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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
22nd December 1944
General Anthony McAuliffe replies "NUTS!"
This famous World War 2 incident occurred during the Battle Of The Bulge, the last German offensive on the Western Front. Once the Americans realized that the Germans were breaking through the weakly defended line in the Ardennes, the 101st Airborne Division was sent to hold Bastogne, an important road hub in the region.
With speed crucial to the success of the offensive, the Germans bypassed the town and left it cut off and besieged by December 21. The situation looked grim for the US paratroopers. They were lacking in every vital supply and the only senior commander in the pocket was Brigadier General McAuliffe. However, the 142nd Panzer Corps, responsible for capturing the town, had sent two divisions toward the Meuse, leaving only one, the 26th Volksgrenadier Division, to besiege Bastogne - it was effectively one Division against another.
German commander General von Lüttwitz tried the easy way first - persuading McAuliffe to surrender. US paratroops however, were specifically trained to seize isolated strategically important points and hold them until relieved. McAuliffe therefore issued his famous response, which in UK English means "bollocks". The Germans were initially confused by the response but ultimately translated it as "Go To Hell!" The response served to greatly raise morale amongst all the Americans in the area.
Rather than attempt to break through the American perimeter at one weak point with all their strength, the Germans launched a series of probing attacks at different points, hoping one would crumble. This tactical error played into American hands, as they could simply move their limited men and artillery around the perimeter to where it was needed at any given time. With supplies almost exhausted, the Americans were re-supplied by air just in time when bad weather finally cleared.
Meanwhile, to the south of the Bulge, General George S. Patton, in charge of the US 3rd Army, swung his army from eastward to northward and advanced towards Bastogne. On Boxing Day 26th December 1944 the first spearheads broke through to the besieged town, and the following day, as the 3rd Army arrived in strength, the siege was lifted.
Rather than being stood down, the 101st Airborne was then ordered into the counter-offensive to eliminate the Bulge. The Division was finally stood down on the 18th January 1945
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Extra Christmas shopping
Twitter Followers = 2,049 (up 2)
Non-followed eliminated = 0
Unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 1
Spammers not followed back = 1
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
So far everything is going as peachy as expected! This could be not just the pinnacle Christmas, but the life pinnacle. True to my principles, I am not attempting to grasp and cling, but to let the experience thunder through me. I will express gratitude for my life reaching this dizzy height of joy.
Of course when it's over, my life won't just end! There's still much difference to make and good things to experience. I've learned that fulfilment and peace of mind comes not by how good or bad the situation is, but the significance of the difference you're making. I will go on with the underlying Attitude of Gratitude, for having known love, pleasure and awe.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
What is your default underlying attitude?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Heavy rain and strong south-westerly winds throughout
Max Temp = 13 degC at 10am
Min Temp = 7 degC at midnight
Sunrise at 08:23
Sunset at 15:48
Weathertrack: A strong colf front will cross the country today
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
If you're a kangaroo and you've lost your joey, before you call the police, please check your pockets :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Doctors can use the foreskins of circumcised infants to grow skin for burn victims. Because they are so young, the cells are vigorous. Just one foreskin can create 23,000 square meters of skin.
9. ZEN WISDOM
Difficulties impede the progress of those who are weak. For the strong, however, they are an opportunity to open wide the doors to a bright future. Everything is determined by our attitude, by our resolve.