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Bastogne – “Band of Brothers” – Stephen Ambrose

November 20th, 2010 · No Comments · History, WW2

The breaking of the siege brought the first newspapers from the outside world. The men of the 101st learned that they had become a legend even as the battle continued. As the division history put it, the legend “was aided by the universality of the press and radio, of ten thousand daily maps showing one spot holding out inside the rolling tide of the worst American military debacle of modern times. It was aided by a worried nation’s grasping for encouragement and hope; for days it was the one encouraging sight that met their eyes each morning. And the War Department, earlier than was its practice, identified the division inside the town, so even before their bloody month in the town was up, to the world the 101st became the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne. The elements of drama were there— courage in the midst of surrounding panic and defeat; courage and grim humor in the midst of physical suffering, cold, and near-fatal shortages; a surrender demand and a four-letter-word rebuttal; and a real comradeship… . Courage and comradeship combined to develop a team that the Germans couldn’t whip.

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