” NEW BERN, N.C. — It was probably all over but the dying in late 1944, but no one could convince Germany’s Adolf Hitler of the fact.
In the seas, he was sending orders that virtually turned his once-feared, but now miniscule U-boat fleet into kamikazes; on land, he was pressing a mixture of his best warriors and some untrained teenaged soldiers to make a last great offensive to break the incoming Allied forces before they crossed the Rhine.
He chose to assault the American line along the Ardennes mountains in Belgium because he believed Americans would be the quickest to run. On Dec. 16, a surprise attack opened one of the longest battles of the war (it would last through late January 1945) — a battle that, at times, looked dark for the Yanks.
Its official name was the Ardennes Counteroffensive. But when newspapers ran maps showing the deep curvature of the American battle lines as a result of the offensive, the battle was popularly renamed “The Battle of the Bulge.”
Retired U.S. Army Col. Abbott Weatherly, now 96, remembers the battle well. He was in the thick of it, a young artillery major overseeing a battery with the 113th Field Artillery — a unit raised, in part, from Battery D, National Guard, in New Bern.
Abbott, born in 1916, graduated from the New Bern school system in 1935, when he signed up with the National Guard armory — located then where the New Bern police station is today. “
- The Battle of the Bulge (xbradtc.com)
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- A Very Sad Christmas – The Battle of the Bulge (1944) (davidmixner.com)