2014 Dec 18, 12:28am
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My dear friends Dr. Robert Zubrin just pointed out that today is the 70th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Bulge. My father fought in that battle under the leadership of General Patton.
Sadly this battle only gets a passing foot note in American history. Battles during our war for independence, the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War One and other World War II battles get much more attention.
What a lot of people miss is that this roughly one-month battle was the bloodiest battle in the history of the United States. Official Department of Defense statistics claim that over 81,000 Americans were killed,wounded, missing or captured. In my personal opinion the authorities are embarrassed to admit how bloody and devastating this battle was to US forces. I suspect that the real killed, wounded,captured, and missing figures exceeds 100,000. Please take a moment of silence to honor all of the brave American, British and French soldiers who fought during the Battle of the Bulge.
While 80,000 casualties was a lot -- probably what the US Navy suffered in sea battles over 3+ years in the Pacific -- but in the context of the war in Europe it was a drop in the bucket.
EVERY month from July 1941 through April '45 was a "battle of the bulge" for the Germans, if they were lucky.
This is not to denigrate the sacrifices of the US Army in Europe -- it was a real meat grinder for a whole year, from Sicily to the Elbe, and those sacrifices meant that we had a free West Berlin, West Germany, and Austria in the postwar -- the history of the 20th century could have been a lot uglier if the Russians had been allowed to steamroller Germany completely. For the Germans, too, though arguably they deserved it, given the crap they collectively committed 1939-44 in the east.
What a lot of people miss is that this roughly one-month battle was the bloodiest battle in the history of the United States. Official Department of Defense statistics claim that over 81,000 Americans were killed,wounded, missing or captured.