Coolest line in history?
I’d say it is, yeah.
What is the coolest line in history?
Battle of the Bulge. Winter. 1944. An entire American armored division flees from a massive German onslaught. Trundling down the road, a tank pulls up to a lone Private First Class in a snow covered foxhole. The commander yells, down to the PFC in the foxhole.
“The entire German Army is headed this way! We’re retreating!”
“Are you looking for a safe place?”, replied PFC Martin.
“Well, pull your tank behind this foxhole. Because I’m the 82nd Airborne and this is as far as the bastards are going.”
Yep, it’s the coolest for sure, easily putting Tony McAuliffe’s “NUTS!” response during the Battle of the Ardennes in the shade—which, y’know, is really saying something. There’s also a pic, which I had no little trouble trying to figure out how to download for attachment to this h’yar post. But in the end, my Web-Fu proved the stronger. Thus:
Heh. And now you know why they called ‘em “dogfaces” back in the Big One, WW2. The look on that GI’s mug is about as surly, pissed off, and just all-round fed-up and determined as I hope (n)ever to see. Uncle Adolf would’ve pissed himself if he’d awakened late one night to find a face like that coming in through the bedroom window after his sick, sorry ass.
Update! A bit more interesting schtuff from the above-linked McAuliffe story, which you may or may not have known about already.
IT WAS MID-morning on Dec. 22, 1944 when U.S. troops manning the defences of the besieged Belgian town of Bastogne watched as four German soldiers – a major, a captain and two enlisted men – approached under a large white flag.
The four-man enemy delegation called on all U.S. forces in Bastogne to surrender within two hours or face “total annihilation” by German artillery.
Technical Sgt. Oswald Butler and Staff Sgt. Carl Dickinson of F Company, 327th Glider Infantry, and medic Pfc Ernest Premetz stepped out to meet them.
The men blindfolded the Germans and escorted them to an abandoned house serving as F Company’s command post.
When presented with the surrender demand, the 101st commander, Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe, laughed at very notion of surrender. In his opinion his men were giving the Germans “one hell of a beating” and felt the enemy demand was out of line with the existing situation.
“Aw, nuts,” he blurted out.
Nevertheless, McAuliffe realized that some kind of reply had to be made and he sat down to think it over.
After several minutes he admitted to his officers that he didn’t know how to respond.
One officer, a lieutenant-colonel named Harry Kinnard, offered a suggestion.
“You said ‘Nuts!’” he observed, suggesting that be the reply.
The idea drew applause from everyone present. And so McAuliffe decided to send that very message back to the Germans: “Nuts!”
A colonel named Harper eagerly volunteered to deliver it to the German officers in person.
“It will be a lot of fun,” he said.
“I have the commander’s reply,” he said giving the enemy delegates the note.
“If you don’t understand what ‘nuts’ means, in plain English it’s the same as ‘go to hell,’” Harper explained wryly. “And I will tell you something else – if you continue to attack we will kill every goddam German that tries to break into this city.’
At that, the German major and captain saluted very stiffly and turned to leave.
“We will kill many Americans,” the junior of the two officers said as they left. “This is war.”
Historians believed that it was the German high command sent their officers to Bastogne with the surrender demand. Yet in unearthed interviews with Allied interrogators, General Hasso von Manteufel, commander of the 5th Panzer Army, admitted that was not the case. In fact, he was surprised to learn that the ultimatum was even offered.
“Panzer Lehr Division sent a parlementaire to Bastogne without my authorization,” von Manteufel would later say. “The demand to surrender was refused, as was to be expected. I did not authorize the surrender demand which was made of the Bastogne garrison, and I am still not sure exactly who did authorize [it].”
More even from there, all of it damned good. There truly were giants walking among us in those days.
Updated update! I could very well be remembering this wrong, and probably am, but as I recollect it was the 101st AID which was involved in the Battle of the Bulge, not the 82nd. Who knows, though, maybe it was both. NOTE: Upon further digging, it appears that there may indeed have been units from both AID’s at Bastogne. Never mind.