world war ii: battle of the bulge

Lieutenant Colonel Ronald C. Speirs (20 April 1920 – 11 April 2007) was a United States Army officer who served in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. He was initially assigned as a platoon leader in either Charlie or Baker Company of the 1st Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Speirs was reassigned to Dog Company of the 2nd Battalion prior to the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, before his unit was absorbed into Easy Company, of which he was given command during the assault on Foy after the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. Speirs also served in Korea, where he commanded a rifle company, and later became the American governor for Spandau Prison in Berlin. He reached the rank of captain while serving in the European Theater during World War II and retired as a lieutenant colonel.

knucklesandgyros  asked:

An also something to add about Mel Brooks -- he's a WWII veteran. He was a combat engineering who was responsible for defusing land mines (!!) and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. And he used to troll the shit out of the German armies too. Like when they'd be playing their propaganda out on loudspeakers, he set up his own loudspeaker system and would play Al Jolson (a Jewish musician) records to troll them right back (though I'm sure someone will paint Brooks as racist for this)

Mel Brooks is a national treasure and I will fuck up anybody who trashes him.

anonymous asked:

What era/unit do you reenact?

World War II and i’m part of the 5th Rangers D Company.

Me at D-Day Counneaut last August.

Me at the Fort Indiantown Gap Battle of the Bulge event last February.

Congress Seeks to Recognize the Wereth 11

In 1949, the US Senate investigated judicial proceedings resulting from atrocities during the Battle of the Bulge, listing 12 locations where American prisoners of war and Belgian civilians were allegedly murdered by German troops. The location where 11 African American soldiers of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion were killed by the German SS after their surrender in Wereth, Belgium was omitted from the report of a Senate subcommittee.

Over the past 70 years, the event known as the Wereth Massacre has been a largely forgotten tragedy from the final phase of World War II. Today, momentum is growing in Congress to give proper recognition to the 11 men who died serving their country. The National WWII Museum, led by President and CEO Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, urges citizens, museums, and other institutions to back the current effort – reflected in House Resolution 141 – to revise the 1949 Senate report and officially recognize the service and ultimate sacrifice of these 11 men.

The 1949 Senate report surveyed a range of atrocities committed in several locations in Belgium beginning on Dec. 16, 1944, and ending nearly a month later.

The atrocities, which included the killing of approximately 350 American prisoners of war ( after their surrender)  and 100 Belgian civilians, were “committed by the organization known as Combat Group Peiper, which was essentially the first SS Panzer Regiment commanded by Col. Joachim Peiper,” the report concluded. “On the eastern front, one of the battalions of the Combat Group Peiper … earned the nickname of Blow Torch Battalion after burning two villages and killing all the inhabitants thereof.”

In a letter to West Virginia Congressman David B. McKinley, sponsor of H.R. 141, Mueller said, “Until recent years, many relatives of these murdered soldiers were left to believe that their loved ones simply died in combat. Records show there was evidence of torture and disfigurement among the deceased soldiers, and some observers believe the radial ideology of Nazi SS soldiers could have influenced their brutal treatment of these artillery unit members.”

We will never forget the service of the Americans lost in this episode: Curtis Adams of South Carolina, Willliam Pritchett and George Davis Jr. of Alabama, Nathaniel Moss and George Motten of Texas, Due Turner of Arkansas, James Stewart of West Virginia, Robert Green of Georgia, and three Mississippians, Mager Bradley, Thomas Forte, and James Leatherwood.

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Castle Of The Dead by  Cameron Ba✝hory  ( tumblr )

(The castle was built in 1866 by the English architect Edward Milner under commission from the Liedekerke-De Beaufort family, who had left their previous home, Vêves Castle, during the French Revolution. However, Milner died before the castle was finished. Construction was completed in 1907 after the clock tower was erected.Their descendants remained in occupation until World War II. A portion of the Battle of the Bulge took place on the property, and it was during that time, the castle was occupied by the Nazis.In 1950, Miranda Castle was renamed “Château de Noisy” when it was taken over by the National Railway Company of Belgium as an orphanage and also a holiday camp for sickly children. It lasted as a children’s camp until the late 1970s.)

Nuts!

In December 1944, when the German army launched the surprise Battle of the Bulge, Major General Maxwell D. Taylor, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, was away, attending a staff conference in the United States. In Taylor’s absence, acting command of the 101st and its attached troops fell to Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe. At Bastogne, the 101st was besieged by a far larger force of Germans under the command of General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz.

On December 22, 1944, through a party consisting of a major, a lieutenant, and two enlisted men under a flag of truce that entered the American lines southeast of Bastogne, General von Lüttwitz sent the following ultimatum to Gen. McAuliffe:

To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.

There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.

All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

The German Commander.

According to various accounts from those present, when McAuliffe was given the German message, he read it, crumpled it into a ball, threw it in a wastepaper basket, and muttered, “Aw, nuts”. The officers in McAuliffe’s command post were trying and failing to come up with suitable language for an official reply when Lt. Col. Harry Kinnard suggested that McAuliffe’s first response summed up the situation pretty well, and the others agreed. The official reply was typed and delivered by Colonel Joseph Harper, commanding the 327th Glider Infantry, to the German delegation. It was as follows:

To the German Commander.

NUTS!

The American Commander

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The Most Badass Looking War Machine of World War II,

Truly an intimidating sight to behold, the Sturmtiger was a heavy assault gun tasked with providing fire support for infantry.  During close quarters urban combat situations such as those experienced by Germans soldiers at Stalingrad, it was found that it was much easier to demolish a heavily fortified building rather than storm and capture it with infantry.  The Sturmtiger ( Sturmmörserwagen 606/4 mit 38 cm RW 61) was a heavily armored assault gun designed to do just that.  It was also designed to destroy other heavily defended structures such as bunkers and pillboxes, clearing the way for an infantry assault.

The Sturmtiger was built on the chassis of a regular German Tiger tank (Panzer VI) using it’s hull and suspension.  The main armaments of the Sturmtiger was its 380mm (15 inch) gun, a gun that didn’t fire conventional shells but instead was a launcher for massive 829 lb rockets, either high explosive or shaped charges for fortifications.  Ideally, the rockets could penetrate 2.5 meters of reinforced concrete and had a range of over 6,000 meters.  To supplement the main gun, the Sturmtiger was also armed with a nasty 100mm grenade launcher and a 7.92mm MG-34 machine gun.  Since the Sturmtiger was designed to be used in close quarters urban combat, it was armored to take one hell of a beating.  Side armor was 62mm thick as was also rear armor. Frontal armor was 100mm thick, but could be supplemented with a 50mm plate, thus totaling 150mm.  Altogether this massive steel beast weighed 68 tons.

The first Sturmtigers were deployed in August of 1944, a time when Germany was no longer on the offensive but desperately trying to hold ground on all fronts.  Thus, the Sturmtiger had little practical use due to its offensive nature.  However they were used extensively during the Warsaw Uprising, which involved much of the close quarters urban combat that it was designed for.  They were also used during the Battle of the Bulge, and in some battles in the last months of the war.  Between 1944 and 1945, only 19 were produced.

“Low flying C-47 transport planes roar overhead as they carry supplies to the besieged American Forces battling the Germans at Bastogne, during the enemy breakthrough on January 6, 1945 in Belgium. In the distance, smoke rises from wrecked German equipment, while in the foreground, American tanks move up to support the infantry in the fighting.”

(AP)

Captain Lewis Nixon (1918-1995) was a captain of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR, of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army during World War II. He was born into a wealthy family, and attended Yale University for 2 years before deciding to enlist and later become a paratrooper.

Nix never fired a single shot during his time in combat (D-Day on June 6th, 1944, Operation Market Garden from September 17th-25th 1944, the Battle of the Bulge from December 16th, 1944 to January 25th, 1945, and Operation Varsity on March 24th, 1945), but he made one of Easy’s most important contributions to the war effort. During the assault on Brécourt Manor, France on D-Day, he passed information given to him by (then) Lieutenant Dick Winters about the locations of all German artillery and machine gun positions up the chain of command by running the three miles from Brécourt to Utah Beach. Command then sent the first two tanks to arrive at the beach to support the paratroopers. He was later awarded a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and earned three combat jump stars on his Parachutist Badge for his service.

Nixon was notorious for his drinking habits (shown quite often in HBO's Band of Brothers), which eventually caused him to be removed from field intelligence and reassigned as 2nd Battalion’s operations officer. When Easy arrived at Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” in May 1945, he had first choice of Hitler’s sizable (and largely stolen) wine collection. Drinking, partying, and failed marriages aside, I think Nix was a total babe (and not just cause Ron Livingston played him in BoB). I’m a sucker for the tall, dark, and snarky types…and obviously you have to be intelligent to get into freakin’ Yale.