tv Battle of the Bulge 75th Anniversary CSPAN January 11, 2020 1:30pm-2:01pm EST
to watch more video from indianapolis and other stops on our tour, visit c-span.org/cities tour. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. on december 16, hitler's had a surprise attack in luxembourg. it was known as the battle. he committed more than 1000 tanks and 200,000 troops to this last nazi effort, hoping to recapture the port city of on torque. -- on antwerp. anniversary --h the 75th anniversary of the battle of the borge.
the national world war ii memorial hosted the event. >> good morning. on behalf of the friends of the national world war ii memorial, it is my tremendous honor to welcome you to the magnificent world war ii memorial. i am a member of the board of directors of the friends of the national world war ii memorial. i have written several books about world war ii, including one called the longest winter, which is about the battle of the bulge and america's most decorated platoon from world war ii. it is my great honor to serve today, as your master of ceremonies. thank you all for joining us on this chilly, beautiful day as we mark the 75th anniversary of the battle of the bulge. the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the united states in world war ii. in fact, the largest fought in the u.s. of its entire history. friends of the national world
war two memorial -- world war ii memorial is a small non profit organization whose mission is to honor and preserve the national memory of world war ii and to create the next greatest generation of tomorrow. this morning's ceremony is part of the friends national world war ii memorial four-year world war ii 75th anniversary commemoration, which kicked off on pearl harbor day in 2016 and will continue towards the 75th day onsary of v-j september 22, 2020. i should stress that friends of the or only organization hosting a full four year 75th anniversary commemoration. marking every single major battle in which america troops participated during world war ii. now, if you are not already doing so, please stand at attention and render appropriate honors for the presentation of colors and the playing of the national anthem.
♪ [indiscernible] >> tammy cruise will now give the invocation. >> let us pray. gracious god, you have ordered our lives in the compassion of your will. here in our nation's capital, we are reminded of washington and lincoln. one the 18th century father and the other the 19th century preserve our nation.
-- preserve of our nation. between then we honor those who took up the struggle for liberty and justice, freedom and peace in europe in the battle of the bulge. in this great series of battles, general eisenhower commented the present situation is to be regarded as one of opportunity for us and so it was. today, we remember the struggle, the bravery and the tenacity, the acts of heroism of those who fought in the battle of the bulge. those who survived and those who gave all their tomorrow is that tomorrows that we might have all of our today's. president truman rightly recognized our debt to the heroic men and women in the service our country can never be repaid. they have earned our undying gratitude. america will never forget their sacrifices and so today we thank you especially to those who are part of this great series of the battles in world war ii and to their families.
we remember those voices now silent and rest from their labor's and sacred fields of honor throughout this land on foreign soil. especially, we held sacred the memory of those who gave their lives in the struggle of peace symbolized by the 4048 gold stars on the freedom wall. they shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father. they fought together as brothers andrms in died together, now they sleep side by side. to that we have a solemn obligation. we pause in a moment of silence to remember the fallen at the battle of the bulge. they shall grow not old as we who are left grow old. age shall not where we them, nor the years condemned. at the going down in the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. we would be amiss if we fail to forget the families of our fallen comrades who have weekly -- have equally sacrificed by
giving up their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children. we pause to think of those who are deployed in harms where today. protect them and be with their families. be that our vision -- that we might be faithful to the task of being instruments of peace in our day. let freedom ring. amen. >> on december 16, 1944, today, 75 years ago, german forces launched an amphibious ambitious counterattack against allied positions in the ardennes forest. their goal was to thwart the allied advance into germany. instead, in this decisive six - week campaign, they became known as the battle of the bulge, american forces resisted and overcame the german assault.
delivering a huge, fatal blow, to german military capabilities and paving the way for the final push into germany. before we continue, i'd like to acknowledge some very special guests with us today. first, dr. roberta nolin, daughter of first lieutenant james who was taken prisoner of war during the battle of the bulge on december 21, 1944, and who died may 15, 1945. less than a month following his release as a result of conditions during his imprisonment. doctor nolin, thank you for being here. we are proud to join you in honoring your father's service and sacrifice. next, i am pleased to introduce representatives of the allied nations. -- nations that took part in the battle of the bulge 75 years
ago. we should remember that it was not just an american victory, not just as churchill said, the greatest american victory of world war ii. from the embassy of belgium, deputy chief of mission and and affair mr. kristof pale. defensive attache, brigadier general george hansen. from the embassy of canada, canadian forces military attache, colonel patrick roby bicheaux. from the embassy of france rubs ending the french defense mission. from the embassy of luxembourg, deputy chief. and from the british embassy, assistant naval at the commander . morley.nder jim finally, i'm tremendously
privileged, very honored to introduce to you our world war ii veterans, do we have a world war ii veteran here? thank you, sir, for being here. we arranged earlier on for the majority of world war ii veterans to be warm and safely ensconced inside on this beautiful day. they will be with us later. thank you for being with us today, sir. george served with the u.s. army 76th reconnaissance troop. recognizing the european theater, including the forest of ardennes, during the battle of the bulge. thank you, sir. our final speaker of the day, andrew popas.
the general is the director of aberrations for the joint chiefs of staff. he served as the principal assistant to the chairman of joint chiefs of staff for global integration initiatives. general populous previously served as the commanding general of the 101st airborne division at fort campbell kentucky. 101st airborne played a wonderful role today and world war ii. deputy chief of staff of operations for operation resolute support in afghanistan. please welcome. i would like to give you a great welcome, general. >> thank you. >> thank you for that introduction. inc. you everyone for coming out. you asn, i want to thank we reflect back 75 years ago and pay tribute to those who had served, fought, and sacrifice in -- sacrificed in this weather. we were able to introduce a number of important people. thank you all for coming. i want to focus on our world war
ii veterans and the doctor whose father was there and captured in the battle of the bulge. they shouldered a tremendous sacrifice, the burden of the fight, and gave us our freedoms today. thank you very much for what you have done and you have been an inspiration. thank you. [applause] i also want to thank the team to -- for ensuring their legacy lives on today and into the future. for me, personally it is an , honor to stand before you. i commanded the 101st. as part of that formation of the years that have gone through, i have gotten to meet and engage with those who have fought in this fight. i understand those sacrifices they made, personal stories of heroism they have every day. to stand before you today, i'm
humbled and honored to stand before you today. it is 75 years ago today that hitler's launched 30 divisions of combat power in a surprise counteroffensive to recapture the port of antwerp. it was an effort to turn the tide of world war ii. he knew he was losing and that he had one last bold effect to drive into negotiations. the one thing this plan depended on was the weather. -- and we had to deny had air supremacy. the weather didn't cooperate with his operation and deprived us. a bitter winter storm and snow covering the ground, freezing temperatures he launched forward into three separate armies and
a line infantry army, over 400,000 german soldiers committed to the fight and all the aircraft they could muster for the entire front committed against an element of the allies. this is an allied army prepared that was preparing for their own offenses. taken us by surprise, as we didn't have our own air capability for reconnaissance. it was over the next six days this german army pushed back the allied troops further into belgium, deeper into luxembourg, creating the bulge, which was known as the fight. it was 50 miles wide and 70 miles deep, penetrating american and allied lines. this is where it shows the allies are the most adaptable and most tenacious. the leaders and the commanders at the time knew that needed to take bold action.
they committed over 60,000 troops, who went over 100 miles in a single day to thwart this offense of moving forward. and10th armor division pushing the division into the sally and seizing the crossroads which were critical to move forward to get into antwerp. by holding them here is where , the metal of the allied, is troops, wascan tested. under continuous artillery pounding, two divisions committed against them, fighting day and night, without respite, forcing them to survive from hand to hand combat holding the , line, never wavering, and they did withstand. when the nazis couldn't push them out of position, they surrounded them. the intent was to bleed them out and hemorrhage them, force them to capitulate.
and under this pounding, supplies running low, unable to take care of their own wounded, the germans came forward and demanded the surrender of the force that was there. and you heard the 101st commander of the time, be prepared to step up. he sent back a one-word response. nuts. it is because of that, it bold ened the resolve of the forces fighting and continued to push forward and they held on for four additional days, denying the success necessary to push forward, holding them, making them vulnerable. present thatstmas opened up the onslaught of al i ability when the air came in. they brought the allied bombers to attack and destroy the logistical line, pounded the
front lines of the nazis, and broke the back of their attack. by christmas day and the day after, the third army broke -- army led by general patton, broke through lines and ended the assault by nazis and linked up with the 101st, ending the german attack. as the commander of the 101st, i got to know many of the soldiers who fought there. those brothers of mine will tell you they did not need to be safe as they had a bayonet around. that is the attitude of the soldiers that fought, and it was that resolve. it is a battle that the identified that winston churchill called the greatest american battle of the entire war. it is not just the story of american victory in battle, but the story of greed and tenacity
of the greatest generation. it is their legacy that lives on today in the fighting men and women on freedoms frontier as we speak today. they spoke in the freezing woods. the soldiers who fought are true patriots. the children of the great depression. they are from the california coast. they are from from the farmlands of the south, the midland, even out of new york city galvanizing the nation to go forward and fight. they stood forward and proven in the crucible of combat. despite those grueling conditions, the relentless barrages, continuous attacks of the germans and not knowing if that day would be their last, they had an unwavering clarity of purpose -- the destruction of fascism. it was a purpose they knew was worthy of their sacrifices. it was after the war as they came home, their lives changed
through this, but they sought neither recognition or praise. instead, they committed themselves to bettering this nation. it was there instilling of these values and the appreciation for freedom, and those who fought in korea and vietnam and the wars for 9/11 forward, it was your actions today that i will tell you it is your example in the war, that we emulate. it serves an example to inspire us in the most demanding of combat that we face and it is because of you that we continue to fight for the freedoms that make this country great. as i look at the crowd today, and i stand with the warriors of that greatest generation, and i -- and some may carry the memories of that battle and i , remember those that gave all so we could live prosperous and
free. our nation can never thank you enough. we can only make a solemn promise to continue to stay on the watch so that all that you fought for and that many of your brothers died for would be , passed on to the next generation of americans. it has truly been my religion and honor to stand before you and address you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, general, for those wonderful remarks. 75 years after the germans launch their surprise and unsuccessful attack on the allies, we are gathered here today to remember and honor all of those who sacrificed for the battle of the bulge. over 19,000 fatalities tens of , thousands wounded, and many
more thousands psychologically damaged for the rest of their lives. it is now time to present the wreaths in honor of the more than one million who took part in the campaign and remember the 22,000 allies and civilians who were killed. they are not forgotten. presenting the wreath for the united states of america and the friends of the national world war ii memorial are general andrew, lt. col. tammy cruise, retired army general -- retired army major general john herling. nolan, daughter of first lieutenant james -- who was taken prisoner of war during the battle of the bulge.
canadian embassy of canada. presenting the wreath of france, defense mission embassy of france and presenting the wreath for luxembourg, deputy chief embassy of luxembourg. last but not least, presenting the wreath -- did you mention that? ok. thank you. presenting the wreath for the kingdom of belgium are mr. kristof, deputy chief embassy of belgium, and general george, of belgium.
this concludes our ceremony. thank you for joining us today. thank you very much. >> american history tv is in social media. follow us at c-span history. this sunday evening on american history tv, a perspective on the senate impeachment trial of president bill clinton from a democrat from west virginia. inan interview recorded 1999, today's before the clinton impeachment trial began, we hear about impeachment history, rules, and procedures. here is a history -- preview. [video clip] matter anda serious should not depend on political
party. any attempt to infuse partisan politics, and that's what if they would be, engaged in that, would be wrong. and thetitution amendments thereto are colorblind. you have heard that. the constitution and the amendments thereto are also party lined. -- blind. i'm not going to make a judgment based on political party. if it were a republican president, i would feel the same about it, and i said so during the time when a possible nixon trial was approaching and was fairly imminent. i took that position. i have constituents to the right "why don't you do
that? the president is a democrat." i listened to them. when i come to make my judgment, i am sworn already as a senator to support and defend the constitution. in preparation for this trial, i will have to take a look at impartial justice to the persian -- the person it says nothing about political party. judgment asmy nearly so as my can -- as i therely free and aside from political party affiliation of the person impeached. me,o otherwise, to otherwise would not be doing impartial justice under the constitution.
>> you can hear more from robert byrd who served in the u.s. senate for more than 50 years, this sunday at 5:00 eastern you're on american history tv on c-span-3. at the annual southern historical association meeting, a group of professors discussed challenges and strategy for teaching the reconstruction era. they talk about sources and trying to find a balance between national history and local history in survey courses. [laughter] aaron: good morning. my name is aaron dean, and i would like to welcome everybody to our panel this morning on teaching reconstruction. we are happy to have c-span here, which is not normally part of these panels. we will get going right on time. i will also explain first we wi