The Nazis amassed three armies for an enormous attack against the Allies in the Ardennes Forest and soon surrounded the 101 Airborne Division in southern Belgium, demanding their surrender.
U.S. General Anthony McAuliffe answered in one word: “Nuts.”
This response confused the Nazi commander, causing him to hesitate.
Marching to the rescue was the U.S. Third Army, but it was hindered due to bad weather.
General Patton directed Chaplain O’Neill to compose a prayer for his 250,000 troops to pray:
“Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains…Hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee…Establish Thy justice among men and nations.”
The weather cleared and the Allies counterattacked.
In his order, DECEMBER 22, 1944, General Eisenhower stated:
“By rushing out from his fixed defenses the enemy may give us the chance to turn his great gamble into his worst defeat.
So I call upon every man, of all the Allies, to rise now to new heights of courage…with unshakable faith in the cause for which we fight, we will, with God’s help, go forward to our greatest victory.”
Two days later President Franklin Roosevelt stated:
“It is not easy to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to you, my fellow Americans, in this time of destructive war…
We will celebrate this Christmas Day in our traditional American way…because the teachings of Christ are fundamental in our lives…the story of the coming of the immortal Prince of Peace.”