally and professionally. ⎨] In response to criticisms of his coarse language, Patton wrote to a family member, "When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to a bunch of little old ladies, at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can't run an army without profanity, and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn't fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag." ⎡]

Under Patton, the Third Army landed in Normandy during July 1944 and would go on to play an integral role in the last months of the war in Europe, closing the Falaise Pocket in mid-August, ⎩] and playing the key role in relieving the siege of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in December, a feat regarded as one of the most notable achievements in the war. The rapid offensive action and speed that Patton called for in the speech became actions which brought the Third Army wide acclaim in the campaign. ⎪]

Historians acclaim the speech as one of Patton's best works. Author Terry Brighton called it "the greatest motivational speech of the war and perhaps of all time, exceeding (in its morale boosting effect if not as literature) the words Shakespeare gave King Henry V at Agincourt." ⎚] Alan Axelrod contended it was the most famous of his many memorable quotes. ⎠]

The speech became an icon of popular culture after the 1970 film Patton, which was about the general's wartime exploits. The opening of the movie saw actor George C. Scott, as Patton, delivering a toned-down version of the speech before an enormous American flag. ⎫] It began with a version of Patton's "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country . " quote. Scott's iteration omitted much of the middle of the speech relating to Patton's anecdotes about Sicily and Libya, as well as his remarks about the importance of every soldier to the war effort. ⎥] In contrast to Patton's humorous approach, Scott delivered the speech in an entirely serious, low and gruff tone. ⎬] Still, Scott's depiction of Patton in this scene is an iconic depiction of the General which earned Scott an Academy Award for Best Actor, and was instrumental in bringing Patton into popular culture as a folk hero. ⎬]

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