December 10, 2014
“No Greater Valor, The Siege of Bastogne and the Miracle that Sealed Allied Victory,” by Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., focuses on how the faith of the men involved in this key battle of World War II factored into their fight for survival and ultimate victory. This key nexus point became the center of attention for the Allies and the Nazis during the Battle of the Bulge, resulting in the 101st Airborne Division and others being completely cut off and surrounded by enemy troops.
Soldiers in the battle became known as the “Battered Bastards of Bastogne,” and are admired for their resolve in harsh conditions with long odds. When the Germans sent a group under the white flag of truce to negotiate terms of surrender for the U.S. troops, Acting Division Commander General McAuliffe gave his famous one word response to the German military commander: “Nuts!”
What makes this a fascinating read, is Corsi’s exploration of the faith backgrounds of famous commanders and key leaders. The fact that McAuliffe became the acting division commander could be chalked up to fortunate chance, or as some believe, to Providence. In accounts of the battle following the war, McAuliffe himself attributes the hand of God to the successful placement of units around the town. When they were emplaced, McAuliffe did not even have the guidance of a map when making initial decisions on where to place his assets.
Patton’s Third Army eventually broke through the German siege, and the author describes the military and spiritual components of that side of the action as well. Patton’s chaplain was awarded the Bronze Star medal for offering what the general deemed to be a successfully written prayer.
Prayer for Good Weather to Kill More Germans
General Patton ordered his chaplain to produce a prayer in December 1944, just as the Third Army began its turn North to rescue the beleaguered men in Bastogne. 250,000 copies were distributed to soldiers, with the prayer on one side and a Christmas greeting on the other.
“Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.”
On the reverse, Patton’s Christmas greeting:
“To each officer and soldier in the Third United States Army, I wish a Merry Christmas. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We march in our might to complete victory. May God’s blessings rest upon each of you on this Christmas Day.
Commanding, Third United States Army
The story behind these developments makes for a great read, and honors the memories of America’s brave heroes who sacrificed so much to defeat the Nazis.
This book earns a solid four stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”