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American Heroism In The Ardennes

Discussion in 'The Battle of the Bulge' started by Jim, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Tanks Ran Right Over the American Foxholes ​


    When the Germans launched their counter offensive in the Ardennes in the foggy weather of December 16, 1944, penetrations were made in the U.S. 1st Army front. Here Wes Gallagher, of the Associated Press, sent this dispatch from Belgium on December 20 1944, telling of American heroism in the confused fighting that was then still in progress.


    Doughboys slugging it out, with German tanks until they are ground to death in their foxholes, rescue in Western thriller fashion of nurses and wounded from a field hospital captured by the Germans, infantrymen trapped behind German lines picking their way back to their outfits, these were only a few of the tales of heroism in the First Army’s bitter struggle to smash the West Front. German counter-offensive, as I have seen it.

    But it was not all a story of acts of cool bravery, as there are others of American formations cracking under the German onslaught. It was a front of wild confusion as officers and men, trapped for several days behind German lines, smash through into the First Army side with titanic tales, only to be greeted with calm disapproval by tough doughboy veterans who now have succeeded in plugging the holes and stabilising the front in this sector.

    Sergeant Ronald Johnson of Creekside, Pennsylvania, stood beside me in a crowded casualty clearing station. He had just helped two wounded GI’s over the mountain from behind German lines.

    At Pistol Point, a German prisoner, survivor of the tank left burning by the roadside some where in the Ardennes, is marched to captivity by a U.S. sergeant.

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    When the attack started, artillery hit our company command post, killing everyone but myself and another fellow," he told me wearily, while at his feet a blood-stained G.I. with a bullet in his neck was slowly dying on a stretcher.

    The Germans came in and took us prisoner, but some of our boys attacked and we escaped in the woods. We made our way back to our units, or what was left of them. And the boys dug in again when we, were attacked by those big German tanks. Some of those boys stood right in there fighting until the tanks ran right over their foxholes, and smashed them, I got away again with two, wounded boys, and by keeping to the woods was able to bring them over to the American lines. That’s all I guess.”

    An American field hospital of which I was told was overrun by German tanks and parachutists. The parachutists started loading nurses and wounded on trucks to be taken to Germany, when Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Horner of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, dashed into town in a jeep, followed by two half tracks, and started shooting from the hip, and recaptured the base. The doughboys took over the town just in time to shoot up two jeep loads of Germans who raced into town in captured American cars, thinking their forces held it. Tanks appeared next and Yankees and tank destroyers slugged it out with the Germans, who were on the receiving end for the first time in four days, until the town was firmly held again.

    But this section of the front had been stabilised, and the Germans were finding the going harder hour, by hour.
     

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