Manual Fighting with the Screaming Eagles: With the 101st Airborne from Normandy to Bastogne

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As luck would have it, General McAuliffe was also in Veghel on the 22d.

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He had been searching for a new division command post when the word came, and General Taylor gave his artillery commander responsibility for the defense of the town. The Germans, however, swung to the northwest and cut the highway between Veghel and Uden, then turning south, the enemy force attacked. As the German armored column approached Veghel, McAuliffe ordered an antitank gun brought up, and although there is debate over which unit fired, the American defenders knocked out the lead tank, and the enemy column turned back. Additional battalions of the th arrived, as did other elements of the th, along with British tank squadrons.

The enemy continued attacking Veghel through the afternoon, including several heavy artillery bombardments, but McAuliffe and his forces held. The next important step was to reopen the highway; men and equipment badly needed further north were backing up on the closed road. The British 30 Corps commander Lt.

Brian Horrocks, agreed to send the 32d Guards Brigade back south on 23 September to help reopen the road. At the same McAuliffe sent two battalions of the th north to confront the enemy position on the highway. When the American soldiers arrived they found that most of the Germans had withdrawn. The st soldiers cleared the remaining opposition and proceeded northeast towards Uden, where they met the British tankers. Hell's Highway was open for business once again.

The Germans continued their attack on Veghel the following day, but to no avail. They did, however, cut the road once again, this time near the village of Koevering, between Veghel and St. Oedenrode, enveloped the enemy position on the road. During the night, after mining the road, the Germans withdrew. The following day Allied engineers were called in to clear the road of mines, and the highway was open once again.

Allied operations had forced the Germans to spend precious resources on the defense of the Netherlands. In early October the British moved their 8 and 12 Corps into position along the highway, and it was thought the st could be better used elsewhere. On 5 October the division moved north to take up defensive positions in the British line, in an area known as the island.

This area, a narrow strip of land north of Nijmegen, situated between the lower Rhine and Waal Rivers, was subjected to numerous German attacks.

The division suffered heavy casualties in defense of this "island". Shortly after the st assumed its positions in the line, the British Corps returned, without either of its American divisions, to England.

Fighting with the Screaming Eagles: With the 101st Airborne from Normandy to Bastogne (Book)

The 82d joined the st on the island later in October. It was not until November that the two divisions were released to prepare for the next airborne mission. The st, in late November, moved back to Mourmelon, France, for a well-deserved rest. There the men of the st received replacement equipment and new clothes and trained for the next jump.

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Events in the Ardennes forest, however, interrupted their rest, and the next jump never came. Battle of the Bulge - The Ardennes Offensive The Germans launched their last great offensive in Belgium on 16 December, driving west through thinly held positions, and catching the Allies unprepared. The VIII Corps had its headquarters in Bastogne, a city at the center of the highway system spanning the southern portion of the Ardennes. Middleton believed the Germans would need the road network to move their armored forces rapidly further west. As an important road junction, control of Bastogne was vital to the German advance, but the VIII Corps had been hit hard, and Middleton could not hold the position.

General Taylor, however, was on leave in the U. During the morning of 19 December the st Parachute Infantry moved east to contact the American forces deployed to protect approaches to the city.

Battle of the Bulge - 101st Airborne at Bastogne

German resistance from the town of Neffe stopped the st's advance, but American forces in the area were able to consolidate their positions. By 20 December the Americans had fallen back to a defensive perimeter outside Bastogne. As the German divisions pushed west, encircling the city, McAuliffe pulled back his troops to solidify the defenses on the northern and eastern outskirts of Bastogne.

The d lined up in the north, in the Longchamps area. The th took positions between Foy and the Bourcy-Bastogne Railroad.

101st Airborne Division

The st took its place in the line on the th's right, facing east, with its southern flank near Neffe, while the 2d Battalion, th GIR, held positions at Marvie. The Germans first attempt to break the defenses at Bastogne came in the st's sector at Neffe. The paratroopers, however, held their line against repeated attacks, and the enemy attention eventually turned to another section of the perimeter, further south. On the 21st German soldiers probed the line at Marvie, in the th's sector. The enemy penetrated the glider regiment's defenses, which rallied and repelled the assault.

After continued skirmishes, four German soldiers approached the th's defenses on 22 December carrying a flag of truce. The Germans brought an ultimatum for the Allied commander of Bastogne to surrender within two hours or face annihilation from a massed German artillery bombardment. The following day the weather cleared and GIs in Bastogne received some needed supplies picture right from an air drop. The weather also allowed the Allied air forces to provide support against the German forces massing around Bastogne.

That same day the enemy attacked the western perimeter in the th's zone, and on Christmas Day a German assault force penetrated the line near Hemroulle.

'Screaming Eagles' Fought at Battle of Bulge in - Los Angeles Times

Once through the defenses the German force split, half pressing on towards Hemroulle defended by elements of the 10th Armored Division and th Tank Destroyer Battalion and the rest swinging left to attack the d at Champs. The defenders cut off both columns, killing or capturing the enemy soldiers. The Germans launched their final effort to eliminate the American garrison on the 26th, but artillery eradicated the assault force. That afternoon elements of the 4th Armored Division advancing from the south broke through the line and reached their trapped comrades.

Though the Germans attempted to close the breach, the siege was broken. The successful defense of Bastogne had slowed the German advance and absorbed enemy resources urgently needed elsewhere during the Battle of the Bulge. With the outcome of the enemy offensive no longer in doubt, elements of the st remained in the Bastogne area during the next few weeks, helping to clear the area of the remaining enemy forces and reduce the bulge in the Allied lines. On 18 January the st moved to the Alsace region as part of the Seventh Army line, holding defensive positions through late February.

On 1 March the new organizational structure for airborne divisions reached the st, and the th PIR became an organic element of the division. Instead, the division, minus the st PIR which remained at Mourmelon, moved to positions near the Rhine during the first week in April. Germany During the last days of the war the st Airborne Division was in Berchtesgaden, Adolph Hitler's vacation retreat. The airborne soldiers spent their days hunting members of the Nazi leadership that had gone into hiding.

On 1 August the 42d Infantry Division relieved the st, which moved back to France to train for a possible airborne assault on Japan. These plans were canceled after the Japanese surrender, and the division was deactivated 30 November in France. Sept 1, , Da Capo Press, pp. Bando Publishing, p. Zenith Press, Apr p. The Aberjona Press, June p.

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New York: St. Martin Press, p. Berkley Hardcover, May 6, p. Osprey Press, April 21, p. St Martin's Press, May 13, p.

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BookSurge, Aug pp. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Under Hitler, the Nazi Party grew into a mass movement and ruled Germany as a totalitarian state from to By the beginning of , The Doors were well-established members of the Los Angeles music scene. As the house band at the Whiskey a Go Go on the Sunset Strip, they had built a large local following and strong industry buzz, and out on the road, they were fast becoming known as a After eight hours of furious fighting, a change in wind direction prompted the Spanish to break off Nearly one billion television viewers in 74 countries tune in to witness the marriage of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, to Lady Diana Spencer, a young English schoolteacher.

Married in a grand ceremony at St. In Monza, Italy, King Umberto I is shot to death by Gaetano Bresci, an Italian-born anarchist who resided in America before returning to his homeland to murder the king. Crowned in , King Umberto became increasingly authoritarian in the late 19th century. He enacted a program Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. On this day in , the U. This was the Siege of Bastogne.

It had been six months since the invasion of Normandy. The same soldiers who landed on D-Day found themselves still fighting, day-in and day-out.