December 16, 1944
The Battle of the Bulge begins when Adolf Hitler‘s army attempts to drive the Allies from the western borders of Germany. The Germans were attempting to split the Allied armies by means of a surprise attack through the Ardennes to Antwerp. It was during this battle that Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe gave his famed response of “NUTS!” when the German commander demanded he surrender. The Germans had encircled the Allied forces with armored units and thinking they had certain victory, sent an ultimatum to McAuliffe to surrender or face immediate annihilation. Upon hearing the demand, McAuliffe replied, “Aw nuts”. He then sent back the following message:
“To the German Commander. NUTS! The American Commander.” The battle ended on January 25, 1945 with an Allied victory, but almost 20,000 American soldiers were killed in the fighting. This was the last major German offensive on the Western Front during World War II.