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The gallant stand of the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne has long become part of historical and media legend. But how many students of the war realize there was already a U.S. unit holding the town when they arrived? And this unitthe 10th Armored Divisioncontinued to play a major role in its defense throughout the German onslaught.
In The Tigers of Bastogne, authors King and Collins finally detail the travails of this young armored division, which had only arrived in Europe that fall, yet found itself subject to the full brunt of Manteuffel’s Fifth Panzer Army in the Ardennes. At first overwhelmed, and then falling back to protect the vital crossroads, the 10th Armored was reinforced (not “saved”) by the Screaming Eagles, and its men and tanks went on to contribute largely to America’s victory in its largest battle of the war.
The 10th Armored had only arrived in Europe that September, as part of Patton’s Third Army, and their divisional motto, “Terrify and Destroy,” was somewhat belied by the onslaught of Nazi panzers that burst across no-man’s-land on December 16. Instead their nickname, “The Tiger Division,” became fully earned, as they went on the defensive at Bastogne, surrounded by an entire German army, yet refused to concede a single inch of ground not earned with blood.
General Anthony McAuliffe, of the 101st Airborne (and “Nuts” fame), said, “It seems regrettable to me that Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division didn’t get the credit it deserved at the battle of Bastogne. All the newspaper and radio talk was about the paratroopers. Actually the 10th Armored Division was in there a day before we were and had some very hard fighting before we ever got into it.”
Fortunately, in this book, the historical record is finally corrected. With their trademark style, King and Collins, through their firsthand interviews with veterans, bring us straight into the combats of the 10th Armored, equaling the balance between the brave paratroopers and gallant tankers who, together, held off Germany’s last major offensive in the West.
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About the Author
He has lectured on the importance of oral history and the Battle of the Bulge at numerous venues including colleges, military bases, and museums. He travelled on an extensive book tour of the north eastern United States with fellow co-author Martin King which included stops at West Point Military Academy, Fort Dix, Valley Forge Military College, and the U.S. Navy Museum.
He has worked for various museums in the north eastern United States including the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum, the New York State Military Museum and Veteran’s Research Center, Irish American Heritage Museum and Connecticut’s Old State House. He currently works at Siena College in Loudonville, NY in the library’s audio-visual department.
Martin King is a highly qualified British Military Historian/Lecturer who’s had the honor of reintroducing many US, British and German veterans to the WWII battlefields where they fought. He lives in Belgium near Antwerp where he spends his time writing, lecturing and visiting European battlefields.
He is a British citizen who has been resident in Belgium since 1981. Previous to that he attended Wakefield Technical and Arts College and followed a foundation course in Teacher Training. In 1981 he decided to continue his academic career firstly with a teacher training course at the famous Berlitz Language School, and secondly with a degree course in European History at the ULB University in Brussels, where he also began studying military history. In 2000 he was offered a position at Antwerp University.
Around this time he began writing the first draft of ‘Voices of the Bulge’, a book based on a series of one to one interviews with veterans who participated in the Battle of the Bulge. Later he was joined by co-author Michael Collins who assisted in this project. His voluntary work with veterans and the tracing the individual histories of veterans has been a labor of love for almost 20 years. He speaks fluent German, Dutch, Italian and French. Frequently in demand as a public speaker he has lectured at many British and US military bases throughout the world. His activities came to the attention of some major military documentary makers in Hollywood. The History Channel hired Martin to be their Senior Historical Consultant on their series “Cities of the Underworld”. In 2007 he began a three year assignment to work on the hit series ‘Greatest Tank Battles’, currently the most watched military documentary in the US. Shortly thereafter he accepted an invitation to work as a Presenter/Historical Consultant on the series ‘Narrow Escapes’ with Bafta Award winning documentary makers WMR.
He was recently invited to the prestigious West Point Military Academy and Valley Forge Military College in the United States. Due to his extensive work on veteran research, at Valley Forge he was honoured by being asked to officially open the ‘Eric Fisher Woods’ Library. His documentary film based on the book ‘Voices of the Bulge’ is currently in production.
Widely regarded as an authority on European Military History, General Graham Hollands referred to him as the “Greatest living expert on the Battle of the Bulge”. Fellow writer and notable historian Professor Carlton Joyce said “He really is the best on the Ardennes". Stephen Ambrose author of ‘Band of Brothers’ referred to him as ‘Our expert on the Battle of the Bulge’.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments
1. Friday 15 December
2. Saturday 16 December
3. Sunday 17 December
4. Monday 18 December
5. Tuesday 19 December
6. Wednesday 20 December
7. Thursday 21 December
8. Friday 22 December
9. Saturday 23 December
10. Sunday 24 December
11. Monday 25 December
12. Tuesday 26 December
13. Wednesday 27 December
14. Thursday 28 December
15. The Final Chapter
Appendix A: Statement Of Ambassador Madeleine Albright
Appendix B: Commendations
Appendix C: U.S. Army Organization In World War II
Appendix D: U.S. Army Units In And Around Bastogne 16–26 December
Appendix E: 10th Armored Division