Christmas Memories - 1944 --- The Battle of The Bulge
Winston Churchill called it "The Greatest Battle of World War II" and he was probably right. Now it is 60 years past and few of the "Veterans of The Battle of The Bulge" remain to tell the story. Some cannot tell the story because the pain is too great. Others manage the pain, urging themselves to tell this heroic story for posterity. It was the last great effort by Hitler's war machine to stop the Allied advance into the Fatherland and push them back to the sea. Just a few days before Christmas, 1944, in the American Sector of the Ardennes Forest, the Nazi Army launched its attack. It was one of the coldest winters on record. Snow was two feet deep with drifts five feet deep. The ensuing weeks were among the deadliest of the entire war for both sides. Over a million soldiers were engaged on both sides. Six hundred thousand were Americans and 55,000 British. The German Army fielded 500,000 troops. The Allies and the Germans each suffered about 81,000 casualties. Raymond S. Buch, a veteran of the battle, and a sergeant with the Army Engineers of the 11th Armored Division, recalls the concern. If the Germans broke through their lines, the Allies would be pushed back to the sea. "Not until December 30 did we start to push them back, and to celebrate New Years Eve, American Forces fired all the artillery pieces at once. The combined muzzle flashes reflecting off the sky made the snowscape as bright as day".
Veterans - Ray Buch